Summary: Week 6 on a Wednesday evening study through the book of Revelation
“A Message To The Compromising Church”
Date: July 3, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Revelation 2:12-17
We continue tonight in our study of the book of Revelation in chapter 2 and the letters or messages to the 7 churches in Asia. This is the 3rd letter and directed to the church at Pergamos.
Remember each of theses churches represents the church age from Pentecost to the Rapture:
Ephesus – the days of the Apostles
Smyrna – the days of persecution
Pergamos – the days the church married the world
Read passage of scripture
“And to the angel of the church”
Again this refers to the pastor of the church. Always the Lord speaks His message through the pastor.
Pergamos means “citadel” or fortress and the word from which we get “parchment” – a writing material developed from animal skin, which was apparently developed in that area.
Pergamos was built on a 1000 – foot hill in a broad fertile plain about 20 miles inland from the Aegean Sea.
It had served as the capital of the roman providence of Asia Minor for over 250 years.
“Write theses things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword.”
He who has – again is another characteristic of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sword represents the Word of God.
When Jesus speaks it is with authority and at times with judgment.
He says “I have a word for you.” Or “I have the answer to all your problems
Let me stop and say here “GOD’S WORD HAS THE ANSWER TO ALL OUR PROBLEMS
“I know your works”
I know the total accomplishments of the church
This should remind us also He knows the accomplishments of our church and of us.
“I know where you dwell”
He says I know the circumstances in which you live.
We may live in the worst of sin-infected cities but God offers no excuse to Christians who are transformed by the world.
“Where Satan’s throne is”
When Lucifer and a third of the angels were cast from heaven they did not go to hell. Satan is not in hell at the present time. He has not yet been to hell. Satan is loose and is the prince of this world, controlling kingdoms & going up & down the earth as a roaring lion, hunting those he may devour (1 Peter 5:8)
If Satan had a throne then it must mean he has one now.
The reason He says that Satan’s throne was in Pergamos was because of the heathen temples there. Pergamos was the center of worship of at least 4 of the major gods.
At the top of the city was the temple of Zeus – the chief god. Its ruins can still be seen today.
Then there was the temple of Bacchus – the god of wine & alcohol often called the goat god. This god was depicted as half goat, the upper half, and half man, the bottom half
Then there was the temple of Athena – the god of wisdom, art & war.
Then there was the temple of Asklepios – the god of healing. This god was depicted as a serpent. Outside the temple was a marble statue of this god. Two serpents twined around a pole.
This today still is the symbol of doctors and medicine. (Story of Jethro Clampitt who was asked if he knew what M.D stood for he said Mr. Doctor)
At this temple was the greatest hospital in the ancient world. The Mayo clinic of its day.
Here is how you were treated at this hospital: You go down a long hallway and tunnels. Above you are holes that look like airholes for ventilation but through those holes sexy voices would come through the holes saying, “ you are going to get better, you are going to be healed.” Then you would go down to the hot tubes and then given a massage. If you were not healed as a last resort they put you in the temple at night & turn loose non-poisonous snakes. And if one of the snakes crawled over you or touched you it was as if Asklepias himself touched you and you were healed.
It is very easy to see this was a city full of paganism and false doctrine.
Then the word of commendation…
“And you hold fast to my name.”
They were faithful to the defense of the deity of Christ.
Although this was a time in the church age that the church married the world, it was also a time that produced great giants of the faith. Men such as Athanasius and Augustine who rose up against these false teachings and preached the truth of God’s Word.