Revelation 2:12-17 | Pergamos
Revelation’s Devine Outline: Rev. 1:19.
In Chapter 2 and 3 we find 7 letters —Directed and dictated by Jesus to the 7 churches in Asia.
Each letter follows the same pattern:
1) Introduction: (Jesus description, Ch 1:12-17)
4) Prescriptions: (Improve or fix)
The 7 churches give us —The chronological flow of church history, —from the apostles to the present.
- 1) Ephesus, = The apostolic church (age of the apostles),
- 2) Smyrna, = The Persecuted Church (Starting with Nero 63 AD to Diocletian 310 AD = 10 waves of persecution)
- 3) Pergamos, =The Compromised Church(300 AD Satan joined the Churched under Constantine = The religion of the Empire), |
- 4) Thyatira, = Catholic Church —Work based (Birth of the Catholic church: Papasy, Justification by works, Celibacy, Confession, Mariolatry, Purgatory, Penance, indulgences, etc.. (300s-1500s) |
- 5) Sardis, = The dead Church: (Name but not alive) |
- 6) Philadelphia, = The Favored Church (The Church of brotherly Love- Open door set before them We need to be) |
- 7) Laodicea. =The LukeWarm Church: (Seeker friendly, neither hot nor cold. Doesn’t stand for truth. >>> [The Last 4 are still around today])
The Church of Pergamos: —The Greek prefix “Per,” =“Pervercion, Perverted, and Pervert” delution, unpure! —The suffix “gamos,” is used in words like “monogamy” or “bigamy,” means “marriage.” —Pergamos, means “polluted, not pure >> or mixed marriage”
—Exactly what took place within the Pergamus church. —A Marriage between Faith in Jesus Christ and Polluted idolatrous religion. —A fitting description of the next phase of church history.
A.D. 312. The last of the ten Roman emperors who had persecuted the church was dead, —ushering in a power play for the reins of the empire.
—One young hopeful prepared to engage in a huge battle. —According to legend, >> he saw a cross in the heavens and heard a voice saying, “In this sign conquer.”
—Young “Constantine fell to his knees and became “a born-again believer.”
But according to history, what really happened. Constantine was massively out—numbered, He noticed that Christians were not enlisting in anyone’s army.
—Realizing that if he converted to Christianity, he would have access to a potential infusion of new troops, he became a Christian.
—The Christians responded by siding with him. >>> An absolute disaster.
Constantine’s Edict of Toleration, —forbade the persecution of Christians. —Christianity became the official religion of Rome.
—Under great political pressures —He compromised with the pagan priests and traditions that permeated Rome.
—A marriage took place between pagan idols, Babylonian worship and Christianity.
—The Babylonian religion was simply Christianized….
—Roman Babies would be required to be baptized into the Christian faith.
—Priest pontifex maximus, were red tiara as crowns…
—Holidays: — Saturnalia = Christ-mas (yule log and a tree decorated with gold and silver.)
— EASTER: Spring Fertility celebration, Easter is not in the Bible…
Why does Easter jump around dates? We know when Jesus was crucified at passover time…. Resurrection should always coincide with passover time, the sunday after… )
Easter comes from, the worship of Ashtar, celebrated with bunnies and rabbits, and colored eggs
— Lent, is not in the Bible? = worship of Semiramis and Tammuz: —Gored by a wild boar.—Dead for 40 days —and “rose again…”
—Satan knows the power of counterfeit. —We need to prepare our kids with the truth,
—All these counterfeit religions, Satan has from the beginning plotted to derail Christ’s work on the cross.
These counterfeit began back in Genesis. —Since the Protoevangelium. 2 cor 6.11 “do not be unequally joined together with unbelievers”
From A.D. 313 to A.D. 600, church and state worked together as a political power—and as a result the church began a downward spiral from which she has yet to recover.
[TEXT>>] 12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
[Pergamos]: Political capital of the Roman Province of Asia the minor, for more than 300 years. —A noted center for culture and education.—An extremely religious city.
Pergamo’s acropolis: Temples to the Greek and Roman gods —Dionysus (wine), —Athena (war), —Demeter (fertility), and —Zeus (Sky, Lightning). —3 temples to worship the Roman Emperor.
