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Pergamos – The Security of Jesus

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DTS # 13 The Security of Jesus Pergamum: Wed to the World

REVELATION 2:12-17

 

Revelation 2:12-17

12 “and to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘these things says he who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to my name, and did not deny my faith even in the days in which Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.14 “but I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.15 “thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.16 ‘repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.17 “he who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’

Let us bow together and ask the Lord’s special blessing as we consider this portion of Scripture.

 

O Father, I thank You that there is great security in Jesus. I thank You Lord Jesus that in You we have redemption, in You we have the peace of Jesus. And we know the sealing through Your blood of Your Spirit keeping us eternally safe into Your presence in Heaven. I pray that we would rejoice in Your security. But also that we would be discerning to see those claim the name of Christ yet who by their very beliefs, doctrine and practices deny You. I pray that You would give us not only discernment but compassion—that when we talk about the errors of those who call themselves part of Christendom, but very obviously are not—that we would not do so in a judgmental way—that we would not do so in a proud way. But rather with the compassion of Christ as You pointed out the errors of those who on the broad road leading to destruction. You plead with them with a heart of compassion that they turn—repent and that they come to the narrow way. We pray that You would guard us– especially any who are from a background of Roman Catholicism—from any unnecessary offence. Help us not to compromise the truth of Your Word. We pray that we would be the wiser and more longing to see our Roman Catholic friends, neighbors and relatives come to know the true Gospel in place of the false gospel that their church espouses. We pray Your blessing on Your Word as we bow before You with open hearts. In the lovely name of Jesus, AMEN.

 

Everything that starts in Genesis, God brings to a wonderful conclusion in the book of the Revelation.

 

The errors of the churches of our day—and the most glaring error of all—are Roman Catholicism as it presents itself as Christianity. All of the errors of today have their roots in Genesis. We will find that Satan has always copied Christ and His Gospel all the way from the beginning.

 

 Genesis

 Revelation
 Creation Heavens and Earth 1:1  A New Creation of Both Heaven and Earth 21:1
 Earth Created 1:1  Earth Passes Away and is no more 21:1
 Light Created 1:3  Christ is the Light 21:23
 Night Instituted 1:4  No More Night 21:25
 Sun and Moon Placed 1:16  No Longer Needed 21:23
 First Sabbath Rest 2:2  Final Rest 14:13
 The River of Life 2:10  River of Life Flowing Under Throne of God 22:1
 Eden 2:8  Paradise of God 2:7
 Servants Appointed 2:15  God’s Servants Truly Serving Him 22:3
 Death Begins 2:17  No More Death 21:4
 First Warning 2:17  Last Warning 22:19
 First Marriage 2:18-25  Last Marriage- Marriage of the Lamb 21:9
 Satan Appears 3:1  Satan Stopped- Cast into Lake of Fire 20:10
 Sin Starts 3:6  Sin Ends 20:14-15
 God’s Face Hidden 3:8, 24  We will See His Face 22:4
 Gates to Eden Shut 3:24  Gates to Paradise Open 21:25
 Curse on Entire Universe 3:16-24  No More Curse 22:3
 Pain 3:16  No Pain 21:4
 Sorrow and Tears 21:16  Tears Stop 21:4
 Judgment Promised 3:15-24  Judgment Executed 20:13
 Tree of Life 3:22  Tree 22:2, Book 20:12 & Water 21:6 of Life
 Paradise Lost 3:23  Paradise Regained 22:14
 City of Man 4:17  City of God 21:2
 First Murder 4:8; Polygamist 4:19; Liar, rebel; drunkard…  Doom of all Such 21:8
 Babylon Starts 10:9-10  Babylon Ends 18:2
 Jerusalem 14:18  New Jerusalem 21:2
 Twelve Sons 30:1-19  Twelve Tribes 21:12 New People of God

 

In this letter, we will see the same wonderful portrait that we see in all seven of the letters. Look at 2:12 it is a letter to an assembly that is growing in a most unlikely place. It is kind of like a seed that gets stuck in the side of a wall or in a rock that finds enough moisture and nutrition to start growing. This is what we will see in this assembly in Pergamos.

 

Part one: meet the Assembly

god can grow his church anywhere! (v. 12a)

 

First the Assembly  – The word Pergamum literally means, “mixed marriage”.

ü      Geographically, this city was 80 miles north of Smyrna, 15 miles inland from the Aegean on a hill 1000 feet above the fertile valleys.

