LISTEN!!
to the SPIRIT







God's Holy Spirit is represented by a dove

REVELATION 7 Churchs

APOCALYPSE:Revelation Bible Teachings
SMYRNA:Church #2
THYATIRA :Church #4
SARDIS : Church #5
PHILADELPHIA:Church #6
LAODICEA :Church #7
Revelation TRUMPET Judgments:
BOWL JUDGMENTS:GOD's Wrath

SITE INDEX Pages

APOCALYPSE INDEX:The Revelation of Messiah
SITE INDEX:
BIBLE STUDIES:
Encouraging Writings:
ISRAEL in PROPHECY:

Global War, good links:
PRAYER ROOM:
ONLY SALVATION, SAFETY:



PERGAMOS / PERGAMUM
Revelation Church #3


    

REVELATION Chapter 2 Verses 12-17
John's Letter to The 7 CHURCHs in Asia

I know you live where Satan's throne is, yet you are true to
My Name.  You did not renounce your faith, but you are
SEXUALLY IMMORAL! STOP!  REPENT! - Revelation 2:12-17


True belief always involves
REPENTANCE

The MESSAGE to PERGAMOS / PERGAMUM
INTRODUCTION

Pergamos was a beautifully situated city with an air of royalty
about it. It sat on top of a huge mountain, rising steeply and 
majestically out of a beautiful valley. You could see the 
Mediterranean Sea some 15 miles away. Pergamos was one of the
cultural and religious centers of the world. The cities most
prominent feature was its acropolis, rising about 1,000 feet in
the midst of the city. Temple after temple had been built on it.
There was a temple to Asclepius, a serpent like god of healing.
It was famous for its college of medical priests. The most famous
pagan altar was built to Zeus. 

It was the largest and most famous altar in the world. Forty feet
high and 90 feet square. This church knew what it was to live in
a pagan society, as though Satan1s seat itself was there.
They knew what is was like to be persecuted. But they also knew
what it was to place their faith in Him with the 2 edged sword.
Pergamos was the first city to openly support imperial worship,
(Worship of the state and its leader). Rome1s conquest of the
world had brought about peace by which food and trade and
prosperity could more easily be secured.

Life became much easier and more comfortable for many.
Roman government capitalized on this unifying spirit and began
to center it in the Emperor Caesar himself. Gradually the
government erected temples, altars, and images in Caesar1s honor
and he became a god. Finally a law was issued requiring every
citizen throughout the empire to go to the temple once a year
and bow and say, OCaesar is Lord." to prove that a man had
performed this loyal act to Rome, a written certificate was
required to be in his possession. The church at Pergamos knew
what it was like to suffer martyrdom because they refused to 
deny Christ. 


4 Things Cause a Church to Become Worldly

church    

1. The church and its members begin to 
participate in worldly functions.

2. The church and its members allow worldly activities
to take place in the church and in the homes of fits members.

3. The church begins to baptize and accept people as members
who have not truly repented and turned from the world to Christ.

4. The church and its members allow false teaching & preaching.

Pergamos was a corrupted church, a worldly church.
Nothing corrupts a church quicker than worldliness.

Verses 12-13

Again this letter is written to the minister of the church.
If a church becomes worldly, the minister is responsible.
Christ has called the minister to lead believers, to a life of
self-denial and holiness, to deny the possessions and pleasures
of this world and live a pure and godly life, to lead believers
to focus on heaven and to live sacrificially, teach believers 
to give all they are and have to reach the lost and to meet the
desperate needs of the needy. 

If the minister is not leading his people to live spiritual 
lives, and allowing them to follow after the pleasures and 
possessions of the world, allowing the church to become 
corrupted with worldliness, the minister is responsible.

Christ describes Himself as the One who has the sharp 2 edged
sword in His mouth. The sword means the Word of God.
The Word of God is sharp, it will cut through the most worldly
and hardened heart. It will convict and convince the worldly of
their sins and cut, separating the sinner from his sin. It also
proclaims he law of God and the necessity of living a righteous
life or else facing judgment and destruction.

But it also proclaims the love and grace of God to those who
separate themselves from the world and follow the Lord Jesus
Christ. The sword also means the power and judgment of His Word.
The believers in Pergamos were being persecuted and some were
even being martyred for their faith. Some government officials
were misusing their power. They were slaying innocent people,
especially believers who refused to deny Christ. Christ holds
the power of life and death over all men. All he has to do is
speak the Word and snatch the life away from any person.
Therefore all people must heed this message. But this is also
a great promise to believers. Since the Word of Christ is all
powerful, Christ can look after and take care of us no matter
what confronts us.

At the same time maybe this church needed some separating, some
judgment. When Jesus was here on earth, he taught that belief 
in Him had the potential of eve separating families. The Bible
teaches that judgment must begin in the house of God. Despite
satanic opposition, the Christians continued to demonstrate
their faith by their works. 

Christ commended the church for 3 things.

1. The church was loyal to Christ1s name despite the environment.
They refused to make a false profession to a false god,
Caesar, the state religion.

2. The church was pure in doctrine. They believed Christ
and the Word of God, studied and taught it.

3. The church was standing fast in persecution. At least one
believer had been martyred. A man by the name of Antipas.
Tradition says he was placed in a brazen bull and slowly 
roasted to death. What a horrible death.

The early believers knew what it meant to become a follower of
Christ. It meant the commitment of all they were and had.

In a commentary on Revelation by William Barclay he says:

" In the early church to be a martyr and to be a witness were
one and the same. Witness meant so often martyrdom.

An early Christian knew quite well what he was doing, as soon
as he became a Christian he had made himself liable to death.
Here is a rebuke to us. There are so many who are prepared to
demonstrate their Christianity in Christian circles, but who
are equally prepared to play down their Christianity in circles
where Christianity is met with ridicule, with contempt,
with indifference or with opposition.


False Doctrine and Worldliness

church    

Verses 14 & 15
Now Christ says I have a few things against you.
PERGAMOS was guilty of false doctrine and of worldliness.
Jesus Christ had 2 charges against them.

They were guilty of the doctrine of Balaam.
What does this mean?

Corruption and worldliness are within the church itself.
A mixture of religion and worldliness. The doctrine of Balaam was
this. Balaam was a prophet. A Moabite King feared Israel.
To protect his kingdom he sought the services of Balaam.
Three times Balaam cursed Israel. But it did not work.
So he conceived a plan to corrupt them. Moabite girls would
seduce Israel1s men to intermarry and then lead them to worship
their idolatrous gods. It worked. Israel, though rooted in 
God, became unequally yoked with worldliness and was corrupted.

The church at Pergamos was allowing 3 things.

1. They had baptized some persons who had never repented and
forsaken the ways of the world.

2. They had allowed some of the worldly to teach in the church.

3. They had allowed a mixed membership of believers and 
unbelievers, some living separated lives of holiness,
and others living worldly lives seeking the pleasures
and possessions of this world.

So in the church they had those who were committing fornication,
all kinds of sexual sins, and participating in the drunken
parties of the world, and attending the feast of idolatrous
worshipers.

It may be that the Christians who were doing this were saying
that since the idols were nothing, believers could participate
in the heathen rites without harm. Maybe they thought,
"Since God1s grace abounds, we can go ahead and sin in this way
we will be automatically forgiven. But the Bible makes it clear
that believers are not to continue in sin that grace may abound.

THIS is GOING ON TODAY!!!

We see 2 groups of people here in these verses.
The Balaamites and the Nicolaitans. Both groups were like those
today who claim to be Christians yet do not condemn but rather
encourage many of the sins condemned by the Bible. As Christians
we are to walk, live, and conduct ourselves in the Holy Spirit.
We must not use our Christian liberty as an occasion for the
flesh. (Galatians 5:13)

Verse 16
He says Repent. The church and its believers needed to
repent and change their ways.

QUESTION:  What was the church to repent of?

1. They needed to repent of not dealing with those who were
worldly and lead them to repentance.

2. They needed to repent of the practice of accepting people
as members into the church just because they professed Christ.
There needed to be evidence of repentance.

3. They needed to repent of not disciplining those who refused
to repent and chose to continue in their worldly living.

4. They needed to repent of allowing the worldly to seduce,
deceive, and mislead other believers in the church, and to
stop conveying a sense of false hope and false security to
unbelievers by baptizing them when they made profession without
true repentance.

In that verse there is also a warning. Christ warns the church
that He will come quickly and make war against the worldly.
The Lord will not punish the faithful believers who are spiritual
minded, only those who refuse to repent of their worldliness.
How is he going to punish them, with the sword of His mouth, or
with the power of His Word.

His Word is strong enough to judge all the worldly, no matter
who they are or how ;many there may be. The church as a whole
is responsible for allowing worldly people to be baptized.
True belief always involves repentance a turning away from the
world to Christ, total denial of self.

Verse 17
Once again He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
is saying to the churches. In this verse there is a two-fold
promise.

1. The overcomer is given the right to eat the manna or bread
of heaven. This bread of heaven or hidden manna is Christ himself.
The overcomer is given the right to feed upon Christ. This bread
or manna is not physical but is spiritual. Yes God has promised
to provide the physical necessities but they only last for a short
time. But the bread God is speaking of here is spiritual. Eternal.
The overcomer is also given a white stone with a new name written
on it. 

The white stone signifies the forgiveness of sin.
It was an ancient custom to give a white stone to those acquitted
on trial. The believer is given the white stone as his ticket to
heaven. The stone must have his name on it in order to be
admitted. The church member who has an ear must hear this message.
Hearing and heeding is the only hope the believer has of ever
conquering the worldliness of this world.

The town of Pergamas still exists today. The name has been changed
to Bergma, and still exists as a town of mean-looking wooden
houses scattered here and there with the more splendid relics
of antiquity.
THIS IS THE JUDGMENT that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. GOD so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have Eternal LIFE. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-19