Maintaining The Courage For Holiness In A Corrupt Community By Pastor W.F. Kumuyi
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SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE MESSAGE
DATE: JULY 12, 2020
PREACHER: OUR FATHER IN THE LORD, PASTOR W.F. KUMUYI
TOPIC: MAINTAINING THE COURAGE FOR HOLINESS IN A CORRUPT COMMUNITY
TEXT: REVELATION 2:12-17
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 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 Nicolaitans, 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.
Today, we are coming to a special letter the Lord sent to the church in Pergamos. At the end of the letter, He said, He that has ears, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. Look at this way, if the Lord were to send a message from heaven to you, what message will it be? Will it be the one to the church in Ephesus, Smyrna or this one to the church in Pergamos? Will it be the one to the church at Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, or Laodicea? If the Lord were to send a message to you from John the Beloved, how will you receive it? We are looking at the message to the church at Pergamos today.
In vs 13, the Lord said, “I know thy works…” If He were talking to you, He will be saying the same thing because He is omniscient, He knows all things about you, me, and the church.
vs 14. We see that something was wrong about this church and the Lord would like to correct them so that the members can be ready for His coming. If the Lord were to speak to you, would you want Him to be direct, telling you the exact situation? Or will you be offended how the Lord or John said it? John did not say what he wanted, he wrote what the Lord gave him to write.
Some people get offended with their pastors when they preach, but they should know that it is not the pastor, it is the word from the Lord. You do not want your pastor to abandon the word of the spirit from our Saviour and God and tell you things from his own mind or blunt the edge of the sharp sword.
vs 16. The Lord wants everything to be put in order so that all the things that were wrong, that brought controversy to the church, to the pastor and the ministers can be cleared away.
vs 16. “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth”. Loving, merciful, kind and compassionate Christ? When we believe in Him, when we tow the line and obey Him, and we are living by grace and in righteousness, we see His love, compassion and promises being fulfilled. But when we derail, go astray and allow corruption, evil and the works of the flesh to spread, He said He will come and fight us with the sword of His mouth.
Now in vs 17, the Lord is talking to the real Christian, the overcomer, faithful and loyal, He is promising to give him who overcomes the hidden manna, and a white stone with a new name written on it which no man knows except he who received it.
A. THE CONSUMMATE COMMANDER AND CONQUEROR, THE PREEMINENT CHRIST. Revelation 2:12
The One writing to us is our Saviour, Sanctifier, the One who was dead and is alive again. He has conquered death, Satan, evil, the world and everything. He is Lord over all.
The churches must have been surprised because Apostle John was on the island of Patmos where he was banished and incarcerated and yet, he knew the condition of all the churches. It was not his knowledge, he was writing the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the church. He wrote exactly what he heard without editing or making them more acceptable. That was the faithfulness of John and what every minister must do. When we receive the word of God, we will not examine and say it is not smooth or acceptable enough, or fear that some people might frown at it.
My brother and sister, as a minister and preacher, study and read the word of God, and make proper application of it. Do not smoothen the rough edges and do not take away the sharp edge of the sword. Give it exactly the way you have received it.
1. The Sharp Sword Conquering All Adversaries. Revelation 2:16
When the angel accosted Balaam on his way to meet Balak, he had a sharp sword in his hand. The angel asked him why he hit his ass, and that if not for the ass, he would have killed Balaam with the sword in his hand. The sword is the sword of judgment against the adversary. The angel called Balaam an adversary as also came against him as an adversary. The same thing you will find in the word of God.
The sword is the word coming from the mouth of Jesus and He said He will fight the corrupters, evil people bringing erroneous and damnable doctrines into the church that He has purchased with His own blood. We are the people standing for Christ as shepherds and preachers under the preeminent Christ. We have been sent to all the world to speak the same word of God, which if we do it faithfully will convict the sinners and make them repent.
2. The Spirit’s Sword Convicting Through The Anointed. Revelation
He anoints and empowers us with the Holy Ghost and He makes the word of God convicting in our mouths (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12-13) The word of God is quick, dynamic and powerful, it pierces the heart and convict the sinner of his sins. The sword is the word of God coming from the mouth of an anointed minister. The word will discern the intentions of the heart and the plans, projects and imaginations of the heart. It also brings conviction.
John 8:7-11. Here we see the case of people bringing a woman caught in adultery while leaving the man behind to Jesus. It takes two to commit adultery. They wanted the woman to be killed. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground. When He got up He said unto them that anointed word that would bring conviction. He said whoever has not sinned amongst them should cast the first stone. That shows us clearly that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Then He stooped down and wrote again. Whatever He wrote will definitely not contradict what He said, unlike some people today who say something and do something else.
