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• We come to the letter the Risen Christ sent to the
church at Pergamos, sometimes translated
Pergamum. This city was north of Ephesus and
Smyrna. It was not the financial and trade center
as were its southern cousins, but it was a capital
city, first of the ancient Attalid Empire and then of
the Roman Province of Asia. At the time of the
message of the risen Christ to the church at
Pergamos, the city had been a regional capital for
three centuries. It was by far the most famous city
of Asia.
• We come to the letter the Risen Christ sent to the
church at Pergamos, sometimes translated
Pergamum. This city was north of Ephesus and
Smyrna. It was not the financial and trade center
as were its southern cousins, but it was a capital
city, first of the ancient Attalid Empire and then of
the Roman Province of Asia. At the time of the
message of the risen Christ to the church at
Pergamos, the city had been a regional capital for
three centuries. It was by far the most famous city
of Asia.
• We come to the letter the Risen Christ sent to the
church at Pergamos, sometimes translated
Pergamum. This city was north of Ephesus and
Smyrna. It was not the financial and trade center
as were its southern cousins, but it was a capital
city, first of the ancient Attalid Empire and then of
the Roman Province of Asia. At the time of the
message of the risen Christ to the church at
Pergamos, the city had been a regional capital for
three centuries. It was by far the most famous city
of Asia.
The Church at Pergamos
Revelation 2:12-17 12 “And to the angel of the
church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He
who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know
your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s
throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did
not deny My faith even in the days in which
Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed
among you, where Satan dwells.
14 But I have a few things against you, 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. 15 Thus you also have those who
hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing
I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you
quickly and will fight against them with the
sword of My mouth.
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches. To him who
overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna
to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on
the stone a new name written which no one
knows except him who receives it.”
• Wow, is this going to be fun! The Lord uses
such picturesque language in His message to
the believers in Pergamos, but we know that in
each word picture is an important message – to
them and to us. We will use our tools to
decipher what is meant by
• Wow, is this going to be fun! The Lord uses
such picturesque language in His message to
the believers in Pergamos, but we know that in
each word picture is an important message – to
them and to us. We will use our tools to
decipher what is meant by
• Where Satan´s throne is and where Satan
dwells
• The doctrine of Balaam
• The stumbling block of Balak
• The doctrine of the Nicolaitans
• Hidden manna
• White stone with a new name
• 2:12 “And to the angel of the church in
Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who
has the sharp two-edged sword: - We have
already done all the work necessary to
understand this verse. Angel means
messenger, and in this case, is probably the
pastor of the church. John saw the Risen Christ
as he worshipped on the Isle of Patmos on the
Lord´s Day, and Jesus had a sharp two-edged
sword coming out of His mouth (1:16).
• 2:12 “And to the angel of the church in
Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who
has the sharp two-edged sword: - We have
already done all the work necessary to
understand this verse. Angel means
messenger, and in this case, is probably the
pastor of the church. John saw the Risen Christ
as he worshipped on the Isle of Patmos on the
Lord´s Day, and Jesus had a sharp two-edged
sword coming out of His mouth (1:16).
• 2:12 “And to the angel of the church in
Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who
has the sharp two-edged sword: - We have
already done all the work necessary to
understand this verse. Angel means
messenger, and in this case, is probably the
pastor of the church. John saw the Risen Christ
as he worshipped on the Isle of Patmos on the
Lord´s Day, and Jesus had a sharp two-edged
sword coming out of His mouth (1:16).
