Revelation 2:12-17: The Address to the Church in Pergamos

Revelation 2:12‑17  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 13
In this address we see the further departure of the professing church that followed the days of persecution, and that was the outcome of the teaching and practices of the judaizing party within the profession.
To the Christian profession of this period the Lord presents Himself as the One with “the sharp sword with two edges.” The solemn condition of the church is exposed by the cutting edge of the word of God. To link Judaism with Christianity is an attempt to accommodate Christianity to the world by the adoption of that which appeals to the sight and sense of the natural man. It ends not in drawing people out of the world, but in leading the Christian profession into the world. So the Lord has to say to the church of this period, “I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan's throne is.” Where we dwell is a serious indication of what our hearts desire. To dwell where Satan's throne is would surely indicate a state of heart that desires to dwell under the patronage and glitter of a world of which Satan is the prince.
Nevertheless, though seeking the patronage of the world, at this period of the church's history, the great cardinal truths as to the Person and work of Christ were still maintained, for the Lord can say, “Thou holdest fast my Name and hast not denied my faith.” As we know, councils were held which refused every effort of Arianism to deny the deity of Christ, and which asserted the great truths of the faith in the face of persecution and martyrdom.
Notwithstanding this measure of faithfulness to Christ and the faith, the church, having fallen under the patronage of the world, adopted the methods of the world and fell under the evils that marked Balaam of old. There arose in the professing church a class of men who, like that wicked man, turned ministry into a profitable profession and thus linked the church with the world and robbed it of its true position of a chaste virgin espoused to Christ. This, again, opened the door to Nicolaitanism, which apparently was the Antinomian doctrine that held the practical life of godliness to be of little account, seeing the believer is justified by faith. This was turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. Against such the Lord would use the two-edged sword of the word that truly tells us of the grace of God, but also warns us that “our God is a consuming fire.”
The overcomer that refused to settle down in the world seeking public approval by adopting its methods would be rewarded with the secret approval of the Lord, and be sustained by Christ as “the hidden manna,” who, in His pathway through this world, was a stranger with not where to lay His head.