Chapter 2 – Letter to Pergamos

Jesus Addresses Pergamos -2

v.16 “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”

This serious admonition to “repent, or else” is intended to correct the congregation for tolerating the false doctrines and neglecting to rebuke the corrupt teachers. Jesus makes it an ultimatum, either the church see to it that the ungodly tolerance stop and judgment be brought against the false doctrines and teachers or He would intervene and make war against the corrupt members Himself.

It’s not clear how our Lord’s intervention would play out, yet it’s safe to say that any congregation upon which Jesus makes a declaration to fight against its teachers wouldn’t be a pleasant experience. If I were to speculate, the outcome would be an outbreak of dissension between the leadership and faithful members resulting in the cutting off of the wrong doers but leaving the faithful hurt and the surrounding community confused. In other words, what the church could have done by taking corrective action with perhaps little incident, would become a full-scale confrontation leading to broken hearts and broken relationships.

For this reason, dear ones, we must always be on watch for false doctrine; always be ready to rebuke it before it can germinate; and always remain mindful that it can spring up at anytime inside any congregation (see—2 Tim.4:3-5).

v.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 to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

“I will some of the hidden manna to eat.” This speaks of the miraculous provision of God in the person of Jesus Christ Who is “the living bread”; a promise that we shall partake of Christ and thereby “shall live forever” (John 6:51).

“And I will give him a white stone…” The white “stone” (Gr. psephos) means white “pebble” and alludes to a marble-sized stone once used in some cultures to cast a ballot. Wherein the white stone meant approval and a black stone meant disapproval, the thought is that we won’t be “blackballed” from heaven, but instead will receive a white stone of “approval” bearing a name Jesus has secretly chosen for us.

Historically: In its early history Pergamos stood as an illustrious symbol of Greek dominance. It included a 200,000 volume library (second only to the Egyptians), a medical center, and a trio of renowned temples situated on the top of a high and lofty hill behind the city. In the days of Rome it became the capital of the Roman province of Asia, and was the first city in Asia to erect a temple (AD 29) for the worship of the Roman Emperor. Today Pergamos lies in ruins about 15 miles from the Aegean Sea in Turkey.

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