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Exploring Revelation
“The letter to pergomos pt.#2 - Exploring Revelation”
by Art. Sadlier   
May 25th, 2020

Last week we began looking at the Church of Pergamos. We are told in the text (Rev. 2:12-17) that there were two grievious false doctrines held to and propigated in the church. False doctrine cannot be tolerated in the church. (see 2 Thess. 3:14)

The first false doctrine was Balaamism, vs. 14. We dealt with it last week. Now, we will deal with the second false doctrine found at Pergamos, "Nicolaitanism."

"The doctrine of the Nicolaitans" vs.15. "The second error began in Pergamos and continues in many sections of christendom until this day".

Arno C. Gabelein defines the word "Nicolaitans". He says that it is a Greek compound word. 'NIKAO' = to have the upper hand = to dominate. 'LAOS' = The people (English=Laity).

A priestly class had sprung up in the church dominating the people. This was a denial of the 'Priesthood of the Believer'. They proposed to go to God on behalf of the people, rather than the individual believer living in communion with God.

Notice what the Lord said about this concept, vs. 15, "which thing I hate". The christians at Pergamos were tolerating this thing. The Ephesians would not tolerate it, - see Rev. 2:6. The Lord stated twice that He hates this thing! It is a contradiction of His will for the church. This thing would rear its ugly head all down through the Church Age - Cardinals, Popes, and Priests, controlling, dominating, coming between God and His people - claiming the Right to forgive sins! Jesus said "it is wrong."

A pastor is on the same level as those he ministers to. Read Mt.20:25-27 and 1 Pe.5:1-3.

That does not mean a pastor, by virtue of his office and calling, should not lead and teach the flock.

The pastor is called to lead and feed the flock (Heb.13:17). Indeed he will give an account to the Lord in this matter. The pastor is to fulfil this duty in meekness and humility (1 Pe. 5:3) never getting between the Lord and the individual believer.

Now, the Lord's warning comes, vs.16 "Repent, or Else!" Repent of the sin of Balaam and of the sin of Nicolatanism. Their minds must be changed, they must turn from these evil practices.

It is the true believers He appeals to, they must exclude these false teachers from their fellowship.

The warning is emphasized, "I will come unto thee quickly." 'Quickly' = Suddenly, Unexpectedly, with quick, swift action. "And will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." That's a severe warning!! The Lord is serious about purifying and sanctifying His Church.

One of the ways the Lord judges the unsaved professers of Christ in a church, is to remove its true believers from the church and allow that professing group of unbelievers to continue in apostasy, without His Spirit in their midst.

"I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy lampstand out of its place." (to remove the Holy Spirit, to remove the truly saved ones.

There is an eschatalogical aspect to this judgment upon the professing church.

SOMETIMES when the Lord judges a church, it just ceases to exist on earth.

SOMETIMES when the Lord judges a church, it is the believers who are removed and it goes into apostasy and becomes a part of that great monolithic structure called 'Christendom'.

There are three churches, in particular, upon which this judgment is pronounced: Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea. All three are given over to apostasy, and consigned to continue in apostasy right into the Tribulation Period. In the Tribulation Period they will commit the ultimate apostasy, turning from professed faith in Christ, to allegiance to the false Christ - Antichrist! They will deny the gospel they have long pretended to believe. Instead of relying on the gospel to change the hearts of men, they will give themselves to political means of making the world a better place, that is the Social Gospel.

I believe the purpose-driven church movement is laying the groundwork for this Coming, Final, Great Apostasy.

Ultimately, this apostate Church will be destroyed at the Mid Trib point, see Rev. 17:1,2. and Rev. 17:16,17.

When we come to these three churches, we will identify who they are in the world today.

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