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Have We Partaken Of Christ, The Manna That Gives Eternal Life?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 2:17 KJV  -  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.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ov

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “The Lord shall judge His People”

SIH HALTAL ICONHeb 10:30 KJV – For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

The People of God will someday stand before their Lord and receive rewards for their acts of faithfulness to Him.

What about their failures and sins that they have committed?  They have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb!

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “I give to eat of the hidden manna“

SIH TOTT ICON

Rev 2:17 KJV

(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.

 

 

What is the “hidden manna” that is promised to those who are victorious over this world?   Christ clearly teaches us that He is that manna from heaven…

Joh 6:47-51 KJV – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

 

Why does eating bread picture the salvation experience of the believer?

  1. When a person is saved they are appropriating Christ and His work to their very person.  When bread is eaten that is appropriating the nutrients found in the bread to the physical body of the one partaking of that bread.
  2. The saved individual becomes one with Christ, just as He becomes one with the saint. When an individual partakes of bread, the bread and the one eating the bread becomes one.
  3. When saved, Christ’s work is applied to the saved person making him into a new creature in Christ. When the individual partakes of the bread, the bread aids the process of physical change (growth and maturity).
  4. At salvation, Christ enters into the saint in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit. When an individual eats bread, the bread enters into the body of the individual.

This is why the partaking of Christ and His work, through saving faith, is pictured as eating the manna which comes from heaven.

 

When Christ promises that overcomers will be given” to eat of the hidden manna”,  He is promising that true believers will partake of Christ on an enhanced level throughout eternity.  Once we receive our glorified bodies, we will experience Christ in a much more clear and intimate way.  Our knowledge of Him will become greater, our relationship to Him will be much closer, and we will forever live in His presence.

1Co 13:12 KJV –  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

1Jn 3:2 KJV –  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

 

What a blessing eternity will be for all of God’s people!  Just think about it.  We will be dwelling with our Savior and our Lord, enjoying an intimate relationship with Him.  May we all allow this promise to encourage our hearts to serve Him in greater ways as we enter our day, and the rest of our lives.

The wonderful promise given to the believing members of the church… For those who are victorious over the dark forces of the world, the Lord will give to them “hidden manna”.   This is speaking of the Lord giving to His people a type of nourishment that cannot be seen in this temporal world…. a more intimate relationship with Him.  In other words, in eternity the Lord will give to His people a much greater knowledge of Himself and a much greater communion with Himself (1 Cor 13:12).

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3MO

Do We Give Our Lives For Him?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 2:13 KJV   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.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3On

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “Vengeance belongeth unto me”

SIH HALTAL ICON

Heb 10:30 KJV – For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

 

Our Lord is the only One who can execute perfectly just vengeance on those who oppose Him and His people.

 

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http://www.settledinheaven.org

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you “

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:13 KJV   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.

 

Antipas, a faithful member of the church at Pergamos, was faithful to His Lord….even unto death.  What an awesome display of faithfulness and self-sacrificial love for our Lord and Savior.  What a great honor to give back to Him, in a very small, insignificant way, for the great sacrifice He made for us on the cross.  To be called upon to give our lives for the cause of Christ is truly a privilege.  However, the opportunity to give our physical lives for Christ may never be opened to us.

Is there any other way that we can sacrifice our lives to Him for all He has done for us?  Hebrews 13:13-16 gives us the answer to our question…

“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

By continually praising Him with our lips, pleasing Him with our actions, and being charitable to those in need we can be living sacrifices for the Lord’s honor and glory.  Think about it, instead of giving our physical lives through the act of death, we can give our physical lives through words of praise, pleasing the Lord with our actions and meeting the needs of others around us.

 

This is what Paul is speaking of when he describes our need to be “living sacrifices” to the Lord…

Rom 12:1 KJV –  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Note that Paul tells us that offering our lives as a living sacrifice is simply our “reasonable service”.  Why is this?  It is because, when we consider the great sacrifice He made on our behalf … i.e. coming to this fallen world, giving up the exercise of His divine attributes, suffering great temptation, persecution and false accusations, being put to public shame, giving His life on the cross, being separated from His Father as He bore our sins etc… it is only logical and rational that we would be willing to give our lives for Him.

