When the resurrected Lord Jesus comes to John on the Lord’s Day, it may not be Sunday on Patmos, but it is the Day when the One who is the Light of the world enters the darkness where man dwells, and begins to reveal the things that have been at work in the hearts of men.

It is the Day when the resurrected Lord Jesus draws open the heavy curtain and unveils the reality of the worlds to come. From that time on, the realm of God’s kingdom is opened to those whose eyes can see and whose ears can hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

When Jesus comes to His church, He introduces Himself in various ways. This is significant, because it shows His special care for each individual need. We know that His church is His bride and that He cares for all His “called out” people. Yet He does not deal with them as a unit, He deals with them in a very personal way. This is why belonging to a church that is alive and well does not give anyone priority in the kingdom of God. Each soul stands alone before the Lord.

The Law of Moses dealt with the nation as a whole, but God promises a new covenant where He writes His laws in the minds and hearts of His people. In this way, the dealings of God are no longer with blanket rules for an entire nation even though they involve the entire nation. God’s dealings are now a matter of the heart and of the mind, and they become very personal to each one.

This is why we find that the Lord introduces Himself in various capacities to certain ones at certain times. He appears, prepared to shine His light on each problem and meet each need. For this reason, the Lord came to the church at Ephesus as “He who walks in the midst of the seven candlesticks.” While He came to Smyrna as the “First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life.” When we come to Pergamos, we find the Lord introducing Himself as “He who has the two-edged sword.” 


Pergamos was a capital of Asia Minor. It was one of the greatest and most beautiful Greek cities. It had a medical school, a library and many impressive buildings. It was also a city of many temples to the worship of false gods, and, it was the “seat of Satan.” The god of medicine in the form of a serpent around a pole has its roots there.

Its people were extremely religious and superstitious; Satan was king among them. However, it was also there that our Lord chose to establish an early center of Christianity. Many of the dear saints who embraced the Lord Jesus had once been indoctrinated into some sorts of pagan traditions.

It takes time, effort and a continuous exposure to the truth to turn us away from our familiar but erroneous ways of thinking and worshipping. It often happens that we come out of one form and fall back into another, thinking that we are free. It takes the longsuffering and the power of God’s Spirit to walk us through and out of all that mayhem. 

This was the situation in Pergamos. It is therefore not surprising that the Lord introduced Himself to them as “He who has the sharp two-edged sword.” (Rev. 2:1)

They had been called out of their strongholds of false worship, now it was vital for the sharp sword to cut deep within and remove all things that oppose and resist the truth. As before going to surgery, the Lord puts us through “pre-op,” or a period of preparation, but He does not spare the sword. 


The adversaries that the saints of Pergamos were facing were no small potatoes; they were dwelling in a dangerous place. The Lord says, “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” (Rev. 2:13)  They were dwelling in the place where Satan himself dwells. The Prince of this world was ruling supreme in the laws and affairs of this city.

It is good to note that the name “Pergamos” means fortified. There is no record of the city having literal walls of fortification around it. However, it is certain that because the “stronghold” of demonic powers was a constant threat to that little band of Christians, the Lord had stationed His mighty, warring angels to protect them. They were a spiritual wall of protection all around them.

Who among us has not read or heard the story of the time when the King of Syria sent his horses and chariots to capture just one man- the prophet Elisha. Syria had been losing the war against Israel because God’s prophet revealed all the strategic moves of the Syrian army to the King of Israel.

One bright morning, when Elisha’s servant came out, he saw “…that there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do? So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. And Elisha prayed and said, Lord, I pray, Open his eyes that he may see. Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (II Kings 6:15-17)

Note that at this point, Elisha did not pray to defeat the army of Syria, he prayed for his fearful servant. Fear is the enemy’s strong weapon. With fear, he puts anyone in a dangerous situation; it is vital that we realize this. God had the situation in hand, but faith had to be built in the heart of this young man, and faith did not come just by trying to pump it up, faith came when this young man was able to see in the Spirit. “Faith is the substance (the realization) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)

Faith is the sum total of what we realize or visualize in our minds and hearts. Even though these things cannot be seen with the natural eye, we know that they are very real – this is faith. Faith is knowing that the things that are invisible are more real than the things that are visible.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we do not look at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (II Cor. 4:17-18)

Paul was stressing the point that all the sufferings of this present time cannot be compared to the glory that is coming in us. Although we cannot see the coming glory with our natural eye and words cannot really describe it, we see it in the Spirit, and we know.

