During our family devotions a few nights ago, I discussed the church @ Pergamos in Revelation 2:12-17 with my family. The passage is listed below.
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
14 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 stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 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.
The sin this church was guilty of was compromise with the world. The doctrine of Balaam was if you cannot curse the people of God, corrupt them instead. Balaam told Balac to send the Moabite women into the men of Israel and corrupt them. The doctrine of Balaam in the church is to corrupt it with little bits and pieces of other religions and cultures. Verse 15 mentions the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes which Christ hates. This doctrine is to set up a priestly cast which stands in between the Church and Christ and lords it over the laity. It was a mixture between Judaism and Christianity. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes is in direct opposition to the doctrine of the priesthood of believers (Jesus has made us to be kings and priests to our God). We have direct access to the throne of grace.
This passage ends with a promise to the overcomers. The Spirit says He will give hidden manna to eat. The overcomers should be understood in this context as those in the Church who do not go after the temporary immediate pleasures that come from compromise with the world. The overcomers suffer at the hands of the world even though compromise would give them some immediate benefits. Hidden manna is exactly what they need.
The manna was God’s supernatural way of feeding the children of Israel in the wilderness. The mention of hidden manna gave my wife and I a chance to tell our children of the many, many times God has supernaturally provided for our family in the past. We told them of anonymous envelopes of money just in time to pay the gas bill. We told them of a check from an insurance company that came two years after the policy was cancelled just in time to pay a bill. As we finished, we went room to room in our house and explained how we received in different ways most of the furniture in our house.
Benita and I have tried to do things God’s way and not compromise with the world. God has been exceedingly gracious in providing for our family in ways the world just cannot see. He has given us hidden manna and even given us His own Name, born again into the family of God. There is hidden manna waiting for every overcoming child of God and it is very sweet.