Revelation 2:12-17 – Part 1

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Rev 2:12-17 – What The Spirit Says To The Church At Pergamos
Introduction
The church in Pergamos is part of “the things written therein,” and by the grace of God, you and I will understand that the time is at hand to read and hear the words of this prophecy.

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

When we are told to “keep those things which are written therein” we must remember that the seven churches of Asia are the symbol for the complete experience we have in the church. It includes leaving our first love as we look back behind us and see the church of Ephesus which is within us all. But the spirit commended Ephesus for her works, her labor, her patience and for trying the spirits of false apostles. Ephesus within us hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans, those who would dominate the faith of those in their spiritual charge.
But just as Peter within us can pull out a sword and be fully intent on dying for Christ just a few hours before he finds himself denying his Lord with an oath, so also we find that while a part of our walk in the church leads us to “hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans,” another part of our walk has us tolerating the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and also tolerating those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, which causes us to commit spiritual fornication.
Let’s see what the spirit reveals we will keep of the things written in the words of this prophecy concerning Pergamos within us. We will read “the words of this prophecy,” concerning this part of our walk and then we will cover the pertinent parts of each verse which we may not have yet covered. Much of what we will see has already been discussed and will need no comment, and some of what we have already discussed will again bear comment in passing.

To the angel of the church of Pergamos write:

Rev 2:12  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
Rev 2:13  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, [ even] where Satan’s seat [ is]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas [ was] my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
Rev 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Rev 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Rev 2:16  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Rev 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

We have established that the sword with two edges is the fiery and all- consuming Word of God. Here is an example of the two- edged quality of that Word of God.

1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
1Co 3:23  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

That is right, “all things are ours.” But that is a “two- edged sword,” as Job makes so very clear:

Job 2:6  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
Job 2:7  So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
Job 2:8  And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
Job 2:9  Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
Job 2:10  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

“Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil” at the hand of God? It was “the Lord who sent Satan to “smite Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” Satan cannot lift his little finger without God’s command to do so. Both Job and Paul knew and understood the Truth of God’s total sovereignty, and so Paul tells us that it is not ours only to receive life from the Lord but to receive “all things,” both the good in our lives and the evil in our lives, are actually sent to us for our good from our loving Father:

1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
1Co 3:23  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

God’s “two- edged sword” is a blessing to the spirit as it reveals the blessings of faithfulness and obedience to that Word. But that very same Word has nothing but “lamentations and woe” to say concerning the things of the flesh which are in the church of God within us:

Eze 2:7  And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
Eze 2:8  But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
Eze 2:9  And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
Eze 2:10  And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

Ezekiel 2:10 is a perfect description of the seals, trumpets and vials, which compose much of the words of the prophecy of this book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Later in this series we will see just how much the books of Ezekiel and the book of Revelation have in common. Both are an encouragement to the spirit, but both are also prophecies of the corruption, and destruction, and death, which is our flesh.

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 

The answer to this question is the same in Ezekiel, in Romans and in Revelation. Christ, the Lamb, living out this Revelation within us, is our only hope.

Rev 5:1  And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
Rev 5:2  And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
Rev 5:3  And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
Rev 5:4  And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

Why is John weeping? He is weeping for the same reason Paul laments:

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Here is the answer to both of these questions. Here is why John is weeping, and this is our salvation from the body of this death:

Rev 5:5  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Rev 5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
Rev 5:7  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

“In the midst of the throne and in the midst of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders.” We have established beyond any doubt, that the throne of God in heaven is within the hearts and minds of God’s elect, and that is where God dwells. So when we are told that “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof… in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders, having been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth,” we already know where the temple of God is and where the seven spirits of God dwell:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

So this two- edged sword, which is this whole prophecy, is all taking place “in the midst of the throne” within each of God’s elect who “see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place.” This prophecy about these seven churches and the abominations within them, is all the revelation of Jesus Christ within each of us. It is a two- edged sword which gives hope to “the things of the spirit,” and sound hopelessly dire to the natural man.

Rev 2:13  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
What is “Satan’s seat?” It is very instructive to know that this same word here translated ‘seat,’ is more often translated ‘throne.’

“G2362
θρονος
thronos
Total KJV Occurrences: 61
throne, 50
Mat_5:34, Mat_19:28, Mat_23:22, Luk_1:31-32 (2), Act_2:30, Act_7:49, Heb_1:8, Heb_4:16, Heb_12:1-2 (2), Rev_1:4, Rev_3:21 (2), Rev_4:2-6 (9), Rev_4:9-10 (3), Rev_5:1, Rev_5:6-7 (2), Rev_5:11, Rev_5:13, Rev_6:16, Rev_7:9-11 (4), Rev_7:15 (2), Rev_7:17, Rev_8:3, Rev_12:5, Rev_14:3, Rev_14:5, Rev_16:17, Rev_19:4-5 (2), Rev_20:11, Rev_21:5, Rev_22:1, Rev_22:3
seats, 4
Luk_1:52, Rev_4:4 (2), Rev_11:16
thrones, 4
Mat_19:28, Luk_22:30, Col_1:16, Rev_20:4
seat, 3
Rev_2:13, Rev_13:2, Rev_16:10

Of 61 entries, 50 are translated ‘throne’ and four are translated ‘thrones.’ It is obvious that Pergamos within us is Satan’s throne within us. We know that Pergamos was a physical city to which John addresses these words. But these words are not just for the people of  physical Pergamos. They are for “he that hath an ear,” and they are for “he that reads and hears and keeps the things written therein.”