Just as Elisha opened the eyes of this young man and revealed the powers that surrounded them in the heavens, so the prophetic word opens our eyes to the spiritual powers that support us each day.  True prophetic word opens our vision of the kingdom of God; it is not the gift of prophesying. True prophetic word gives life and is never about what the devil is doing in the kingdoms of men; it is about the plans and purposes of God for His creation. Jesus declared, “My kingdom is not of this world…” True prophetic word is about God’s kingdom and what He is doing or is about to do.

Jesus once told Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again (from above) he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Then Jesus explained further, “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (Jn. 3:3, 5)

In the beginning, in Christ, we were spirit. Then we acquired a body of flesh and blood when we were born of earthly Adam; we became “living souls,” born of water. Water speaks of the life that flows in the earth. Adam was an innocent soul but when Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, she gave the serpent power to come into her soul. This was an unlawful union. From that day forward, the serpent had power over the soul and its meat was the body; death had entered in.

From that time on, they knew that they were naked and needed to cover their bodies. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” (Gen. 3:7) Later “The Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21)

The fig leaves represent our works of righteousness.  From that time on, we spent our time hiding our nakedness behind our good works. We worked toward a higher education and more wealth, fooling ourselves and others into thinking that this was the way to contribute more to society. The truth is that our soul has fallen in love with herself. She loves the things of this world more than the things of God. She has turned away from her first love. This is why we must be born again from the Spirit.

Jesus took this Adam man to the cross and made it possible for us to be born a second time by His quickening Spirit. When we are born “from above” we are able to hear His once familiar voice, and we are made alive again.  There is an initial quickening and we begin to see the kingdom. It is the repeated Word that reveals Him to us and causes us to grow spiritually.

The Word that quickens us is not the good pastoral word that teaches us how to behave in life, as necessary and that word may be. It certainly is not the popular word that teaches multitudes how to prosper in this life; such teachings enhance the power of the soul. The Word that quickens is the Word as the sharp sword that cuts deep down to the dividing of soul and spirit.

God often sends us His sharp word through dreams. Because we are programmed to hide ourselves, we often do not receive the true interpretation of these dreams, but when we do, we profit greatly. We receive the word and He accomplishes the work within us. He is the One who is doing the work of getting us there. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)


God’s instrument is not as a butcher knife; it is as a surgical blade, sharper than a two-edged sword that never misses its mark. Keep in mind that the sword is the Word of God. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Heb. 4:12-13)

The Lord did not send His word to Pergamos for the purpose of ridding the city from all its false gods. He sent His word to reach the hearts and minds of those who could hear His voice. By the same token, the Lord is not sending His word to the false gods and concepts of this world. He is speaking to our hearts.

He began this good work in us, but as creatures of habit, we tend to revert to our old ways of thinking and doing; we return to our comfort zone. But now, He is our only source of comfort, our Comforter.

The way we think in our hearts and minds affects everything in our lives. It influences our relationships, and it even alters our character and our health. The way we think in our hearts changes what happens in our lives and families. I emphasize this because many times we put on a front to others while in our hearts we grumble and whine. The attitude of our hearts is what God looks upon and what makes the difference in the outcome of our lives.

The wise writer of Proverbs declared, “For as he (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7a) This is why the Lord comes with a powerful word to pierce and divide that which is of soul from that which is of spirit.

There is a time and place for comforting words of love, but God’s love is not as man’s love. His love is His faithfulness to surgically remove the things that are offensive and harmful in our lives. He does this by changing the thoughts that control our minds and hearts.

All of us have felt His sharp sword. We may not have yielded ourselves to it right away, but He has sent it in many ways and through various experiences. In the past, I have boasted that I am not a fearful person, but recently the Lord was about to pass me through the acid test.

Some fears are good for us; they are warnings of impending dangers and help to keep us safe. But most fears keep us in bondage. The Lord had already dealt with some of my fears and I was grateful for that. There was a time when I was afraid of flying, so the Lord put me through the paces that delivered set me free of that fear. The best way to conquer fear is to go right through it… so the Lord sent me flying a few times.

