In 1871, an American named Heinrich Schliemann began ex-cavating an ancient city in Turkey. To the amazement of many, this retiredbusinessman had discovered the lost city of Troy. To-day, you can still see the ruins of its towers and its walls, which were 16 feet thick. According to the Homer's Illiad, the Greeks besieged Troy for ten years without success. After the death of the warrior Achilles, many wanted to give up the fight. But the king of Ithaca, Odys-seus, came up with a plan to get the Greek army into Troy. Odys-seus built an immense wooden horse. He and his warriors hid inside it. After leaving the horse at the gates of Troy, the Greek army sailed away. The Trojans thinking the Greeks had given up and had left the horse as a gift, brought it inside the gates.
That night, while the Trojans were sleeping, the Greek ships quietly returned. The soldiers in the horse slipped out and opened the city
gates. The Greek army quietly entered Troy and started fires all over the city. The Trojans awoke to find their city in flames. As they tried to flee, they were killed by the waiting Greeks.
The story of the Trojan Horse and the fall of Troy have come to represent the subversion of anything from within. That is what was happening to the church at Pergamos. Whereas Satan was trying to crush the Smyrnan church by persecution from without, He was trying to collapse the Pergamos
congrega-tion through corruption from within. That is the way our enemy operates. He either tries to crush us with hardship and hostility or
corrupt us with compromise. And we need to take heed to the fact that what ten years of outward assault on Troy was unable to ac-complish was done in one night when the enemy was brought within the city. The Trojan Horse at Pergamos was what Jesus called the doctrine of Balaam. It became a stumblingblock to the believers, leading them to accept idolatry and immorality while trying to
maintain their distinctiveness as Christians. As we will see from Scripture, the danger of the doctrine of Balaam is that it tries to wed
the people of God to the ways of the world, and that is something that has never worked and will never work. God's people are to be a peculiar people. God' s people are to be a dis-tinct people. God's people are to be a separate people. Friend-ship with the world is not an option. We are not to worship at its altars. We are not to learn its ways. We must not be pressed into its mold. Yet, that is what was happening in the church at Pergamos. And it continues to happen in churches today. The doctrine of Balaam is still finding its way into modern congregations, opening the way for worldliness to destroy the people of God.
I. It's Location where thou dwellest Pergamos was primarily known for one thing: religion. On a hillside overlooking the city was the giant altar of Zeus a throne of stone rising 40 feet into the air. On every corner, instead of finding a church, you would find a temple or altar to a pagan God. It was a primary center for the worship of the Emperors. Religions of all kinds thrived in Pergamos. In fact, there is an ancient say-ing that whenever any kooky
religious idea was expelled from some part of the world, it would find a place in Pergamos.
Something we must understand about ancient religions is that they were usually associated with immorality: prostitution, sodomy, orgies, and lewd entertainment. Thus, Pergamos was not only a religious city. It was a wicked city. And, according to Jesus, it was the capital of Satan's kingdom. It was the location of his seat, or throne. It was the place he'dwelleth - the place he called home. But God had a light in the heart of Satan's kingdom. And to that congregation, he said, I know thy works, and where thou
1. He knew what opportunities they had
2. He knew what obstacles they had to overcome the culture, the false religions,
3. He knew the kind of opposition they faced
He wanted the church at Pergamos to have the assurance that He knew where they were and what they were up against.
II. It's Loyalty
A. They were firm in their devotion holdest fast my Name
1. In their personal lives and in their public ministry, the Name of Jesus was lifted high.
2. Everything they did was identified with Christ
B. They maintained sound doctrine hast not denied my faith This was a church that clung to the fundamentals of the faith and would not compromise one precious doctrine of the Word of God, even when public opposition and Satanic oppression joined together to bring about the martyrdom of one of their faithful members. What we see in Pergamos is a church that was un-ashamed of their