Rev 2:29  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

These seven churches, with all of their strengths and weaknesses, “are written therein.” Therefore we all have “Satan’s seat,” Satan’s throne, within us long before we become “the temple of God.” Here is how that happens.

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Joh 8:41  Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, [ even] God.
Joh 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? [ even] because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

So, while Pergamos and “Antipas… my faithful martyr” are, without a doubt, literal and historical, yet we know that the primary message is being given to “he that hath and ear,” and who is commissioned to “keep the things written therein.” In other words, these historic places and people are all within us, and while it seems impossible that we can both “believe in Christ,” and at the same time “seek to kill Him,” yet nevertheless, that is exactly what is in the flesh of us all at its appointed time.
‘Antipas’ in us is “hated of all men but he endures to the end.”

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

And what does ‘Antipas’ mean? Here is the meaning of this name, according to Hitchcock’s Dictionary of Names:

“Antipas: for all, or against all”

Anitpasis also understood to mean “instead of the Father” by some scholars.

Christ made no attempt to be different and He did nothing to provoke the hatred of his own “many called” disciples who believed on Him, yet wanted to kill Him. All He did was to remain faithful to His Father’s  Words.

Joh 8:40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

“You Jews who believe on me still seek to kill Me,” is “holding fast My name and not denying my faith, even as we participate in the death of  “My faithful martyr who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” Satan dwells in Christ’s rightful temple, and all we have to do is to deny our Lord to become just as guilty of the blood of Christ and of the blood of all the prophets as was Judas himself. We may wish this were not so, and we may protest that it is not so, but we all “deny Him three times before the cock crows,” and then we all “go out and weep bitterly” because we can now see that “Satan’s seat” and Christ’s “faithful martyr Antipas” are both within us, and we must repent and weep bitterly, simply because these are “words which are written therein.”

Luk 22:60  And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
Luk 22:61  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Luk 22:62  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

It seems impossible, and it seems contradictory, but Peter is each of us, as we see Judas himself  in our own flesh. It is among each of us that Antipas was slain, because we all, at our own time like Peter, have denied Christ.
How is it possible to both believe on Christ and at the same time deny him and want Him dead? Here is how that is accomplished within us.

Rev 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

“The doctrine of Balaam taught Israel to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication.” That is exactly what we do as we live through the church which is in Pergamos within us. Christ may begin His ministry teaching us to “love thine enemies” and “turn the other cheek.” We may be asked “Do you understand?” and we will always say “Yes, Lord, we understand.” But when ‘the rubber hits the road’, and we are faced with eminent danger to ourselves and our families, we chuck it all and pull out our physical sword and end up denying our Lord with an oath just to fit in with the crowd.
Denying Christ is spiritual fornication. It is believing the lies of a man other than the words and doctrines of our rightful husband, Christ. A spiritual fornicator leavens the whole lump of the words of Christ:

1Co 5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
1Co 5:2  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
1Co 5:3  For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [ concerning] him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1Co 5:6  Your glorying [ is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
1Co 5:7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
1Co 5:8  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [ bread] of sincerity and truth.

What is Truth? It is the words and doctrines of Christ. Tolerating anything else is what has produced the 30,000 plus Christian denominations which comprise Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of abominations of the world.” It is all “because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”

Conclusion

We are but half way through the message to the angel of the church of Pergamos within us, and we have seen that the sharp two- edged sword of God’s fiery word requires that we enjoy the sweetness in our mouth as well as the bitterness in our belly. We have seen that we cannot apply only the positive part of God’s word to us without incurring the adding to of the plagues and the taking out of our part in this book. We have seen that “all things are ours” means what it says:

1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
1Co 3:23  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ [ is] God’s.

We have seen that Satan’s throne is within Pergamos within us, and that while we “believe on Christ” we still “cannot hear His words.” As long as Satan is on the throne in the church in Pergamos, we are “of our Father the devil.”

Joh 8:43  Why do ye [ Jews who believe on me] not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Joh 8:45  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Finally, we saw that the means of becoming so much a child of the devil is worked in us by the presence in us of  them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Next week, Lord willing, we will conclude the message to the angel of the church in Pergamos within us.

Rev 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Rev 2:16  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Rev 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

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