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The Compromising Church
"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
The Church of Pergamos represents a period from A.D. 312 to A.D. 600.
Pergamos, having two meanings is ultimately a church of compromise. According to Jon Courson's Application Commentary, The Greek prefix per, seen in words like "per-vert," means opposition. The suffix gamos,
seen in words like "monogamy" or "bigamy," means
"marriage."Pergamos, then means "objectionable
marriage" which somewhat describes the next phase of church history. The
word Pergamos also means "citadel" and is the word from which we get
parchment, a writing material which was first developed in this area. So what!
you say. How will any of this help in my pursuit of biblical knowledge or
spiritual wisdom? Well, first of all, the hidden meaning of anything can give
you a clue as to it's spiritual stance. In other words, any place known as
"objectionable marriage" ought to give us concern as to the spiritual
motive behind it! Additionally, Pergamos served as the capital of the Roman
province of Asia Minor for over 250 years, therefore should have a hand in the
development of some notable commodity, for example, parchment.
The sharp two-edged sword represents judgement on those who attack His people and destroy His church!
"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.
Right in the middle of Pergamos was a one hundred and fifty foot high throne-shaped alter to Zeus. According to Greek mythology, Pergamos was the birthplace of Zeus. Another attribute of Pergamos was that it had become a
gentile base for false religions, a sort of "Caesarea Philippi", a
region known for the worship of idols and false gods. Matthew 16:13
According to the historian Tertullian, Antipas, possible the pastor of the church, was placed inside a brass bull and burned (baked) to death because he refused to renounce his faith. Jesus' reference to Antipas being His
faithful martyr, is probably the greatest compliment Jesus could bestow on
anyone who has died for their faith! Certainly this begs the question we all
may want to avoid; could I lay my life down, or even allow my children to
die for my faith? Any believer with even a cursory understanding of eternal
life will also understand that death is not to be feared, but we may not want
to think about it! Yes! The answer is absolutely yes! I would gladly give my
life for my Lord! Just as I would give it up for my wife, my children, or even
my country, maybe a more common expectation! Given the circumstance, and with
eternity placed in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), how could we do
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.
What exactly is the "doctrine of Balaam"? Well it is exactly what was taught about the name Pergamos..."Objectionable marriage!" Numbers 22-25 tells the story of how Balaam, at the bidding of Balak, King of
Moab, attemted to curse Israel and three times failed. As a result,
Balaam devised a plot to have the Moabite women seduce Israelite men into
intermarriage. The result was disastrous for Israel due to the practice
of sexual immorality and idol worship as a result of the intermarriage
with the Moabites! The doctrine of the Nicolaitans led to the same behaviors
that were a result of the schemes of Balaam!
Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
Jesus will fight against the the things that He hates with judgement! The objectionable marriage when well meaning religious people embrace the marriage of church and state! we are seeing that relationship grow more and
more cozy these days! He will also fight the acts of the Nicolaitans with His
judgement! When the religious self-righteous circles of the church think that
they are above all, even God!!! Remember Nimrod and Babel?
"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." '
1) Hidden Manna: The Children of Israel were given manna from heaven to eat. The word man or hu is "what is that?" or "what is it?" The full word manna is "allot". The hidden manna is the
spiritual bread God provides to every true believer. The bread the unbelieving
world cannot see!
2) White Stone: Secret ballots of John's day were done with stones. Black for "no" and white for "yes". A white stone means "yes! you're not guilty!"
3) A New Name: There is a name, or a message from the Lord that is so personal that only the one who receives it will know what it is or what it means!
Wow! A word from the Lord that is only discerned by the true believer! A vertict of "not guilty!" from the Lord Himself! and a name so personal that only you and God know what it is! A personal relationship with
Jesus is so much more than just Christian terminology! It is very, very
personal! That is how we need to see it....PERSONAL! Just you and God!!!
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