‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’
 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:
 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
 ‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.
 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
The word that the Lord gives to the seven churches can be applied to any church in any time.
Those so-called Jews – mentioned in the word that was given to the church in Smyrna – have been around since the days of the Lord Jesus Christ. So has the synagogue of Satan.
Those persecutions, tests and tribulations the enemy devil sends God-believing people who have been thrown into prison have also continued.
And it will happen until the day when the Lord comes back to take us.
Wherever the gospel is spread in the name of the Lord, especially where the power of God takes place, there are so-called Jews. They hinder the gospel from being spread, and they persecute the people who manifest the power.
This is why I have explained the word that was given to the church in Smyrna in relation to the North Korea Mission that this church has to accomplish.
I’m not saying the word that was given to the church in Smyrna is specifically referring to the North Korea Mission – the Mission that is assigned to this church. It rather explains the situation that can happen in any place where the gospel is spread and the power of God is manifested.
The important thing is that you have to realize the fact that there will be great hindrance by the enemy devil and Satan if the gospel is spread in the name of the Lord, especially along with the great works of God’s power, and that you have to be awake and pray always to overcome it.
The church in Smyrna is the model of all churches in such a situation.
The church in Smyrna suffered various tribulations and persecutions since they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There was hindrance of those so-called Jews, and there were tribulations and persecutions of the enemy devil and Satan.
The Lord, however, gave a word of encouragement, saying, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
They already suffered for the Lord’s name, and they would suffer tribulations and persecutions by the devil. But the Lord didn’t comfort them by saying, “I know your deeds and sufferings. Endure with patience just a little longer.”
He rather told to be faithful – even more until death.
He did it because He wanted them to receive greater blessings and more rewards.
The church in Smyrna would surely be rewarded for all the trials. tribulations and persecutions they suffered for the name of the Lord.
But just enduring and overcoming tribulation, trials and persecution alone cannot be praised in the sight of God.
That’s because you cannot be commended only because you did what you should do.
When you did more than you have to do, then you are worthy to receive commendation.
It’s natural that children of God suffer tribulation or persecution for the Lord’s name.
Therefore, in order to let the church in Smyrna to receive a greater blessing and reward, He did not give them words of consolation, but urged them on with the words , “Be faithful until death.”
Now here, I’ve already explained that ‘being faithful until death’ doesn’t mean only fleshly faithfulness.
God’s word to “struggle against sin to the point of death” and”to cast off every form of evil” and to have no ‘SELF’ in you, has the spiritual meanings of putting faith only the word of God that is the truth, and abiding completely by the word.
When you have these spiritual attributes together with fleshly faithfulness, then it becomes true spiritual faithfulness, and it will become the perfect reward.
No matter how much fleshly faithfulness you acquire, it cannot become the perfect reward.
The Crown of Life will be given to those who are spiritually faithful until death, and they will be able to go to the third Kingdom of Heaven or higher.
However, even though there is such a promise as this contained in the word, it will be useless to them if they don’t turn their ears to hear it.
John 10:3-4 says, “”To him – to the Lord – the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.” Likewise, only the sheep that belongs to the Lord will recognize the voice of the Shepherd – the Lord – and follow Him.
And also in the same way, those who received the Holy Spirit, became children of God, and have the Holy Spirit in their heart will listen to listen and then follow the voice of the Holy Spirit in obedience.
Tonight’s verse 11 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Here, ‘an ear’ doesn’t refer to ‘a fleshly ear.’ It refers to ‘a spiritual ear’ that the children of God who received the Holy Spirit can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit with.
You must have THESE spiritual ears.
You must have the ears that can hear the truth, and that can discern the truth.
All of us must have ears that can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit who leads us to the truth, and causes and allows us know the heart and will of God.
Only then can we hear the word of God. And when we hear the word of God, we can also understand the spiritual meaning in it.
By the way, this spiritual ear – that can hear and understand the word of God, and that can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit – will be as sharp as the amount of the evil you decrease in your heart.
In other words, the less evil you have in your heart, the quicker and more acute the spiritual ears you can have.
On the other hand, your ears will be as poor as you have evil; you cannot understand when you hear the word of God, and you cannot listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit (if your ears are plugged by sin).
Instead, the voice of Satan can be heard.
But, even though you cannot clearly listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit since you have evil still in your heart, as along as you continue to obey the word of God proclaimed from the podium only with ‘YES & AMEN,’ you will soon reach the level that you can clearly listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice.
