Summary: Study of Revelation, using "the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible" as a guide. Includes work sheet for participants. boxes & underlined blanks may be missing
Study In Revelation
Pergamos, The Corrupted Church: Rev. 2: 12-17
Pergamos is a church that has been corrupted by the world. There is great danger of becoming a corrupted church by allowing a worldly mind set to take over…
1. list some things that could be considered a worldly mindset and that could corrupt the church.
2. Pergamos had three things that made her famous and seem to have been the reason for the message from Christ.
a.Pergamos was a beautiful city set on a huge mountain, with a sense of royalty. The people could see the Mediterranean Sea, some 15 miles away.
b. Pergamos was one of the cultural and religious centers of the known world. It had been a capitol city for some 400 years. Their library was second only to Alexandria, Egypt.
But what the city was best known for was the acropolis, (a fortified hill) rising about 1,000ft in the middle of the city. Temple after temple had been built on it, like the temple to Asclepius, a serpent-like god of healing. The city was famous for the college of medical priest. The most famous altar was to Zeus. It towered above the city and was the most ornate (decorated) and most famous of them all.
c. Pergamos was the first city in Asia to openly support imperial worship. Imperial worship is the worship of the state and its leader.
When Rome seized much of the world, as they knew it, there was so much peace that food, trade and prosperity were more easily had. Life for many became a lot easier and more comfortable. During this time what is known as a Roman spirit arose in many quarters and the government capitalized on this and placed Caesar at the center of it. Temples, altars and images were built in Caesar’s honor and the man became a god. They even passed a law declaring that every citizen had to go to the temple once a year and bow before the image of Caesar and say, “Caesar is Lord.”
3. We have already discussed the fact that the message is given to the minister but let me make this point. Jesus holds that minister responsible for the path the church follows. If the church becomes worldly, it is usually because the pastor allows it or leads it.
2.Christ describes Himself: v12
The sharp two edged sword can mean at least two things.
1. The sword in His mouth means His word, which is the Word of God.
There is one thing that is needed in a worldly church and that is the true Word of God. The Word of God is sharp and able to cut through the most worldly and hardened heart. It convicts the worldly of sin. It is able to cut deep enough to separate a sinner from their sin.
The Word of God has two edges. It proclaims the Law of God and seriousness of living a righteous life or facing judgment and destruction. But on the other side it proclaims the love and grace of God to all who will come out of the world, receive and follow Jesus Christ.
Matthew Henry, in his commentary, says “There is an edge to make a wound, and an edge to open a festered wound in order to its healing.” [Matthew Henry’s commentary, vol. 6. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, p. 1127]
Scripture Proof: Eph. 6: 17 * 2Th. 2: 8 * Heb. 4: 12 * Rev. 1: 16
2. The sword of His mouth means the power and judgment of His Word.
One of the things happening in Pergamos was the fact that some of the believers were being persecuted and even martyred for their faith.
Some government officials were abusing the power of the sword and execution and were killing innocent people, mostly those who refused to deny Christ and give homage to Caesar.
Christ is saying here that the power of His Sword - the power of His Word is greater than any other.
He warns those who are evil, in verse 16. For those who stay the course Christ words are a promise of protection.
If The Word of Christ is all powerful, and it is, then He can take care of us no matter what we face.
His power, the sword of His Word gives us strength to face what comes our way. He is able to deliver us from any situation. Finally, When our time comes to leave this world, His Word is able to deliver us right into the very presence of God.
Scripture proof: 2 Cor. 1: 10 [has delivered us, is and will…] * 2Tim 4: 18 * Heb. 2: 14-15 * 2Sam. 22: 2
3. Christ commends the church: v13
The church is recognized for three things that Jesus thought was worthy of mention.