• Letting Scripture explain Scripture, we
examined other passages that referenced sharp
swords and two-edged swords. Although in
some of those passages “swords” meant just
plain ole swords, in a number of passages
“swords” referred to words. And we saw that
specifically the sharp two-edged sword signified
the Word of God as in
• Letting Scripture explain Scripture, we
examined other passages that referenced sharp
swords and two-edged swords. Although in
some of those passages “swords” meant just
plain ole swords, in a number of passages
“swords” referred to words. And we saw that
specifically the sharp two-edged sword signified
the Word of God as in
• Letting Scripture explain Scripture, we
examined other passages that referenced sharp
swords and two-edged swords. Although in
some of those passages “swords” meant just
plain ole swords, in a number of passages
“swords” referred to words. And we saw that
specifically the sharp two-edged sword signified
the Word of God as in
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and
powerful, and sharper than any two-edged
sword, piercing even to the division of soul and
spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
heart.
• If we examine the history of Pergamos, we discover
a fact that helps us to further understand why
Christ would select this particular description of
Himself to use in His letter to Pergamos. Pergamos
was known for its library which contained over
200,000 volumes, every one of them hand written.
In fact, we get the name parchment, which is a
paper made from animal skins from the Greek
name Pergamene Charta, which means Pergamene
sheet.
• If we examine the history of Pergamos, we discover
a fact that helps us to further understand why
Christ would select this particular description of
Himself to use in His letter to Pergamos. Pergamos
was known for its library which contained over
200,000 volumes, every one of them hand written.
In fact, we get the name parchment, which is a
paper made from animal skins from the Greek
name Pergamene Charta, which means Pergamene
sheet.
• If we examine the history of Pergamos, we discover
a fact that helps us to further understand why
Christ would select this particular description of
Himself to use in His letter to Pergamos. Pergamos
was known for its library which contained over
200,000 volumes, every one of them hand written.
In fact, we get the name parchment, which is a
paper made from animal skins from the Greek
name Pergamene Charta, which means Pergamene
sheet.
• The risen Lord is reminding His people, amid the
multitude of books you have at your disposal in
your own city, remember that My Book, My Word,
which is sharper than any two-edged sword, is the
one that really matters. This is a fit reminder for us
in the day when the written word by way of
printed books, electronic books, web sites, and
blogs has caused both the wisdom and the
foolishness of man to be published abroad. We
must remember there is only one Word which will
last forever!
•
13
“I know your works, and where you dwell,
where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to
My name, and did not deny My faith even in
the days in which Antipas was My faithful
martyr, who was killed among you, where
Satan dwells. – To understand this verse, we
must answer three questions:
• Who is Satan?
• Who is Antipas and where did he dwell?
• What is meant by Satan´s throne?
• The name Satan appears first in the Bible in 1
Chr. 21:1. But all the books of the Bible were
not inserted into the canon chronologically.
For instance, the events of the Book of Job predate all of the events of Exodus and all of the
books which follow it. Job and his family almost
certainly lived even before Noah. It is very
likely that Job was the first book of Holy
Scripture to be breathed out to men by the
Spirit of God.
• The name Satan appears first in the Bible in 1
Chr. 21:1. But all the books of the Bible were
not inserted into the canon chronologically.
For instance, the events of the Book of Job predate all of the events of Exodus and all of the
books which follow it. Job and his family almost
certainly lived even before Noah. It is very
likely that Job was the first book of Holy
Scripture to be breathed out to men by the
Spirit of God.
• The name Satan appears first in the Bible in 1
Chr. 21:1. But all the books of the Bible were
not inserted into the canon chronologically.
For instance, the events of the Book of Job predate all of the events of Exodus and all of the
books which follow it. Job and his family almost
certainly lived even before Noah. It is very
likely that Job was the first book of Holy
Scripture to be breathed out to men by the
Spirit of God.
• All of this helps us understand why Job saw
dinosaurs like Behemoth, a colossal beast like
the Brachiosaurus. The dinosaurs, like all land
animals, were destroyed in the flood, except for
two of each kind of dinosaur preserved on the
ark. Almost all of the dinosaurs that departed
the ark, failed to repopulate the earth, because
the conditions of the post-flood earth were so
dramatically inferior to those of pre-flood days.
They simply could not survive.
