“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write;
These things said he which has the sharp double-edged sword.” Rev. 2.12
Ruins of the temple of Trajan at Pergamos. Roman citizens had to offer incense to the emperor once each year, for which they were given a certificate showing they had complied with their civic duty. This temple was one place where this could be accomplished (photo by Joel Meeker).
We have now before us this letter, dictated by Christ and written by the apostle John, to the Church of Pergamos. As in previous chapters of this series, let us examine ourselves in the light of the words spoken. May we become sensitive, discerning, being subject to these words, for they have not just been written to this ancient first century church. The words are timeless. Down through the centuries they have stood to bring churches, and the believers thereof, into correction for their lives, and to lift them up with great expectation…this thing we call hope for that yet to come.
We have become accustomed to the nature of words spoken by those of the secular world about us: sweet-talk, empty promises, half-hearted half-truths, words to evoke feelings but without substance or reality. Not so with Christ Jesus. Jesus said to Pilate that the very cause for which He came into the world was to “bear witness to the truth.” To which Pilate, being well versed in so-called truths of this world, replied, “What is truth?” (Jn. 18.37-38) Pilate was used to truth as being something variable, situational, an intangible yet to really be discovered. His only basis of truth was in the law of Rome.
But the words of Christ were then, and continue to be now, spoken by “the One and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jn. 1.14 This is absolute truth, reality, sincerity, straightforward divine truth revealed to man. And now, He stands before us, as He did before the Church of Pergamos, speaking as the One who “has the sharp double-edged sword” of His mouth. (See Rev. 1.16)
The sharp sword, with two edges pictured as coming out of His mouth, is words of divine truth and reality. This image runs through both Old and New Testaments. Two-edges: penetrating words both of blessing and condemnation. On the one side it can wound and pierce the disobedient, the unbelieving, and bring them to the throne of divine mercy for forgiveness and pardon. On the other side, it is an edge to cut off the unrepentant, the defiant, the stiff-necked, especially those persecuting enemies of His Church. To some it will convict and convert to blessings and everlasting life, to others it will convict and condemn to punishment and everlasting death. (See Mt. 25.31-46 for the last judgement)
Why is this mentioned by Christ? Because He threatens to use it! (Rev. 2.16) He will wage war, not with the ungodly elements of the world, but with perverse elements within the Church itself. The Church is precious to Christ. It is to become His eternal bride. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Eph. 5.25-27) He will unveil the shame of their immorality, expose perverse doctrines, and expose and set aside self-proclaimed ministries that look only to make a name and reputation for themselves and neglect the weightier things of Christ. In the end, in God’s timing, Christ Jesus will have His Church presented to Himself, as a pure (chaste) virgin for His wife. (2 Cor. 11.2)
“I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan’s seat is: and you hold fast My name, and have not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr,
who was slain among you, where Satan dwells.” Rev. 2.13
Like the Church of Smyrna (See Ch. 3 of this series), the Church of Pergamos is under heavy assault by Satan, the “adversary” of Christ. He has rallied all his forces against this Church, born of God, struggling to survive in such a hostile environment. Rome, the governmental power and authority, along with perverse religious systems and the secular godless society in which they live, are in collusion with this evil one. They are set in place to oppose the church. Can any church survive in such an antagonistic setting? It certainly may, but only by holding firmly to His name, and not denying His faith.
The following paragraphs attempt to clarify an important concept often difficult to understand at first, for which comprehension is critical for the Christian’s growth and spiritual maturity.
Christ’s words, “I know your works,” immediately precedes His commendations of “holding firmly to His name” and of “not denying His faith.” The spiritual, intangible works being evaluated here are entirely dependent upon, and resultant of, the latter, i.e., His name and His faith. They are not the works born of the self-efforts of man. His name and His faith are the two great witnesses that cause the birthing forth of the righteous works of the saints. His name and His faith are His, not man’s, but working in man “to do and to will of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2.13) They are not innate or natural to man, but must be received into his heart. For these works to be righteous, they must indeed originate from God Himself and be imparted into man by His grace. Once one departs from this principle, his works originate from himself, his own good intentions and good will. They are not inappropriate works, but indeed fall short of God’s righteousness and are under an altogether separate category and judgment.
His Name.Christ’s name, which is held fast by believers, is not in the profession of doctrine delivered by Christ, or by mere confession or declaration of His name. This only enforces the incorrect notion that Christ is separate from the believer, someone to be admired from afar, perhaps as He being in Heaven and the believer being on earth. It is further thought by using His name in this manner some kind of spiritual contract, or covenant, is made regarding one’s salvation. No, His name is far more than His personal subjective title. It is more than that name appropriated in confession, prayer, declaration of entitlements, and borrowed as a personal title as “Christian.”
His name also has an objective nature to it, in that others may have a share in it, such as “Christ in me.” It is transcendent—beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience. What a miracle of God that is…“Christ in me!” His name is spiritually dynamic and powerful. One is spiritually energized by that name. The dynamics of God’s spiritual environment, the Kingdom of Heaven, come alive in the believer. Consider this passage alone:
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Jn. 1.12-13
When one weighs upon the spiritual dynamics of this verse alone–this spiritual birth in Christ of a new generation of God through regeneration by His name–he is overwhelmed by the wonder and magnitude of it all.
And this, this new birth of the seed of Christ, is but only the beginning, the start of a new life in the Spirit. The dynamics of His name continue even as with apostles Peter and John, when Peter explained the miracle of a lame man as, “And His name through faith in His name has made this man strong, whom you see and know: yes, the faith which is by Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” Acts 3.16 Those same two witnesses, His name and His faith, dynamically are at work in the lives of believers.
But that which is personal is the greatest miracle of all… “that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Eph. 3.19-20 It all begins with man needing a savior, but continues in the life of the saved in need of a lord, “to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place *call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and our’s.” 1 Cor. 1.2 (*this word, “call” or “calling,” in the Greek is present participle which expresses repeated or continuous action.)
Jesus Christ, that Name above all names, that mystical, transcendent, supernatural Name, must find its work in the believer. It is that power that works in us… “Why God also has highly exalted him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Phil. 2.9-13 Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is not religion, this is life! Religion is not living, it is static and routine. Life is dynamic, bringing daily change, newness and growth–spiritual substance.
Works. This section began with Christ’s statement, “I know your works.” These are the works that emanate not from the deeds of the outward man, but from the conversion and persuasion of the inward man of the heart. These are the works born out of “holding fast My name,” and “not denying My faith.” These are not necessarily tangible works involving numbers, materials, and perspiration, but intangible works involving character and spiritual ministry–involvement in His Kingdom. They are of gold, silver, and precious gems. They are imperishable and carry over into eternity… “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from now on: Yes, said the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Rev. 14.13
“But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of
Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication. So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” Rev. 2.14-16
Doctrine. Immediately, focus is drawn towards the veracity of church doctrine. “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings (doctrine) about Christ and be taken forward to maturity…” Heb. 6.1 Any effort by any church to move towards “maturity” involves building upon “foundational principles” of the gospel. The foundational principles regarding the simplicity, centrality, supremacy, and preeminence of Christ must remain uncompromised and intact. Any deviation from this must be met with immediate challenge and rebuke or by departure. There is no other name, no other way, no other truth, no other savior, no other God save Jesus Christ. In Christ alone may one enter salvation and eternal life. “I (Christ) am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bear much fruit; for without Me you can do *nothing.” Jn. 15.5
(*In the Greek this word, “nothing,” is a very powerful negating word. It leaves no exceptions. It categorically excludes, declaring as a fact that no valid example exists of anything to the contrary. The “doing” of the natural unsaved man is absent of this “fruit.” Jesus was capable of many “good works,” but did nothing of Himself, and only did what He saw the Father do and said what He heard the Father say. (Jn. 5.19, 30; 7.16; 12.49; 14.10)
Fundamental Doctrine. The doctrine of many churches fails to go beyond the first foundational principles of Christ. Although they may be commended for holding fast the basic truth of the Gospel and the saving grace in Christ, they give false illusions as to the ultimate divine purposes of God and the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. They often become religious in nature. Their people become rich in the knowledge of Christ as their Savior, but remain poor in spiritual maturity and the practical application of that life in knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord. Their lives are often geared to a mythical belief of an end-time heaven and hell with little understanding of the present workings of the Kingdom of God. Without such understanding, they are without spiritual strength, purpose, and direction. However, extreme caution must be observed in moving beyond this foundation. The integrity of the scriptures must be maintained at all times, passages are not to be taken out of context, and each and every word is to receive its proper meaning and importance. All too often, these principles have been violated, thus bringing forth confusion and too often false doctrine. Above all, the revealed truth (prophecy) of scripture cannot come from one’s own biased interpretation; for through time the unveiling of divine truth came not by the will of man, but as holy men of God were swayed by the Holy Spirit. (Paraphrased from 1 Pet.1.20-21)
Perverse Doctrine.Some scholars propose there were two immoral sects prevailing at Pergamos, those who held the doctrine of Balaam and those who held that of the Nicolaitans. Other scholars reason that the interpretation is that the Speaker means to say that the Nicolaitans taught the same thing which Balaam did–to wit, that they led the people into corrupt, *licentious, and idolatrous practices. (*Promiscuous, immoral) Even as it was then, so it also is today, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jud. 1.14
The crucial issue here is not whether there are two different sects teaching two sets of erroneous doctrine, or if both have the same flawed teaching. The important matter is that the church has tolerated them! They had remained in communion with morally and spiritually corrupt and/or misguided persons who maintained perverse practices while at the same time professing the name “Jesus Christ.” By tolerating “those among you who hold [holdfast to] those doctrines” they became complicit with them, sharing in their debauchery and testimony. Regarding the Nicolaitans, the important difference between the churches of Ephesus and Pergamos is that the former hated the Nicolaitans and cast them out, whereas now Christ *hates them (Rev. 2.6), namely, in the Church of Pergamos.
(*Hate is such a strong word and some may lessen its force by saying it may be interpreted, to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, and this is a legitimate translation. However, even here, its basic meaning is to renounce one choice in favor of another. Corrupting doctrine must be first renounced, and then denounced!)
The apostle Paul tirelessly labored to present those of the church of Corinth as a chaste virgin to Christ, as a bride fit for her Bridegroom. His greatest fear was expressed… “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with (tolerate) him.” (2 Cor. 11.1-4) Tolerating leads to compromise and to making concessions, thereby surrendering portions of truth to satisfy both sides. Even if one may say, “I am not of that belief or lifestyle,” by tolerating corrupt doctrine and those who propose it, the entire church becomes corrupted. Its spirit is as leaven. It quickly spreads into the youth, the new in the faith, and into those spiritually gullible, who lack proper discernment.
You see, by its very nature, “doctrine” must go beyond mental acquiescence. There is a matter of the mind, and there is the matter of the heart(“I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” Heb. 8.10)Knowledge alone falls short of the Godly intent of doctrine. Children may fully know proper behavior by the teachings of their parents, but unless it is written upon their hearts, obedience only comes out of fear of recompense or by reward–it is not of life and love. The teaching, or doctrine, must become innate–inborn–essential to one’s being.
Two Areas of Concern. Firstly, even the most fundamental truth of the Gospel may become corrupt through fraudulent teachers, evangelists, and pastors. These include individuals who error in their hearts, being swayed by their own convictions of morality and personal sense of right and wrong, i.e., governed by their liberal feelings and not by the truth of the Word. Often, their own self-desire to teach overshadows any calling and setting into the Church by Christ. As such, whatever natural abilities they have takes precedence over spiritual anointing. The fact must be remembered that some may be very charismatic, intellectual, clever, and persuasive, but be self-motivated and independent of the Holy Spirit. Their doctrine may seem logical and convincing but it is not of divine truth.
One such doctrine is the idea that the atonement has only made sin less fatal, that even sin indulged and persisted in, will not work death or estrangement from God. These thoughts are founded in the misunderstanding of the work of the blood of the Lamb. Question: “Is the atoning blood only to cover sins in a legal manner, making them less visible to God, or does this blood also have a dynamic working of deliverance of the believer from sin?” Faith in the atoning blood of Christ works both: it immediately cleanses and sanctifies the believer legally before God the Father, and it continues to do the work of sanctification in the believer as well. (Compare Heb. 10.10, “have been sanctified,” with 10:14, “are being sanctified.”) The continued engagement in any kind of fornication, deceitfulness, or iniquity of any sort, is a denial of truth and is not of faith. As a healthy body is absent of sniffles, upset stomach, nausea, and the like, a healthy soul is spiritually absent of fornication, deception, dishonesty, and other offensive spiritually immoral behavior.
