top of page
forekkfinal-5jQ0U0TWJ.jpeg

FOR EKKLESIA

The Church in Pergamum

Scripture Revelation 2:12-17

- Rev. 2:12

- When it references, “double-edged sword” it reminds me of Hebrews 4:12 NIV.

- This is confirmation that this book is talking about Jesus; Jesus is living and He is still active on this earth through His Holy Spirit.

- In the KJV it describes Jesus as, “quick and powerful”.

- When the enemy attacks us, this is a reminder that Jesus, the Word, is our weapon; not our words and not our opinions

- Jesus, the Word, should be our weapon of choice.

- This should be encouragement for you to get into the Word; know your Word; in other words, know Jesus.

- The Lord’s description of Himself would surely have encouraged the people, for the sword was also the symbol of the Roman government; the sword symbolized power.

- When you understand the importance of God’s Word, you’ll understand the power you possess.

 

- Rev. 2:13, “I know where you live – where Satan has his throne. (at the end of this verse it again states, “where Satan lives.”)

- It is clear that Pergamum was a wicked city, but that did not stop God from placing a church in the midst of a wicked city.

- Research shows that Pergamum was the first city in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) to have a temple dedicated to Caesar.

- In addition, this city also had a temple dedicated to their god of healing, whose insignia was the entwined serpent on the staff.

- What’s interesting is that this is still used today as a medical symbol

- If you don’t think Satan is subliminally trying to impart his agenda into your everyday life, think again.

- Matthew 26:41, “Watch and Pray”; be mindful of things around you, and pray about everything.

- the enemy has an agenda; he still wants to have a seat in your home and call your home his kingdom, but you have to kick him out.

 

- Verse 13 said, “Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city.”

- Just like the Church in Smyrna many had remained true to God in spite of persecution, even after one of their own fellow believers had died for the faith.

- Satan will use whatever, whenever, to waiver your faith.

 

- Rev. 2:14, here comes the correction.

- Three things: there were some, not all, who were eating food sacrificed to idols, who were committing sexual immorality, and who were holding to false teaching contrary to God’s Word.

- Before I break down what each sin meant, let met address it as a whole.

- According to Galatians 5:9, “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”

- Three things about yeast. One, it gives the ability for bread to rise. Two, it creates a more open texture. And three, it adds strength to the dough.

- if you don’t address the compromise of sin in your life: One, you give room for that sin to grow; it will expand its territory in your life. Two, you allow it to become more open for more compromise; you allow yourself to be more open-minded to the world’s perspective on topics that are contradicting to God’s Word. And three, eventually sin becomes a stronghold in your life that is much harder to get rid of. That is the Power of Yeast.

- That is the power of sin when you let it sit and spread.

- It’s clear that Satan had not been able to destroy this church by coming as the roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), but he was making inroads as the deceiving serpent.

- sin wants to entangle itself around your sound mind until it chokes out God’s Word from your life; what he does is deceive you by thinking a certain way that isn’t biblical until you believe that it is.

- Why would we create inroads for a deceiving serpent?

- We should not want the enemy close; we should want Jesus closer.

 

- verse 14, Jesus mentions a story about Balaam and King Balak.

- The story of Balaam is found in the book of Numbers; again, if you want to know the God of Revelation, get to know Him Genesis through Jude.

- Balaam was a true prophet who prostituted his gifts in order to earn money from King Balak, who hired him to curse the people of Israel.

- In the end, King Balak took Balaams advice, made friends with Israel, and then invited the Jews to worship and feast at the pagan altars and participate in their pagan practices of sexual immorality.

- What the nation of Israel did during King Balak’s time and what the church in Pergamum was doing was very similar and John was pointing it out at Jesus’ direction.

- The church was falling into the trap of being a good neighbor. In other words, if you can’t beat your enemies, join ‘em.

- One word: Compromise.

- If you the only one saved in your family, if you the only one saved at your job, if you the only one saved on your block, it’s not so that you will eventually end up like them; it’s because God strategically placed you to be a witness to them and give them the good news about Jesus.

- Jesus was trying to get this church to remember their assignment and don’t compromise; Jesus is sending you this same message today: “The world doesn’t need another good neighbor; the

world needs an honest neighbor who will tell them the truth, because according to John 8:32, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

- We weren’t called to, “Just get along.”

- The church in Pergamum was starting to say, “There is nothing wrong with being friendly to Rome; just get along.”

- Earlier we read that Antipas refused to compromise and was martyred, but others took the “easy way” and cooperated with Rome.

- What did we learn from Smyrna? Suffering for Christ results in acknowledgement from Christ, “You are rich!” Don’t settle for the world’s crown.

 

- Rev. 2:14, “Israel sinned by eating food sacrificed to idols.”

- the nation of Israel was more concerned with consuming the things of this world that were designed to glorify the world and even themselves, rather than consuming the things of God that both glorified God and brought growth and maturity to themselves.

