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The Church of Pergamos III

By Greg Rangel 

“But I have a few things gains thee, because thou hast 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” (Revelation 2:14). 

In Numbers 22 Balaam was promised honor and great riches by the enemies of Israel if he was to pronounce a curse upon the children of Israel while they were still out in the desert. Balaam was a good example of someone that was in love with the world and the riches of it. He wanted to be rich, and so he tried to curse Israel over and over again but he couldn’t because every time he opened his mouth blessings would come out. 

One day Balaam was on his way with the enemies of Israel. Because of that the Lord got upset with him and got in the way of the donkey that Balaam was riding. Balaam being upset with the donkey because it was being disobedient to his commands began to strike him. The donkey was not moving because it saw the angel of the Lord in the way. The funny twist to this story is that the donkey got tired of Balaam smiting him that the Lord opened the donkeys mouth! The donkey told Balaam, “…What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the donkey, Because thou hast mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed thee. And the donkey said unto Balaam, Am not I thine donkey, upon which thou hast ridden all thy life long unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay. Then Jehovah opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Jehovah standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face. And the angel of Jehovah said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine donkey these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because thy way is perverse before me” (see Numbers 22). Even after this Balaam still wanted to be rich, popular, and powerful. 

Unfortunately Balaam did not learn his lesson. Because of his desire for riches, glory, and fame, one day Balaam conjured up a way for God to curse His people. He told the pagan king to make a feast to his gods and invite the Israelites. Unfortunately for the Israelites, the worship of the pagan deities was done through sex. When the Israelites participated in the pagan festivities, the Lord judged His people by killing those that participated, along with the pagan king and his people, and along with Balaam himself. It is for that reason that Jesus refers to this (See Numbers 22-31). 

Jesus then says, “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.” (Revelation 2:15). 

This is the same sin that the Ephesian church was involved in, which the Lord also hates. Nicolaitanes is really two words into one. “Nicao means to conquer, and laos means the people. Due to this some scholars believe that it was some type of a priestly order that was beginning to form that wanted to conquer over the people,” through which they led the people into idol worship. 

Conquering over the people is against Scripture. And in regards to the priestly order, God hates it because Jesus Christ died to abolish the priesthood (study the book of Hebrews). There is no longer any need for priests because Jesus is our High Priest which was made after the order of Melchisedec, and not after the Levitical order of the Old Testament. 

The unfortunate thing that we see and have seen throughout history is that the unbiblical priests that have existed and exist today not only have dominion over the people, but they also lead the people into idol worship. This is something that the Lord hates because it goes completely against His Word, and the very existence of the priesthood is slapping Jesus in the face because He is the only and ultimate High Priest as the book of Hebrews teaches. But because many people of today do not read or study the Bible, they don’t know. Should you study the book of Hebrews you will see this wonderful truth. 

Greg Rangel
Borderland Calvary Chapel

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