Posted by: dailywordofdestiny | April 6, 2015

THE SEVEN CHURCHES: PERGAMOS (Doctrinal Compromise)

sword of truth


“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges…” (Revelation 2: 2-17)

Located about sixty miles north of Smyrna is Pergamos, which at one time was the official Asian center for the imperial cult. It was also the center of worship for four of the most important pagan cults of the day: Zeus, Athene, Dionysos and Asklepios.

Here Jesus is said to have “the sharp sword with the two edges” which is the whole written Word of God; the Bible with the Old and New Testament.
Jesus recognized the faithfulness of the church in Pergamos, despite the satanic environment in which they lived. In the original Greek, the words, “holdest fast” means “to hold onto desperately with all of one’s power.” These Christians were holding onto their faith with everything they had and Jesus commended them for it. He tells them, “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, [even] where Satan’s seat [is]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas [was] my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth” (vs 13).

Jesus not only knows their works, He knows everything about them. Judgment begins at the house of God, because Jesus walks to and fro checking them out continually. When Jesus says that He knows where they dwell, He is referring to their very evil surroundings. Pergamos was an educational center; filled with great libraries and places of worldly education. Apparently, this church was compromising with the heathen around them; possibly falling into the paradigm of worldly wisdom, which is not cohesive to the faithfulness of God. The Bible tells us, “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7).

Faith is not fact. The educated mind wants to prove by facts; Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” and Hebrews 11:2 says, “For by it the elders obtained a good report.” The mind and heart, even though physically a few inches apart, are miles apart in the Spirit.

Jesus knew this church in Pergamos would have a very hard time. The evil outside the church and the compromise in the church tries to draw more of these people out of the church. Maybe they had very good intentions, but they got very bad results. Jesus goes so far as to call this evil city, “Satan’s seat”. We know by this that evil prevailed because fellowship with the world brings compromise. Jesus points out this very thing in telling them, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication” (Vs 14).

The Lord also reproved them for allowing members who practiced the “doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans” to remain within their congregation (Vs 15). The word “Nicoliatane” comes from two Greek words, one meaning “to conquer” and the other meaning “the laity.” It is symbolic of the development of a priestly order which ruled over the laity in contrast to Christ’s command regarding serving one another given in Matthew 23: 8-9.
The headship of Christ had been set aside in favor of an ecclesiastical hierarchy. Peter also addresses this issue, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2: 1,2). Although they were victorious in keeping their faith during persecution, they opened the door to spiritual destruction when they compromised with the world. Apostasy is “to lay open to danger.” In spiritual matters, any position of compromise opens you up to danger and corruption.

Compromise is rampant throughout the Body of Christ and the Spirit of God is calling us to allow the “sword of the Spirit”, the Word of God, to expose and remove compromise just as a surgeon removes a cancerous growth. God cannot and will not tolerate compromise! Even the smallest compromise opens the doors to additional compromise, which leads to even greater compromise and eventually, spiritual death. If you have compromised in any area of your life, you must do what Jesus told believers at Pergamos:  REPENT!

Jesus issued a stern warning to the church of Pergamos, “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth” (2: 16).

Repent means to be truly sorry and turn away from evil. Go a new direction. Walk in right standing with the Lord. The sword that Jesus fights with is His Word. There is nothing more powerful than the Word of God. Jesus has not given up on them. He just wants them to change their ways. Although the majority of the church at Pergamos were not deceived and were not following the doctrine of the Balaamites and the Nicolaitans, they were guilty of indifference toward the sin within their church.

But Jesus goes on to assure them that, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]” (Vs 17).

As we said before, hear with our inner man. There is a battle, and we are God’s soldiers. The Spirit and the flesh are locked in battle. When we allow the Spirit of God to control our flesh, then we are His. He is our God, and we are His people.

The stone mentioned in V-17, most think was a diamond. It was probably the stone worn by the high priest that had God’s name on it. It was hidden from view next to the heart behind the Urim and the Thummim. The others’ stones were symbolic for the Tribes of Israel, and all 12 of them were on the breastplate of the high priest. We have received the name of Jesus Christ if we are truly His. We are Christians. Whatever the stone is, I am happy to know that our name will be on it.

Jesus will feed us His hidden manna. Manna fell from heaven miraculously and fed the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land in Exodus 16:14-15. This manna was symbolic of Jesus who is the Bread of Life. We will eat of the Tree of Life (Jesus) and live forever.

The mystery Jesus is revealing is Himself in His fullness.
• He is the Tree,
• He is the Bread,
• He is the Manna,
• He is LIFE.

We, too, like Pergamos must repent and come to Jesus with all that we are or ever hope to be. We are nothing until He fills us with Himself. Amen.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: