When addressing the sinful issues of some of the saints in Pergamum it is important to note that Jesus said He has a “few” issues, as in three! Religion would like you to think and feel that God is so upset with you because of your mistakes, sins, and failures and that you are so dirty or sinful that He can’t stand the sight of you! Nothing could be further from the truth!
The truth is that sin does NOT separate you from God, as in God withdrawing Himself from you. The truth is that your consciousness of sin causes you to separate yourself from the love and forgiveness of God which is yours because of the cross. The more you focus on your sin the worse you begin to feel and the less you want to go and pray. This is nothing more than the monstrous work of condemning religious sermons inspired by the accuser.
Jesus has three issues that He wants to deal with in Pergamum and they are idolatry, sexual immorality, and accusation (the teachings of accusation and blame, which we dealt with in the letter to Ephesus). He does give names to these issues but none of them are people but rather the demonic philosophies of religion, politics, sex, and money.
And the reason Jesus has issues with these teachings is because they are destructive to YOU and your world, especially your inner world, your secret place, your heart. Satan cannot destroy you unless you take on his thoughts and his ways. The only way that you are ever going to become and overcomer in this life is when you willingly choose to take your thoughts and ways up into the kingdom of heaven and begin thinking from up there and not from down here. What happens with you and to you in your own inner sanctuary – your mind and heart – is at stake here, not punishment for an outward sin.
When Jesus talks about idolatry and eating things sacrificed to idols, He is not looking at what happened outwardly but on what happened inwardly. He looks at inner conversations because this is where the teachings or belief systems are. When Jesus said to His disciples to “eat My flesh and drink My blood” He was not referring to the present physical body He was walking in but His teachings! He explained to them that HIS WORDS were the bread and the blood they were to eat and drink of for HIS WORDS are real food and real drink. You “eat” words as you think about and process them in your own heart and mind.
When Jesus raises the issue of idolatry and eating food sacrificed to idols, He is referring to thinking about and accepting as truth the philosophies and doctrines of men that have yielded their thoughts and ways to Satan. This is serious stuff.
Idolatry in God’s eyes takes place when you turn your eyes away from His face and His words to look at another and accept their words, i.e. the world and its systems.
When you take your eyes of Jesus and forsake His words you put yourself in the position of being an idolater. Now you are playing in Satan’s back yard and he does not like you. Not only so, you open the door to your heart (your inner thought life) and invite him in for supper. Before long, you will find yourself agreeing with the teachings and philosophies of the world and over time will find the Word of God closed to you. This is not because God has distanced Himself from you but because Satan has captivated your mind.
However, Jesus will not give up on you because you belong to Him. He will continue to chase after your thoughts with His words (His sword) until they have pierced deep into your thoughts and like a knife separate you from the lies of the enemy that have entrenched themselves within you. And remember, His sword is called, “forgiveness through His blood.” His teaching on forgiveness through His blood is the most powerful weapon in the universe. Yes, there may be some pain and tearing and gnashing of teeth as the teachings of the enemy come down and he is cast out, but the love, freedom and blessing that comes as a result of accepting Christ’s thoughts and ways are beyond amazing!
Anything that causes your mind to drift away from where Jesus is seated in the heavenly realms and where you are seated with Him in eternity is nothing more than a demonic spirit enticing you with a false doctrine. Decide to stand with the truth in Jesus no matter what. This will take time and effort, but it will be worth more than this world could tell. Eternity will declare your victory forever.
It is time to repent and to turn away from mental idolatry to the worship of our One True God, Jesus Christ.
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