Once a crack has formed in the foundational principles of Christ, spiritual idolatry is soon to follow. The Father may be said to be the father of everyone, and the Son becomes “a” way to eternal life, not “the” way. And a church in such a weakened state may even come to embrace the idea that ultimately everyone will be saved, perhaps even Satan, for as they say, “God is love and He could not condemn anyone to eternal damnation.” I have seen churches that, in the name of love, embrace, condone, or overlook homosexuality, adultery, pedophiles, alcoholism, deceitfulness, addictions, immodest dress, and all kinds of worldly lifestyles and programs. Some even have encouraged divorce from a mate, or estrangement from family members, who are not in agreement with that church. Cults add an additional degree of exclusion and control over individuals’ lives. Instead of the church becoming a holy “habitation of God through the Spirit,” (Eph. 2.22) it has become a seedbed for iniquity void of the dynamic presence of God in the Holy Spirit. The true church is founded upon the singularity, centrality, and supremacy of Christ and sanctification by the Holy Spirit. It is to become a seedbed for holiness and for the preparation of a people of God designed for God’s own eternal purposes for both Himself and His Son.
The second area of doctrinal concern is the proper functioning of the Church. Some scholars have put much emphasis on the definition of the word, Nicolaitans, Gk. Nikolates: Nikos, “a conquest or victory,” and laos, “the people.” Thus meaning the hierarchy of priests, pastors, bishops, ministers, popes, evangelists, prophets, and whatever other titles they may hold, have gained authority overthe “people.” This divides the Church into two parts, the religious clergy, those called to serve God and man, and the laity,those somewhat less religious, who make up the congregation. These laity support, follow after, and are obedient to the clergy. Jesus Christ hates this Nicolaitan-type system! He never intended His Church, the Body of Christ, to be divided as such. Rather, His church was purposed to be a single body of functioning members under one Head, which is Christ. Members vary in function and spiritual authority, yet are equal in value as every member supplies the rest of the body, the Church. (Eph. 1.22-23) Even as a car may become inoperable because of the breaking of a minute wire or the clogging of a simple valve, the failure of every member to properly function causes the Body, as a whole, to function in a diminishing capacity.
Christ hates the “Nicolaitan-type” practice and those that enforce it are, or soon will be, at His judgment. It is sad to say that most of the Church today is tainted by some degree and measure by toleration of the Nicolaitan-type practice, i.e., a church divided into priestly/minister clergy and congregational laity. It is a system that stifles spiritual growth and the fulfilling of God’s holy calling and purposes for His Church. Whether this is really the proper interpretation of Christ’s rebuke upon the church of Pergamos, or whether there was another cause for His hatred for the Nicolaitans, the name meaning in the Greek and the church practice cannot be denied. Ideally, the decision to denounce and renounce, to condemn and reject, this Nicolaitan-type practice should be a corporate one involving the whole of a church. However, if the whole church fails to repent, then the decision is laid at the feet of the individual believer. Separation from such a system must happen. “Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Rev. 2.16
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it.” Rev. 2.17
Hidden Manna. The Israelites wondered through the parched wilderness daily eating of the manna that “rained down from heaven” overnight. They would gather an amount necessary to sustain life for that day. (Ex. 16.4-5) This manna was of substance, meaning it was obvious to the senses; it could be seen, felt, and tasted. The manna looked like coriander seed and tasted like a flour cake with honey. It was of the natural realm. Manna could sustain natural life but had no effect on the spiritual life. A little over 1,400 years later, in the city of Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the disciples gathered closely around Jesus. He said to them, “I am the bread of life.” Though Moses gave the Israelites manna from heaven, the Father is giving His Son as the true bread from heaven, for eternal life. (Jn. 6.32-33, 40) Jesus went on to say that this bread was His body and His blood, and all that eat will live forever. This bread is not natural as manna, it is spiritual. It cannot be seen, felt, or tasted with natural senses. It is spiritual and it is of faith. To feed on this Bread of Life brings forth eternal life and the resurrection from the dead.
Thus two miraculous truths are presented here. The first is of the natural, but the latter is of the spiritual. The first sustains the body for this life. The latter sustains the soul unto eternal life. The first is tangible, capable of being seen and touched. The latter is invisible, being known by faith…as the evidence (or proof) of things not seen. (Heb. 11.1) As with manna, man is most familiar and comfortable with the natural, for it is concrete evidence. However, the Bread of Life is spiritual and is unfamiliar and mystical. Nevertheless, herein lies the promise of eternal life, to be received by faith alone.