• All of this helps us understand why Job saw
dinosaurs like Behemoth, a colossal beast like
the Brachiosaurus. The dinosaurs, like all land
animals, were destroyed in the flood, except for
two of each kind of dinosaur preserved on the
ark. Almost all of the dinosaurs that departed
the ark, failed to repopulate the earth, because
the conditions of the post-flood earth were so
dramatically inferior to those of pre-flood days.
They simply could not survive.
• All of this helps us understand why Job saw
dinosaurs like Behemoth, a colossal beast like
the Brachiosaurus. The dinosaurs, like all land
animals, were destroyed in the flood, except for
two of each kind of dinosaur preserved on the
ark. Almost all of the dinosaurs that departed
the ark, failed to repopulate the earth, because
the conditions of the post-flood earth were so
dramatically inferior to those of pre-flood days.
They simply could not survive.
• All of these interesting tidbits are here to say
that the Book of Job is from a very early time in
the history of the earth and in the beginning of
the book it says,
• Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons
of God came to present themselves before the
LORD, and Satan also came among them.
• All of these interesting tidbits are here to say
that the Book of Job is from a very early time in
the history of the earth and in the beginning of
the book it says,
• Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons
of God came to present themselves before the
LORD, and Satan also came among them.
• Although Satan is clearly used as a proper
name, it does have a meaning – adversary. In
this first introduction of him in the Book of Job,
Satan is clearly the adversary, the enemy, of
man as well as God.
• Although Satan is clearly used as a proper
name, it does have a meaning – adversary. In
this first introduction of him in the Book of Job,
Satan is clearly the adversary, the enemy, of
man as well as God.
• Time will not allow us to follow the entire chain
through Scripture to trace the history of Satan
from beginning to end. However, Ez. 28:12-19
and Is. 14:12-15 show us that Satan was
created as a holy angel named Lucifer. He
desired to “exalt his throne” and “be like the
most High.” For his blasphemous rebellion he
was cast down to the earth and destined to be
confined in the “lowest depths of the Pit.”
• Time will not allow us to follow the entire chain
through Scripture to trace the history of Satan
from beginning to end. However, Ez. 28:12-19
and Is. 14:12-15 show us that Satan was
created as a holy angel named Lucifer. He
desired to “exalt his throne” and “be like the
most High.” For his blasphemous rebellion he
was cast down to the earth and destined to be
confined in the “lowest depths of the Pit.”
• Satan is best and most completely identified
later in Revelation itself in
• Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast
out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and
Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was
cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out
with him.
Therefore, we see
• Satan is the devil, a fallen angel, an antagonist of
God and man who desires to divert the worship
of God to himself.
• The throne of Satan is also a reference to a place
of idolatry and false worship.
• History reveals that Antipas was the pastor of the
church at Pergamos who was roasted in a copper
bull because he refused to worship Caesar
instead of Christ.
Therefore, we see
• Satan is the devil, a fallen angel, an antagonist of
God and man who desires to divert the worship
of God to himself.
• The throne of Satan is also a reference to a place
of idolatry and false worship.
• History reveals that Antipas was the pastor of the
church at Pergamos who was roasted in a copper
bull because he refused to worship Caesar
instead of Christ.
Therefore, we see
• Satan is the devil, a fallen angel, an antagonist of
God and man who desires to divert the worship
of God to himself.
• The throne of Satan is also a reference to a place
of idolatry and false worship.
• History reveals that Antipas was the pastor of the
church at Pergamos who was roasted in a copper
bull because he refused to worship Caesar
instead of Christ.
Therefore, we see
• Satan is the devil, a fallen angel, an antagonist of
God and man who desires to divert the worship
of God to himself.
• The throne of Satan is also a reference to a place
of idolatry and false worship.
• History reveals that Antipas was the pastor of the
church at Pergamos who was roasted in a copper
bull because he refused to worship Caesar
instead of Christ.
