To the church in Pergamum:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 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.
14 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. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 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.
This church was built in the town where there were many idol worshiping churches. The largest was the main temple of pagans, who violently opposed Christians, and even killed one of their members, Antipas. Because it was the main temple of this sect, God called it the throne of Satan.
This is a warning to Pastors: Keep an eye on who is teaching in your church and WHAT is being taught. The Bible speaks of wolves in sheep clothing. Just because someone calls themselves a Christian or claims to be a God-called teacher, doesn't make it so. False teachers will try to sneak into your congregation, just like they did then and steal or mislead the sheep. You MUST not only feed them but you must GUARD your sheep. Wolves in sheep's clothing always appear to be sheep. It takes the gifts of the Spirit to discern them sometimes.
I know of one church where the person teaching the children was teaching them how to fight demons. "Hold hands in a circle and take three steps backwards and three steps forward." WHAT??? That's about as pagan as you can get.
When the pastor was informed what was being taught, his reply, "I know but no one else will volunteer to teach them."
King Balak wanted Balaam to come put a curse on the Jews. God had blessed the Jews so of course he wouldn't tell Balaam it was all right to do it.
God basically repeatedly told Balaam, "NO". He was instructed not to go see Balak. But each time Balak's men would tell him to come with them, he would say he would go ask God. AGAIN.
7 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.
Finally he said God had told him to go. When you read this story, you'll find that Balaam got into all kinds of trouble for being disobedient to God, including almost getting him killed.
God is all knowing, and when He tells you "NO", it's wise to listen because He doesn't change his mind.
The scripture gives us another clue as to why Balaak got in big trouble. He didn't pray to God for his answer. He was going into a trance. In today's world we refer to that as "channeling".
The altars he kept having Balak set up were pagan altars not Godly altars and the sacrifices were not to God.
You cannot be a Christian and practice the occult. That is absolutely forbidden. Try it and you'll end up in big trouble just like Balaam. Any of the "gifts" given from an occult practice are satanic. I've been there, done it, and can personally attest that God's gifts are more powerful than satan's and absolutely DO NOT operate the same way. I can also attest that you will eventually get yourself into BIG trouble in the occult.
God's prophets NEVER go into a trance. NEVER. When you do that, you leave your mind blank for whatever spirit wants to take over. And that is never a Godly spirit.
24 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness.