To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.
Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. Revelation 2:12-17
The church in Pergamum was a witness church. They shined in the midst of darkness, but the darkness was creeping in. The profit minded and compromising were following the example of Balaam. On the other side, perhaps in response, were those who would exercise undue authority over others in the church. Abusive or domination over the laity. While the teaching of the Nicolaitans in not altogether uncertain, it could refer to the creation of extra-Biblical positional leadership being established (heirarchy) resulting in love diminishing, while pride and corruption grew. The advice from the angel is ‘repent’. The warning is that Jesus will come and fight with them. The great promise is victory, God’s supernatural provision, and forgiveness and intimacy restored with God.
Am I introducing any of the teachings of Balaam or the Nicolaitans by way of my doctrine or practice into the church? Oh, I hope not.
Jesus, I never want to be found fighting with You or You with me. Guard my teaching and practice so that Your church shines in darkness.