“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast 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. 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. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. 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.” (NKJV).
1. This is the inspired approach and message of Jesus to believers in Southeastern Idaho sinking in a state of compromise. You are the ones sitting in the church pews who will be fearfully ducking your heads in shame and fear when the warrior King breaks through the back doors bearing a flashing, deadly sword.
2. But before Jesus unleashes his sword upon your local congregation riddled through with sinful compromise, He speaks to those of you who have displayed the tenacious spirit of Antipas. The one against all. Thank God for you. You are like Anthanasius contra mundum. You live right under the shadow of a diabolical stronghold, “Satan’s throne . . . where Satan dwells,”but you remain steadfast in waving Christ’s banner. You do not capitulate. You do not accommodate. You boldly proclaims Christ’s name as the only name whereby men and women can be delivered from sin’s grasp and the world’s death traps.
1. Many of you have given in to the doctrine of Balaam. You say that you are among the new Israel. You enjoy listening to accurate biblical oracles on Sundays (how you promote this! let the Bible messages be exegetically accurate, faithful to the text, and inspired from heaven), but then during the week, you succumb to intimacy with the Moabites over and over again. Inwardly and privately, you are attracted to the beautiful whores in the area. They are very impressive. By seeking to expand your influence and entertain your curiosity, you are being seduced. And sadly, you are repeatedly ignoring your own conscience. Over a glass of wine, why are you allowing yourself to be so aroused by that sweet-tongued agnostic? In the late cool of the evening, why are you opening your mind and heart to the sewage of that show on Direct TV? What are you doing in that theatre room watching that particular movie at Edwards Grand Teton Cinema 14 complex? What are you trying to gain? What Balaam hoped for? A worldly boyfriend or girlfriend? Peer acceptance? That you are tolerant of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans? That you cleverly understand all the nuances of a worldly system? Why are you becoming increasingly muted over publicly expressing hatred for the things that your Saviour and Lord hates?
2. Perhaps you are tired of being like an Ephesus believer. You have become weary of the fight. Your friends have kept telling you to quit being so judgmental — to just loosen up. Your family wishes that you would just shut up and not be so radical. So you have. But the pendulum has swung not to a greater love for others but to a greater engorgement of your own lusts and self-preoccupation.
3. You and your congregation have sought to reach the Greeks. But unfortunately, the ways of the Greeks are alarmingly infiltrating your assembly. Shockingly, brothers and sisters are being led down seemingly harmless paths in the Idaho woods but ensnared in bear and mountain lion traps.
Repent. Drop to your knees before your King. And then run to the operating table. Let the Holy Spirit cut away the disease and cancer that is sapping your strength. Confront the insidious lies that are flowing from Satan’s throne.
Reward for the overcomer:
Hidden manna. A white stone. A new name that is known only between you and Your gracious, loving Giver. Intimacy that is divine, satisying, pure, holy, permanent, and glorious.
Jesus prayed before He ascended to heaven:
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. and the glory which you gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Get up, brothers and sisters of Pergamus, you who are wallowing in the muddy pools, trickling from Satan’s throne, looming over your homes. You will find no intimacy nor satisfaction for your longings in the man-centered meccas of your region – impressive as they are. Return. And join again in the perichoresis dance with your God.