ü      Historically in 95 AD as John wrote it was an old city, it had been the capital of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) for 300 years.

ü      Culturally it was a university town (with the largest library in the ancient world rivaling with Alexandria).  With 200,000 animal skin volumes, in fact, Pergamos is noted for parchment (boiled animal skins) that books were written on.

ü      Religiously it was a sacred (to pagans) city—the focal point of Satan’s kingdom.

  1. Dionysus (Bacchus) worship gods of orgies, wine and debauchery.
  2. Zeus worship (King of Greek/Roman gods).  The altar of Zeus was largest and most famous wonder of ancient world–extending 40’ over cliff.
  3. Ascelapius worship (god of healers) – snakes that slithered over people lying on dark and wet floors to heal them. The people were in a drug-induced stupor and many were probably healed because Satan always imitates God.
  4. Satan’s throne was here. At this time in 95 AD, he was running his global operation out of this city. The king of the mythical gods was here that the whole western world was worshipping.

Ephesians 6: 12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Satan has a hierarchy of servants that follow and serve him.

 

What an awful place to live for Jesus

 

So this assembly, the church at Pergamos, was right in the middle of:

 

  1. The IMMORALity CENTER of the ancient world.  Bacchus/Dionysus. Can you imagine being in a composite of the glitz of Las Vegas, the filth of Times Square and the ease of access of the Internet and put all of this in one place. That was what Pergamos was like.
  2. The IDOLATRY CENTER of the ancient world to the king of the gods of the pagan Graeco-Roman religion of Zeus or Jupiter was headquartered there. All the parts of life had a god attached to them. This pantheon of gods was worshipped.
  3. The false healing center of the ancient world with drug induced stupor’s, snakes, and the false god of healing, Ascelapius. There is a false healing center in Europe called Lourdes. False healing has been a tool of Satan to get people to think that there is divine power coming on them.
  4. Finally, Satanic center of the ancient world, the Devil himself had a personal throne there for the time as headquarters for his global rebellion. Several years ago we went on a missionary trip to Japan, to the city of Kobe then to Kyoto. Kyoto was the ancient capital of Japan where ancestors have been worshipped for centuries. When we started walking among those temples and saw the salt piles in front of the doors to ward off evil spirits. We went into one of the temples I will always remember that the hair on our arms and back of our necks stood up. We were so aware of the oppression of these demon-infested places. That is what Pergamos would have been like.

 

And in that place was a church… the assembly at Pergamos.  The lesson is, Christ can cleanse, forgive and heal!  The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment, from Jesus, a pardon receives. Remember, there is no sin too dark, there is no stain too deep and there is no life too defiled that the Blood of Jesus Christ cannot cleanse. One of the greatest testimonies of this fact is that there was a Church in that city. That is what is wonderful about the Gospel—do not ever pass up the person that looks the worst—they are probably the one closest to the kingdom of Heaven. Always give out the Gospel.

 

The Church at Pergamos Had Been Deeply Influenced by Bad Things

 

  1. In Ephesus then and TBC today there were those whose love had cooled and those who were fervent and warm.
  2. In Smyrna then and TBC today there were faithless and faithful.
  3. In Pergamos then and TBC now there were those who had been converted from immorality, idolatry, false healing and Satanism but slipped back into the world. The lesson from this Church is Jesus Christ wants us to cling to Him and not to the world.

 

How inescapable is the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ, as He penetrates each heart searching each one’s condition today!

 

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
“These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13“I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.15Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”‘

 

Christ has one message to this church:  Repent of being wed to the world, stop worldliness…with unbelievers.

 

 

Beware of the new paganism in the church

 

ü      The majority of those who call themselves Christians in our world today follow a way of worship that would have offended the apostles and early saints.

ü      What do I mean?

  1. The statues of Christ and saints with candles and incense burning before them are idolatrous.
  2. The orders of priests and monks (would be contradictory to Christ-like humility), the calendar of observances, the titles of pontiff, vicar, most excellent, holy water, purgatory, and so much more.  All that came directly from the pagans whom the early saints tried to convert!

 

Remember there were three time periods we are looking at:

 

ð     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.

ð     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.

ð     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 again.