The center for the worship of Asclepios. Represented by a serpent; —The god of healing and knowledge. —There was a medical school at his temple in Pergamos.
Sick people from all over the Roman Empire flocked to Pergamos for relief. They were treated with the Tunnel of Positivity. Massages. Sleep with serpents in the dark.
[TEXT>>] ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
—Jesus Description = Rhomphaia = A warrior’s two edged sword, sharp able to cut a man in half (head to toe).
A sword for war >> Conquest >> Take down enemies. —The Lord is very serious and focused about these issues, and so should we. —Above the rest!
We tend to fight every battle, >> wars we don’t have to fight. —Yet We fight and divide over: >> Style, >> Bible Translations, >> Spiritual Gifts, etc.
Don’t argue, divide about the non-essentials: BUT —Don’t compromise on —what Jesus plainly fights against.
[TEXT>>] 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, (where Satan’s throne is.)
I know completely —Your works, and where you live! >> I know —The spiritual darkness of the city where you live. —The Idolatry: idols worshipped. —I know that Satan’s Throne is there:
According to Greek mythology, Pergamos was the birthplace of Zeus. —“Satan’s seat” is in reference to the one 150 foot structure dedicated to Zeus in the middle of the city of Pergamos.
I know The Culture, their acceptance of sin. —And yet you remained Faithful.
[TEXT>>] And you hold fast to My name (Despite the fact they lived in such a difficult city.), and did not deny My faith (You did not cease to declare I am the Lord and Savior. ) even (during great persecution! when persecution was so intense!) in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr/witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
Antipas = The Lord calls Him: “My Faithful Witness/martyr.” —Little is known about him or his death.
Tradition tells us that he refused to compromise. He was killed cooked alive in the belly of a Brazen Bull.
Name: Anti= against. Pas= all. —Against all the world had to offer! —To be for Christ, it means to be against all that would lead us astray, that keeps us from the Love of Christ. —Antipas Rejected the culture of sin on which he lived.
Like Smyrna persecution led to purity… But there was a change, a turn of events.
[TEXT>>] 14 But I have a few things against you (Ephesus 1, Smyrna none, Pergamos a few.),
Complaints were against you:
Notice, Those who were doing what was right before the Lord. —Because they grew tolerant: —Tolerance of sinful harmful shameful doctrines (God deeply cares about doctrine).
They embraced pacivipty, and their inn-action and acceptance of what God declares to be sin, was harmful for the body of Christ, the church. (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2)
Acts 20:28 “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.
[TEXT>>] because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
Numbers 22-24 Baalam was a legitimate prophet of God from the area of Mesopotamia. —Baalam was hired by Baalak to curse the israelites. —God forbade the prophet Balaam to go. He went anyway.
—After a short discussion with a donkey, he wound up on a mountain overlooking the encamped Israelites upon whom he was to issue a curse and could not stop pronouncing blessings upon them. (Numbers 24.5]
—“If your women seduce the Israelite men,” he said to Balak, “they can introduce idol worship to them through which Israel will thereby bring a curse upon herself.”
—Unable to curse them through prophecy, he taught baalak how to cause the Israelites to curse themselves. —Removing themselves from out of the Lord’s hand of protection through disobedience and compromise.
—They tolerated: Prophets for Profit: —Teaght the harmful doctrine of compromise (Trips spiritually the church), Removing themselves from under God’s umbrella of protection.) —Teaching them it is ok to worship idols, it is ok to practice sexual immorality.
Sexual immorality marked the whole culture of the ancient Roman Empire. It was simply taken for granted, and the person who lived by Biblical standards of purity was considered strange.
History: Roman statesman Cicero, “If there is anyone who thinks that young men should not be allowed the love of many women, —he is extremely severe. —I am not able to deny the principle he stands on. —But he contradicts, not only with the freedom our age allows, but also with the customs and allowances of our ancestors. —When indeed was this not done? —When did anyone find fault with it? —When was such permission denied? —When was it that what is now allowed was not allowed?”
To keep from sexual immorality in that culture, you really had to swim against the current.
Jesus knows the circumstances, the social, political, and spiritual opposition you face. —Yet the spiritual darkness of a city, a society or a culture, is not an acceptable reason for us to compromise our walks.