• Jesus says to the church at Pergamos, you live
where Satan continues to entice people to
worship other gods, but you have been faithful
like Antipas, who was My witness even at the
cost of his life.
• Jesus says to the church at Pergamos, you live
where Satan continues to entice people to
worship other gods, but you have been faithful
like Antipas, who was My witness even at the
cost of his life.
•
14
But I have a few things against you, 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. – Here our questions are only two:
• Who was Balaam, and what was his doctrine?
• What did he teach Balak that caused Balak to
put a stumbling block before Israel?
• When we enter these two names in a Bible
search engine, we quickly discover they are
entwined. The story is told in Num. 22-31.
Balaam was a soothsayer who was afraid to
blatantly disobey God by cursing Israel as Balak,
king of Moab, had hired him to do. So Balaam
counseled Balak to send the Moabite women to
Israel´s camp to seduce the men.
• When we enter these two names in a Bible
search engine, we quickly discover they are
entwined. The story is told in Num. 22-31.
Balaam was a soothsayer who was afraid to
blatantly disobey God by cursing Israel as Balak,
king of Moab, had hired him to do. So Balaam
counseled Balak to send the Moabite women to
Israel´s camp to seduce the men.
• When we enter these two names in a Bible
search engine, we quickly discover they are
entwined. The story is told in Num. 22-31.
Balaam was a soothsayer who was afraid to
blatantly disobey God by cursing Israel as Balak,
king of Moab, had hired him to do. So Balaam
counseled Balak to send the Moabite women to
Israel´s camp to seduce the men.
• Numbers 25:1–2 … the people began to
commit harlotry with the women of Moab. 2
They invited the people to the sacrifices of
their gods, and the people ate and bowed
down to their gods.
• Apparently in Pergamos, some were counseling
compromise with the practices of those
worshipping the abundant idols of the city like
Asklepios, Zeus, and even Caesar.
• Numbers 25:1–2 … the people began to
commit harlotry with the women of Moab. 2
They invited the people to the sacrifices of
their gods, and the people ate and bowed
down to their gods.
• Apparently in Pergamos, some were counseling
compromise with the practices of those
worshipping the abundant idols of the city like
Asklepios, Zeus, and even Caesar.
•
15
Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine
of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. – In the
letter to Ephesus we discovered that the name
Nicolaitan is a compound word that means “to
conquer the people.” These people who desired
power more than Christ-like service, wanted to
develop a separation between clergy and laity so
that church leaders could rule over the people.
While the Ephesians sternly resisted, the Pergamos
church had allowed this philosophy to begin to
take hold.
•
15
Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine
of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. – In the
letter to Ephesus we discovered that the name
Nicolaitan is a compound word that means “to
conquer the people.” These people who desired
power more than Christ-like service, wanted to
develop a separation between clergy and laity so
that church leaders could rule over the people.
While the Ephesians sternly resisted, the Pergamos
church had allowed this philosophy to begin to
take hold.
•
15
Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine
of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. – In the
letter to Ephesus we discovered that the name
Nicolaitan is a compound word that means “to
conquer the people.” These people who desired
power more than Christ-like service, wanted to
develop a separation between clergy and laity so
that church leaders could rule over the people.
While the Ephesians sternly resisted, the Pergamos
church had allowed this philosophy to begin to
take hold.
•
15
Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine
of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. – In the
letter to Ephesus we discovered that the name
Nicolaitan is a compound word that means “to
conquer the people.” These people who desired
power more than Christ-like service, wanted to
develop a separation between clergy and laity so
that church leaders could rule over the people.
While the Ephesians sternly resisted, the Pergamos
church had allowed this philosophy to begin to
take hold.
•
16
Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and
will fight against them with the sword of My
mouth. – Christ says, “Turn away from
compromise and self-empowerment.”
•
16
Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and
will fight against them with the sword of My
mouth. – Christ says, “Turn away from
compromise and self-empowerment.”