Then you will have the ability to discern everything according to the word of God, and you will overcome any trial, tribulation, persecution, or temptation.
You can also defeat the darkness of the world, and win over the evil of untruth.
The Lord says that such a man who casts off the evil of the world and lives in the truth according to the word of God is ‘he who overcomes.’
And He adds that ‘He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’
Then, what is the second death?
Second death means that there is first death. The first death refers to a death when a man’s fleshly life comes to an end.
And the second death refers to a death when a spirit, which is a master of a man, falls down into the eternally unquenchable fires of hell.
Revelation says in 20:12-15, “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
People who live in untruth and evil and do not live in the word of truth of God, in other words, ‘he who doesn’t overcome’ will be hurt by the second death which means being thrown into the lake of eternally unquenchable fire where even a worm will not be burned.
On the other hand, people who listen to and live by the word of God so that they stand in the light and overcome tribulation or persecution by prayers will not be hurt by the second death but go in the way of eternal life.
I earnestly hope that none of you who listen to this message will be hurt by the second death, and I hope that you will all reach heaven.
I sincerely hope that I will not lose any of the souls that God has assigned to me but lead all of them to heaven.
When the Lord comes back to take us, and when He separates the wheat from the chaff, I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that you may become the wheat and enjoy the wedding banquet with the Lord.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
From now on, I will tell you about the church in Pergamum.
The church in Pergamum is the church which heard the words of both praise and reproof.
This church was praised for keeping the faith under many persecutions and hardships, but also blamed because there were some members who fell into Satan’s temptation, compromised with the world, had worldly thoughts, and lead to death.
The verse 12 says, ” And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this.”
Here, the sharp two-edged sword means the word of God.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
And the One who has the word of God which is like the sharp two-edged sword is our Lord, Jesus Christ.
As said in John 1:14, Jesus is the word that became flesh and dwelt among us. He is the one with God who is the word itself.
Therefore, the Lord surely has the complete word of God.
Then how does this word of God which is sharper than any two-edged sword work on us?
The word of God is living, and there is life in it.
There is no book which is living, and has life in it. But only the word of God is living, and when we believe in and live by the word, it will work on us, and the work of reviving souls will take place.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”
If you truly believe in this word, please, according to this word, find what will please God, and put it in action.
God is please with faith as said in Hebrews 11:6, and He is also pleased with the blameless in their walks as said in 11:20.
God is delighted with those who deal faithfully as said in Proverbs 12:22, and with the prayer of the upright as said in Proverbs 15:8.
When you practice like this, God will be pleased with you, and then He will surely give you the desires of your heart.
You experience that the word of God is living in this way.
Now, the Lord says that such a living word of God pierces as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow.
Since Adam committed a sin, the spirits of men have remained as though dead inside the souls. But the spirits will come alive when the word of God breaks into the souls.
The more diligently you break into the soul through the word of God, the more revived your spirit will become
It is that the word of God that breaks into the soul, and causes the spirit to work even more actively.
Then it penetrates joints and marrow. In fleshly point of view, a joint is a part of a body where two bones meet.
Then, how can the word of God pierce a joint?
Here, a joint spiritually means a frame of your own thinking.
This ‘frame’ is built from all the things that you have seen, heard, and learned; in other words, it was built from countless untruths.
However, you must be able to discern ‘self righteousness’ from ‘self frame.’
‘Self Righteousness’ is to insist that you are right.
Until a man completely changes by the truth, each will have his own ‘self righteousness.’
However, even this ‘self righteousness’ is also formed by the untruths of the world.
Since a person is taught the untruths as if they were the truths, he comes to have his own ‘self righteousness’ that he thinks he is right according his standard of measure.
But when he starts to listen to the truth of the word of God, he comes to know what the real truth is, and then he can start to cast off ‘self righteousness’ which is against the truth of God.
But sometimes, finding what needs to be changed is very hard so to get rid of it from the ‘self righteousness’ is equally difficult.
That’s because people build their ‘self frame’ after their’self righteousness’ had been set firmly in place.
In other words, the ‘self frame’ is a secured form of ‘self righteousness’ that he thinks he is right in his standard.
To some, their personality becomes such a frame, and to some others, their accrued knowledgebecomes a frame.
Sometimes, culture becomes a frame, taste becomes a frame, or deeds themselves becomes a frame.
For example, someone may have a frame that he thinks such is a man of the spirit.
