Must Listen

Must Read

What Art Thinks

Pre-Millennialism

Today's Headlines

  • Sorry... Not Available
Man blowing a shofar

Administrative Area





Locally Contributed...

Audio

Video

Special Interest

Exploring Revelation
353
“The letter to Pergamos pt.#1”
by Art Sadlier   
October 7th, 2007

We have been considering the Letters To The Seven Churches of Asia minor.

All seven churches existed at the same time in the first century.

Secondly, each church, prophetically represents an era of Church History when its characteristics were dominant in that era.

Thirdly, the characteristics, both good and bad are found in some individual churches today and throughout history.

The letters represent a catalogue of all that can be right or wrong in any given individual church.

Ephesus was typical of the characteristics that were predominant in the Apostolic era or the first century.

Smyrna represented the predominant situation in the churches from approximately 100-312AD.

Pergamos was typical of the churches from 312-500 AD.

Pergamos means a thorough marriage. Pergamos was the church of compromise. It represented that era in which the church gave up her pilgrim character and was married to the world. We see the purpose-driven church repeating that error today.

The devil discovered that the blood of the Martyrs was the seed of the church. Consequently he changed his tactics, from persecution by the World, to acceptance by the World. Satan made the transition from "Roaring Lion" to "Angel of Light."

The city of Pergamos lay about twenty miles inland from the sea, about sixty miles north of Smyrna. It was situated in a fertile valley on the Caisus River. It was larger then Ephesus and Smyrna, it was a very beautiful and wealthy city. It was a cultural centre with a library of 200,000 volumes, second only to Alexandria. It was a pagan city with temples to Zeus-Aphrodite and Asecullapas.

We begin in vs. 12, "these things saith He which hath a sharp sword with two edges." The sword, of course, is the Word of God. The need for a church like Pergamos, that is adrift in compromise with the world, is the Word of God! That is also the need of our day.

"I know thy works," vs.13, our Lord begins with a commendation. Like each church Pergamos began well.

"And where thou dwellest." He knew they were living in a bad neighborhood, in a very evil and hostile place. They lived in a pagan city that was the implacable enemy of christians.

"Even where Satan's throne is." Satan is the God of this world, his throne is not in Hell but upon this earth. Paul called him "the god of this world." Satan has certain places on earth that he is able to exercise greater control over, Pergamos was one of those places.

" And thou holdest fast My name," Our Lord commends them because in the midst of fierce opposition, they did not deny Christ, but identified with Him. "And hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you where Satan dwelleth." As the church began someone had died for their faith in Christ. Even in the midst of severe persecution and martyrdom, these believers did not deny Christ.

The church began well, but now it has a mid-life crisis. "But, I have a few things against thee." It did not matter how well they had begun, how much they have to be commended for, sin and error in the church can never be tolerated by the Lord of the Church.

Jesus had said, "a little leaven (evil) leavens (corrupts) the whole lump (church). Christ is not willing to balance the good in a church against the evil and say, O well, no church is perfect! The whole point of the letters to all seven churches is that the church must be a pure church, without spot or wrinkle.

The Lord's attitude toward sin in the church, is expressed again and again, "Repent, or else I will remove your candlestick." I will decommission you.

Basically, the Lord charges Pergamos with two serious errors.

FIRST "Thou hast there, them that hold the doctrine of Balaam." Balaamism was an evil principle that came into the church at Pergamos.

We need to understand Balaamism. Balaam was offered a great reward to curse Israel. Three times he attempted to curse Israel, but each time the Lord restrained him. At last Balaam produced an evil scheme to destroy Israel.

Balaam suggested that the Moabite girls should seduce the men of Israel, and get them to participate in the Idolatrous, Immoral Worship of Pagan Gods. This action would result in mixed marriages between Israelites and Moabites. In turn this action would prevent war between Israel and Moab, Israel would be compromised.

What Moab could not do by confrontation, they were able to do by unholy alliance and mixed marriages. This led Israel to abandon their pilgrim life and compromise with the world. It was this evil principle of Balaamism (compromise) that came into the Church of Pergamos.

"Pergamos" means, "a thorough marriage". It has the same root from which we get our English words, "Bigamy" and "Polygamy." Pergamos signifies a mixed marriage in the most objectionable sense of the word. The Church of Pergamos became married to the world. The church and the world ought never to be married. (See John 15:18, 19)

The Church of Pergamos, and that which happened in the Church of Pergamos, is representative of the church era between 312-500AD.

About 312 AD, after the death of Emporer Diocletian, Constantine in the West and Maxentius in the East were both determined to succeed Diocletian. Eventually they faced each other in battle to decide the issue. Tradition says, that the night before the battle, Constantine saw a vision in the sky in the shape of a cross, he saw the words "by this sign conquer".

One tradition says, that he bargained with Satan that night, to join the church and declare himself a christian if he won the battle.

We know from history, he did win the battle, he did declare himself a christian, he marched his troops through the river and declared them baptised, he declared them all to be members of the church.

Later, some 400 pastors carried him on a golden throne. He presided over their assembly and became head of the church.

Instantly, it was not only popular to join the church, but socially, politically and economically necessary to join the church.

Overnight the composition of the church changed, the church was married to the world. The whole empire was swept into the church. From persecution to popularity, from separation to union with the world. That's Balaamism, it is compromise. A monstrosity. We see this in the parable of the mustard seed in Mt. 13: 31,32.

When the church compromised with the world the result was a thousand years of spiritual darkness.

Today the same process is taking place, the purpose driven-user friendly church is leading almost the whole evangelical church into the same compromise with the world. The result this time will not be a thousand years of darkness, but three and a half years of a world dominated by the Harlot Church of Rev.17.

The end result is found in Mt.7: 21-23, a deceived group who thinks they are followers of Christ but are not. Jesus warned about this deception when asked about the signs of the end of the age. (See Mt.24:4,11,24)

If you are a part of the Purpose Driven User Friendly Church, I urge you to come out of it - you are in spiritual peril.

go back button