Whether through martyrdom, or acts of praise and service to Christ and others, may we all be ever willing to give of ourselves as the opportunity arises.  By doing this, we will be bringing honor and glory to the One who has given so much for us…

1Pe 1:18-21 KJV –  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:   Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 
Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3MO

Do We Cling To His Name Or Just Brush It Off?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 2:13 KJV   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.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Of

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “The Son of God”

SIH HALTAL ICONHeb 10:29 KJV – Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

What a horrible punishment awaits sinful mankind  who live “religious” lives, yet despise Christ and His work, and oppose the conviction brought upon them by the Holy Spirit of God.

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http://www.settledinheaven.org

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Thou holdest fast thy name, and hast not denied my faith”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:13 KJV   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.

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What a wonderful commendation to hear from the lips of our Lord!  To know that we have faithfully grabbed and held tight to His name and did not disowned the doctrinal truths we have learned!

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This should be our ultimate goal in this life, to remain faithful to our Lord through a consistent Christian testimony based upon the truths of His Word.  How do we hold fast to these things when we live in the midst of a sin-sick fallen world?   2 Timothy 1:12-14 gives us the three keys to retaining a Christian testimony in the eyes of others…

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2Ti 1:12-14 KJV – For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.   Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.   That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

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Keys to consistent testimony in eyes of others:

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1.  I know whom I  have believed – Possession of an unwavering reliance upon Christ.  None of us will remain faithful to the Lord of our own abilities, but we know that as we rely upon Christ we can do all things for Him.

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2.  am persuaded that He is able…that day – Absolute confidence He will keep His present and future promises .  His current promises of protection and enablement, along with His promises of future blessings and rewards throughout eternity, we will be motivated to remain faithful to Him.

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3.  keep by the Holy Ghost   –  Indwelling Spirit’s enabling.  Recognition of the existence of the Lord’s presence and empowerment through the indwelling Spirit, we can find peace and security knowing He is ever with us and enabling us.

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Folks, these are the keys that will enable us to be like the church members of Pergamos… holding fast to the name of Christ while affirming the truths of His Word.   May we all keep in the forefront of our mind the need to rely upon Christ, knowing He will fulfill His many promises to us, through the Holy Spirit who is constantly indwelling us.

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May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

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For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3MO

Are We Waiting Eagerly For His Coming?

SIH HALTAL ICONIsa 25:9  And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

 

For The SIH Bible Study On This Subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-IR

 

Waiting For That Day

As Christians, we all are waiting for the second coming of Christ.  It will be the fulfillment of all of the many precious promises that our Lord has given to us (John 14:1-3).   It will be the receipt of our long-awaited inheritance (Rom 8:17-18).  It will be our homecoming (Heb 11:13-16).  It will be our reunion with our Lord (Acts 1:10-11).

There are many verses in the Bible that speak of that day.  Some of them are very familiar to those who are acquainted with God’s Word.  There are others of which we may be unaccustomed or, perhaps, even unaware.  Let’s take a look at one of the lesser known of the verses on His second coming to see what we can learn about that great day …

THE SCRIPTURES:

Isa 25:9  And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

 THE STUDY:

 And it shall be said in that day,

What is “that day” of which we are talking?   It is the “day of the Lord” (1 Thess 5:1-5).  It is when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will come back to take us to be with Him for an eternity.

 Lo, this [is] our God;

When Christ comes back we will recognize Him as our God.  The word translated “God” carries with it two basic ideas:

  1. He is the true magistrate – In other words, He is the one that possesses the Authority to judge and rule over all creation.
  2. He is deserving of all worship – We are to recognize His attributes, His position, His      character, His works and His person. We are to then treat Him appropriately by honoring, praising and worshipping Him.

 “we have waited for him,

This will be the moment of which all of His people are waiting.  The word translated waiting is a very interesting Hebrew word.  It means “to be bound together due to a common expectation”.  In other words…. as Christians, we are united in our expectation of Christ’s coming.

One of the great things that Christians share in common is a love for Christ.  It is this love for Him that produces our feelings of longing for His return.   That’s why Paul in 2 Tim 4:8 describes those who are saved as those who “love His appearing”.  If we are not eagerly awaiting the Lord’s coming, we must place serious doubts on our salvation.  How can someone saved by His grace, due to the sacrifice of Himself on our behalf, not love Him and anxiously await experiencing communion with Him in His presence?

 and he will save us:

Keep in mind, those speaking are those who have already experienced God’s saving grace; they are the ones who “have waited for him”.  If they have already been forgiven, why do they say “He WILL save us”?

