These Things Saith He – Pergamos Overview

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

13 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.

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; 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.

Jesus is the Word of God. His word, which proceeds out of His mouth, is called a sharp, two-edged sword. The written word of God that is given to us through the scriptures is also a two-edged sword.

Both the written word of God and things spoken in the name of Jesus, when misused, lead to a lot of harm.

Perhaps most notable among these misuses is that which uses the word of God to justify a wicked lifestyle.

As a Christian, we are saved by faith in Jesus that comes to us by the grace of God. Our works do not save us. We are covered by the blood of the Lamb of God. Therefore, there is no curse that can come upon us from God.

Remember Balac who could not cause God to curse His people. However, as Balac discovered through the counsel of Balaam, the people could cause the wrath of God to come upon themselves if they forsook God and turned to idolatry.

Though our faith in Jesus makes us blameless before God, wanton disregard for the blood that was shed to make our convenant with God can leave us as those who followed to ways of Balac and Balaam.

Meaning, if we say that our sins do not matter because we are forgiven, and therefore go on to live as unrighteous as we please without regard for the calling we have in Christ—a calling to lay aside sin by His power in us as we serve Him and not this world—then we are rejecting the covenant. Our faith is a sham and it does not matter how we might use the word of God to justify ourselves because that very same word will testify against us.

This is the general idea we can gain from the spirit of what this church is communicating. Let’s look at this verse a little more closely:

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.

Where is Satan’s seat? Is it not the seat that seeks to usurp the throne of Jesus through lies, half-truths, and seducing people away from the right way? This church holds on to the name of Jesus and believes in His sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. This is good; however, it is possible to treat the sacrifice of Jesus with such disregard that our faith is not acceptable.

Who is the faithful martyr of Antipas? Historically, this is said to be a disciple of John who was killed because he refused and denounced Christian participation in idolatry and sacrifices, which was punishable by death under the reign of Emperor Nero.

Does this have a future fulfilment? I believe that the letters to the churches provide a snapshot of the spiritual state of the church prior to the coming of the false christ for the purpose of edifying the true believers and judging the false—as the two-edged word of God is created to do.

Therefore, it is possible that there will be a martyr who is killed for their resistance to the carnality of the Christian church. If this is true, then the coming of the false christ would be in proximity to that event. “When you see these things come to pass, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Subsequently, there comes the death of all the faithful witnesses of Jesus who are the two witnesses, a.k.a. the two candlesticks and faithful churches.

These are given power by the Word of God to combat the false prophet and all who would harm them during their testimony. In this way, we see the fulfilment of what Jesus states: “I will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” We also see this fulfilled when Jesus returns as described in Revelation 19. “Out of his mouth came a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron.”

Our use of the word of God demonstrates our faith in Jesus. Or the lack thereof. Therefore, it is fitting that the word of God would be used to combat those who misuse the word of God in such a manner that leads many astray into faithlessness and wanton sin that disrespects the blood of the Lamb that was slain to provide atonement, and eventually, worship of Satan himself who is the false christ.

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; 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.

Jesus is the bread of life that comes down from God out of heaven, as He stated. Jesus is also the word of God—and as Jesus also stated— “man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Those who overcome misuse of the world of God, in all the forms thereof, are given the true word of God. They are given true understanding of scripture; they are given true knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ; they are given the promise of His return and a greater oneness with our Savior, Redeemer, and King.

He also gives us a new name because He knows us deeply, even better than we know ourselves. At the time that we know Him, even as He knows us, we will also know ourselves, even as we are known by Him. We will see just how precious we are and that His blood was not shed for no reason—and by His grace—we are made faithful to Jesus, who is the living Word of God.

So, let us stand in faith by the grace of God who teaches us how to deny this world and follow Jesus instead, not misuse His sacrifice or His word to justify the sins that He died to release us from.

That being stated, it is important to remember that the fight against the flesh and sin is an ongoing battle for us until we are raised in our resurrected bodies. Do not give space to The Accuser. The blood of the Lamb does indeed cover us. If our heart is sincere towards Jesus and we want to serve Him faithfully, we will find freedom from sin as He works in us to free us according to the grace we receive and the calling He has purposed for us in our service to Him and our brethren.

Those who are honest about their sin, genuinely want to do right, and believe in Jesus for forgiveness are not condemned. They are “passed from judgement to life.” Our heart toward Jesus is the difference—which comes by grace first—so that is what we seek, and we cannot judge the hearts of others.

We can judge actions, teachings, and misuse of the Word of God that causes others to stumble in the faith. Firstly, we should seek to know Jesus’s judgments. Our judgements can be weighed against us. “With what judgement you judge, you shall be judged.” Therefore, it is better to refrain from making our own judgments until we first learn His, and we will if we continue in the faith and have proper respect for the word of God.

“To this man will I look; even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, that trembles at my word.”

The above is a chapter draft of a book that I intend to compose and publish in a manner that is free to the public for the purpose of edifying the called of God in Jesus Christ.

I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.

I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.

PREVEIOIUS CHAPTER:

These Things Saith He – Scripture for Smyrna

NEXT: These Things Saith He — Overcoming Pergamos

All Chapter Drafts: These Things Saith He

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