•
17
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches. To him who
overcomes I will give some of the hidden
manna to eat. – Scripture explains Scripture.
Manna was the bread from heaven given to
Israel in the wilderness. Jesus said He was the
bread from heaven. He is “hidden” from those
who do not trust in Him, but He fills faithful
believers.
•
17
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches. To him who
overcomes I will give some of the hidden
manna to eat. – Scripture explains Scripture.
Manna was the bread from heaven given to
Israel in the wilderness. Jesus said He was the
bread from heaven. He is “hidden” from those
who do not trust in Him, but He fills faithful
believers.
•
17
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches. To him who
overcomes I will give some of the hidden
manna to eat. – Scripture explains Scripture.
Manna was the bread from heaven given to
Israel in the wilderness. Jesus said He was the
bread from heaven. He is “hidden” from those
who do not trust in Him, but He fills faithful
believers.
•
17
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches. To him who
overcomes I will give some of the hidden
manna to eat. – Scripture explains Scripture.
Manna was the bread from heaven given to
Israel in the wilderness. Jesus said He was the
bread from heaven. He is “hidden” from those
who do not trust in Him, but He fills faithful
believers.
• And I will give him a white stone, and on the
stone a new name written which no one knows
except him who receives it.” – Nowhere else in
Scripture do we read of a white stone. So, plain
sense makes sense. In eternity, one of the gifts
of the Lord to His obedient followers will be a
white stone with a new name on it which no
one knows. Jesus will return on a white horse
with a name written on His thigh which no one
knows except Himself.
• And I will give him a white stone, and on the
stone a new name written which no one knows
except him who receives it.” – Nowhere else in
Scripture do we read of a white stone. So, plain
sense makes sense. In eternity, one of the gifts
of the Lord to His obedient followers will be a
white stone with a new name on it which no
one knows. Jesus will return on a white horse
with a name written on His thigh which no one
knows except Himself.
• And I will give him a white stone, and on the
stone a new name written which no one knows
except him who receives it.” – Nowhere else in
Scripture do we read of a white stone. So, plain
sense makes sense. In eternity, one of the gifts
of the Lord to His obedient followers will be a
white stone with a new name on it which no
one knows. Jesus will return on a white horse
with a name written on His thigh which no one
knows except Himself.
• What is the name? I don´t know! No one
knows – now. We shall know – then! Today,
Jesus is the “Petra” – the bedrock. Peter was
the “Petros” – the little rock. Peter said we
believers are “living stones,” being built into a
spiritual house. We are made white –
righteous. One day we will be given a white
stone which commemorates all Christ has made
us to be!
• What is the name? I don´t know! No one
knows – now. We shall know – then! Today,
Jesus is the “Petra” – the bedrock. Peter was
the “Petros” – the little rock. Peter said we
believers are “living stones,” being built into a
spiritual house. We are made white –
righteous. One day we will be given a white
stone which commemorates all Christ has made
us to be!
• What is the name? I don´t know! No one
knows – now. We shall know – then! Today,
Jesus is the “Petra” – the bedrock. Peter was
the “Petros” – the little rock. Peter said we
believers are “living stones,” being built into a
spiritual house. We are made white –
righteous. One day we will be given a white
stone which commemorates all Christ has made
us to be!
• What is the name? I don´t know! No one
knows – now. We shall know – then! Today,
Jesus is the “Petra” – the bedrock. Peter was
the “Petros” – the little rock. Peter said we
believers are “living stones,” being built into a
spiritual house. We are made white –
righteous. One day we will be given a white
stone which commemorates all Christ has made
us to be!
• What is the name? I don´t know! No one
knows – now. We shall know – then! Today,
Jesus is the “Petra” – the bedrock. Peter was
the “Petros” – the little rock. Peter said we
believers are “living stones,” being built into a
spiritual house. We are made white –
righteous. One day we will be given a white
stone which commemorates all Christ has made
us to be!
