Today’s passage: Revelation 2:12-17
- Christ reveals Himself to the church at Pergamum as “him who has the sharp two-edged sword.” This sword is pictured as proceeding from his mouth (1:16) and depicts Christ’s authoritative word of judgment.
- If the church at Pergamum does not follow this instruction to rebuke false teachers, Jesus will be ready to Himself.
- Because Balaam could not curse the people of Israel in the wilderness, he suggested temptation instead (Numbers 31:16). It worked (Numbers 25:1-5).
- Pergamum was allowing teaching in the church which promoted the same practices. Their sin was not necessarily participating in the idolatry or the immorality, but failing to rebuke those who taught it. What we teach matters to God.
- White stones were given in that culture to champion athletes as a token for entry into the celebration after the event was completed. They were also used to designate a vote of acquittal by a juror. Either parallel would fit here. Those who follow Christ are justified by His shed blood and invited to the victory banquet (Revelation 19:9)!
Questions to consider:
- What kind of teaching does Jesus forbid in this passage? Who does He command to put a stop to that kind of teaching? And specifically, where (or in the presence of whom) are we responsible to prevent that teaching from being presented?
- Even if we think people won’t listen to us, why should we proceed in the effort to purify the church from false teaching? Who will ultimately win the struggle and purify the church? What part are we truly playing in Christ’s work to present to Himself a pure church?
- Who is Jesus telling to repent in verse 16? Why isn’t Christ speaking to the false teacher’s? Whose servants are they? Whose servants are we?