Revelation: Pergamum; Food, Sex, and the gods…

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Revelation 2:14  But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 

The Bible introduces us to Balaam and Balak in the book of Numbers chapters 22-25. The meanings of their names are not pleasant. Balak means “devastator”. And Balaam means “not of the people” or “devourer”.

The general overview of how these two got together is noted in Numbers 23:7 And Balaam took up his discourse and said, “From Aram Balak has brought me, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains: ‘Come, curse Jacob for me, and come, denounce Israel!’

Balaam was from Aram or modern day Syria. He was a prophet. Balak was the King of Moab or modern day Jordan. Moab was the area east of the Dead Sea south of modern day Ammon, Jordan. Balak needed a curse on nation Israel. And Balak called on Balaam to do the job.

Granted, Balaam never cursed Israel as Balak begged repeatedly. But it was Balaam and Balak who introduced practices that were in direct disobedience to God’s Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law. They are summarized in Numbers 25:1-3.

Numbers 25:1 While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.

The Israeli men began to לזנות/zanah in the Hebrew. Translated and defined as: commit fornication or adultery; to be a cult prostitute; figuratively, to be unfaithful to God. The women were from Moab under King Balak.

Numbers 25:2 For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

Food sacrifices to gods are noted throughout time. Give thanks for the food…to our god. Balaam and Balak were a part of this practice. The church at Corinth had issues with this practice as did the church at Pergamum. Today, animal sacrifices and gifting the meat are part of the Muslim holiday Eid.

Numbers 25:3 So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the LORD was angry against Israel.

Balaam would go on to encourage another religion, Baal worship. He is the son of Peor. Numbers 22:5 So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor…

Israel הנצמדים/tsamad with the worship of Baal. They fastened or yoked with a false god.

Israelis were led to a false god by sexual enticement and a full belly. Israel had become unequally yoked to a false god.

The church at Pergamum was having the same problems as ancient Israel. The church was falling into the same trap set by a prophet and a king from the book of Numbers. Balaam and Balak’s influence had been baked into Jewish culture for over 1,600 years. History was repeating itself. Jesus is making an observation relative to history. A point was being made to the local body at Pergamum.

God’s attitude toward this behavior has not changed…and the LORD was angry against Israel.

 

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Paul Lehr

About Paul Lehr

Paul Lehr is a Speech Pathologist and home health provider. The majority of his work focuses on swallowing disorders in neurologically impaired patients. He has been a business owner for the past 18 years. Paul earned his BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Oklahoma State University. His MA was completed in Speech Pathology at Oklahoma State University. When Paul’s son was born prematurely in 2003, there was lots of support from family and friends. Keeping up with phone calls was too much. So he provided e-mails with updates on health and well-being. In time, his son was healthy and came home. The e-mails stopped but Paul was encouraged to keep writing. Three years later, Paul was asked to assist in writing a Sunday school curriculum. The lessons were well received by the local body and on the church website. Again, he was encouraged to keep writing. Next, Paul taught a Sunday School class for junior high and high school students. He would share notes with others from the class he was teaching. In 2010, a young man at a local church encouraged Paul to start a blog. The website focuses on topical studies such as creation, God’s Appointed Holidays and Feasts, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, end times prophecy, ancient Hebrew cultural customs, the Prophet Isaiah, and various topical studies. Three years later, Paul’s 10 year old son told me, “Dad, you need to do updates on how the news is tied to the Bible.” The “Trend Update” was born. Since then, traffic on the website doubled in each of the next two years. Exposure continues to grow and increase from the previous year as of 2016. In the spring of 2016, a friend and fellow Boy Scout father encouraged Paul to start a YouTube channel. His friend thought it was a natural fit considering the content and subscribers from the website. The videos and written posts have been well received. Between the blog and YouTube channel, God’s prophetic words have reached over 190 countries. Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Friends and family help and support the blog and YouTube channel with content ideas. There is too much happening in relation to Bible prophecy for one person to follow and command the events of our day. That same Boy Scout father would later introduce Paul to the movies of Trey Smith and the God in a Nutshell Project… Guest speak and presenter duties have focused on the topics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in God’s Appointed Spring Feasts, Mystery Babylon, the antichrist, Ezekiel 38-39, and current events related to Bible prophecy. At this time, Paul would like to encourage each individual to learn about who God is. Because one way or another, we are all eternal. The issue is our destiny. Welcome to PaulthePoke and www.paulthepoke.com
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