Jesus said anyone of them who is sinless should cast the first stone. None of them could do so because they knew they were all guilty. So they left one by one, from the eldest to the youngest. The words of Jesus convicted them. This is how the word of God in our mouths ought to convince sinners. The woman did not go like others, she was convicted, so she stayed, begging for mercy. Afterwards, He told her: “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”. This woman stayed and got mercy. So it will be for every sinner who does not run away with his baggages of sin. He will receive pardon and not condemnation.
What Jesus said is what the Heavenly Father also says, as well as the Holy Spirit. They never contradict themselves. What the Trinity says is what the angels will say because there is joy in heaven among the angels over every sinner who repents and is forgiven. Satan cannot contradict effectively what the Lord has said. After forgiveness and pardon, the sharp sword of the word of the mouth of the Lord drives to salvation and gives peace to the penitent.
3. The Strong Sword Consuming The Antichrist(s). Isaiah 27:1; Daniel 7:26
The word of God calls this personality serpent and dragon. At the end of the great tribulation, when Christ comes back, the Lord will consume and destroy the serpent. No sword in the hand of the Lord, but the sword in His mouth will break down and destroy him. The antichrist will cause deception and craft to prosper, but he shall be broken without a hand (Daniel 11:45; 8:25).
II Thessalonians 2:8-9. The antichrist will be destroyed by the spirit of His mouth. He will destroy the antichrist and the nations which have accepted the antichrist and his mark. Here we see the identity of the One who conquers the antichrist (Revelation 19:15-21,19) He is the King of kings, Lord of lords and the preeminent Christ. He is Conqueror, and the prevailing One.
B. HIS CONDEMNATION OF CORRUPTION IN A POLLUTED CHURCH
Will any father look away from his children living in corruption and defilement? Will he leave them to live their lives the way they like? No, he will not. What do you then think of our Lord and Saviour who died to take away our sins? When He sees corruption which have been taken away flowing back unrestrained into the church He died for, what do you think He would do? He is the One who is coming back again and is desiring to meet a glorious, holy, and righteous church. Anything different from this will not make Him happy.
Remember Jesus introducing Himself as the One who has a sharp sword proceeding out His mouth to the church at Pergamos. My brother and sister, do you wait long enough after each message to listen to the Lord when He says He has something against you which He wants corrected and removed? The Lord has something against the church because they habour those who peddle the doctrines of Balaam. The minister was preaching and encouraging the people but he turned a blind eye to the wrong doctrines the pastors under him were preaching. People who were preaching the doctrines of Balaam, people who were backsliders.
The pastor left them because he did not want problem or confrontations. He believed he has done his part by teaching the word of God, so if the other people teach something else, it is their business. If you brought in a bucket of drinkable water, and you see someone coming to drop poison in it, will you ignore the person and say it is none of your business? It is not their business but yours because the poisoned water will harm the people you are trying to nurture, build up and keep healthy for Christ.
1. The Condemnation Of The Doctrine Of Balaam. Revelation 2:14
This is Christ condemning the doctrines of Balaam. Some people only want to be positive preachers/pastors, they never want to mention negative things even if there is darkness and occultism festering in their churches. But our Lord Jesus mentioned and condemned the doctrine of Balaam. These people teaching this doctrine have forgotten all that they learned and were busy putting stumbling blocks on the way of others.
For example, I used to be a teacher and if I am called to come and teach those things I taught before, I cannot because I have not taught them in a long while. Out of sight is out of mind. Out of mind is out of brain. If you are not a teacher but you remember the maiden name of a sister but you have not seen her in a long time, and now she has been married for ten or twenty years. If someone asks you about the sister’s maiden name, you will not remember because you have not made use of the name for a long time.
If someone is a child of God called into ministry and has not had contact with false doctrines for ten, twenty years, how can he now teach what he has forgotten? Some people do not forget the doctrines of Balaam and those things they used to do: the works of the flesh, fornication and idolatrous ideas. If you have not been conversant with it, it will not be easy for you to practice and influence others. These people are backslidden and all they do was to mislead others. The Lord condemns such things because they will lead others astray.
2. His Contempt For The Deeds Of Backsliders. Revelation 2:15
If you knew this pastor in Pergamos, you will pity him. He tried his best building up people, encouraging them, even sharing palliatives to help them but unfortunately, he was labouring for the wind and all he was doing were wasted because there were other people in the church preaching something else to counter the true words of life he was preaching.
