As considered in my introduction to this series, I would like to look at each of the letters to the churches of Revelation from a different viewpoint than I have had much of my life.
Much could be written on each of the churches, but my intent is to give an overview of Old Testament motifs and pictures that John may have drew on from the Old Testament when he was penning the letters through the Holy Spirit
Our third letter is to the Church of Pergamum
John reaches back into the travails of Israel in the wilderness for this church. Lets read the passage to get our thoughts aligned.
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
“‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.
So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
Consider the following
- Pergamum dwells amongst demons, reminding us of Israel’s travels passing through the abode of demons (Lev. 16:10, 17:7, Deut 8:15)
- Pergamum’s enemies are described as Balak and Balaam. (Num 25:1-3, 31:16)
- Christ will make war against Balaamites with a sword in like manner as the angel of the Lord and Phineas (Numbers 22:31, 24:7-8)
- To the overcomers, a promise of hidden manna (Heb 9:4) and a new name on a white stone, speaking of the redeemed people represented on the High Priest clothing (Ex 28:9-12). Note the stone for Pergamum is white, speaking of purity.
Give me your thoughts. Do you see parallels I have missed? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.