Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Danger: Rocks Ahead (Rev. 2.14-16)

“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. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Revelation 2.14-16, NKJV)

The church in Pergamos had some good things going for it. Namely, they held fast to the name of Jesus Christ and did not deny Him, even when it meant losing their lives. But the Lord had a few things against them. Some in the church held to the doctrine of Balaam. The background is Numbers 22-25 where Balak, the king of Moab, hired a soothsayer named Balaam to pronounce curses on Israel. But every time Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel, God would make Balaam bless them instead. This made Balak very angry! So Balaam suggested that the Moabite king send the young women into the camp to seduce the men and lead them to worship the Baal of Peor (Num. 31.16). The plan worked, the people sinned, and God judged the children of Israel for their sexual immorality and idolatry.

Remember that the name “Pergamos” means “marriage.” It speaks of a church that is married to the world. Sexual immorality and idolatry have always been a problem for the people of God. These sins are really two sides of the same coin, for a person who is sexually immoral is worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. It’s one thing to fall into sin; it’s something else to teach that it is OK. That is what was happening in Pergamos. The people were given a license to sin. They were told that they could be Christians and practice these things.

The other problem in Pergamos was that some held to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. We really don’t know very much about these people. The word only appears twice in the Bible: here and in Rev. 2.6. Nicolaitan is a combination of two Greek words meaning “to conquer the people.” Many Bible commentators believe that the Nicolaitans were an early form of priesthood. They were setting themselves up as the rulers over the people, and mediators between them and God. But the apostle Paul tells us:

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus…” (1 Timothy 2.5, NKJV)

Christ hates that doctrine because He came to be our High Priest. He died on the cross to give us direct access to the Father. We don’t have to go to a priest when we can go to Jesus Christ, who died to take away our sins. The world may have its organizational hierarchies, but Jesus said:

“But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23.8-11, NKJV)

There are so many ways that the church can forget its calling, get off track, and start becoming like the world. May God help each one of us to remain pure from the decaying values of this world.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Published by

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: