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John Brown :: Revelation 2:12-17

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Revelation 2:12-17

I. INTRODUCTION

A. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (NKJV)

B. Jude 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

1. Lehman Strauss calls the church in Pergamos, "The Church Infiltrated!"

a) We have been warned that there are those fueled by fire of hell that will disguise themselves as "christians" and infiltrate the church!

b) We have also been told that eventually they will turn their hand though at first they will seem legitimate!

c) A couple of the areas doctrinally that will give them away, (according to Jude 4), will be:

(1) In the area of grace: they will turn into a doctrine all by itself:

(a) It will become a license to do what ever you want "in the name of the Lord" of course!

(b) Experience has proven that their catch phrase seems to be "Hey, were not under the Law anymore, the Lord has forgiven me!"

(c) Repentance will no longer be necessary

(d) Christian fellowship will not longer be advised!

(e) And being committed to a local body will be too "legalistic!"

(f) This advise will come from "christian" leadership high up the ladder!

(2) The second area will be the denial of Jesus Christ as God!

(a) Please keep in mind, Satan is too smart to have this come from outside the church, it will come from within!

(b) Many televangelists are already minimizing the deity of Christ by saying they we too are little gods!

(c) If these doctrines are left unchallenged, eventually the true church will cease to exist!

(d) Luke 18:7-8 "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (NKJV)

(e) So it was in "The church infiltrated"!

(i) They had turned their heads and let these people dwell among themselves!

(ii) They didn't agree with their doctrine, but they also didn't have enough backbone to kick them out of the church!

Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another--too often ending in the loss of both.--Tryon Edwards

II. THE CHURCH AT PERGAMOS

A. Unlike Ephesus and Smyrna, Pergamos was not a port city and it was not known for it's commerce!

1. Pergamos was known for it's religion!!!!

a) You could find some of the world's finest temples built in honor of their many gods.

b) Some of the biggies were Zeus, Aphrodite, and Aesculapius.

(1) The people of Pergamos love to worship the "scalpel"!

(a) Well, not exactly, they worshiped the god of medicine, Aesculapius!

(b) It is from this name that we get our word scalpel!

(c) It is ironic that this god of medicine was worshiped in the form of a serpent.

(d) This serpent was usually wrapped around a staff!

(e) This "symbol" of medicine has become common in every hospital and Dr.'s office around the world!!

III. TEXT

A. Verse 12

1. Notice how the Lord addresses Himself:

a) To each church He addresses Himself in a different manner!

(1) To the church that has lost her first love (Ephesus), he identified Himself as the One in charge of all the churches!

(2) To the suffering and persecuted church in Smyrna, he identified Himself as the conqueror of death!

(3) To the "infiltrated" church he addresses Himself as "...He who has the sharp two-edged sword:"

(a) The two-edged sword is His Word! Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV)

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile--hoping it will eat him last.--Winston Churchill

(b) For the church that had let the Word of His testimony be polluted by deception, He uses this address!

B. Verse 13

1. Again the Lord is aware of the circumstances of his Church!

a) He is aware of their work for Him and He is aware of their attempt to stay true in a very wicked city!

b) As we have said, Satan is very much at home in a religious environment.

(1) In this city of pagan religions, Satan kept one of his bases of operations!

(2) The Antichrist will rise and flourish out of "religion"!!!

(a) The story is told of Constantine contending for the throne of the Roman empire during the 4th century!

(i) It seems that the night before the battle at Milvian Bridge, Constantine saw a vision in the sky in the shape of a cross with the incription "by this sign you will conquer."

(ii) That night He bargained with Satan to join the church and declare himself a Christian if he won the battle.

(iii) He did, and the Christians went from the catacombs to the palaces!

(iv) Constantine became head over the church, but there was no evidence that he was born again!

(v) It became "popular" to be a Christian and the church "married" the world!

(vi) So it was in Pergamos!!

(3) This is the only mention of Antipas in the Bible, but he we on the mind and lips of the Lord Himself!

(4) Even with this "infiltration" there were those in Pergamos, who wore the name of CHRISTIAN proudly!

C. Verse 14

1. We may have a problem with letting "politics" interfere with Christianity, but the Lord does not!

a) As much as He loves us, and maybe because He loves us, He tells the truth!!!

b) This church in Pergamos was in trouble because they allowed those among themselves who "held the doctrine of Balaam".

(1) They did not believe it nor teach it, they simply "allowed it"!

2. What was the "doctrine of Balaam?" (Num 22)

a) Balaam had been given special prophetic gifts from the Lord!

b) He was an opportunist and decided that these gifts could be sold!

(1) The results are given to us here in verse 14:

(a) His advise to Balak was to let the young women sleep with the men of the children of Israel.

(b) He knew that they would fall and worship their new wive's idols, and that the Lord would have to remove His hand from them because of their sin!

c) This church, though not condoning it, let others in the church commit sexual immorality, and pagan worship without putting them out!

D. Verse 15

1. Notice that the church in Ephesus hated the "deeds" of the Nicolatians (Rev 2:6)

2. Now in this church in Pergamos, (the infiltrated church), it has become "doctrine" = teachings!

3. Ephesus hated their deeds as the Lord hated their deeds. Now Pergamos allows what God hates!

a) The Lord has always hated when anyone "lords" over His people but Himself!!

b) Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave -- 28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (NKJV)

E. Verse 16

1. Repentance is not mere "I'm sorry!" It must be a change of heart and actions!

2. If we, as the Lord messengers and servants, do not admonish and stand for the truth, HE WILL!!!

3. Notice it is with His Word that He will fight!

a) It was with His Word that Jesus fought Satan and it is with His Word that you and I will should fight!

b) We must stand for righteousness, and bring to light the lies!!!

F. Verse 17

1. This type of hearing comes from the heart not the ears!

2. 1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJV)

3. For these overcomers several things are promised by the Lord:

a) Hidden manna!

(1) Manna is angel's food cake, supplied by the Lord to the children of Israel while in the wilderness!

(2) The "hidden" part alludes to the manner that was hidden away in Ark of the Covenant as a reminder to all generations that the Lord is an eternal supply for all our wants and needs! It represents HIMSELF!!

b) A white stone with a new name!

(1) No one knows for sure what this allude to but there used to be a custom of voting for an accused criminal with a black and a white stone.

(2) If the white stones outnumbered, the criminal was set free!

(3) Through our faith in Jesus as Lord as Savior, the white stone has been cast, we have been set free!!

(a) And along with that freedom as slaves to this world, we have been given our FATHER'S name! It will be written in the Lamb' Book of Life!!!

c) Revelation 21:22-27 and Rev 22:1-7 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. 6 Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." (NKJV)

IV. CONCLUSION

A. We too must be careful of compromise!

B. We too must be careful of "political" Christianity!

Revelation 2:8-11 ← Prior Section
Revelation 2:18-29 Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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