[TEXT>>] 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
You tolerate: The doctrine of the Nico-liatians: = Conquer, reign above the laity. —Separation between clergy and laity. —The rebuilding of a priesthood between God and men.
To Ephesus Jesus mention the Deeds of the Nicoliatians – Here it has progressed to a doctrine..
Jesus Died for us that we may have open, free access to God’s throne and presence. — He tore the veil.
—We do not need a priest, a or a Saint or anyone else stand between God and us, to speak to God on our behalf or to speak to us on His behalf. —We can come ourselves and speak to God directly.
1 Timothy 2:5 “There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.”
—Jesus said that He hates these Vail Menders, separating, setting themselves above Men and between God. When Relationship ends, religion starts.
[TEXT>>] 16 Repent (metanoia verb, aerotist, active, imperative):
Turn around, make a u-turn. —Change of mind, —change of actions. God did not desire for them/us to stay in their willful sin. —Rather He calls them/us to turn from it.
While Ephesus understood how to love the sinner and reject the sin, Pergamum chose to love the sinner and accept the sin!
They compromised doctrine and morality for the sake of peace and unity in the church. —They took Christian love and grace to an extreme. —Jesus’ sword of rebuke was quick and decisive —“Enough! Repent!”
[TEXT>>] or else (I’ve heard that one before) —I will come to you quickly —and (I) will fight against them with the sword (Rhomphaia) of My mouth
Jesus is deadly serious when it comes to dealing with Sin. —For He knows the pain it will produce in your life, —the destruction it will leave behind. —The brokenness and emptiness at its wake.
—Insanity Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
Jesus calls to take immediate action, to turn around. —Do not wait, —To take action now.
[TEXT>>] 17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
What is the Spirit Saying? —To Repent: Stop tolerating Those who are in and those who are encouraging and teaching:
—Idolatry: —Icons, —statues, —making Jesus after our own image, —Pastoral worship, —Anything that comes between God and us… (including ourselves = worship of self)
—Sexual Immorality: Any and every kind of Sex outside of marriage, —homosexuality, —pornography, Adultery.
—Vail Menders: —Shepherding movements —Priesthoods —Legalism. (How do I recognize them? Be a Berian)
As a church, congregationally: We must remember, Jesus is writing to the church, those who were doing what was right in His sight, but tolerated sinful practices.
Church leadership is responsible for the health of the flock. —Therefore in Christ’ Love we must confront those who openly practice and parade their sin.
—It is Harmful to tolerate, to ignore, to accept sinful lifestyles. But for the individual and the congregation. —It creates callus hearts, —It gives false hope of eternal salvation.
As a person individually: It is Harmful to tolerate, —to ignore, —to accept sinful lifestyles. — and accept it in our lives as normal.
Often after willingly doing what we know displeases the Lord, in our guilt and shame people pray, “I am sorry Lord, ..I love you, …I won’t do it again”
Stop deceiving yourself, be honest with the Lord. Tell him the truth, “Lord reality is I love these drugs more than I love you, —I love fornication, adultery more than I love you , I love —pornography more than I love you…
—Help me to love you more, teach me to experience your love and overflow of your presence that surpasses my love to my sin.”
[TEXT>>] To him who overcomes (He whose faith is in Jesus is an overcomer.) I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.
A young man in a hotel on the corner of Chicago’s 5th and Broadway prayed, “Lord, I’m not going to leave this room until you empower me.” Four days later, the Holy Spirit came upon him and D. L. Moody was empowered in such a way that he said, “Lord, if You don’t back off, I’m going to die of ecstasy.
[TEXT>>] And I will give him a white stone,..
The secret ballot of John’s day was a stone. —A black stone was “no”;— a white stone “yes.” We still refer to this practice when we say someone was “blackballed.”
Jesus was saying, “If you turn away from paganism, compromise, and the Pergamos mentality, I’ll give you a white stone, which means you’re not guilty; you’re righteous; you’re free.”
[TEXT>>] and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’
Our New Heavenly Name. It speaks of the intimate fellowship with Jesus. I hardly ever hear the Lord call me by name, more often, he just speaks to me.
To those who overcome, who listen to His voice, He promises they would receive divine food (“hidden manna”), special favor (“white stone”), and a new character (“new name”).
By Pastor Abraham Moreno