bible study devotion

Devotion: the corrupted church

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

Photo by Aleksandra Zadiraka on

Today, you can the archaelogical ruins of the church of Pergamon in western Turkey as a tourist. You can see the seat of satan in the ruins of the church of Pergamon. If you visit the Berlin, be sure to visit the Pergamon museum. This museum showcased many archaelogical finds from the church of Pergamon which flew all the way from Turkey in the 1900s I was fortunate to visit this museum 30 years ago. 

Revelation 2:12-17

12 “To the angel of the assembly in Pergamum write: “He who has the sharp two-edged sword says these things: 13 “I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. You hold firmly to my name and didn’t deny my faith in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise. 16 Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it

Revelation 2:12-17



The destination of the third letter was to the church of Pergamon. Ancient Pergamon was a rich and powerful Greek city in Mysia, Asia Minor, which is in modern-day Turkey. Pergamon was a demonic stronghold, home to the seat of Satan’s throne. 

Jesus’ Title

Jesus called Himself, “He who has the sharp two-edged sword”. The two-edged sword is the word of God and sword of the Spirit. Hebrews 4:12.


Christ commended them for their loyalty and faithfulness. They they did not deny His name, in the face of persecution, when one of their members, Antipas was martyred. 


Christ censured them because some of them followed the doctrine of Balaam and Nicholas. The doctrine of Balaam is embracing pagan worship and committing sexual immorality. The doctrine of Nicolas is Gnosticism. Nicolas was a first-century Christian of Acts 6:5, who had apostasized and promoted Gnosticism. 


If they do not repent, Christ will wage war against them with the two edged sword of His mouth. 

A promise of reward

To those who overcome, hear, and obey His word, He will give them the hidden manna, and a white stone with a new secret name written on it. 

The hidden manna is Jesus Christ, who is also called, the living manna, the bread of life, the bread of God, and the bread from heaven. He is the food that sustained our spiritual health. 

The white stone is a symbol of Christ’s righteousness imputed to believers. Christ will give believer a white stone with a new secret name that only the recipient knows. 

For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

These words pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch

Acts 6:5


Do not compromise your faith by partipating in pagan worship and sexual imorality.

Do not follow the teachings of false teachers and cult. Beware of the prosperity doctrine and the word of faith movement. There are plenty of false teachers today peddling false doctrines and leading believers astray. It is a good practice to check the credentials of any preachers before listening to them and countercheck what they say with the Bible.


Heavenly Father, thank You for this timely message to remind us that there are false teachers in our society today. We pray for biblical education and literacy ad a tool to discern false doctrines. Help us to know the truth and be set free from deception, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Photo by Aleksandra Zadiraka on