“To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword:
“I know where you are living, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you are holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in me even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan lives. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel, so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and practice fornication. So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:12-17)
God’s word is a sword that cuts both ways. When Jesus had John wrote to the Christians in Pergamum, it seemed as if Satan had taken up residence there, because of the persecution and the fact that the Roman governor regularly held court there. It was also the oldest and most prominent center for Emperor worship in the area. Worst of all, sin had crept into the church.
The Nicolaitans are mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. They may have been Gnostics who taught that the material and spiritual realms were entirely separate. They believed they could indulge their flesh with no spiritual repercussions.
Hidden manna referred to the manna in the Ark of the Covenant. According to legend, after the Babylonians destroyed the prophet Jeremiah had hidden the manna in a cave on Mount Nebo, where it was to remain until the time of the Messiah, when God would once again feed his people with it.
What was the white stone? It might be an invitation to attend the Messianic banquet. The new name on it might then be the name of Christ, the name of God, or most likely, the name of the invited person, enabling him to take part in the Messianic banquet. God can bring judgment, but he can also bring healing. The choice is ours.