the letter to the church at pergamos l.
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It was known throughout the world for its Paganism, idolatry, imperialistic worship, and occult practices. Nevertheless, there were some in that ...

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the letter to pergamos
The Letter to Pergamos
  • Address: To the angel of the church in Pergamos.
  • Speaker:
    • He who has the sharp two-edged sword.
    • This two edged sword came out of His mouth (Rev. 1:16).
    • The Hebrew writer uses this picture to refer to the word of God (Heb. 4:12).
    • Thus, this sword proceeds from His mouth, as does the word of God.
    • This is key for understanding the letter.
what was right with the church
What Was Right With the Church
  • They hold fast His name.
    • Even though they dwell where Satan’s throne is.
      • It was the first city to erect a temple to a Roman emperor, it was the location of “alter of Zeus,” one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
      • All (even Christians) were ordered to offer worship to Caesar.
      • It was known throughout the world for its Paganism, idolatry, imperialistic worship, and occult practices.
    • Nevertheless, there were some in that city who were converted and came together to work as a local church.
    • When most others called out to Zeus and the Egyptian gods, the Christians held fast to the name of Jesus.
what was right with the church4
What Was Right With the Church
  • Do not deny the faith.
    • When the vast majority of people around us contradict the doctrine that we teach it is difficult be strong in our faith.
      • Teenagers—peer pressure.
      • No denomination, no instrumental music, Bible authority are strange.
      • Small group in the midst of large denominations.
      • Intimidation.
    • In spite of the hardship the church faced in light such extreme paganism, they held firm to their faith.
      • Christ more important that popularity, than majority (Matt. 7:13-14).
source of authority
Source of Authority
  • Most in this city worship that for which they had no authority.
  • Be impressed with the manner in which Jesus establishes His own authority.
    • “He who has the sharp two-edged sword” (vs. 12).
    • He is affirming that there is only one who has authority in spiritual matters.
    • The words (comes out of His mouth) of Christ will cut/penetrate all that stand against them (2 Cor. 10:5).
    • Combined with His descriptions given to the other six church, Jesus established that He is the only true source of authority and He alone is worthy to be worshiped.
what was wrong with the church
What was Wrong with the Church?
  • A few that hold to the doctrine of Balaam.
    • Though the congregation as a whole was on the right track, it only takes a few to ruin everything.
    • Though some of the members were doing good things, they were tolerating those who were “out-of-step” with the Lord’s commands.
    • Balaam: cowardly compromise and immoral living. Cite modern examples (evolution/day-age; denominations/making peace, etc.; choosing worldly activities over spiritual.)
what was wrong with the church7
What was Wrong with the Church?
  • Those who hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.
    • Different from the church at Ephesus which hated such deeds (2:6).
    • This doctrine is described by Irenaeus as “living in unrestrained indulgence,” and by Clement as abandoned themselves to pleasures like goats in a life of shameless self-indulgence.”
    • Such is the case for many today who call themselves Christians but walk in all manner of lewdness and immorality.
    • Notice Christ’s reaction to these things, “which things I hate.”
    • We must take care lest we find ourselves doing the things that Christ hates.
  • Repent:
    • Turn, about-face.
    • Cast of those deeds and begin doing that which Christ loves.
    • Cast off self-indulgence, put on godly living.
    • No longer compromise with the world, but hold fast to the faith and the doctrine of Chris.
warning threat
Warning/ Threat
  • Fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
    • Word for fight here is to do battle, make war.
    • Such would Christ do with all who do not turn to Him and obey Him.
    • He will do battle with the two edged sword, His word of judgment.
    • Proclamation of condemnation.
promised reward
Promised Reward
  • Eat of the hidden manna.
    • Familiar to the Jews who had been sustained by manna in the wilderness.
    • Spiritual manna even better.
    • If Christians refrain from sinful indulgences and be faithful to Christ, they would be able to eat of this heavenly food.
  • A white stone:
    • In judgment, white stone presented for innocent verdict, black stone for guilty verdict.
    • Those who remain faithful would receive an innocent verdict.
  • A new name: Isa. 62:2
    • We are given names by our earthly fathers.
    • When we prove God to be our Father, He will give us a new name, we shall be His.