Summary: We need to be careful in letting false doctrines infiltrate into our churches today. Balaams and the Nicolaitans teachings are present in todays christian circles.
To The Church of Pergamum
Script. Rev. 2: 12-17
To the church at Pergamum, this was no ordinary church this is where Satan has his throne. His throne is no where else in the world but here in Pergamum. Yet this church remained true to the name of Jesus. They did not renounce His name even when their leader Antipas was put to death.
The American Banking Association once sponsored a two-week training program to help tellers detect counterfeit bills. The program was unique never during the two-week training did the tellers even look at a counterfeit bill, nor did they listen to any lectures concerning the characteristics of counterfeit bills… All they did for two-week was handle authentic currency, hour after hour and day after day, until they were so familiar with the true that they could not possibly be fooled by the false.
We need to study, meditate on, and apply God’s word until we are so familiar with it that we cannot be fooled by anything less than real truth. Ben Patterson, Waiting.
God’s word is powerful it is so sharp it can cut both ways.
Hebrews 4:12 – 13 (NRSV) 12Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
I. The Two Edge-sword:
1. What this is telling us is that the one who is speaking speaks with power as the executive of the universe.
2. It is God who has the power.
3. When God says something it is permanent, it is forever it is eternal.
4. The two-edge-sword is the word of God
A. it has power to convict all men
B. It has power to convert those who believe;
C. He also has the power to condemn the person who refuses His authority and rejects his word.
5. When God says I have a few things against you we had better listen.
They had some false beliefs within their sanctuary something God will not tolerate.
II. The Teachings of Balaam:
1. Revelation 2:14(NRSV) 14But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel, so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and practice fornication.
2. Balaam didn’t curse the children of Israel like Balak wanted him too he done something must worse.
3. He stopped Israel temporarily from achieving God’s goal.
A. Numbers 25:1 – 3 (NRSV) 1While Israel was staying at Shittim, the people began to have sexual relations with the women of Moab. 2These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3Thus Israel yoked itself to the Baal of Peor, and the LORD’S anger was kindled against Israel.
B. The chapters leading up to Numbers 25 say nothing about Balaam advising King Balak.
C. But Numbers 31:16(NRSV) we get the rest of the story 16These women here, on Balaam’s advice, made the Israelites act treacherously against the LORD in the affair of Peor, (Moses stepped in and took care of the situation)
D. What happened in the Old Testament was like a stone thrown into the water it rippled 100 of years later in the New Testament.
E. The church in Pergamum had people in their midst that held to this teaching.
F. The doctrine of Balaam led many of the Israelites to think that because as a nation they were secure in God’s sovereign plan, they could sin as they pleased without any adverse effect upon them.
G. This was a false security.
4. There is no such thing as eternal security. A guy I worked with Alan Pack 10 years
5. Paul even tried to straighten out the Romans in Romans 6:1 -2 (NRSV) 1What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?
6. If we have died to sin how can we still live in it?
7. The answer is we cannot live in it.
In the church of Ephesus we know that God hated
III. The Teachings of the Nicolaitans:
1. Revelation 2:15(NRSV) 15So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
2. The Nicolaitans
A. In Willmington’s guide to the Bible we find that this word Nicolaitans comes from two Greek words, nikao, meaning “to conquer” and laos, meaning “people.”