By the way, until this frame is built, many things that he thinks as being right, in other words, self righteousness piled up.
Based on these ‘self righteousness,’ he came to build his own ‘self frame’ about a man of the spirit.
He may force his ‘self righteousness’ onto others so that others will sense feelings from uneasiness and difficulty to oppression. He may judge or condemn people that think or act in opposition his own ‘self frame.’
Sometimes, there are people don’t seem to force his ‘self righteousness’ so that they appear to have no conflict with others even though their self frames are firmly secured.
But these type of people block others’ words or give admonishment with their self frames, and so they cannot find their true self and it is hard for them to change themselves.
Therefore, you must, by all means, break your self frame.
And this is possible only with the word of God.
Sometimes there are people whose self frames are so strong it allows no room for the word of God.
But, God never forcefully opens the door of their heart and never forces the word into their heart.
That’s because it’s against (God’s) justice.
If God opens the heart and forces the word into their heart, don’t you think the enemy devil and Satan will bring the accusations that it is against justice, (that it isn’t “fair”)?
Only when someone voluntarily opens his heart and accepts the word of God can the word come into his heart. That is the way of justice.
Therefore, as long as you acknowledge that you have a self frame, and become ready to accept the word of God with humility, no matter how hard the personal self-frame is, it will be broken by the word of God.
Now, it says that the word of God penetrates marrow. Marrow is the soft substance inside bones. Spiritually it means evil that is minute and deep-rooted.
Just like marrow that is deep inside bones, the root of evil also goes deep into the heart of people.
In other words, marrow refers to evil that is hidden deep inside the heart. Evil in nature or life-force all belongs to this spiritual marrow.
Only the sword of the word of God can penetrate such a deep-hidden evil.
But that doesn’t mean that the word of God can unconditionally penetrate the joints and marrow.
The word must be spiritual enough to examine even the joints and marrow. And the person who delivers the word must have the authority of the word.
The Lord, who has such power in word of God like that of a sharp two-edged sword, speaks to the church in Pergamum.
In the verse 13, He says, “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.”
I’ve told you about the synagogue of Satan when I explained about the church in Smyrna.
Now, this Satan’s throne is different from the synagogue of Satan.
Satan’s throne refers to the place where Satan sits.
This indicates that the church in Pergamum was located in a place which was full of idols.
Pergamum was one of the major cities in Asia Minor in those days. It was the center of politics and studies. It was a city of extravagance and idol-worshiping.
Under the rule of Rome, they even worshiped the emperor.
Pergamum was full of shrines and temples to worship idols, such as the temples of Zeus, Dionysus, Athens, and Asklepios, and 3 huge shrines for worshiping the Roman emperor.
There was a special temple, the temple of Asklepios that was a place to worship serpents.
Just like Revelation 12:9, which says, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world,” a serpent refers to Satan.
Pergamum was a city where Satan’s throne was, and the church in Pergamum was living their believing lives in such an environment. That’s why the Lord says, “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.”
How severely did the members of the church in Pergamum suffer persecution?
And the Lord’s faithful witness, Antipas was martyred here.
In the verse 13, the Lord says, “you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”
Then who was Antipas, and how was he martyred?
We will look into this in the next lecture.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
In Psalm 19:7-9. the Psalmist says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.”
The law of the LORD, the testimony of the LORD, the precepts of the LORD, the commandment of the LORD, the fear of the LORD, and the judgments of the LORD; all this is the word of God.
In the following verse 10, the Psalmist says, “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
The word of God is not difficult to take. the Psalmist makes his confession that it is more desirable that much fine gold, and Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Do you share the same confession?
If you desire the word of God this much and take it, it will not be difficult to become sanctified; it will not even take a long time.
Since the word of God is like a sharp, two-edged sword, when it pierces the spirit and soul, joints and marrow, it may cause you pain.
But if you think about the pain that your spirit and soul suffer because of your sin, and if you think of the pain and suffering if your joints and marrow become rotten, you will realize that being pierced by the word of God is rather joyful.
Therefore, if you desire the word of God like gold, and take it as sweet as the honeycomb, you will surely try to get even more.
When you listen to the word of God like this, and make bread out of it, then you will be changed into a man of the spirit.
I hope that all of you can make the confession, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” as found in Revelation 119:103.
If you are such a man who desires and longs to listen to word, since it is said that the word is God, you will love God even from the depth of the heart.
May you become like this so that the living word of God will yield abundant fruit in your life, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!