Antipas and Balaam
Revelation 2:12-17 — 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.
- Your testimony of Jesus.
- You stayed faithful even after my faithful witness antipas was killed.
"SATAN thinks he can do whatever he wants." know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is:
A martyr in Pergamos - "my faithful martyr" (Revelation 2:13) - "slain = murdered; violent; butchery; gruesome death"
anti-all; "against everything"; uncompromisiong; nonconformists; obstinate
Why did these Christians have to live so different than the rest of us? Why can't they just let down their guard and blend in with the rest of us?
- refused to attend theater - the depravity on the stage
- Athletic Events - done in the nude
- Bathhouses - depravity
- Would not got to pagan temples and offer insence to the emperor "UNPATRIOTIC"
- Early Church fathers wrote perhaps a pastor in Pergamos.
- He was said to have been arrested for casting out demons.
- Refused to deny his faith before authorities.
- ON the Acropolis of Pergamos was a copper, hollow bull wiht a door on the side, wrapped in ropes put inside and door closed and a fire started below the bull. Pipes designed in the head of the bull to appear to make the bull bellow as the dieing person would have screamed.
God willing you won't have to seal your testimony with your life, but there is a universal loyalty to the TRUTH among Christians.
Antipas is mentioned just this once in the Bible.
Something worse than Antipas' treatment was happening to the church.
2. Doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans
- The church excells in persecution, but this will take it out: COMPROMISE TO GET ALONG. [Doctrine of Balaam and of the Nicolaitans.]
- There is a spiritual fatal effect when we diminish the work of the Spirit and the Word in our lives.
- Conquering God's people; Dominating them. Limiting the flow of the Spirit. Hindering the work of the Word. etc.
- WEAKENING the church.
2. Intro to Balaam
- Balaam is mentioned in 59 verses. He is mentioned in every section of the Hebrew Bible (Torah, Writings and Prophets). He is mentioned in the New Testament. Balaam is even mentioned in the Koran. In 1967 archaeologists uncovered a buried template which during an earthquake a wall had fallen over and the plaster covering it had partially fallen off. On this plaster was written in red and black ink
- IT IS NOT SO MUCH "BALAAM's sin, but the SIN Balaam seduced Israel into. the Old Testament character of Balaam, who tried unsuccessfully to prophesy against the people of Israel (Numbers 22). He eventually advised King Balak of Moab, the enemy of Israel, to pursue a campaign of seduction against them (Numbers 31:8). The doctrine of Balaam is not only a serious problem, but a devious one. When the frontal assault failed, Balaam took a back-door approach.
1. Balaam knew it wasn't right, but he thought it paid good.
- compare Revelation 12:11 & 2 Peter 2:15
Revelation 12:11 — And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
2 Peter 2:15 — Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;