The stones of god’s witness: pergamos–
lessons in living at the end of days
Christ’ Awaits our Devotion
The Danger of the
SLIDE ONE: READ REVELATION 2.12-17
meet the Assembly
god can grow his church anywhere!
First the Assembly – The word Pergamum literally means, “mixed marriage”.
- Geographically, this city was 80 miles north of Smyrna, 15 miles inland from the Aegean on a hill 1000 feet above the fertile valleys.
- Historically in 95 AD as John wrote it was an old city, it had been the capital of Asia Minor for 300 years.
- Culturally it was a university town (with the largest library in the ancient world rivaling with Alexandria) w/200,000 volumes, in fact, Pergamos is noted for parchment (boiled animal skins) that books were written on.
- Religiously it was a sacred (to pagans) city.
- Dionysisus (Bacchus) worship Gods of orgies, wine and debauchery.
- Zeus worship (King of Greek/Roman Gods) . Largest and most famous wonders of ancient world the altar of Zeus was extending 40’ over cliff.
- Ascelapius worship (God of healers) – snakes that slithered over people on dark and wet floors to cure them.
- Satan’s throne ( He was running his global operation out of this city) Ephesians 6 – thrones, dominions. Two times says it , look at you.
So this assembly was right in the middle of:
- The IMMORALity CENTER of the ancient world. Bacchus/Dionysisus
- The IDOLATRY CENTER of the ancient world to the king of the gods of the pagan Graeco-Roman religion of Zeus or Jupiter.
- The false healing center of the ancient world with drug induced stupors, snakes and the false god of healing: Ascelapius
- Finally, Satanic center of the ancient world, the Devil himself had a personal throne there for the time as headquarters for his global rebellion.
And in that place was a church… the assembly at Peramum. Lesson One, Christ can save! The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment, from Jesus, a pardon receives.
It warns of the deadly sin of being in love and communion with that which God has condemned and will destroy…..God has told us there is only one action to take when confronted with worldliness and apostasy: SEPARATE FROM IT!
SLIDE THREE: GO TO EACH PASSAGE
- 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
- James 4:4-8 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
- 1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (Remember how the Apostle John dealt with the infidel apostate Celsius? He ran out of the bath house when he was told Celsius was in there!)
- Revelation 18:1-4 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
SLIDE 4-9: TOUR THE TOWN
SLIDE TEN: SEVEN CHURCHES: Christ’s & Paul’s
SLIDE ELEVEN: SEVEN AGES
the prophetic message: there will be seven stages
of church history I always will be with you !
CHRIST FADING FROM HIS CHURCH: The Church throughout the Ages: SEVEN SUCCESSIVE STAGES IN CHURCH HISTORY. For just a moment, let me give you a perspective- there are seven letters in Revelation 2 – 3 that give us the church in prophetic perspective – the church from Christians ascension until He comes to take His church – from century one to the rapture. In the first place, the seven Churches represent seven phases or periods in the Church’s history, stretching from the time of the apostles to the coming again of Christ, the characteristics of which are set forth partly in the names of these churches, but more fully in the epistles addressed to them.
- There was the Ephesian period–30-60 AD a period of warmth and love and labor for Christ, dating directly from the apostles, in which defection began by the gradual cooling of the love of some, the false professions of others and the incoming of undue exaltations of the clergy and church offices.
- Then came the Smyrna period–60 -300 AD the era of martyrdom, and of the sweet savor unto God of faithfulness unto death, but marked with further developments of defection in the establishment of castes and orders, the license of Judaizing propensities, and consequent departures from the true simplicities of the Gospel.
- Then followed the Pergamite period, 300-500 AD in which true faith more and more disappeared from view, and clericalism gradually formed itself into system,and the church united with the world, and Babylon began to rear itself aloft.
- Then came the Thyatiran period— 500-1500 AD the age of purple and glory for the corrupt priesthood, and of darkness of truth; the age of effeminacy and clerical domination, when the church usurped the place of Christ, and the witness of Jesus were give t dungeons, stakes and inquisitions; the age of the enthronement of false prophetess, reaching to the days of Luther and the Reformation.
