12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “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. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 “He who has an ear, 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 receivesit.”’
As we continue through the churches we see here that Jesus is described to the Church at Pergamos as He who has the two edged sword. The Words of God are very sharp here. And He tells them to repent or else He will come and fight against them. I wonder if we hear Jesus when He tells us repent or I will come and fight against you. Think about this, if you are actively engaged in sin, you are inviting Jesus to fight against you. You cannot, you absolutely cannot, expect to sin free of charge. We all to often want to think of Jesus as fighting against the world. However, He will protect His house. Yes even if He has to do it from inside out. You and I need to be very careful when we thumb our noses at Jesus and pretty much say to Him, this is my sin and I am not going to stop. He will deal with this issue, verse 16 is very very clear in this matter. Repent or experience the fight you cannot win.
First of all Jesus commends the church for maintaining their faith even though they live in the presence of Satan.
As children of God our environment should not overtake us. We should be stronger than the influence around us. We should be the influence, we should not be under the influence. Although this church maintained the faith under very difficult circumstances, they were a church that compromised. They allowed the doctrine of Balaam, which is a stumbling block. Additionally they allowed the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.
The doctrine of Balaam takes a good bit of study but I will give you scripture references and basically sum it up as idol worship and fornication. Just before the Jews entered the land of Canaan, they defeated the kingdoms of Og, king of Bashan, and Sihon, king of the Amorites. Consequently, Balak, the king of Moab, feared an attack from the Jews against his people. Balak hired the prophet, Balaam to curse the Jews, hoping to give his people an advantage if they were to war against God's people. Instead Balaam blessed the Jews and did not curse them (Num 23-24). Balak was furious, he fired Balaam. However, before Balaam returned to his place (Num 24:25), he gave Balak counsel (Num 31:16) that caused the wrath of God to come against Israel. He counseled Balak to let the daughters of Moab prostitute themselves with the Jews and to get them to eat the things sacrificed to idols (Num 25:1-3). The result of this doctrine was discipline at the Hand of God. Twenty four thousand Jews died in a plague that was a result of their sin (Num 25:4-9). First of all the Jews were forbidden to intermingle with the Moabites (Deut 23:3) and they certainly were not allowed to worship idols. Obviously Balaam’s counsel ran contrary to the command of God.
The acceptance and/or compromise to allow this doctrine resulted in God dealing with His people. We have somehow developed this idea that we can sin and Jesus will not do anything about it. this is simply arrogance and evil deception, Jesus will deal with sin. We cannot allow doctrine in the church that runs contrary to the Word of God. We cannot compromise as the Church at Pergamos did, not just with the doctrine of Balaam but also the Nicolaitans. We will discuss them tomorrow.
Brother Big Daddy