“If you don’t stand for anything, then you will fall for everything.” That is a true statement of fact that you don’t hear too much these days. If fact, the truth is twisted by evil, himself, the fallen angel, as “Let us accept everyone and their god of choice and include them with our God. Then we will all get along.” Okay, so how’s that working out for us in this world? It’s NOT. There is Only One God! There, I wrote and said it out loud! I will shout it from the rooftops if given the opportunity! We are doing what John the revealer of the Truth of Jesus Christ is telling us NOT to do…indulge the Balaam crowd of unbelievers. Our advice from John? DON’T GIVE IN TO THEM! Jesus IS coming back, you know…don’t you? How will we explain the acceptance of all gods and the religions that are taught that are not God and His Word?
Whew, I’m still thinking this through as I write this morning. I remember many stories of missionaries who were frustrated by telling the saving Truth about Jesus Christ and being accepted by those they told, but then the new believers took the Truth and merely incorporated it into the previous practice of religion and worship of their other gods. Ugh.
“Are your ears awake?”, says John to us today. Are we listening to the “Balaam crowd” and accepting unholy practices as holy? Be alert! We cannot be complacent any longer! Complacency is just another term for acceptance, being too lazy to stand up and say “no, that’s not of God”. The worldly crowd takes Jesus’ words of love and twists it, telling us we MUST “love” and accept their god and practices to really love. This is not true. We love God first, then love others they way He loves us, but we cannot accept other gods. We can love others without accepting sin. God is a jealous God. “There will be NO other gods before Me”, says God. Still true. Be careful saying “our God”, too, for we are taken out of context and setting up a contest between “our God” and their gods. He does not belong to us as a possession. He is God and we are not. He is not “ours” to control or maneuver. WE belong to Him. God is God, period, whether we choose to believe and belong…or not. “Are your ears awake?”
12 Write this to Pergamum, to the Angel of the church. The One with the sharp-biting sword draws from the sheath of his mouth—out come the sword words:
13 “I see where you live, right under the shadow of Satan’s throne. But you continue boldly in my Name; you never once denied my Name, even when the pressure was worst, when they martyred Antipas, my witness who stayed faithful to me on Satan’s turf.
14-15 “But why do you indulge that Balaam crowd? Don’t you remember that Balaam was an enemy agent, seducing Balak and sabotaging Israel’s holy pilgrimage by throwing unholy parties? And why do you put up with the Nicolaitans, who do the same thing?
16 “Enough! Don’t give in to them; I’ll be with you soon. I’m fed up and about to cut them to pieces with my sword-sharp words.
17 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I’ll give the sacred manna to every conqueror; I’ll also give a clear, smooth stone inscribed with your new name, your secret new name.”
What do we learn?
–We MUST be more attentive and alert in our walk, talk and awareness of Who God is.
–We cannot accept anything that is NOT God.
–Don’t give in to the crowd who says otherwise with words, “You’re a Christian, you have to love me. Partly true, we love but we do not accept other gods.
–“I’ll give the sacred manna to every conqueror”. Jesus will give us the right words at the right time and everything else we will need for the battle here and the reward there, if we stand firm for Him.
–We must repent of the acceptance of sin in the church of accepting what is not of God.
–Jesus gives us the the stone as a sign of our redemption, our new life with a “new name”. This white stone (in other translations) is absolution from the guilt of sin, alluding to the ancient custom of giving a white stone to those acquitted on trial and a black stone to those condemned. The new name is the name of adoption: adopted persons took the name of the family into which they were adopted. If we persevere we will have both the evidence of sonship and the inheritance!
–Don’t give in. It might be easier now, but it will be lethal later.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your revelation to John reveals the Truth of Jesus Christ, You, along with the Holy Spirit, (the Three in One), more clearly and concisely, stirring up deep emotions in the depths of our souls. We must stand firm. Help us to do this with wisdom, discernment, insight and understanding, along with the gentleness of a Lamb. We know you will help us. You always have and always will. in Jesus Name, and By Your Power working in us, Amen. I believe.