This is the third phase of the seven churches. The Gospel of Christ has been discarded, the faithful are slandered and persecuted, and now the church is corrupted.
- City Governs Against the People of God
- Church Entices Members Away from the Gospel of Christ
- Overcomers Have Hidden Inner Strength
This is the message coming from the one with the sharp, doubled-edged sword. It is a message for God’s people to sever themselves from interacting with the society around them. Even to sever themselves from interacting with others within the church.
“To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of Him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.”
City Governs Against the People of God
Today, cities all around America have just about banned the Gospel of Jesus Christ from existing in the community. I would say it’s true for cities around the world. In my hometown, taking the Gospel to the streets has been banned by city ordinance. Anyone who stands on a street corner preaching the Gospel are warned, fined, and jailed. Going door to door has been stopped through other ordinances, and managers of apartment complexes prohibit that type of solicitation. As far as a person-to-person ministry, the majority are very negative about it and even hostile. The churches themselves join with community leaders in their secular agenda. The powerful influences of the city have no belief in God, they do not want Jesus Christ, and they trample on the Holy Spirit. Instead, they live by the inner presence of the mark of the beast that establishes itself in the place of God. Even then, there are people in this city who are holding to their testimony for Jesus Christ, regardless of how unwelcoming the climate
Satan rules through the inner presence of the mark of the beast and today cities are already governing by it. That includes city council, fire departments, police departments, human resource agencies, hospitals, ambulance services, court houses, and every branch of local government. The framework is already in place for the persecution of Christians. How many people have already died at the hands of those who have no respect for those who oppose their form of government? Even in that environment, with every doctor appointment, every ambulance ride, every court room appearance, every encounter with law enforcement, there are some who continue to remain true to God through Jesus Christ. Imagine what it’s going to be like in the coming days.
“I know where you live—where Satan has his throne.
Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me,
not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—
where Satan lives.”
Church Entices Members Away from the Gospel of Christ
Churches are aligning themselves with the goals of community leaders. That goal is to bring people into conformity of local government through the inner presence of the mark of the beast. Within the churches, congregants are being enticed away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ into a life of sin. The inner presence of the mark of the beast exists through sin and has no life through the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Congregations are being taught to be receptive to the inner thoughts and feelings that are formed by the inner presence of the mark of beast. At the same time, they are guided away from the teachings of the Bible. Sexual immorality is a common practice to entice into living for the mark of beast. They avoid the topics of repentance of sin through Jesus Christ, avoid the resurrection from the dead and new life, and avoid conversations about eternal life and eternal torment.
Jesus Christ is coming soon, and He will sever the ungodly from His presence. Repentance from sin, rejection of the mark of the beast, belief in the resurrection from the dead, and belief in eternal life is necessary.
“Nevertheless, I have a few things against you:
There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam,
who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols
and committed sexual immorality.
Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight
against them with the sword of my mouth.”
Overcomers Have Hidden Inner Strength
These are the days where city government operates through the mark of the beast and churches have joined them. Those who live for Jesus Christ need something to help us overcome. God provides the overcomers with a “hidden manna” and a “new name” that is only known by those who receive it. There is something hidden within our heart that gives us calm reassurance when the world around us is openly hostile. Although the external expression of faith in God is outlawed, there is a quiet and calm inner reassurance; our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Although the external expression of faith in God is subjected to persecution, there is a quiet and calm reassurance; there is the hope and joy of eternal life.
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna.
I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it,
known only to the one who receives it.”
Phase One…..Gospel of Jesus Christ is Abandoned
Phase Two….Those Faithful to Christ are Slandered and Persecuted
Phase Three…Corruption sets In
Phase Four…..Learning to Live By the “Deep Secrets”
Phase Five…..Lively but Dead to Jesus Christ
Phase Six……Those Faithful to Jesus Christ have Little Strength
Phase 7………Wealthy but Wretched