“And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.” (Revelation 2:27)
Jesus is quoting the scripture in Psalms 2:9 and is promising those that are true that they will rule, even in the same manner as Jesus did: by the authority given of him by the heavenly Father. To fully understand the context let us look at the whole 2nd Psalm:
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
In the beginning of the church, the morning of the Gospel day, the Apostles began to receive persecution for preaching the Gospel and were threatened by the Jewish religious leaders. They did not run and hide, but rather they gathered together and prayed for more boldness to preach, and as they prayed they quoted the beginning of the 2nd Psalm in their prayer:
“Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ… …And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word…” (Acts 4:25-31)
Like the ministry of the morning of the Gospel day, so the true ministry of Thyatira would boldly speak the Word, and that Word, as a “rod of iron,” would dash the false hypocrites way of worship “in pieces like a potter’s vessel” and expose them for what they were. Through this bold preaching of the Word, those of Jezebel’s church felt “his wrath” and the vexing of their souls “in his sore displeasure.” And in the 2nd Psalm he advises them:
“Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling”
We must take heed with fear to the Word of God for if we treat it with disrespect that same word can come down upon us as a “rod of iron”:
“But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” (Isaiah 11:4)
Even when God sends the judgment preaching of the Word as a “rod of iron” to shake and trouble religious self-righteous minded people, it is for their good if they will fear and truly repent. But the problem is that often their spiritual condition is not like “soft clay” that can be remolded.
“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:1-6)
But to often they are spiritually hardened in religion and brittle. So instead of being molded by the Word of God they are broken to “shivers”, or pieces, by the true preaching of the Word. Their spiritual condition is shattered!
People today often will accuse the one who will preach all the Word of God (the love and the judgment) as being harsh and having no love. But this is the way Jesus preached – all of the Word. This is why at the end of Revelation 2:27 Jesus states: “even as I received of my Father.” Those who over come shall rule over the false, self-righteous, so-called “Christians” by the Word of God as a “…rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”
Are you ruling by a rod of iron, or have you been shattered into shivers by it?