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Sunday: Christ’s Messages to Smyrna and Pergamum — 8 Comments

  1. Don't you hate it when the authors put two ideas in the one daily lesson!

    Smyrna and Pergamum - I will choose to comment on Pergamum.

    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. Rev 2:14

    The backstory behind this condemnation is the story of Balaam. We all know the story of the donkey and how Balaam blessed Israel against his wishes and the instructions of Balak, King of Moab. That is the part that we read in "The Bible Story" as children. But the story continues and has a less savory ending. In Numbers 25:1-9 The Children of Israel are in Moabite territory and the men took an interest in the Moabite women. A plague occurred (maybe it was an STD) and thousands of people lost their lives as a result. In Numbers 31:16 we read:

    Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.

    So it was not just a case of the Israeli men falling for the charms of Moabite women, but an enemy strategy from Balaam, who had found a way of bypassing the roadblock of the donkey and cursing the Children of Isreal in a devastatingly practical way.

    It is not all that difficult to draw a parallel with today's situation where we are surrounded by commercial sex. It has become the national entertainment. What once regarded as something intimate and private, has become a commodity for social interchange. We cannot change the way the world operates, but we can guard the avenues of our own minds.

    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. Rev 2: 17

  2. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death, and so somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
    Philippians 3:10-11 (emphasis added)

    The universal Body of Christ shares a common identity with Jesus Christ but deepens its fellowship through the vehicle of suffering. Scripture is filled with both narrative and instruction concerning the role of suffering in the believer’s experience. The Apostle Paul said:

    We always carry around in our own body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:10)

    • Then why is it we all tend to avoid suffering if we can? It sounds so pretty in words, but honestly, people don\'t want to suffer, and avoid it at all costs if they can.
      However, if someone else is suffering, it is added to by other Christians, or we feel pity for someone suffering, and oftentimes creates a Job & his friends type of scenario. Job is the perfect example of remaining faithful through suffering, in spite of his friends, who blamed him for some sin in his life.

  3. The message to the church in Smyrna is our message.
    We don't mind persecuting those who don't believe like us.

    "The law in Galatians had become a controversial issue between 1884 and 1886, when Waggoner began to teach that Galatians had the Ten Commandments in mind rather than the ceremonial law. That understanding was met head on by Butler and Smith, who held that the new interpretation undermined Adventism’s traditional position on the end-time importance of the law of God. As might be expected, the national Sunday crisis heightened the importance of the topic.

    Butler sought to solve the problem at the 1886 General Conference session, but failed. His next move was to block Jones and Waggoner from presenting their views at the 1888 session. But Ellen White outmaneuvered him by publicly coming to the support of the younger men. The stage at that point was set for the controversial Minneapolis meetings. "

    When the time of end will come those who oppose the truth will do their utmost to quench out the light.
    In Christ the Church will be victorious.

  4. While the struggle with sin and apostasy among church members is not a new phenomenon, our God still loves us and patiently entreats us to aspire to be with Him by choosing the path that leads to eternal life...

  5. Symrna are under threat of phyiscal death from civic powers. Are in danger from people who say they worship God but actually worship Satan so threat of spiritual death. Jesus comes to them as one who experienced death and overcame it and if they are faithful He promises eternal life. Note eternal life is more important than physical life, 2Cor 4:7-18, we might suffer but he will be with us through flood or fire. Isaiah 43:1-3

  6. Pergamon - I believe the issue of "eating food sacrificed to idols" here is symbolic (see 1Cor 8 & Rom 8) so what does it mean? Jesus said I am the bread of life, the words I speak are life, he who eats this bread will live forever, this bread is better than the manna in the wilderness - John 6. So I believe the issue is on whose words are we nourishing our souls, ones that lead to compromise, distraction, rebellion or ones that strengthen our faith? Jesus offers the promise of the manna in the ark, he comes to them with the two edged sword of his mouth - word of God Heb 4:12 - the sword that cuts and heals.

  7. We as the remnant church must be faithful as the church of Pergamon. They trusted in God to the point of persecution. 10 years years of persecution was not mare issue. One problem we are facing with current christiand is the Nicolaitan and Balaam characters. Too much lukewarmness in church. We must repent.


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