(From radio broadcast of Bro. Julius Adewumi)
Revelation chapter 2 (contd)
Rev.2:12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges.”
The Lord introduced himself as He that has a sword with two edges. This indicates he was going to judge the troublemakers in the church. The sword can cut in and also cut out.
“I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name and has not denied my faith …. But I have a few things against thee.”
Watch what the Lord has against this church: “Thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam.”
In the previous broadcast we have pointed out what the doctrine meant. Balaam was the prophet, in the days of Moses, who was hired by King Balac of Moab to come and curse the children of Israel.
Balaam was expected to be a prophet of God in the Gentile country of Moab. He asked God and God said he should not go. But Balaam wanted the honor and glory promised to him by the king of Moab; he went and the angel of the Lord stood in his way, and made Balaam’s donkey talk. In the end he was not able to curse the Israelites, however he must have taught the king of Moab how to make the Israelites offend by committing fornication so that God could be angry with them.
The doctrine of Balaam is the doctrine of pleasing the worldly rulers. Seeking recognition from the highly placed men. Many pastors are in this snare.
They have to modify their sermons and make it appealing to the world rulers so they can come in to the church so that they can get more money or they can get recognition. “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world; if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him”. And he that will be a friend of the world is enemy of God. So, this doctrine of Balaam was being introduced in the congregation in that generation, trying to make the rulers accept Christianity. It started as a doctrine. False brethren that came in wanted to be recognized and wanted to please the rich and the mighty. But that is not how God does his works. God wants those rich and mighty to come the same way. They have to come to Christ the same way you and I came to Christ, that is, they have to come humbly as ordinary people. In the book of Leviticus, when Moses was giving them the law on what to sacrifice, there was a sin offering that they should make for the ruler of their land (Lev.4:3), the type of sacrifice that they should offer for the priests and the high priest (Lev.4: 13,14, 22,23), and a special type of sacrifice for the congregation, and a special sacrifice for the common people (Lev.4: 27,32). The common people were to bring a lamb, but when Jesus Christ came, he didn’t come as an ox or as a bullock with horns, he came as a lamb, which means he only came for the common people. This covers everybody. It means the king has to come down off his throne and be a common person to accept Jesus Christ. It means the high priest, the priests of the earth, and the princes have to come off their thrones and come to God as common people to partake of the sacrifice of the lamb of God; the same goes for the rich and the mighty they have to come as common people to partake of the lamb because the lamb is what is sacrificed for all mankind. Everybody, as a common person, must bring a lamb to God for a sin offering. That is exactly why every rich and mighty has to come the same way you and I come to Christ in humility. So we don’t have to tune down the gospel, we don’t have to change or modify the sermon to make them come in; if they would not come in, let them stay where they are but the word has to fall where it may, and the soul that sinneth shall die.
Balaam wanted to please the rich and the mighty, the kings and the highly placed people so that he can be recognized and placed in high honor. He liked the honor, the praise of the king. So, looking for rewards from men is the doctrine of Balaam.
Verse 15: “ So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which thing I hate.” What is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans? That was a doctrine also that started taking root in those days, of those who wanted to subdue all the believers. Conquer the laity is what it means. They wanted to conquer the population so that only the elders can talk and if you have a doctrine, a sermon, a prophecy or a dream that you think God gave to you, they want you to bring it to the elders or to the rulers of the church. First pass your doctrine or dream through them to review it, and if they don’t like it, that will be the end of it. You are not allowed to tell the congregation. That is a doctrine that started in that generation and God was warning them that it will stifle the Holy Ghost because the scripture says “where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty”. Now by the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, they don’t allow the liberty for anybody to just stand up and be able to prophesy in the congregation. Think of what the devil can do once the devil can get some elders under himself. By this, the devil would begin to control the church. That was the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.
Verse 15: “repent or else I will come to thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. God was ready to fight against those men that have come into the church and are trying to subdue the believers under the world authority or under one person. That was, how the papacy rose up. That was the end result of all these doctrines - the Roman Catholic papacy. The papacy now, in that organization, makes the rules in their church, and what the papacy says is what goes. The Holy Ghost cannot talk through anybody, anyone in their church. You can see why the Holy Ghost left that congregation and started the reformation. After the reformation, they also wanted to be like the papacy and make a ruler, archbishop or the archdiocese somewhere that would be controlling the organization. God has to withdraw also from all those daughters of Catholicism that formed the same type of organization around one man. That is the same doctrine of the Nicolaitans.