The salvation that we receive is actually given to us in three different stages:

  1. At our initial salvation experience, we receive deliverance (salvation) from the penalty of our sins.  We are no longer headed for eternal, divine judgment in the Lake of Fire. We are freed from the PENALTY of sin.
  2. During our life on earth, the Lord is continually giving us deliverance (salvation) from the power of sin in our lives.  We are no longer under sin’s bondage; we no longer serve sin.  We are freed from the POWER of sin.
  3. But at His second coming, the Lord removes us from this fallen sinful world.  We are no longer affected by sin nor a fallen nature.  We are freed from the PRESENCE of sin.

This is the salvation of which Isaiah is speaking.  One reason we are eagerly awaiting His return is that we will no longer be touched by sin and its effects.  No more death, no more sorrow, no more failing our Lord, all of this is taken from us at His second coming.

this [is] the LORD;”

At Christ’s coming we will acknowledge Him as LORD (Jehovah).  When we see Christ as Jehovah God, we see that He is the only true God and the only God that actually exists. His coming back will be a public declaration that all His promises are now coming true because He is the faithful, sovereign God who is in control of all things (2 Peter 3:).

we have waited for him

The sharing of our desire to see Him has caused all Christians to share a bonding of desire and expectancy.

we will be glad and rejoice

Our response to seeing Christ’s return is two-fold:

  1. We will be glad – to outwardly display gladness or joy.  Outwardly, we will be overflowing with gladness and joy, being liberated from sin’s presence and entering eternity with Christ
  2. We will rejoice – to be brightened.   Our beings will be brightened with the  receipt of new glorified bodies that will be similar to that of Christ’s  (Phil 3:21).  This brightening may involve displaying the glory of God in our new bodies.  Or it may be speaking of the brightening  of our countenance due to the extreme joy of entering into eternity with  Him.

 “in his salvation.

The source of our gladness and joy, must ultimately be attributed, in part, to our deliverance from the presence of sin in our spirit, our body and our surroundings. What a day that will be when we will no longer be touched by the sin that had previously permeated our very beings; and when we will be delivered from the effects of sin that had brought sin, sickness, sorrow and death into our existence on earth.  (Rev 21-22)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved:

No matter what may befall us as we continue in the fallen world around us, we can know assuredly that there is coming a day when our Lord will return and graciously bestow upon us the ultimate eternal salvation that we so long for.

Just knowing that, someday, the struggles of this world will end, and we will enter eternity in His presence, is enough to allow joy to continue to reign in our hearts…

1Pet 1:6-9 “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.”

 For those who have never experienced the grace of God in our lives:

Do you see the horrible results of sin in the world around us? Do you see the wonderful future that the Lord is offering to those who will come to Him an place their faith in Him? Do you feel the pain of guilt, realizing that you have rejected the very One who offers salvation from the personal sin that is dominating your life?   Do you understand the offer of forgiveness of sin and a wonderful, sin-free eternity in the very presence of God is what you are spitting upon and trampling under foot?

By God’s grace, may you see the sinfulness of your actions, hate the very acts of rebellion you once enjoyed, and turn from your disobedience and come in faith and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is then, that you will receive His gracious mercy.  It is then, you will experience a change of heart.  It is then, that you will be able to call these precious promises of a sinless eternity yours.  It is then, that you will be anxiously waiting for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Lord Uses His Word To Accomplish His Purposes In The Hearts Of Men…

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 2:12 KJV  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3O8

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “He is faithful that promised”

SIH HALTAL ICONHeb 10:23 KJV – Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Christ is faithful to all of His promises.  He can rest assured He will fulfill everyone of them.

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;”

SIH TOTT ICON

Rev 2:12 KJV  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

 

In the letter to the church at Pergamos, the Lord describes Himself as “he which hath the sharp sword with two edges. “  As we have seen in a prior devotion, this sharp two-edged sword is a symbolic representation of the Word of God.  This is not the only place where the Word is described as a sword…

Heb 4:12-13 KJV – “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.   Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

In this Hebrews passage we can learn much more about the Word and why it is symbolized as a two-edged sword.  Please notice the main points of this passage…

The Word of God is pictured as a sword because it’s work involves:

  1. piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, - can clearly separate between physical and spiritual natures of a man
  2. piercing even to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow – can clearly separate between the joints and marrow of which they are made
  3. a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart – can clearly reveal the calculations and motives taking place in the mind

In all the above the basic idea is that the Word can clearly divide, expose and bring to recognition the most intimate, secret and personal aspects of the human being.    It is much like a scalpel being used by a doctor to open the patient and reveal the innermost body parts and their condition.

