In Chapter 2 Verses 12-17 Jesus speaks to the church of Pergamos also known as the “Compromising Church”. Let’s see what He says and what it means looking at our Bible study notes.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
W. MacDonald comments: “The sharp two-edged sword is the word of God (Hebrews 4:12-13) and represents Jesus Christ as Judge” (John 5:22, 27).
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.
W. MacDonald further explains: “The Greek here for “word” is logos. This refers, not to the living Word Jesus, but to the living written word, the Bible.”
The Word judges
It is the Word that judges us, not we who judge the word. Nothing escapes our Creator’s notice; He, being omniscient, is constantly aware of all that is going on in the universe. Unbelief is detected by the living Lord.
John 5:22, 27
22For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son. ….
27and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man
All things now and at the final judgment are committed to the Son, as we honor the Father. And every one who does not thus honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent Him (1 John 2:23 – Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.).
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.
The reason Pergamos was called the place of Satan’s throne in verse 13 was because, according to MacDonald, “Pergamos was the Asia Minor headquarters for the cult of emperor-worship. Antipas was of this assembly, and he was martyred for his confession of the Lord Jesus. He was the first known Asian to die for refusing to worship the Roman emperor”.
14But I have a few things against you, because you have those there who hold the doctrine of Bālaam, who taught Bālak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicōlāitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
Today we are using the help of Mr. MacDonald a lot, as he is quoted here in his explanation of Revelation 2:14-15: “But the Lord reprimanded them in verses 14-15 for permitting men with evil doctrine to attempt to continue in Christian fellowship”.
Thus the church at Pergamos who held fast to the name of Jesus but ate things sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality must repent.
Some have said that the doctrine of Bālaam written in 1400 BC (Numbers 22-25; 31) indoctrinates flocks of the churches still today. Also the doctrine of the Nicōlāitans points to one who serves for monetary gain
(1 Timothy 6:3-5 – If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”).
So additional to the problems mentioned this refers to the practice of preaching for hire
(John 10:11-13 – I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. But a hireling [hired man], he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.)
He Who Has An Ear
Coming to the last verse regarding the church of Pergamos
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 receives it.
Jesus repeats “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” to every church!
When God says something once it is important; when he says it twice it is really important; when repeats it again and again God is serious and we better listen!
OUR FIRST LOVE IS GOD –the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—!
First God, second our family, and third our country!
All Scripture quoted is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
William MacDonald quoted from “The Believer’s Bible Commentary”