Revelation 2:12-13 ESV
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
“‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.’
The church is the universal body of Christ comprised of all people, no matter where they live, who are genuine followers of Jesus Christ. These are people who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And they are people who continued in Christ in walks of faithful obedience to the Lord and no longer in sin.
So, when this letter was addressed to the church in Pergamum, it was addressed to all followers of Jesus in that city, no matter where they gathered together with other followers of Jesus for prayer, for the teaching of the Word, for fellowship, for the breaking of bread, and for ministry to one another. They were the collective body of Christ in that city, but they probably did not all meet together in one location.
We who are followers of Jesus still live in this world, which is where Satan has his throne. And his throne is among the rulers of this world, too, who are moving all of us toward a one world government and a one world religion. Now I am not intending to get political here, for I do not associate myself with any particular political party in my country because I believe the two parties are a façade, for they both work for the same people.
But I do see that what is happening in the world and in our nations is already fulfilling some of the prophesies of Scripture regarding these final days before the return of Jesus, especially I see the reality of Revelation 13 happening in our world today. The rulers of this world are conquering people and nations in order to bring us all together under a one world order. And they are working that in the institutional church, too.
In America, first they convinced the majority of the church to unite with the government in an unholy union by incorporating their “churches” under the state. Then business heads began to dictate how “the church” was to be conducted, and then pastors were being taught how to market their “churches” to the world like any other business, and then “the church” altered the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more palatable to the world.
And now the majority of what is called “church” here in America does not resemble the biblical teaching on what the church is and on how it is to operate and what it is for. But now so many of these “churches” are just houses of entertainment and fun and games and mind manipulation and for the diluting of the gospel in order to lead people away from genuine faith in Jesus Christ and not to walks of holiness and righteousness.
And so just like if you are a person who stands in opposition to “the beast” world government that is forming, if you stand opposed to the market-driven “churches” of today and to what they are doing in the name of Jesus, and to the diluting of the gospel of Christ, you probably are going to find yourself on the receiving end of much rejection and persecution and possibly even death at the hands of those who do not want you alive and still speaking.
Revelation 2:14-15 ESV
“’But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.’
Now, again, the church in Pergamum probably did not all meet in one location, so when this says, “You have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam,” etc., this doesn’t mean this was happening in every location where the body of Christ was gathering together. It just meant that this was happening in some places, or maybe just in one place, but it was happening under the name of Christ and under the name of “the church,” and so this needed to be addressed city wide.
Apparently, not like it is here in America, but like it is in individual church denominations, the church, as a whole, in that city may have been all under the same governing authorities and thus they may have all been answerable to the same authorities. So this was instruction given by Jesus in a letter (penned by John) to the church to be aware this was going on and that it needed to be stopped ASAP.
And within the church here in America idolatry and sexual immorality, in particularly, are running rampant, as well as is false teaching by false teachers who are teaching an altered and diluted gospel which is not teaching death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness, but which is leading people to believe that they can continue in deliberate and habitual sin and still be saved and still go to heaven when they die. And this needs to be stopped, for it is leading many people to hell on the promise of heaven.
Revelation 2:16-17 ESV
“’Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’”
The church, as a whole, needed to repent, to turn away from allowing this evil to go on in the name of “church” and in the name of “Jesus” and in the name of “the gospel.” And that is exactly where the American church, overall, is right now, in need to repent of all their idolatry and false teachers and false teaching and the leading of people to continue in their sin and into sexual immorality and for not pulling the plug on all these shenanigans.
And they need to return to Christ as their only Lord (master), and they need to follow him with wholehearted devotion. They who have not died to sin and who have not walked in holiness need to repent individually of their false professions of faith and of their sins and now walk with Jesus in obedience. And those who are in positions of power and rule and authority within these institutional churches who are allowing this to go on need to turn from it all, to reject it, to walk away from it, and to follow Jesus now in obedience.
If the church at large in America, or anywhere else in the world where it is doing the same, does not repent, which it hasn’t so far, the Lord is going to bring judgment, which I personally believe has already begun. And part of that judgment, too, is going to be against those who persecuted the saints of the Lord who were/are his true servants and messengers, and who were (and some still are) bringing the truth to the church only to be rejected and cast aside as an enemy.
And if you are one who has been following Jesus with wholehearted devotion, and who is still speaking the truth of the gospel, and who is still calling people to repent of their sins and to obey the Lord, and so you are being mistreated and treated as an enemy, even within the walls of what is presently called “church,” please be encouraged. You are not alone! There is still a remnant out here who have not bowed the knee to “the beast,” and who have not compromised with the world in order to attract the world to “the church.” We are the conquerors! All glory to God!
Day by Day
Hymn lyrics by Karolina W. Sandell-Berg, 1865
tr. by Andrew L. Skoog
Music by Oskar Ahnfelt, 1872
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
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