 

No one can fool the Word of God.  When an individual uses the Word for self-examination, he will be able to clearly see his innermost condition.   When brought into the light of the Word all sinfulness and depravity are brought into clear view.  This is why we are told that the lost “will not come to the light”…

Joh 3:19-21 KJV – And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.   For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.    But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

 

Folks, may we always be willing to open up ourselves using God’s Word to expose and bring to our mind the sin that we harbor in our lives.  Once the see our sin in the light of the Word may we confess it and turn from it, relying on the Lord to cleanse us and give us victory over it.

It is only through this process that we may keep ourselves “unto honour, sanctified, meet for the Master’s work , and prepared unto every good work”…

2Ti 2:19-21 KJV  – Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.   But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.    If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3MO

The People Of God Have Overcome The Second Death

SIH HALTAL ICON

Rev 2:11 KJV  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3O1

 

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “And having an high priest over the house of God”

SIH HALTAL ICONHeb 10:21 KJV  And having an high priest over the house of God;

 

Christ stands in the presents of God representing, mediating, and interceding for His people.

 

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Revelation 2:12-17:“Christ’s Letter To The Church At Pergamos”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:  The Letter To Pergamos…

Rev 2:12-17 KJV (12)  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; (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. (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. (15)  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. (16)  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (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.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

From our previous lesson, we saw a very basic summary of the contents of these letters include:

Church Location Name Meaning Areas of Faithfulness Areas of Unfaithfulness Possible Punishment Reward To Overcomers (proof of genuine salvation)
Ephesus Desired or Allowed Many areas of faithful outward service.  Hate doctrine of Nicolaitanes. Left first love (Christ)Service not motivated by love for Christ. Removal of candlestick (church no longer enjoying fellowship w God) Eat of Tree of Life in Paradise
Smyrna Myrrh Spiritually rich N/A N/A Not hurt by second death
Pergamos Fortified Tower Faithfulness in face of persecution Allowing doctrine of Balaam and Nicolaitans(physical and spiritual fornication) Will war against those who hold false teaching Be given hidden manna and white stone with new name
Thyatira Sacrifice, Offering, Corpse Works of love, service, faith, patience False Prophetess in midst. (sexual immorality and idol worship) Sickness, tribulation and death upon her and her followers. Be given power over the nations
Sardis Depart, Escape, Exit A few faithful areas of service remain. A few faithful members remain. Testimony that they are spiritually alive but really dead.  Their works not “perfect” before God. Will come upon them as a thief (implied removing anything of value leaving spiritually destitute) White garments.  Name not blotted out of book, confess his name before the Father
Philadelphia Love Of The Brethren Kept Word not denied name of Christ. Persevered in trials N/A N/A Permanent pillar in temple of God.  Name of God and New Jerusalem upon them. New name given to them
Laodicea Judgment Of The People N/A Lukewarm service.  Blinded to their spiritual destitution. Spew out of Lord’s mouth. Rebuking and chastening from Lord. Sit with Christ in throne.

Beginning in chapter 2 through chapter 3, John writes personalized messages to the 7 churches.  Each message contains four basic parts:

  1. Description of Christ
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences
  4. Promise to Overcomers

The first of these personalized messages is written to the church at Pergamos.

1. Description of Christ (v 12)

2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences (v 13)

3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences (v 14-16)

4. Promise to Overcomers (v 17)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:  

Revelation 2: –    

(12)  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write;

This letter is addressed to the members of the local church at Pergamos. Pergamos was filled with citizens that worshipped the sun God Zeus (which had begun with Egypt with the worship of RA and then in Babylon with the worship of Baal).  The altar dedicated to Zeus was located in the city.

It is believed by many that the pagans of Pergamos choose to gradually assimilate themselves (and their beliefs) into the church at Pergamos instead of opposing the church and seeking to overcome it with violence.  Based upon the contents of this letter, it seems that they were successful in joining with the church, but unsuccessful in persuading the church to join them in their idolatrous beliefs and practices.   