 

ü      It is the historic portrait of the era when the true Holy Catholic Church united with Roman paganism. If someone introduces himself or herself as a Catholic, I will tell them I am a Catholic, too. I always follow up with the explanation that I am not a Roman Catholic. This opens many doors for sharing the true Gospel. Most Roman Catholics do not understand what happened when Roman paganism and the Holy Catholic Church merged.

ü      It is the timeless portrait of any so called Christian who loves and joins in with unbelievers and in the world system.

 

This letter from Christ 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!

 

ü      God says that when you face worldliness and apostasy there is only one response He wants from us:

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness (believers) with lawlessness (unbelievers)? 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.”

 

What is the proper thing to do when involved in something that is apostate? Stay in and try to clean it up and be a wholesome influence there? NO—that is never God’s way. God says get out of it! Do not be defiled by it. Where Christ’s name is dishonored and there is false teaching and idolatry, LEAVE.

 

For six and one half years I was pastor of a church in the most Roman Catholic state in the United States, Rhode Island. When people got saved they would ask if it was all right to go to a relative’s wedding in a Roman Catholic church. I would tell them yes. Then they wanted to know what to do the priest calls everyone forward for the Mass? I asked them what they thought. (The Mass is an abominable, blasphemous re-sacrifice of Christ.) I would ask them do you think that Jesus would like someone to sacrifice Him again when he has been sacrificed once and for all? Should you go up and partake in that? NO. Just don’t get up, stay in your seat. Afterward, if people ask why you did not partake in the Mass, show them from Hebrews 9:28,

“so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.”

 

We should not do anything to draw reproach on the Lord Jesus but is a grievous offense to God for anyone to partake in the Roman Catholic Mass.

 

ü      Remember, God has told us that there is one action to take when we are confronted with worldliness and apostasy. SEPARATE FROM IT physically, do not participate. The earthly brother of our Lord Jesus Christ said in 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”?

 

Those are very sobering words. The Holy Spirit is inside of us and is jealous for us. We are espoused to Christ and His pure bride. We are not to get our clothes soiled needlessly with the love of the world. Look at verse 7:

 

“7Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

 

ü      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.”

 

If we can choose to go along with the flow of the world there is something wrong because God says that we have inside of us the Holy Spirit; and a love for God that we will not want to offend His holiness on purpose. We will slip, we are weak, we will sin but we will not wed ourselves to the world. God will not let us—He will chasten us.

 

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh (chasing pleasure), the lust of the eyes (chasing material things), and the pride of life (chasing our own aggrandizement) —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.”

 

Historians tell us that the Apostle John was in a bathhouse at Ephesus. One of the disciples came in to him and told him that the infidel and apostate Celsius was in there! John wrapped himself in a towel and ran out.

 

ü      Here we flash forward to Mystery Babylon—the satanic, global religion of the future that is in place right now and is going to get bigger—There is a nice little message right in the center of this:

 

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.

 

This is a prophetic message for us today. When this event takes place, God destroys commercial and religious Babylon. This is also to people of all ages who thing they can reform an apostate religion by staying in it. In verse 4 Christ says,

 “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

 

part two: Meet the Author  (V. 12b)

Jesus introduces Himself as the Word of God. He says, Revelation 2:12

 

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword.

 

Jesus is the Word of God. Why should we listen to Him? Because He is:

 

ü      The one who created all things, Genesis 1. He spoke all things into existence.

ü      The one who sustains the universe, Col. 1 by the word of His power. Scientists cannot figure out how everything fits together. They have invented new atomic particles called “gluons”. They say that is why the positive light charged particles in the center of the atom don’t repel and split the atom on their own. There is no scientific reason why light charges that repel each other all stay together in the center of all the atoms. So they must have “glue” on them. No, it is not that, it is the Word of God. Colossians 1:17, “…in him (Jesus Christ) all things hold together…”

ü      The one who accomplished our eternal redemption. In John 19:30, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” This is why it bothers God so much that someone who claims to be Christian says that Jesus did not pay it all, you have to pay part of it. So I am going to sacrifice Jesus again upon this altar to help you get to Heaven. This offends God.

ü      The one who stilled the raging sea, Mt. 14

ü      The one who calmed the fearful hearts, Jn. 6

ü      The one who quelled the terror of disease, Mk. 5

ü      The one who halted the grip of death, Lk. 7, Jn. 11

ü      The one who controlled the elements

ü      The one who commanded demons. Mt. 8:28. The demon-possessed man could rip iron shackles off his arms. This shows the power of demons but Jesus spoke and quelled the terror of demonism, death and disease.

ü      The one who determines destiny of all! John 5:  

28Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

 

In verse 12 Jesus Christ who has a two-edged sword says listen to me Church at Pergamos—I am the Word of God.

 

What are the edges of His sword?

  1. Saving Power if you listen to Him today as SAVIOR or–
  2. Destroying Wrath if you face Him tomorrow as JUDGE!

 

He that is life and judgment gives God’s word to us.

 

part three: The Approval (v. 13)

 

Rev. 2: 13“I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

 

–they were saved in spite of the immorality, idolatry, falseness and Satanism

–they claimed the true name…

–they didn’t deny Christ in fierce trials…

–so, they were to be commended

 

Part four:  listen to The Admonition (v. 14-15)

 

Christ said you are in sin “I have few things against you!”

  1. First, you have Balaam’s doctrine= what is that?

Look at 2:14, “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.”

Four times Balaam goes up to the top of the mountains that overlooked the camp of the Israelites. There were millions of them with all their fires, animals, the Tabernacle.

ü      Numbers 22-25 records how the Moabite king, Balak contacted Balaam a prophet for hire. Balaam is part of the mysterious line prophets that knew the True God. Melchizedek may or may not have been part of this. Noah was—he knew what clean and unclean animals were- no one told him. Balaam knew God personally. He wanted to die the death of the righteous, he just did not want to live the life of the righteous. Balak hired him to curse Israel. He prophesied four times promising Israel’s conquest of Moab and Christ’s coming. God would not let Balaam curse Israel and Balak angrily fired him.

ü      Balaam taught Balak how to subvert Israel— get them involved in sexual sin and God will judge them. Balak sent Moabite women into the Israelite camp and seduced men to commit immorality. God killed 24,000 of Israel with a plague.

ü      This is the doctrine of Balaam, “If you can’t defeat it, join it and defile it and God will judge it”.

ü      Balaam’s doctrine is still here — people actually say they are Christians and live in sexual sin.  There are people who call themselves Christians and invade churches. They get close to the young people and talk about God not wanting us to withhold our desires. I am a Christian and you are a Christian and it is OK—I love you. Remember—LOVE CAN WAIT, LUST CANNOT. And today if you are living in such sin and drawing in others, to you Christ says “I am coming to war against you”.  God will not allow His temple (that we are) to be joined in sexual immorality—either physical or mental. There is far more mental immorality going on now because of TV and the Internet.

ü      Look at verse 16: If you are involved in any Balaam-like sin—sexual immorality—take this as a wake up call: “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against (you) with the sword of My mouth.”

ü      Hebrews 12:5-11 Says that if you are a born-again Christian and you are living in any type of unrepentant sin, that Jesus Christ Himself will come and chasten you. If you are living in sin and are not being chastened, that is the clearest proof that you are not a Christian no matter what others say.

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Heb. 12:6-8 KJV)

God in Heaven is not your Father and if God is not your Father, you are not born again.

 

  1. Second, Nicolaitans, what’s that?  Rev. 2:15, “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate…”

 

History tells us Nicolas supposedly started a cult but there is no record in church history of what he did.  Many pastors through the centuries take this to be two Greek words: Nike-laios – conquered or oppressed people.

 

Through out the history of the Church there have been self-made prophets ruling with rods of iron, building ecclesiastical kingdoms of wealth and power, and that is still with us today, sadly.

 

Just quickly a side note- How did it happen?  How did the pure, simple gospel get in purple robes with gold rings and set in paganism, idols and false “work your way to heaven” doctrines? How did we get this monolithic hierarchy called the Roman Catholic Church?

 

In short, it happened in 313 AD, Emperor Diocletian died so two generals were vying to become the Emperor of the Roman Empire.  Their names were Maxentius in East, Constantine in West.

 

Constantine made a deal with some supernatural being that appeared to him in his tent and said if you help me win at a bridge over a river called Milvian. That night, that being told Constantine that if he would put a red cross on his flag and conquer in the sign of the cross, that he would win the battle. He won against overwhelming odds and overnight the priests of pagan, Godless roman temples were part of the New Roman Catholic Church.  The soldiers baptized, the old rituals of the old Roman Empire, renamed them with Christian terms and everything was confused. Who met with him in his tent that night?

 

Look at Genesis 4:8, “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother, and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” Why was that?

 

What is satan’s church?