At first, He did not send me in a large commercial airliner; He sent me in a single engine, four-seater plane across the ocean to Haiti and back. Then to Jamaica and back. Of course, I had prayed for good weather and He answered my prayers. On my first flight, the sky was blue everywhere, not a cloud anywhere, and the ocean below was as blue as the sky. As a result, it was impossible to tell whether we were flying straight up or upside down, only the pilot could tell by his instruments, but in the back seat, it was another feeling.

On these first trips, the pilot was a fellow Christian that I fully trusted; that alleviated my fears. On the last trip back from Jamaica, we had an incident that could have sent the four of us to heaven.

Before we left Montego Bay, some of the young people had gathered at the airport to sing hymns for us and show their appreciation.  They said this one was especially for us, “Be not dismayed what e’er betide; God will take care of you. Beneath His wings of love abide; God will take care of you…”  We were grateful for their love and prayers.

The weather was perfect and we happily took off for home in our little single engine “Bonanza.” This was during the time of the “Cuban crisis” so we were relieved when we had no problem flying through the designated corridor of Cuba and answering their questions as we went.

When we entered Biscayne Bay and the coasts of Florida appeared on the distant horizon, we were jubilant. However, all of a sudden, our moods changed. Two military jets were escorting us; they were flying much too close to our plane. Then, one of them flew right in front of our nose, taking all the air out of our path. Our little plane promptly went into a sharp dive. All the luggage in the back came tumbling down on top of my husband and me. I saw the gas caps flying off the wing tips and one wing was creaking under the force of the steep and abrupt descent.

Suddenly and in unison, the four of us cried out, “Jesus!” At that very instant, the little plane leveled off and we were on our way again. We arrived at the Miami airport and landed behind a large jet. The turbulence would have been scary, but it was nothing compared to what we had just been through.

Our pilot was pale as a ghost. He went in to inquire and found out that our flight plans from Montego Bay had never been received. So, as it was customary under such circumstances, when a plane came from the direction of Cuba, they called for identification. No one answered. Actually, we never heard them. The next step was to intercept the plane and to drop us in the water. There was no other option. This was the rule for the safety of the country. We were not aware that our radio had quit working and if it had not been for God taking us under His wings, I would not be writing about this today.

The structural damage of the little plane was so considerable that it could never fly again. Through this, I overcame my fear of flying in small planes. Then, the Lord arranged for me to fly on commercial airliners; my first two flights had problems landing and without going into details at this time, I overcame the fear of flying in airliners.

When I was a little girl I had dreams of being in cemeteries when the dead rose out of their graves; I was petrified. Later I would break in cold sweat at the thought of a dead body. It was not until I was almost thirty years old, and I had to go to the funerals of one of my husband’s nephews, that I found myself having to look death in the face; I did not do well with that.  It was after I met the Lord that He delivered me of that fear and that I was able to stand next to a coffin.


The mother of all fears is the fear of death. Jesus came in flesh and blood and took death to the cross and beyond. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:14-15)

It is this body of flesh and blood that holds us into the realm of death. In order to nail death to the cross, Jesus partook of this body of flesh and blood. He could not have gone through death without this body. Paul wrote, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24) When I feared to look at a dead body, I actually dreaded to look at “death.” Death is expressed through a dead body.

By the same token, there is no resurrection without the death of a body. Resurrection has to do with the body. Paul explains that there are several kinds of flesh and blood bodies and there are “celestial bodies. “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” (I Cor. 15:39-40) All flesh bodies experience death and corruption.

When Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil their bodies were changed into a corruptible flesh and blood bodies. The Lord God had told them that the day they ate of that tree, they would die. This meant that death would enter their bodies. Up to that time, they had a “celestial” body, but now they had entered the serpent’s territory and they were faced with the body of this death. The life of the flesh is in the blood, and the corruption and death of the flesh is in the blood as well. 

At Calvary, Jesus shed His blood and nailed death to the cross. He then arose from the dead and acquired His body of glory.  Through the death of His cross,   the followers of Jesus receive “celestial bodies” to replace their corruptible ones. This is why Jesus said that those on the other side of the veil are as “the angels;” they have celestial, heavenly bodies but they await an even better resurrection.

Paul taught the church at Rome that he who has died is free from sin. But Paul qualifies this death in these words, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:8-11)

Through His death, Jesus rent the heavy veil that kept us from seeing the glory that lies beyond the veil. When we see the other side, the fear of death that kept us in bondage is gone. We are released from that fear because we are the children of light and we see that in Christ there truly is no more death.

