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. ~Revelation 2:17
Geology is the study of rocks, ore, and rock formations. Students of geology are able to identify colored rocks and how they attained that color. Rock colors have significance in landscaping and home décor. In our devotion this morning, Jesus refers to the gift of a white stone. When the believers at Pergamos heard this, it was a powerful incentive for them to make some drastic changes in what they were doing as a church.
We see a commendation.
“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.” The church at Pergamos was in a difficult location, identified as where Satan’s seat was located. It was where pagan idolatry was the rule and Christianity was despised. This church was commended for being faithful in holding up the name of Christ and not denying the faith. One of their men, Antipas, was murdered for his strong faith in Christ. This church was commended for being fervent and faithful. Look to the faithfulness of an Antipas and stand up for Jesus where God has placed you.
We see the compromise.
“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. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.” In spite of its stand, this church was rebuked for the sin of compromise. Someone defined compromise as “planting God’s flowers in the devil’s dirt.” This church tolerated compromise with the world in their associations and in their moral conduct. God called it “the doctrine of Balaam.” Then, they tolerated the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, in which strong personalities were lording over the flock of God. In effect, the church was imploding because it compromised the Word of God. Standards were watered down, and the believers were being influenced to blend with the world in their worship and moral fortitude and away from being guided by biblical leaders. Inherently, this was “man worship” and loss of conviction against sins inside the church.
We see the condemnation.
Jesus made it very clear that corrections were needed. He commanded, “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Jesus hates it when we compromise His Word, His holiness, and His authority. The church was drifting, and Jesus told them that if they did not repent, He would deal with them harshly. If Jesus has to fight with us, this implies we have become His foe.
We see the correction.
Jesus promised two things for overcomers. The first was hidden manna. He was saying that He would give them back a desire and a hunger for Him and His Word. It is hidden, which means we need to get back to uncovering the blessings of God. Second, He promised to give them a white stone. The white stone was what a judge displayed when an accused person was acquitted of his crime. He promises forgiveness and cleansing from our sins when we confess them to Him. The white stone promises a fresh start and the happiness of being cleansed. Has compromise crept into your life? Repent and overcome, so that you can receive the hidden manna and the white stone of acquittal.
Have a forgiven God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Malachi 1-4