 

God had no sooner begun the blessed work in preparing for Himself a people than the Devil did likewise.  In fact, the first baby to be born on this earth later became Satan’s original convert!  See Genesis 4:8 {Religion Starts} God said I want an offering and what I want is a bloody sacrifice—an animal killed and offered on an altar. Abel went out to his flock and found his best lamb, killed it and poured out its blood and burned it on the altar. Cain brought produce from his fields. Cain told God that he gave his best, not what God wanted, but my good works. He became the father of those who want to try to please God with their good works. Abel became the father of those who come to God by faith with a substitutionary offering.

 

I John 3:12. “…not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”

 

We shall now consider the historical, current, and future activities of this perverted prostitute.

ü      The harlot viewed historically: Satan’s church began officially at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9 {Organized Religion}, nearly 24 centuries BC.  Here, in the fertile plain of Shinar, probably very close to the original Garden of Eden, the first spade of dirt was turned for the purpose of Devil-worship.

ü      The first full-time minister of Satan was Nimrod, Noah’s wicked and apostate grandson (Gen. 10:8-10). Secular history and tradition tell us that Nimrod married a woman who was as evil and demonic as he.  Her name was Semerimus.  Knowing God’s promise of a future Savior (Gen. 3:15), Semerimus brazenly claimed that Tammuz, her first son, fulfilled this prophecy.

ü      Semerimus thereupon instituted a religious system that made both her and her son the objects of divine worship.  She herself became the first high Priestess.  Thus began the mother-child cult which later spread to every culture of the world.

 

  1. From Babylon it spread to Phoenicia under the name of Ashteroth and Tammuz.
  2. From Phoenicia it traveled to Pergamos in Asia Minor.  This is the reason for John’s admonition to the church of Pergamos in the book of Revelation:  “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is…”  (Rev. 2:13) because the mother-son religion was headquartered in the temple of Zeus. This did not start with the Roman Catholic church—they inherited it and it became Mary and Jesus.

ü      In Egypt the mother-child cult was known as Isis and Horus.

ü      In Greece it became Aphrodite and Eros.

ü      In Rome this pair was worshiped as Venus and Cupid.  Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost writes, “Several years ago I visited an archeological museum in Mexico City.  A recent find had just been put on display that Mexican archeologists had authenticated as belonging to the period about 200 years before Christ.  The object was the center of religious worship among some of the early Indians in Mexico.  To my amazement, it was an image of a mother with a child (Semerimus and Tammuz) in her arms.  This Babylonian religion spread abroad to become the religion of the world….”[1][1]

ü      What was the teaching of Semerimus’ satanic church? That Semerimus herself was the way to God.  She actually adopted the title “Queen of Heaven.”  Now look at JEREMIAH 7:17; 44:17-19, 25.

  1. That she alone could administer salvation to the sinner through various sacraments, such as the sprinkling of holy water.
  2. That her son Tammuz was tragically slain by a wild boar during a hunting trip.
  3. That he was, however, resurrected from the dead forty days later.  Thus, each year afterward the temple virgins of this cult would enter a forty-day fast as a memorial to Tammuz’s death and resurrection.
  4. After the forty-day fast, a joyful feast {Easter} called Ishtar took place.  At this feast colored eggs were exchanged and eaten as a symbol of the resurrection.  An evergreen tree was displayed and a Yule log was burned. Finally hot cakes marked with the letter T (to remind everybody of Tammuz) were baked and eaten!

 

About 2000 B.C. God called Abraham away from all this (see Joshua 24:2, 3) and led him into the Promised Land.  But by the ninth century B. C. Israel had returned to this devil worship under the influence of wicked Jezebel (see 1 Kings 16:30-33).  At this time the cult was worshiped under the name of Baal.

ü      Both Ezekiel and Jeremiah warned against this hellish thing.  “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezek. 8:14).

ü      “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven…to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her…” Jeremiah 7:16-18;

16“Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you. 17Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.”

 

Jeremiah 44:25, 17But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. 18But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.”
19The women also said, “And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands’ permission?”

 

They made “cakes” – this is where the idea of the “host” of Roman Catholicism comes from.

 

Jeremiah 44:25, “25Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: “You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, “We will surely keep our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” You will surely keep your vows and perform your vows!’” The idea of saints, vows, rosary goes right back to this paganism.

