Photography by Bob Sabo

Rev 2:12  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 
Rev 2:13  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. 
Rev 2:14  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. 
Rev 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 
Rev 2:16  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 
Rev 2:17  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. 

Hallelujah to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We will be singing this once the Lord Jesus raptures His Church! I can picture all believers from the time of Jesus through today, in one voice, singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus! Can’t you? It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. 🙌

Today’s letter to the churches in Revelation 2 is about the church called Pergamos. In the church age, it existed between 312-606 AD. This is the age where the Roman Catholic Church began. Pergamos was well known for its reading and knowledge. They had the biggest library with over 200,000 books! These books were later taken by Mark Anthony and given to Cleopatra as a gift. It is at this point in time that the church married the world and adopted worldly practices which looked more “Roman” than early church doctrine. Despite Constantine making Christianity the mandated religion, the “changing of the heart” of the doctrine was taken out and man-made doctrine replaced it. Conversion was replaced by mandates. Here are a few of those practices which were adopted:

  1. praying for the dead and purgatory
  2. worshipping saints and angels
  3. worshipping Mary
  4. wearing robes and clerical collars

But what does Jesus say about this? He made it a point to document it in the Scriptures so we would learn from it:

(Mar 7:8)  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

(Col 2:8)  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Satan had a field day during this timeframe. Rules and regulations crept in and they had just enough “truth” to capture an audience but works and traditions of men were held to a higher level.

Also, take note that Jesus commended them prior to telling this church what He had against them. Jesus’ title here was “Him which hath the sharp sword with two edges.” What does that remind you of? The Lord doesn’t mince His words. He uses His Word to convict the heart and to teach us, amen?

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Rev 1:16  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Jesus reprimands them for allowing the doctrine of Nicolaitans in the church. We learned in prior posts that this doctrine was one of hierarchy and ruling over the laity. Notice that the Lord says it here again: “which thing I hate”! If God hates something, we should beware, amen? Jesus calls them to repent! This church didn’t just hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans. They allowed those deeds into their church! Praise the Lord for a remnant that remained holy through Christ and His Word.

Where are you today, Reader? Are you standing in church services because you were dragged there? Is the church you attend merely a repetition of the week before: Stand, kneel, sit at specific times? Traditions don’t make a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car. The conversion of the heart is what’s needed: repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ and Him alone. No amount of good deeds can add to your salvation. There is a change of heart that actually happens at true conversion. The old sinful life is to be abandoned and the new life in Christ must take over.

Eph 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  (9)  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

2 Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If works are added to salvation, the gift is no longer a gift – it is no longer free. That is why you don’t see a change in one’s life if they are trusting in works. The works of religion are a heavy burden. There is no freedom and no change in the heart because of the trust in those works. It is Christ’s work on the cross and nothing more!

Rom 5:15  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Rom 5:16  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
Rom 5:18  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

If you gave me a gift for my birthday but then you told me that there were several things I had to do in order to receive that gift, it is no longer a gift: it has become something that I had to work for in order to receive it. If I now have to do something in order to receive it, it appears that I “earned” this gift and it is no longer free. Do you see the difference? This is what the church at Pergamos was allowing into their church. This doctrine is of the devil and not from the Lord. The Apostle Paul taught the church in Rome in three separate verses above that it is a free gift. It’s salvation through Christ alone, friend!

Friend, it is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved if you are not already. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab to You Can Be Born Again and Know It!