Brother and sister we must stand firm against the compromise of: right doctrine (orthodoxy); right practice (orthopraxy); right affections (orthopathy).
- Christ’s introduction - 12
- The sharp two-edged sword is a metaphor for the word of God.
- The word of Christ is His power to judge - John 12:48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
- Holding the sword represents holding ultimate and final authority. Who held that authority over the church in Pegamos? Rome or Christ? Who holds the ultimate and final authority in our church?
- Christ’s commendation - 13
- Christ knows fully the difficulty and complexity of our predicament.
- Satan’s throne is possibly referring to the prominence of Roman Emperor worship in this city. This city was the first in Asia to erect a temple to the Roman emperor Augustus in 29 B.C.
- Antipas was probably the first Christian martyr (witness unto death) to die for opposing emperor worship.
- The believers in Pergamos did not deny their faith in Christ.
- Christ’s rebuke - 14–15
- Balak, the king of the Moabites, could not directly defeat the Israelites by destroying them (Numbers 22:1-6). Since Balaam would/could not curse the people of Israel (Numbers 23:8) he gave counsel to Balak to corrupt them (Numbers 31:16).
- The “doctrine of Balaam” happens when a church compromises with sin or becomes indifferent to those around them who are sinning.
- These false teachers were inciting believers to compromise in order to avoid persecution.
- The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is distinct from the doctrine of Balaam. Nicolaitans are either: 1) Ones that lived without moral restraint; 2) Followers of Nicolas of Antioch (Acts 6:5) who went apostate; 3) Forerunners of a clerical hierarchy.
- Christ’s encouragement - 16
- Turn from compromise! Christ is saying, “When I come quickly, I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth, if you shall not have repented before that coming, whenever it happens.”
Anyone can hear the words of Jesus. Believers are overcomers.
Topics: The Church