Rev 2:12-17 “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 stumblingblock 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.”
In 1871, a man began excavations in a city in Turkey, the lost city of Troy. The walls were sixteen feet thick. According to Homer, the Greeks besieged the city for ten years. They wanted to give up, but the king came up with a plan. They made a large horse and left it on the beach with many soldiers inside while their ships left at night. The people of Troy thought they’d left the horse as a gift and took it inside their city. That night the soldiers got out of the horse and opened the gates. The ships came back and destroyed the city from within.
The same thing is happening today. Like Pergamos and Troy, Satan is attempting to corrupt you from the inside out. Hardships of life can do things, but compromise can destroy in one night what couldn’t be taken in ten years.
The doctrine of Balaam is compromise with the world.
1 John 2:15 “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.”
The doctrine of Balaam tries to woo the church with the world. The ways of the world do not work with the church. The union of the world and the church is the doctrine of Balaam.
James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
Don’t be pressed into the world’s mold.
Rom 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Pergamos was a city of religion, many, many religions. A giant statue of Zeus stood at its center. This was the primary center of the worship of emperors. There was a saying that whatever religion had been rejected elsewhere would find a home there. It was the capitol of Satan’s religion and kingdom.
Jesus knew what kind of city this was. This city’s religions were also associated with sexual immorality, cruelty. Jesus wanted that church to know that He knew where they were at and the pressure they were under.
John 15:19 “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
This church was unashamed of their faith. They preached the gospel and worshipping Jesus, but they needed to repent because they allowed the world into their heart.
Balaam was not a false prophet. In Num 22, the Israelites had come to a country called Moab. So, the king of Moab hired Balaam to curse the Israelites. The king’s messengers offered lots of money. Finally, Balaam took the money, but God caused him to bless Israel instead of cursing them. Balaam never brought down the Lord.
In Num 25:1-3 “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.”
The daughters of Moab was their Trojan horse. The women invited them to come together to feast and party. It was worship to their God. The Israelites didn’t worship their gods, but they partook in this and God got angry.
Balaam counseled with the king of Moab to do just this.
Num 31:13-16 “And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16 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.”
The council of Balaam was to cause them to mingle and compromise with the world. This lifted the blessing of God. It is the trojan horse of hell. It is the teaching that a Christian can mix with the world and still remain a Christian.
You can’t wed the things of God with the things of the world. You must be pure.
Mat 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
God spoke to the people of Pergamus and pointed to His Word. To follow this is the only way to remain pure. To follow the ways of the world can not only cause you to lose the battle, you might lose the war.
1 Sam 11:1 “Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. 2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel. 3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee.”
These people didn’t want to die, so they tried to make an agreement with them. The evil king said in return for peace, they had to lose an eye causing them to no longer be able to fight. In letting them take their eyes, it would be a serious compromise. They’d give their right eyes for their lives. King Saul of Israel came and fought for them.
1 Sam 11:9-11 “And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you. 11 And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.”
You will lose your vision and clarity of thinking when you let the world into your spirit. The world’s mindset is at enmity with the church.
When you click and click and click on the Internet, there’s a reason it’s called the Web. Just like a spider seeking food, if the Internet is going to cause you to go to hell, take an ax to it. Compromise is the Trojan horse of hell.
The church should be marked so that people recognize we’ve been with Jesus. You are not immune. You must be separated in your walk.
Samson was a very strong, anointed man. He was called from birth for a purpose. He had a generational anointing on his life. He had a promise and a covenant in his life. He came of age and he kept that Nazarite vow. God didn’t allow him to lose battles. As far as war, Samson was the best of the best. Yet, he looked to world for a spouse. He felt like he could handle it. Delilah was his second attempt with this. She tried to find out the secret of his strength. He teased her and gave silly answers. The next morning, she did those things to him which he said would take his strength. He flirted with the things that would destroy him.
You are not strong enough to mess with Delilah! Be like Joseph and get out!
Joseph was better off pure and in prison than having his eyes put out and a slave to the Philistines. God gave Joseph the victory! Get the world out of your system.
On the lap of luxury is Delilah. She cut his hair and Samson didn’t even know that the anointing had left him.
Judges 16:21 “But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.”
Without your eyes, you can’t fight. Compromise will cause blindness. They can’t fight. They want to do right, but they can’t see the enemy coming. God is not flowing purely in their spirits.
The purpose of borders and boundaries are to protect you from evil.
The lines on the highway and the guard rails are not to control you while you drive. They are there to save you and warn you of danger. They are to keep you from falling. That’s what the devil trying to take away from you. You can flirt with danger, but you may fall.
Stay separate. You’ve got Jesus’ Name, but also take on Jesus’ Nature!
Samson used to be strong, but he let Delilah in on his secret. If he’d have stopped flirting, he’d have stayed strong.
The people of Pergamus mingled with the Moabites too much. They needed to repent.
Don’t flirt with the world. Know Who you are. You are holy. If you’re not willing to love Him more than the things of this world, you’re not loving Him. It’s not just prayer that shows who we belong to, it’s our lifestyle.
The early church was tempted to take just a pinch of incense and throw it on the altar to another god or they would die. They refused and many died.
There is a promise for those who refuse to compromise. God will satisfy you in ways the world cannot. You can’t see the Holy of Holies from outside. Allow the Spirit to come into your life and enjoy His presence. It will be clear.
God will give you a white stone engraved with a new name. This was entitling them to special privileges, hospitality, friendship with God. The person who rejects friendship with the world, Jesus will be your friend. Jesus will give you to what you need emotionally, physically, spiritually.
Maintain separation from the world or lose intimacy with God. You can spare yourself all kinds of tragedy if you’ll separate. Cut all ties with the world. Give it all to Him. Make some promises to God. Remove those links that compromise protection from God.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!