 

ü      By the time of Christ, this cult had so influenced Roman life that the Caesars were not only crowned as emperors of Rome but also bore the title Pontifex Maximus, meaning, and “high priest.”  They were high priests of the Babylonian satanic church!

ü      During the year A. D. 306 a Roman emperor named Constantine was threatened by a very powerful enemy army.  Realizing that his uneasy troops needed confidence, Constantine claimed to have seen a vision on the eve of the battle.  He saw a large blue flag with a red cross on it and heard a mighty voice that said In hoc signo vinces — “in this sign conquer.”  He thereupon marched his troops into a shallow river, claimed them to be officially baptized, and ordered the sign of the cross painted on all his weapons.  Thus inspired, he led his troops to victory and subsequently made Christianity the state religion of Rome.

ü      The Roman priests of Tammuz soon discovered that they could easily make the transition into Christianity (with certain changes) and thereupon carried their traditions forward without interruption by promoting the Madonna-Child worship concept, the holy-water sacrament, etc.  For years the Roman Catholic popes have worn their well-known “fisherman ring.”

 

This symbol can be traced back to the Philistines, who worshiped the fish god Dagon (1 Sam. 5) along with Tammuz.

 

Thus, for nearly 300 years the Devil had desperately attempted to destroy the church from outside by his terrible persecutions.  But with the advent of Constantine he changed his tactics, walking the aisle, applying for membership, and joining the church!  To this very day he holds his church letter!  The corrupted church was already flourishing in Christ’s day, and the Savior delivered a scathing attack against some of its very deacons and elders!  See Matthew 23.

 

Thus, seven biblical reasons I can’t ever be in the Roman Catholic Church.

 

  1.         The lie of The Mass
  2. The lie of The role of Mary
  3. The lie of Tradition over Scripture
  4. The lie of Veneration (worship) of images
  5. The lie of The false Sacraments
  6. The lie of Purgatory
  7.        The lie to Paganism

 

Balaam joined and defiled the Church and Nicolaitans were lording over……

 

Lesson #3:  Watch out, Satan can’t conquer you, but he can get you to slip into filth.

 

part five The Appeal (v. 16)

 

Finally, now, the heart of the message.  Let’s review the lessons we’ve learned.

ü      God can save – the vilest offender – even Pergamum or you.

ü      The same Word of God that saves, can draw the destiny of one who neglects to be saved.

ü      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 their 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.

 

ü      If you have lost your purity – Christ says, Come back and I’ll give you my white stone. Do you want Christ’s purity?  Let Him wash and cleanse you and make you pure, as white as snow.

ü      If you have lost your intimacy – Christ says, Come back and I’ll give you my new name. Do you want Christ’s intimacy?  Let Him start drawing you to spend time alone with Him, He’s waiting for you.

ü      If you have lost your nourishment – Christ says, Come back and I’ll give you my hidden manna. Do you want Christ Jesus to help you grow?  Let Him start feeding you in His word.

ü      If you have lost your focus – Christ says, Come back and I’ll give you my new ears, listen. Do you want Christ’s focus? Then go back to listening to Christ speaking to you in the word.

 

Note the Emphasis = You must let Him do this today!

 

PART SIX: THE ASSURANCE   (V. 17 )

The Spiritual Message: Jesus Has a Wonderful Plan for Every True Believer—He Always Offers the Best To You

 

The last message Jesus has for us  is His wonderful plan. He has spelled out what He wants us to be like. He has detailed how  by His grace He will enable us to live!  Jesus is here today. CHRIST SEEKING OUT HIS CHURCH: Our Lord Jesus Christ came to give so much. Have you received what Jesus came to give every one of His own born again children?

 

 TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE

 

Revelation 2:7

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 tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (KJV)

 

ü      This means we have infinite life in paradise regained – John 3:16

ü      an OVERFLOWing life:  John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (NIV)

ü      AN extraordinary  LIFE: John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. [perissos exceeding some number or measure or rank or need, over and above, more than is necessary, superadded, exceeding abundantly, supremely something further, more, much more than all, more plainly, superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon, pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more eminent,  more remarkable, more excellent]

TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE AN INDESTRUCTIBLE LIFE

 

Revelation 2:11

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (KJV)

 

ü      SECURE FROM ANY PHYSICAL ADVERSARY:  John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand. (KJV)

ü      SECURE FROM ANY SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY:  Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV)

 

TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE 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)

 

ü      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)

ü      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)

 
 
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