- Then came the Sardian period–1500-1800 AD the age of separation and return of the rule of Christ; an age of many worthy names, but marked with deadness withal, and having much of which to repent; an age covering the spiritual lethargy of the Protestant centuries before the great evangelical movements of the last hundred years.
- Next was the Philadelphian period 1800-1950 AD is a time of great missionary fervor, evangelistic outreach and devotional godliness. in this time the world was penetrated with the gospel like no time since Pentecost.
- Which brings us to the Laodicean period, 1950 AD – present they is lukewarmness, self-sufficiency, empty profession, and false peace, in which the day of judgment is to find the unthinking multitude who suppose they are Christians and are not.
slide twelve: seven types
The universal message: ALL CHURCHES THROUGHOUT ALL OF HISTORY — I ALWAYS EXPECT YOUR DEVOTION!
CHRIST WAITING FOR HIS CHURCH: The Church in every Age: SEVEN KINDS OF CHRISTIANS. In the next place, the seven churches represent seven varieties of Christians, true and false. Every professor of Christianity is like one of these seven. This morning more than likely G has classified and found here:
- Some Ephesian Christians, with a great start but a lack of that initial consuming love.
- Some Smyrnan Christians purified by persecution, faithful at all costs to the Lord.
- Some Pergamite Christians, wed to the world, a country club Christian with no standards, with a focus and grip on money, car and job, only doing what is socially acceptable, compromising Scriptures absolutes, more concerned with fashion than with Holiness.
- Some Thyatiran Christians believing and following false doctrine, with a social gospel not a divine call to the new birth.
- Some Sardian Christians, dead as last weeks cut flowers, cold and lifeless, in a spiritual stupor.
- Some Philadelphian Christians, sound in doctrine, zealous in ministry, outreaching the world and deeply in love with the Lord Jesus Christ!
- Some Laodicean, apostate, counterfeit and sickening to Christ. A member of the Christless church that will thrive in the tribulation under Satan’s leadership.
It is of these seven sorts that the whole church is made up. So in a most emphatic way, if you are a born again Christian, this letter is addressed to you—REMEMBER – REPENT – REPEAT
SLIDE THIRTEEN: SEVEN PARABLES
SLIDE FOURTEEN: HOLD FAST! v. 13
Finally now, the heart of the message this morning. Let’s review the lessons we’ve learned.
- God can save – the vilest offender – even Pergamum or you.
- The same Word of God that saves, can dawn the destiny of one who neglects to be saved.
- Watch out since Satan can’t conquer you he will seek to defile you!
So what’s the ultimate lesson? Well, the church at Pergamum had a problem…some had lost these vital birthrights of being born again. They had lost their PURITY, THEIR INTIMACY and THEIR NOURISHMENT. How? Because they got too close to the world by mixing with them, or marrying them, or loving the system.
So Jesus lovingly offers a solution to theirs and sometimes our woeful problems.
- If you have lost your purity – Christ says, Come back and I’ll give you my white stone.
- If you have lost your intimacy – Christ says, Come back and I’ll give you my new name.
- If you have lost your nourishment – Christ says , Come back and I’ll give you my hidden manna.
- If you have lost your focus – Christ says , Come back and I’ll give you my new ears, listen.
- So this morning do you want Christ’s focus? Then go back to listening to Christ speaking to you in the word.
- So this morning do you want Christ Jesus to help you grow? Let Him start feeding you in His word.
- So this morning do you want Christ’s intimacy? Let Him start drawing you to spend time alone with Him, He’s waiting for you.
- So this morning do you want Christ’s purity? Let Him wash and cleanse you and make you pure, as white as snow.
Note the Emphasis = You must let Him do this today!
JESUS CAME TO GIVE HIS OVERCOMERS AN INEXAUSTIBLE SUPPLY Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]. (KJV)
- ALL SPIRITUAL NEEDS MET: John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (KJV)
- ALL SPIRITUAL DESIRES FULFILLED: John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (NIV
 This material drawn from J.A. Seiss, The Apocalypse, pp.