Human beings like to control things. Whenever you like to control things and not let God control it, you are going to actually be stifling the Holy Ghost, because the Holy Ghost wants to control, He wants to be in charge.
Now let’s see the promise that God gave to this congregation, to this generation of believers. “He that hath an ear let him hear what the spirit sayeth 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”.
Now let’s go on to the church of Thyatira. “And unto the angel of Thyatira write: these things sayeth the Son of God…”
Now the Lord introduced Himself as the Son of God here for a purpose also.
“… Who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass; I know thy works…”
When he introduced Himself as the Son of God here it has a purpose. He was going to give a promise to this generation of believers. They that overcome will be elevated to positions like Sons of God also. They are coming to the fullness of the stature of Christ, that is the promise in this generation.
“… I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works, and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols and I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not”.
Let’s stop right there and discuss this woman Jezebel. The Lord Jesus Christ used the name Jezebel, and you see what He said this woman was doing. He said she calleth herself a prophetess and was teaching and seducing the servants of God to commit fornication. Now, compare that with what we read in the earlier church age, the Pergamos church age, where He said Balaam taught Balak to make the children of Israel eat something that is sacrificed unto idols and to commit fornication. It started as a doctrine in that generation, to the church in Pergamos. A bad idea will always start as a doctrine because the devil will come in through one person, or two or three people in a congregation and like the word of God said, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”
What the devil does also is to introduce his own men like true believers into the midst of the believers. He started from the church in Pergamos, in that age of Pergamos and after they have come in, they started taking over the congregation, taking over the leadership. They started the doctrine: “God did not say we shouldn’t do this;” “God said we should try to bring them in, bring all these rulers in. If you can bring in the king, if you can make the rulers, the senators to accept the gospel, just think of what you can do: they are the people with money” - now they are looking for the money, they are going after their money, and they are afraid of being persecuted by them also. Very soon they tune down the gospel. It is going on right now even in this generation where many preachers are trying to say we can win the world, win all these teenagers by changing the style of how we preach the gospel to them. They wanted to tune down, give them the gospel music that they like, to bring them in. The worldly type of music with some words of Jesus in it to bring them in. But if you begin to change the message just to satisfy the public, you have already lost the power of the word. And that was what was going on, it started with a doctrine and God said He hated it but in the end, that doctrine became a church of its own. They started with the doctrine of Balaam, and the Nicolaitans, and by the next generation of the church, it had become a church of its own where they are now the ones controlling everything and those who don’t agree with them have to leave the congregation, leave the church and they become the minority church, while they are the church with the power of the government. Why? because they have already gotten the emperors and the rulers and the chief justices to be part of them and it happened in the days of the Roman Empire. Very soon, one emperor was converted and the whole of Rome was made a Christian city or what we call a church city and all their idols they whitewashed and gave them names like Peter, or Paul. Those were former idols! They gave them new names and those who kicked against it were being arrested and persecuted. By the time of the age of Thyatira, there was now a church of Jezebel, God calls it Jezebel. Jezebel was a queen in the book of Kings. Jezebel was the wife of king Ahab of Israel, but Jezebel introduced into Israel the worst kind of religion – Baal worship. Jezebel had so much power because she was the queen of the land, that she could kill anyone she wanted to kill and subdue anyone she wanted to subdue and all the true worshippers had to go underground. All the prophets were in hiding, because they ran away from Jezebel. That was in the days of Elijah the prophet. You can read about all of those in the book of Kings. (1Kg. 18:19)
God symbolized this new church that has been formed through this doctrine of Balaam as Jezebel. They were now ruling the whole church and they said they are the church, but they have gotten the emperors and the senators to be part of them. They have the power of the government and they changed some things to suit the emperors. They changed their doctrine to suit everybody. They changed their doctrine to suit the idol worshippers that are big men in the city. Because how can you make them come in, by changing your own doctrine, they would come in as long as it is palatable to them. That was how Roman Catholicism was formed in Rome, and the true worshippers escaped and hid to form the underground churches. And God said to these underground churches “don’t allow this Jezebel church to continue to pollute you because some more doctrine are still coming in to avoid persecution. God said “thou sufferest that woman Jezebel that calleth herself a prophetess…” that is they said they are the church, “teaching and seducing my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols”.
