Revelation 2:12–17 (NKJV)
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “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. 14 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. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 “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.” ’
Sin had a stronghold over the city of Pergamos, and the people within it. Here Jesus starts the letter off with a reminder of the power He yields. He who has the sharp two-edged sword. This is a great reminder to us, we often think of this calm, meek, loving Savior, while He is all of those, He also holds tremendous power!
He does praise the people in this church for facing this type of atmosphere and still holding fast to His name. That is important, no matter where we go, we will have to face the sinful nature of our world. God, seeing these people holding fast to His name even in the place where Satan dwells, praises them for their faithfulness.
Their condemnation comes quickly in this letter though. The city as a whole had fallen to both idolatry and immorality. The sinful nature of these people is something I would rather not dwell upon, but they were participating in things very unpleasing to the Lord. We also see that the Ephesian church was praised for rejecting the deeds of the Nicolaitans, here Pergamos was condemned for holding their doctrine. They are also accused of placing a stumbling block at the feet of the children of Israel. The condemnation for this church certainly outweighs the praise. But there is great hope for all of us here.
Jesus closes out this letter with direction, direction to find their way to the Lord. He promises a new name to those who repent, to those who overcome, He will give from the hidden manna. What an amazing promise!
Are you where you should be with the Lord today? Has some sort of sin crept into your life? Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, come to Him in repentance ready to be given a new name.
John 14:6 (NKJV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.