The Book of Revelation – Chapter 2:12-17

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To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. – Revelation 2:12-17

I talked about what the Apostle John was directed to write to the yet future congregations in Ephesus and Smyrna. Each was given a unique prologue (but the same revelation message) of what they were going well at and what they were not and needed improvement and correction in.

With regards the third congregation – Pergamum – John writes to, they too, receive a unique prologue.

The Words of Him Who Has The Sharp, Double-Edged Sword

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. – Revelation 2:12

Who is this one who has the sharp, double-edged sword? We saw back at Revelation 1:13 and Revelation 1:16 that this is Jesus Christ. We see him standing in the midst of the seven lampstands and with seven stars in his right-hand and coming out of his mouth a sharp, long, two-edged sword.

We also see him (Jesus) mentioned in this same context at Revelation 19:15 and there, we are told the purpose of this sharp, long, two-edged sword:

Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. – Revelation 19:15

To strike down the nations! Will this striking down be with a literal sword or literal carnal warfare? No! It will be by his words of truth. That the sword of his words is two-edged means that there is no rebuttal to his words.

You will see later in the discussion of The Book of Revelation that this sharp, double-edged sword that comes out of his mouth is the Good News of the Kingdom message that only Christ is authorized and entrusted with to declare to the world. He is the angel mentioned at Revelation 14:6 who will proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. (See Matthew 24:14 and Revelation 14:6)

You will see later in the discussion that the Good News of the Kingdom Message has not been given to any human to preach. And, indeed, it has not been given yet. No one on earth knows what this most important proclamation is and cannot show you any details or specifics about what that most important message is. So why are people going around claiming that they are preaching the Gospel or Good News? They are making it up. They have created a Gospel that is their own. No such Gospel of the Kingdom exists among mankind. Any Gospel being preached is a false one.

I Know Where You Live

I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. – Revelation 2:13

Keep in mind that Christs future one-thousand kingdom will have already ended and Satan the Devil released from his abyssing of one-thousand years. Satan will then come up and establish his Beastly kingdom over the earth. (Revelation 20:7-8)

Jesus Christ is reassuring the congregation in Pergamum that he is fully aware where they reside: Within Satans kingdom (throne). It is important that we take note of this now and in remember it after we are resurrected from the dead.

I do not know which of the seven congregations I will be assigned to. As mentioned earlier, the earth in those days will be split up into seven congregations. Each congregation will consist of billions of persons who were once dead from all time periods and populated by persons resurrected by Jesus Christ. However, it is vital that we listen to what the Spirit says to all of the congregations. (John 5:28-29, Revelation 2:7)

Jesus praises the Pergamum congregation for their faithfulness to him even under the threat of death. (See Matthew 24:9, Matthew 24:21, Matthew 24:29, and Matthew 10:21-22)

Note: There is mention of Antipas, a faithful witness of Christ. Antipas is mentioned here as a symbol of martyrdom. Apparently in those future days after Christs one-thousand kingdom ends and Satan sets up his throne, death and the threat of death will be used in an attempt to scatter Christs followers and leave off from being faithful to him. This also shows that the Great Tribulation will be in those future days as Satan sees his time in existence becoming short.

A Few Things Against You

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. – Revelation 2:14-16

The angel directs the Apostle John to write down some things that the Master Jesus Christ is not pleased with that is occurring within his household at the Pergamum congregation.

Holding To the Teachings of Balaam

The Balaam spoken of here is not the Balaam of the 15th B.C.E. because he preceded Christ by many thousands of years. Jesus mentions that this Balaam was his faithful witness, so he would not be that Balaam of old.

What did that Balaam of old do with regards teaching? He taught the daughters of Moab and Midian to induce (prostitute) themselves before the sons of Israel and to eat things sacrificed to idols and commit fornication.

That the Pergamum congregation is within “Satan’s Throne” Satan – through his Wild beast and Image will demand worship. Some members of the congregation of Pergamum will compromise and fornicate (not in a literal sense) with those entrusted by Satan to administer his throne.

We see this today with the nations of the world. The nations – I will call them Caesars – demand loyalty and allegiance to the state. Thus, within the nations, there are so-called followers of Christ who compromise and give what belongs to their God to Caesar. What is that? Their exclusive worship, loyalty, and devotion. They really fear Caesar more than God.

So if the Caesar demands to recite a pledge of allegiance or other visible symbols of loyalty and devotion and so-called followers of Christ comply, they commit fornication with Caesar in a proverbial sense and eat things sacrificed to idols (idol worship).

Note: Think of the three Hebrew boys – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – who refused to bow down to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzars golden image. They viewed doing so an act of idol worship and an act of unfaithfulness to their God. They knew that their worship and devotion did not belong to Nebuchadnezzar, but to their God. If you read the entire story, it has a striking resemblance with the way people react to the national anthems are played today. (Daniel Chapter 3)

Another thing that the Pergamum congregation fell on was that they also held to the teachings of the Nicolaitans or the teachings of Nicholas. Who was Nicholas?

Nicholas, back in the first century was one of seven men that the congregations back then recommended to the Apostles to be in charge of food distribution to ensure just and fair rationing of food. It appears that there will be some teachings and practices occurring within the Pergamum that resemble the teachings of the Nicolaitans the Master will not be pleased with. What these are, we are not told.

Jesus through his angel to John warns the Pergamum congregation to repent and stop these teachings and practices else he will fight against them with the sword of his mouth.

This is deep folks! This fighting will be via Christ’s words! What a mind-game that will be and the truth of his words will cut deeply the conscience.

Remember, that sword that comes out of Jesus’ mouth will be the Good News of the Kingdom. That message must be incredibly powerful and sharp to cut even into the soul!

Hear What The Spirit Says to the Congregations

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. – Revelation 2:17

We now see a calling – a necessity – hear what the Spirit says to all of the congregations. Listening to and faithfully complying is vital if one is to be granted eternal life in God’s Kingdom that will come down to the earth!

Those victorious, that is, faithfully enduring all that Satan will bring upon them will be given some of the hidden manna. This manna is used in a figurative sense to mean life-giving bread from heaven. That it is from heaven means life eternal for those receiving it.

Jesus will also give all who faithfully endure a white stone with a new name written on it. What is this! A new identity, a new person who has proven faithful. That this white stone has a new name written on it known only by the one receiving it means that that person has God’ and Christs favor, approval, and blessing upon them forever. It is their “trophy” for completing the race and staying on the path that leads to everlasting life. They are given their “ticket” to entry into God’s Kingdom when it comes down to the earth. (Matthew 7:13:14)

And, since no one knows the name written on the stone, no one can steal or counterfeit or cheat entry into God’s kingdom. All cheater and counterfeiters will not know that passcode so-to-speak.

Next, I will discuss the fourth congregation the angel directs John to write to, the congregation at Thyatira.

Remember all that is being discussed is yet future.

 

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R. Jerome Harris

A Disciple of Christ in the strictest sense. I belong to no religious organization. I view Christ as my only Head, Master, Teacher, Owner, and Lord. (John 8:31-32, 1Cor 11:3) His God is my God and I champion his teachings above anything issuing out of ANY religious organization.

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