Jesus took away the power that the devil had over us, and He released us from the fear that kept us in bondage. Yet many fears still take us by surprise.  The fear of death has fostered all sorts of fears in our minds and hearts, and fear has torment. We are not aware of these fears until the opportunity comes for them to raise their ugly heads. It is the grace of God that allows such opportunities.

When we are young and our bodies are strong and healthy, our thoughts are not on death and usually not on sickness and pain. But, when we get a little older, we begin to encounter physical discomfort and pains and we come face to face with some of our deep down fears.

Even though I overcame the fear of death, I found that I had other fears. These were areas in my soul that I did not dare go to, but when the faithfulness of God applied His sharp sword, one by one, I had to face each of my weaknesses.

One night recently, I came face to face with one of my fears. It first began with unfamiliar, gnawing pains in my right leg. At the same time, I noticed that my heart was racing and I was in cold sweat. This was something I had never experienced before. I went to the Lord and asked for wisdom and deliverance; He quickly answered me. I rejoiced and I thought that I was totally free from my problem, but it was only the beginning of my lesson.

He spoke to my heart and said, “Your pain problem is small in comparison to your fear problem. When you are free from the fear, you will be free from the pain.”  I pondered the words and fully received them. I knew that I feared pain more than I feared death, but I never realized how strong a hold that fear really had over me.

And it was not just the pain that I feared, it was the possibility of being crippled by the pain and losing my independence. This was the same old enemy called anxiety multiplied a hundred fold. Fear can take hold of our minds and of our entire beings. It can affect our hearts and eventually our whole system. 

The same sharp sword that He sent to His people at Pergamos, He also sends to us today. He is not only cutting away all the false doctrines and religious attachments from our hearts, He is cutting deep within to divide that which is of soul from that which is of Spirit.

He is delivering us from all our fears and testing our faith. Is our faith really in Him or is it still in what we do for Him? “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  (I Pet. 1:7) 

In order to deliver creation, the sons must first be delivered themselves. Up to this time, ministers have relied on the word of God written on the pages of the Bible to spread the message of faith. But the word that will deliver creation must be written on our minds and our hearts. As Paul declared, we must be the living epistles known and read by all men.

It was after I struggle several weeks with my fear and my faith that the Lord revealed to me the source of my pain. Then on a Sunday afternoon, He sent a sister in the Lord to visit. She was not aware of her mission at the time, but as we talked and I confided my problem to her, she began to pray. She rebuked the spirit of infirmity that had come to torment me and asked the Lord to heal me. This was a gift from God. My leg has been well ever since and when that fear tries to take hold again, it finds no more place in me. 


The sword of the Spirit is the sharp word that divides soul, or emotion, from Spirit. John wrote that to be free from all our fears, we must be made perfect in love. “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in the world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (I Jn. 4:18)

God is love. Human love is an emotion, but true love is Spirit. We are made perfect in God’s love when His sharp Word has divided that which is emotions from that which is true Spirit in our minds and hearts. This is the work of love; it is the work of the sharp sword.

Most of us have experienced human love. We have known our mother’s and father’s love. We have experienced “puppy love.” We may have had the joy of knowing true love between husband and wife. But even the best of these are emotional; they are not “perfect love.” Human love still comes down to “I love you because you are nice to me and if not, I hate you.” Mother’s love may come closer to perfect love, yet there is a measure of “instinct” in mother love.

As we walk through difficult times with our God, we experience true love. The dear apostle who wrote that there is no fear in love certainly tasted of that love. Foxe’s book of Martyrs records that he was once sent to Rome where he was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil; he miraculously escaped without injury. John was the only apostle who escaped a violent death but his life was under constant threat. It was through it all that he found the key to being free from all fears. He wrote, “…he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”  

God is perfect love. In Christ we begin to taste of that love. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (II Cor. 5:19)

This is the sum total of perfect love. In Christ, we have been reconciled to God. There was no reason for God to reconcile us to Himself, except for the fact that He loves us. He created us knowing that we were going to disobey and fall, yet before the foundation of the world, perfect love had sent His sinless Lamb to the cruel cross to redeem us.

Our Father purposed and created all things for His Son. Speaking of the Son, Paul writes, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”  (Col.1:16) This is a powerful word.