 

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

Christ describes himself as “he which hath a sharp sword with two edges”.  This points us to Christ’s Word and its ability to destroy the enemies of Christ.  We find Christ using this sword in Revelation to judge and devour His enemies in Rev 19:11-21.

Many times we think of the Word as being an instrument used by the Lord to deliver salvation to His people.  However, we need to also realize that, the very same Word that saves us from our sins is also a tool of judgment that is used by our Lord to destroy His enemies (Isaiah 11:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:8).  This is the symbolism of the sword found in this letter (v 16).

The very same powerful Word that spoke all of creation into existence, is the same powerful Word that can work salvation into the hardest of man’s hearts and is the same Word that can defeat the most wicked of those who oppose Christ.  This is the basic principle behind the Lord’s Word being pictured as a two-edged sword.  

(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.

The Lord now lists for the church several areas of faithfulness that they are exhibiting in their service to Him:

1. works, – their acts of service to Christ

2. where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: – they were located at the seat the sun worship of Babylon and Egypt

3. thou holdest fast my name, –  they retained the name of Christ and continued to associate themselves with Him even though efforts were being made to persuade them to worship Zeus.

4. hast not denied my faith,…who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. – They not only kept the name of Christ but also continued to keep the Bible truths and practices.

Antipas (“against all”) was a man who was willing to stand fast against all of the false worship taking place in the city.  Because of that, he gave his life for the cause of Christ and the furtherance of the truths of God’s Word.    

 

(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. Christ now exposes the sin that existed in their midst.  They were allowing those who had never repented of their worship of Zeus to join and then continue in their membership.  Instead of exercising church discipline to remove them from their membership, they allowed them to stay and continue in their heathen beliefs and practices.

Please note: the pagan worshippers are described as: 1. them that hold the doctrine of Balaam (“destroyer of the people”) – Balaam deceived the Israelite men (through use of Moabite women) to worship idols at Baal-Peor, leading them astray from the true God. (Numbers 25:1-18 and Numbers 31:16) 2. who taught Balac – Balac was the king who had been counseled by Balaam in the idolatry of Baal-Peor (Nums

  1. to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, – the teachings of these pagans was intended to “trip up” the Christians at Pergamos
  2. to eat things sacrificed unto idols, – the church at Pergamos was to abstain from eating meats sacrificed to idols due to their location among idol worshippers. By eating the meat, it would APPEAR as if they were approving of idol-worship and actually partaking of idol worship.  This would serve to confuse those around them and trip up weaker Christians in their midst. (1 Corinthians 8:4-13)  This is why the pagans were trying to persuade them to eat of the meat.
  3. to commit fornication. – to commit fornication with the temple prostitutes as a part of the idolatry. Also, by worshipping false Gods, the pagans would be enticing the Christians to commit acts of spiritual uncleanness.

 

(15)  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Nicolaitan (“conqueror of the people”), was the NT version of the OT Baalam.  In both cases, the promotion of the idolatrous worship and teachings is in view.  Those who believed in this sinful doctrine were included in the membership of the church.  Instead of dealing with them, by removing them from the membership, they put up with them in their membership.    

 

(16)  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

The Lord’s instructions to them was to “repent”, this includes changing their minds about those idolatrous members, then forsaking their sin by disciplining them in a Scriptural fashion, and finally determining in their hearts to properly guard their membership from this point forward. The Lord further explained that, if they ignore repentance for this grave sin, the Lord would take matters in His own hands. By doing this, He is saying He would deal with both the believing and unbelieving members of the assembly.

He describes His dealings with the believing members as “coming unto” the church, in other words, He would send His chastening hand upon them in discipline to bring them back to obedience. He describes His dealings with the idolatrous unbelievers as “I will fight against them”, in other words, He would actively oppose and judge them using the power of His Word.  (Perhaps, this is speaking of the Lord raising up Godly teachers who would reveal their heresies which would eventually drive them out of the assembly.)

 

(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.

The wonderful promise given to the believing members of the church… For those who are victorious over the dark forces of the world, the Lord will give to them “hidden manna”.   This is speaking of the Lord giving to His people a type of nourishment that cannot be seen in this temporal world…. a more intimate relationship with Him.  In other words, in eternity the Lord will give to His people a much greater knowledge of Himself and a much greater communion with Himself (1 Cor 13:12).