• What is the name? I don´t know! No one
knows – now. We shall know – then! Today,
Jesus is the “Petra” – the bedrock. Peter was
the “Petros” – the little rock. Peter said we
believers are “living stones,” being built into a
spiritual house. We are made white –
righteous. One day we will be given a white
stone which commemorates all Christ has made
us to be!
• What is the name? I don´t know! No one
knows – now. We shall know – then! Today,
Jesus is the “Petra” – the bedrock. Peter was
the “Petros” – the little rock. Peter said we
believers are “living stones,” being built into a
spiritual house. We are made white –
righteous. One day we will be given a white
stone which commemorates all Christ has made
us to be!
The Applications
• The application to the church of Pergamos in
John´s day has been explained as we examined
the text.
The Applications
• Historically, the Pergamos period was from
A.D. 312 - 606. Constantine “christianized” the
empire by a declaration from the throne. This
led to two tragic processes: the marriage of
church and state, with the state usually being
the head. And accommodation and
compromise between popular religions and
Christianity.
The Applications
• Historically, the Pergamos period was from
A.D. 312 - 606. Constantine “christianized” the
empire by a declaration from the throne. This
led to two tragic processes: the marriage of
church and state, with the state usually being
the head. And accommodation and
compromise between popular religions and
Christianity.
The Applications
• Historically, the Pergamos period was from
A.D. 312 - 606. Constantine “christianized” the
empire by a declaration from the throne. This
led to two tragic processes: the marriage of
church and state, with the state usually being
the head. And accommodation and
compromise between popular religions and
Christianity.
Thus developed basilicas, vestments for priests,
thrones for bishops, altars decorated with gold
and precious gems, and a mixing of pagan
festivals with Christian celebrations. Remember
that the Nicolaitans were those promoting a
separation between laity and clergy. The
Nicolaitans won. In 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea
declared the supremacy of regional bishops over
local pastors and church members. The
ascendency of the papacy began.
Thus developed basilicas, vestments for priests,
thrones for bishops, altars decorated with gold
and precious gems, and a mixing of pagan
festivals with Christian celebrations. Remember
that the Nicolaitans were those promoting a
separation between laity and clergy. The
Nicolaitans won. In 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea
declared the supremacy of regional bishops over
local pastors and church members. The
ascendency of the papacy began.
Thus developed basilicas, vestments for priests,
thrones for bishops, altars decorated with gold
and precious gems, and a mixing of pagan
festivals with Christian celebrations. Remember
that the Nicolaitans were those promoting a
separation between laity and clergy. The
Nicolaitans won. In 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea
declared the supremacy of regional bishops over
local pastors and church members. The
ascendency of the papacy began.
Thus developed basilicas, vestments for priests,
thrones for bishops, altars decorated with gold
and precious gems, and a mixing of pagan
festivals with Christian celebrations. Remember
that the Nicolaitans were those promoting a
separation between laity and clergy. The
Nicolaitans won. In 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea
declared the supremacy of regional bishops over
local pastors and church members. The
ascendency of the papacy began.
• How can we miss the application to the church
today? Religious idolatry is everywhere.
Compromise is pervasive. Standing for truth
brings persecution. But Christ still indwells and
empowers the true believer, and makes him a
righteous living stone!
• How can we miss the application to the church
today? Religious idolatry is everywhere.
Compromise is pervasive. Standing for truth
brings persecution. But Christ still indwells and
empowers the true believer, and makes him a
righteous living stone!
• How can we miss the application to the church
today? Religious idolatry is everywhere.
Compromise is pervasive. Standing for truth
brings persecution. But Christ still indwells and
empowers the true believer, and makes him a
righteous living stone!
• How can we miss the application to the church
today? Religious idolatry is everywhere.
Compromise is pervasive. Standing for truth
brings persecution. But Christ still indwells and
empowers the true believer, and makes him a
righteous living stone!