Paul explains that all powers and dominions were actually created for His Son. Therefore, when we are in His Son, we are joint-heirs and all things are created for us. This is why, in Christ, we are given the ministry of reconciliation and all things are ours. This is hard for us to understand with our finite mind.  Only through the Holy Spirit are we able to know the things that our God has prepared for us. (See I Cor. 2:6-16)

Reconciliation means “mutual change.” Restored to God’s favor through mutual change. Each party gives something toward the goal of reconciliation. In this case, God gives His grace and man repents and desires to change his ways. The Lord’s message to Pergamos was, “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Rev. 2:16)

There can be no reconciliation unless the person desires to change his or her ways; there needs to be a change on each side. God changed when He gave His Son to pay the penalty of the law, and man must repent. This is God’s perfect love. He does not force anyone to repent, however it could be that as things get painful enough, one will finally reach out.


“He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” (Rev. 2:17)

The promises of God are not all “name it and claim it.” There are promises that we receive by faith, but as we grow in Christ there are precious rewards that belong only to those who hear His voice and overcome by His Spirit.

Jesus said “…lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” (Matt. 6:20a).  These treasures are spiritual qualities that are obtained by overcoming the challenges of every day life. They are the fruits of the Spirit that grow in our lives. They appear when we draw our wisdom and our strength from the Tree of life.

As we yield ourselves to His sharp two-edged sword and let Him cut the false doctrines out of our minds and hearts, we find the power to take authority over all the fears and anxieties that rob us of our peace and well-being.  As overcomers, we receive the wonderful rewards that the Lord has promised to His church.

Christians who do not allow the sword of the Spirit to work daily in their lives remain weak and struggle to get through the evils of each day. Those who hear Him are able to rise in the power of the Christ within. They are more than conquerors at the end of each day.

Hidden manna is very valuable indeed. We know about the manna that Israel picked up everyday on their journey through the wilderness. They had not requested it and did not even know what it was. They called it “what is it?” This is the meaning of the word “manna.” But it was their sustenance and without it, they would have perished.

In the same way, Hidden manna does not come by request; it is just there when we need it. How many times have we looked back on the events of a day and wonder at how we knew what to do or what to say in the moment of need? Or have we ever wondered at the perfect timing of things and realized that only the Lord could have orchestrated the whole thing.

This is all “Hidden manna.” It comes seemingly from nowhere and accomplishes that which we could have never known to do. Hidden manna can save our lives. It keeps us in the joy of the Lord and is a special blessing that we pick up each day. It is not something that we can store for tomorrow; it is given in the exact measure for the day. Tomorrow there will be fresh hidden manna.

There is also the white stone with a new name that no one else knows except the one who receives it. In the days of Jesus, when the high court (Sanhedrin) met to render a verdict, they held up a “black stone” for guilty, and a “white stone” for not guilty.

In Christ, the “white stone” speaks of our total acquittal; we have passed from condemnation unto life. But this white stone is even more glorious; within it, there is a name written that no man knows except the one who receives it. A name speaks of a “nature.” This name is our new identity in Christ. It is not visible to anyone else, but we know that we are no longer the same. When we receive this name, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we are eternal beings in Christ. We are not only forgiven of our sins but now our innermost nature has been changed. We will never sin again.

The forgiveness of sins comes through the atoning blood of Jesus, but our new nature comes through walking with Him and hearing His Spirit daily. It comes as we daily choose to follow Him and overcome the self-nature that strives to keep us in darkness. It comes as we allow the sharp word of the Spirit to cut out all that is contrary to the truth.

This new nature is not something that is visible. It is not something that we wear on the outside like “Superman’s cape!” This new nature remains hidden until the day He will manifest His sons to the earth.

Jacob had to wrestle all night with the Angel of the Lord in order to get his name changed from Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (Prince with God or soldier with God). When we first come to the Lord, we are forgiven of our sins, but we must still come face to face with the nature that continually schemes and fights for the “self.” We make deals with God and want Him to bless the things that we love to do.

But when we have struggled all night with Him and have been wounded by His sword. When by repeated blows, we have been broken, and as Jacob we walk with a limp. When we no longer depend on our scheming nature for survival, then we receive our new name and we stand as one who fights on the side of God. 

Father, we praise you and thank you for your Son and for the power of His Spirit within us. We thank you for the wonderful way that you lead us out of this world of darkness and into your wonderful Light. 

Because of His love, 



LOVE LETTERS SERIES No. 3 – MSG. No. 181 [Jackie Caporaso]          1


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