Pergamos Church (Revelation #8)

Text: Revelation 2:12-17

Pergamos is a name similar to the word polygamy which means “many marriages”.  Pergamos means “through marriage” as in accomplishing something “through the agent of marriage”.  Some have said Pergamos means “much marriage”, but the prefix “per” does not mean “much”.

In 2014 Pergamon site and its multi-layered cultural landscape entered into the World Heritage List of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).  Other sites on the World Heritage List include a couple of mosques, Greco-Roman god worship, and the ancient Hittite capital.  For some reason Jerusalem didn’t make the list.  But the world does seem to be fascinated with idolatry whether historical idolatry.

The Lord as Captain

  • Sharp sword as in Revelation 1:16
  • Sword is his mouth – Ephesians 6:17
  • Sword is a tool used to separate – Hebrews 4:12
  • See 2:16 that the Lord Jesus Christ will come fight against those lined up with the world

The Commendation

  • Faithful to his name though they dwell where Satan’s seat is
    • The seat is a term of authority.  County seat is the administrative and governmental hub.
    • Satan is not an omnipresent being.  He roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  Job was his prey at one time.
    • The city was historically an epicenter of entertainment.
    • Pergamos was the capital of Asia Minor for a while.  It was home to several monuments to gods such as:
      • Pergamon Altar
      • Temple of Trajan
      • Temple of Athena
      • Temple of Dionysus
      • The Heroon – a sculpture now in the Vatican, but was the place where kings of Pergamon were worshipped
      • Temple of Asclepius – practiced medicine there.
    • The culture as the outward religious expression of the people.  You’ll find anywhere the devil has a stronghold an enormous amount of idolatry.
  • Antipas historically was the pastor of this church.  The Lord Jesus Christ reminds the church of one of their own martyrs.  So this congregation was not very far removed from persecution.
    • Antipas name has particular significance in a place like this because his name means “against everything.”

The Correction

  • This church is multi-doctrinal.  In a group of believers, in a congregation you always have differences of opinion.  But when you’re dealing with different foundations which for the framework for doctrinal heresy, that’s a different thing.
  • Doctrine of Balaam – Compromise and conformity
    • Balaam taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before Israel; to break down walls and be unequally yoked.
      • Can’t curse them, but I can show you how to corrupt them.
      • Enjoy the benefits of idolatry.  Eat things sacrificed to idols.
      • Enjoy the fun of immorality. Commit fornication.
  • Doctrine of Nicolaitans
    • So Jesus Christ hates this doctrine.  All roads don’t lead to heaven and some roads Jesus Christ hates.
    • Diotrophes type character who loves to have the preeminence
  • Doctrines were once compromises with the world away from the words of God.
    • In ten years there will be churches that say it is wrong to condemn sodomy.
    • Error doesn’t have to win, it just needs acceptance.

The Consequences

  • The Lord himself will come and fight against them.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:8
  • Revelation 19:15

The Consolation

  • The promises correspond to the failures of the church.
  • Give you the hidden manna to counter the food sacrificed to idols.
  • Give you a white stone, purity, to counter the fornication.
  • Give them a name on that stone to counter the names and titles that the Nicolaitans loved.  The reward is personal; one of the great aspects of God’s character.  See Isaiah 62:2