He will also give to the overcomers a “white stone” with a “new name” written upon it.   White and black stones were used to vote or choose.  (Note In Acts 26:10 – “voice” is word for pebble). The white stone was a sign of acceptance, selection, or acquittal… the black stone rejection, to cast off, or guilty. In this case, the white stone given to the overcomer is an outward declaration he has been chosen by God to salvation and is given admission to eternal glory.

The “new name” is probably speaking of a new name for Christ, the One who selected and invited us into glory.  It is displaying who “owned” or cast this vote.  The name represents new titles for (truths about) Christ being revealed to His people in eternity. (Rev 19:12-13).  He is given a new name in eternity as the veil is taken off our eyes and we see Him as He truly is (1 John 3:2).

Another popular view is that the “new name” is the name of the recipient of the stone.  It would be the name of the one who has overcome.  If this is the case, then it would be described as a “new name” that only the recipient knew because a person’s true spiritual standing before God can only be known by that person and God Himself.  A person’s salvation can NEVER be known with CERTAINTY by another individual.    

CHRIST REVEALED: In this section of Scripture, we can see Christ, as the ultimate Judge and Warrior who promises to come back to the earth someday judging the evil that is committed. We can also see Christ as the Holy One who cannot overlook evil, but deals with wickedness in the lives of the lost through His hand of wrath and in the lives of the saved by His hand of chastening.    

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Our Lord hates wickedness, we can see that through His promised dealings among the lost and saved in the church at Pergamos.  Because of His hatred of sin, it is very important that His people are on constant guard to not allow it in our lives.   But sadly, because we are fallen creatures, sin will slip into our lives.  When it does, the Lord has given us repentance as the means with which to deal with that sin. May we all hate sin, reject it, and when it slips into our lives, repent of it.  By doing these things, we can have confidence that the Lord’s hand of chastening will not come upon us.   

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.  

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:11 KJV  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

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Keep in mind, one of the great blessings of a genuine salvation experience is receiving the ultimate victory of the powers of darkness of this world (i.e. Satan and demons, temptations, the dominance of the sin nature, and the influence of the lost mankind etc etc).   Because of this promise of victory, the believer is described as an “overcomer”…

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1Jn 5:4-5 KJV – For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

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A part of the Lord’s letter to the church at Smyrna includes a very special promise to overcomers.  It is promised that they “shall not be hurt of the second death”.  What is the second death?  The “second death” involves the resurrection, judgment, and eternal consignment to the Lake of Fire for all lost mankind…

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Rev 20:13-15 KJV – And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

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Rev 21:8 KJV – But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

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Folks, when the Lord promises to overcomers they will not “be hurt of the second death”, He is promising that they will never be found guilty for the sins they have committed and will never face eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire for those sins.

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How can this be?  How can fallen, sinful mankind be proclaimed innocent of the sins they have committed?  This all takes place based upon Christ’s shed blood which can cover the most heinous of sins and pay the price for the most wicked of deeds.  The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin…

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1Jn 1:7 KJV –  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

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As Christians, may we never forget this truth.  It is only through the sacrificial shed blood of Christ that we were cleansed from our sins and delivered from the wrath to come.   Through His death we were given eternal life.  As Christians, we owe Him our all.

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Lost mankind is in desperate need of Christ’s shed blood as well.  May we always remember, the first priority in our relationship with others who are lost is to share Christ with them.   We can do this in many ways, we can tell them of Christ through our words, we can show them Christ through our actions, we can recount  our personal experience of Christ, we can invite them to our church, we can recommend Bible teaching radio and tv ministries to them,  the list is seemingly endless.

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For those who have never experienced God’s saving grace in their lives, may they see their sinful condition, become sorrowful for their sins and recognize their need to turn from them, recognize the truth about Christ’s person and work and turn to Him, and by faith accept Him as their Lord and Savior.

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May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

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For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3LW

Are We Prepared For Persecution In Our Life?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 2:10 KJV  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3NC

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”

SIH HALTAL ICON

Heb 10:20 KJV  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Through Christ, we find a new way to enter God’s presence… through the death and resurrection of His physical body.

 

 

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http://www.settledinheaven.org

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