My brother, are you a preacher, evangelist, pastor, and you are everywhere, too busy and full of activities that you are not able to check your congregation very well to see what is going on with them? Why not stop for a moment to look at what Christ is saying. Christ has confirmed their condemnation by saying He would destroy them. In an environment where such things are happening today, there ought to be repentance so that you look at the damage and havoc which the Nicolaitanes have done in the church. Then counsel and reverse all the effects of their teachings and doctrines on the people.
3. Conformation Of Their Damnation With Burning. Revelation 2:16
It is very important for pastors to stop and take time to deal with the issue of the false doctrine in the church.
Maybe you are just a member, the Lord wants you to be a standing member who is committed to the words of Jesus Christ. If you see yourself as a blatant sinner, you must repent. If there is no repentance, there is going to be a fiery indignation and judgment at the end (Hebrews 9:27) Judgment is coming and no sinner will be spared (ch 10:27-31) The Lord will judge all those who contradict the doctrines of Christ and teach what He hates. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
C. THE CONSECRATION AND COURAGE OF PREVAILING CHRISTIANS. Revelation 2:13
Those who prevail are those who say no matter what others do, I must stand firm. Those who say “Others may, I will not, I cannot, I must not”,
In conclusion, the Lord is telling the church, and the spirit of God is telling everyone who is hearing:
1. The Praise For Courageous Heroes. Revelation 2:13
Even though satanic and Emperor worship was there, Antipas held on to the name of Christ. He was eventually martyred. He stood with his shoulders square and head up and maintained his stand in spite of all the corruption around him, just like a white lily growing in the mud, yet remained white and holy.
This reminds us of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who would not bow to the graven image despite the danger of burning in the fiery furnace. Also of Daniel who defied the order of not praying to God, but prayed all the same. How about Paul the apostle that would always stand on the word of God, or Peter and the other apostles who stood up to the rulers who commanded them to not preach in the name of Jesus. They said they would rather obey God than man (Hebrews 11:27) Moses fled and left Egypt, not fearing the wrath, brutality and sword of the king. He endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
Those are the heroes. The Lord wants you to be a hero too. If you cannot be an hero in the army, politics and sports, you can be an hero for the Lord, not compromising whatever wind blows or the challenges around you. The grace and power of God can make an hero out of you.
2. The Practice Of Commendable Hearers. Revelation 2:17
The people who hear are those who when they are coming to the presence of the Lord, they pray that He would speak to them so that they will know whatever needs to be adjusted in their faith or spiritual life, people who want to make repairs where they have been negligent, people who want to do everything right (Mark 4:23-24). When you hear the word that you should repent, you repent; to take heed, you take heed; to believe and obey, you do same ; to correct something, and walk in the narrow path, you do so; and you obey by bringing back your first consecration, then you take heed what you hear. What are the promise and rewards?
3. The Promise Of Concealed Heritage. Revelation 2:17
To him who overcomes all the erroneous teachings, all seduction from Delilah, to him who overcome the contradicting doctrines of the Nicolaitanes. He who overcomes his own propensities and weaknesses, tendencies and predicaments, and all that can make him yield to temptations and fall, there is a reward.
When the Israelites ate manna in those days, the manna fell on the ground and was seen by all, but this particular manna the Lord will give us will be different. It will not be seen by all. In those days, whenever someone initially accused was acquitted, a white stone was given to him to confirm his innocence. When the Lord will come again, He promises to give us a white stone on which there will be a new name which no man will know, except the one who has it. This is because of the conquering and new nature which you have. You will be called to the side of the Lord because you are not among those who were corrupt or who corrupted others.
You have received Christ, you are going to receive the reward. You have received the message of holiness and righteousness, you are going to receive a reward. The Lord is telling us as He was telling the church at Pergamos that this is the time to re-examine ourselves, telling us what to correct, adjust, cleanse, repent and the need to renew our consecration unto God and this promise will be fulfilled in our lives. In the days to come, He will not leave or forsake us, and His strength, glory, power and might will be with, and for you forever.
The Lord has spoken to you and you have to take heed to what He has said. You have to take to heart all that He has spoken to you today.
- Tell the Lord to help you to make all necessary amends in all the areas He has revealed to you. Tell Him to help you stand till the end so that you will receive the reward.
- Pray that our Pastor will stand and nothing will shake his conviction in the Lord till the end. Amen and Amen.
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