To Him Who Overcomes-Revelation 2:12-17

Revelation 2:12-17 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live — where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city — where Satan lives. 14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you 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. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”
Apocalisse 2:12-17 «All’angelo della chiesa di Pergamo scrivi: queste cose dice colui che ha la spada affilata a due tagli:13 “Io conosco dove tu abiti, cioè là dov’è il trono di Satana; tuttavia tu rimani fedele al mio nome e non hai rinnegato la fede in me, neppure ai giorni di Antipa, il mio fedele testimone, che fu ucciso fra voi, là dove Satana abita. 14 Ma ho qualcosa contro di te: hai alcuni che professano la dottrina di Balaam, il quale insegnava a Balac il modo di far cadere i figli d’Israele, inducendoli a mangiare carni sacrificate agli idoli e a fornicare. 15 Così anche tu hai alcuni che professano similmente la dottrina dei Nicolaiti. 16 Ravvediti dunque, altrimenti fra poco verrò da te e combatterò contro di loro con la spada della mia bocca.17 Chi ha orecchi ascolti ciò che lo Spirito dice alle chiese. A chi vince io darò della manna nascosta e una pietruzza bianca, sulla quale è scritto un nome nuovo che nessuno conosce, se non colui che lo riceve”.
     Pergamum was a little over 30 kilometers from Smyrna and at the time was considered one of the prosperous cities of the region with a famous university and manufactured parchment paper. Like others in the area, pagan worship included many gods.
     John describes his vision in very strong terms: “to him who has a sharp double-edged sword” and “I know where you live.” The Word of God is a sharp sword that cuts both offensively and defensively. It encourages and saves yet also condemns and judges. But John likewise sees that although the believers live in the city of Satan (v. 13), they have remained faithful to the name of Jesus Christ; nevertheless they have not shown their commitment to His Word. 
     Two specific areas are mentioned: the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. The teachings of Balaam basically taught that marriage with a pagan was fine and encouraged the mixing of worship with lifestyle. Nicolaitans taught that pagan immorality was part of the culture and acceptable. However compromise from God’s Word will surely bring judgment to any professing believer. This church felt that compromise would ease their persecution and help the church but the sword of the Lord is swift and decisive. The deceptive thoughts of compromise guarantees ruin!  
     Of course, the mercy of God is there for those who repent. The promise of God will give special strength (“hidden manna”) and forgiveness (“a white stone with a new name written on it”).
Pray with me: Lord, I admit that I have thought like the church of Pergamum at times. Help me to remember that Your special strength and forgiveness will be made available to me if I do not compromise Your Word.

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