Deuteronomy 12: 28-32
Revelation 2: 12-17 “To the church at Pergamum write: “I know where you dwell, where ha-satan’s throne is, and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where ha-satan dwells.” This was the praise given to this church, by Jesus the Christ, that they did not fall apart when one of their members was martyred in their midst. “But I have a few things against you, because you have there among you some who hold the teaching of Balaam, (the prophet,) who taught Balak, (the Moabite king,) to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.” It appears from the story in Numbers 25, that Balaam, a prophet of Jehovah, who was asked by the King of Moab, to curse Israel and bless Moab, for a hefty reward, could not proclaim anything but what the LORD told him to say, even though Balaam’s desire was for the riches promised to him. So Balaam tried to entice the Sons of Israel to engage in the Moab worship centers, and festivals, the Banquet of Peor for one, which included eating sacrificial meat offered to idols, banned by God, and to engage with the temple Prostitutes, also prohibited. The goal being, if Israel did this violation, then God would be angry with Israel and therefore allow Balaam to curse Israel, and bless Moab, and then get paid handsomely for it. The book of Jude v.11 warns of this mindset, as does 2 Peter 2:15, which is an indication of the severity of Balaam’s actions. To lead others astray deliberately, or seeking money above all else, or using Christianity for your own personal gain, is the error of Balaam. According to Numbers 25 Balaam was so obsessed with reward, so intent on manipulating God’s people for his gain, he didn’t see the Angel sent to destroy him, and God had to make his donkey speak, in order to get his attention.
Deuteronomy 12: 28-32 A warning for Israel to be obedient to Jehovah, to listen to all the words commanded by Him. In other words to ‘put you ear under My mouth.’ After they conquer the land, they were to “Beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not enquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?” “You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their son’s and daughters in the fire for their god’s. Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do, you shall not add to it or take away from it.” By the time Jesus came upon the scene, years later, the Pharisees of Israel had added much to the commandments of Jehovah, Matthew 23:2, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses,” a statement meaning they had authorized themselves to add to the Word of God. Thus Jesus railed against their audacity, to think they knew better than Jehovah Himself. Christianity has done many similar acts over the years, ‘just improving’ the commands of Christ. ‘Establishing the traditions of man’, for the better worship of Christ. How noble of us!
Psalm 111 This is truth! “Praise Jehovah! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart.” 2. “Great are the works of Jehovah.” 3.”Splendid and majestic is His work,” 4. “He has made His wonders to be remembered;” 5 “He has given food to those that fear Him,” 6. “He has made known to His people the power of His works,” 7. “The works of His hands are truth and justice,” 8. “His precepts are upheld forever and ever,” 9. “He has sent redemption to His people,” 10. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, a good understanding have all those who do His Commandments.”
Friends, the love of this world is riches, and power over other men. Pergamum, is the only city where it is said in the Bible that ha-satan, (the adversary,) dwells. It was not said of Sodom and Gomorrah, or of Nineveh, or any other location. Yet the church of Jesus Christ was able to survive there, though not without some problems. The culture of this world always influences the behavior of Believers. We always seem to fall prey to our societies norms. We dress like the world, often behave like the world, like what the world likes, we in essence fit in, which on the surface is not awful, but we need to be careful that we do not lose our first love, which is Jesus Christ. When acting like a Christian, (the flesh,) becomes more important than being a Christian, (the Spirit,) we have gone awry. When we care more about what people think about us, than what we think about them we have gone astray. Jesus taught that we should love, not look to be loved. Jesus taught that we should give, not take. Jesus taught that we should center our attention on others, not be the center of attention.
Paul stated in his letter to the Romans, “that all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Yet in 2 Corinthians 3:18 he states as believers, “But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror, the Glory of the Lord are being transformed into that same image from Glory to Glory.” The very Glory that we fell short of, is now ours as we are being metamorphosed into it. So why on earth would we care about the riches of this earth, when compared with the Glory of Jehovah?