Spirit, Life, and Faith. When the disciples heard this–that they must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood–many could not receive it. It was and still is a difficult teaching. It is so difficult to those who have lived their lives trusting in tangible things, to understand the required role of faith and spirit. It is then written, “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” Jn.6.60 Jesus explained why they could not continue in His doctrine. “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you–they are full of the Spirit and life.Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” Jn. 6.63-64 Man has a spirit. The senses of that spirit require faith as in “the evidence of things not seen.” Such faith brings forth newness of life.
The Hidden Manna. Thus, there is the physical manna that feeds the flesh, it is of the natural, and as such it can easily be observed and appropriated. And then, there is the “hidden manna” that is promised by Christ to those who overcome, who are victorious in faithfully pursuing Him. To faithfully pursue really means to be in a state of repentance, leaving those things which are behind, and moving on to those spiritual things which are before. Phil. 3.13-14
With the foundation laid, we may now draw a corollary from the above. The Bible, like the manna in the wilderness, is tangible. It can be seen (read), heard, and touched. It may be taught, memorized, and quoted. It may be taken literally or allegorically. We know that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3.16 Like the Torah, the Book of the Law of the Old Testament, the words of the Gospel may be compiled into a religion. The same instructions given in the Torah may also be applied to the words of the Gospel. “And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the posts of your house, and on your gates.” Deut. 6. 7-9 However, the words of the Gospel would then become equal to the Torah. It would become a religious form to be taught, practiced, with its rites and rituals to be observed and performed.
To the contrary, Jesus here is promising something more than religion. It is to feed the soul upon the spiritual word (Gk. logos) and not just the outward word (Gk. rhema). It is a promise to reveal the deeper truths of the Gospel in such a way that they become experiential, a part of life itself–truth becomes experience. Jesus is the “Word (Gk. logos) of Life” as well as the “Bread of Life.” The Gospel of Christ becomes spiritually tangible: to be seen, touched, and fed upon by the inward spirit of man. This hidden manna sustains life, as in the experiential and practical knowing the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. (Jn. 17.3) In this life is light (Jn. 1.4-5) and therefore it consumes the shadows of religion.
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.’” Jn. 6.53
Jesus challenged His disciples. He told them that the manna their fathers ate in the wilderness temporarily sustained their physical lives. But, now they were all stone-cold dead. This wilderness manna was a temporary measure for prolonging the life of the flesh. But then Jesus told them that he who eats of this hidden manna shall live forever. (Jn. 6,58)
Thus, to feed upon the hidden manna is to be in communion with the “unveiling” of the true word (logos) of the Gospel. It is the uncovering of the deeper truths that are now made real. As a religion, superficial and nominal Christianity is consumed as life springs forth from unveiling truth…the Bible comes alive as the living word (1 Pet. 1.23), as God-breathed scriptures. (2 Tim. 3.16) The living word becomes the word living in you. (Jn. 5.38) This, my brethren, is feeding upon the hidden manna.
When Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can someone be born again when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born,” (Jn. 3.4) he had yet to eat of the hidden manna of true regeneration. When Apollos, a man with thorough knowledge of scriptures and the way to the Lord, taught on baptism, he only knew of the outward baptism of water unto repentance. (Acts 18.24-26) He had yet to eat of the hidden manna of a baptism into Christ, into His death and resurrection of new life. (Rm. 6.3-4) If one only knows that Jewish circumcision is of the flesh, he has not eaten of the hidden manna–that the true Jew is one circumcised inwardly of the heart, in spirit. (Rm. 8.29) When a believer today thinks his great reward as a Christian is to someday inherit, for eternity, a blissful place called heaven, he has yet to eat of the hidden manna of the Kingdom of God: the eternal relationship with the Father as sons and daughters, as a living temple of the Holy Spirit, and as the bride of the Son who will sit and reign with Him on His throne.
Beloved of Christ, a dear friend recently commented on my writing of “a crossing over” as if it was a threshold into the Kingdom of God. And it is, you know, as one stepping across a threshold, passing from one life consumed by the natural, and then entering a new realm called “the Kingdom.” Herein lies the hidden manna–unveiled revelation of a spiritual world involving special relationships with the living God: the Father, the Son, and in the Holy Spirit; of a place called the Kingdom of His dear Son; and of a promised resurrection of the whole person, spirit, soul, and body.
May we conclude with the prayer of Paul for those of the Church of Ephesus, but may this prayer be also on behalf of all who read it today.
“I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which He worked in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.” Eph. 1.16-23