“I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not”, which means God gave them time if they will get out of those false doctrine.
They couldn’t because they have got the government tied up with them and they were now the government, and in verse 22, the Lord said “behold I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their deeds”.
God said He would cast them into great tribulation and at the end of the world there would be a great tribulation. The book of revelations chapters 17 and 18 of the woman called Babylon, mother of harlots, pointed out more about this. The angel interpreted it to apostle John that the woman that sited upon the beast was a city that was ruling over the world then; and that was in the time of the Roman Empire. God has said in chapter 2 here that “I will cast her into great tribulation”. Not just the city, but the whole organization that is set up around that city – Roman Catholicism. He that hath an ear let him hear. That’s what the Lord will say right now. He said, “except they repent of their deeds and I will kill her children with death”. What does that mean? I will kill her children with death: anyone that is joined to them is going to hell and lake of fire; you better come out of her and seek the true gospel. Seek the true gospel my friend. Come out of that false vine because they look like they are a church, but they are a false vine, and seek the true gospel. Here He says: “I will kill her children with death and all the churches will know that I am He who searcheth the reins and hearts and I will give unto everyone of you according to your works.”
Now you see the Lord Jesus Christ is going to judge every man’s works according to your work on earth. He is going to reward you.
Verse 24: “unto you I say and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak, I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron. As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my father”.
Now I said the Lord Jesus Christ introduced himself to this church age as the Son of God. At the end of the speech he was giving them a promise that “as I received of my father to rule over the nations, I am going to give to the overcomers of this Thyatira age to rule over the nations with me”. They that overcome in this generation are going to be rulers. Think about it. Do you want to rule with Christ? You have to overcome all those falsehood that have entered the church-world. How come the promise to this church age is strong? Look at it: by the time a body or an organization have joined themselves to the power of the government of the world – lusting after the power to rule, the overcomers deserve the true power to rule over those that usurp the power. The overcomers deserve the power to rule over the nations of the world that oppressed them. That is a good promise. “As I received of my father”. When the Lord Jesus came, if he wanted the rulers in Israel to accept him, all he needed to do was to preach what will appeal to the rulers, and the chief priests. Then there would have been no crucifixion. He did not do his work that way. The preaching of the gospel cannot be done differently my friend. You cannot please the world with the gospel of salvation. Preach the word and let it fall where it may. You may be persecuted. Christ said, “if they had hated me, they will hate you also.” Don’t attempt to preach it in a way to avoid being hated, unless you are not serving Christ. But don’t be afraid, because you are going to rule the world. The dead in Christ will be resurrected to rule the world in the millennium reign of Christ. Think about it, and stop dancing to the tune of the governmental powers. Let anyone that will come to Christ come as ordinary person to be saved.
“And I will give him the morning star”. That is a promise. “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Come out of Jezebel, if you are in that type of false vine, and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, because He is the only savior, and ask him to open your eyes. There are many doctrines in Roman Catholicism that if you search the bible yourself, you will begin to question those traditions. That was how Martin Luther started the reformation: The just shall live by faith. Many other congregations have done similar things trying to please the men of the world. But God moves on. The Lord said “thou shalt know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
I pray that the Lord will open your eyes to see wherever you may have erred and make corrections and come back to the way, straight and narrow, that leadeth to life.
God bless you.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Box 30387, Phoenix
AZ 85046, USA.
Radio Africa - ShortWave 7.190khz
Time: 5PM GMT for 30 minutes. Every Saturday. (6PM in Nigeria).
Sorry we have to withdraw the Radio East Africa and Radio South Africa broadcasts for now, due to budget issues.
I want to thank those that have been sending offering to this ministry. Your investment and mine send the literature to believers and send the word on radio. That is one sure way we can send our money ahead of us to heaven. The Lord said: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Mat. 6: 19-21). "For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out." (1Tim. 6: 7).