- Let me shoot it to you straight; when we are more willing to sacrifice our time and attention to the world than to God, that’s a problem.

- When things of this world are worth more sacrifice that what God is offering, we are eating food designed for idols, not for God.

- What things are you sacrificing for that if you were to ask God, He’d have a problem with it? Have you bothered to ask God if what you sacrifice for is offensive to Him?

- Because according to scripture, if you offend Him, He’s coming TO YOU, not FOR YOU.

 

- Rev. 2:14, “and by committing sexual immorality.”

- There is two parts to this: let me give you the most obvious one first.

- What kind of sexual immorality you ask? I’m glad you asked, here goes: prostitution, homosexuality, perversion, fornication.

 

- But here is another part of the sexually immorality; another translation for this phrase is, “spiritual fornication.”

- How were some in the Church at Pergamum committing spiritual fornication? By saying “Caesar is Lord.” When they didn’t learn to beat ‘em, but to join ‘em, they compromised their allegiance to the Lord. This compromise made them welcome in Roman society and protected them from Roman persecution, but it cost them their testimony and their crown.

- Let’s go back to Smyrna for a sec; Jesus told the church in Smyrna, because of your faithfulness I will give you the crown of life. And now Jesus was telling the church in Pergamum, your faithlessness is costing you your crown.

- We all want the gifts of the Spirit, but we are we willing eat the fruits of the spirit?

- And yet Holy Spirit is giving us access to be faithful by consuming the fruit of faithfulness. Why? So that we may be eligible for the crown of life.

 

- The name “Pergamum” can also be translated, “Pergamos”; some of your Bibles might even have the name Pergamos instead of Pergamum.

- The name “Pergamos” means, “married”.

- So when John wrote to this church, and told them that they were committing sexual immorality because of their disloyalty to Jesus Christ as Lord of all, they knew it went against their very identity; it went against the meaning of their name.

- the church body or the individual Christian that compromises with the world just to avoid suffering or achieve success, is committing “spiritual adultery” and being unfaithful to the Lord.

- And the encouragement we need to take from this statement is this; despite our unfaithfulness, Christ is still faithful.

- Jeremiah 3:14 states that God is married to the backslider, He is saying, “I’m still committed to you even though you haven’t been committed to me.”

- Who wants to risk His commitment to us in the after-life? The encouragement here is to stay faithful; the purpose of this book for Ekklesia was to encourage them 2-fold: Christ is coming back for you one day, so stay faithful. And, His soon return should be motivation for obedience and consecration.

- “If I catch you unfaithful, it can affect your crown of life.”

 

- Revelation 2:16

- In verse 13 John wrote that Antipas had felt the sword of Rome, but in this verse, John wrote that the church in Pergamum would feel the sword of Christ. Remember, Christ is the Word.

- John 1:1

- Jesus is the Word. The Word is described as a sword in this verse and in Hebrews 4:12 KJV it’s described as this, “The Word of God is quick and powerful…”

- Jesus is quick and He is powerful.

- We all know that Jesus told His disciples, “I’m coming soon,” but there is something much quicker than His coming FOR the church; it is His coming TO the church.

- If we don’t address our unfaithfulness, our sacrifice for things of this world, and our loyalty to our groom like we’ve been called to, a present judgement comes to a church and/or individual believer when it is disobedient to the Word of God, which is Jesus.

 

- Rev. 2:17

- We know from the two previous churches, Jesus isn’t just talking to the body, but to individuals as well. If you got ears, believers, I’m talking to you; this is for you.

- But within verse 17 we also find two things that believers, who persevere through the adversity and stay true to God, will receive: “hidden manna” and “a white stone.”

- First, hidden manna.

- John 6:35 Jesus is described as, “the bread of life.”

- Jesus was telling them, “I will give you a side of Me no one else can get until you pursue Me faithfully.”

- Jesus is offering us salvation, but the gifts of the Spirit are reserved for those who pursue Him faithfully.

- In other words, He’s going to give more of Himself to us if we go deeper with Him.

- In the book “Fasting for Fire” by Jennifer Miskov, she writes: “there are three fire fasts –the fire fast of intimacy, the fire fast of consecration, and the fire fast of revival.”

- Going on a fast helps to enhance your intimacy, your consecration, which will ultimately lead to revival in your life.

- if you want revival in your life church, you have to apply the first two points of intimacy and consecration.

- Scripture says in verse 17, “He who overcomes, I will give some of the HIDDEN manna.” This book, for Ekklesia, is a book of uncovering and unveiling, and here the writer is saying, “I’m about to uncover something hidden, so get ready!”

- What is currently hidden? More of Christ. And Jesus is asking, “Do you really want to know me? Then learn to be an overcomer.”

 

- What do you want church? Do you want what you can see, or do you want what you cannot see? Because what’s hidden is saved for the desperate; it’s saved for the hungry and thirsty; it’s saved for overcomer.

- fasting is learning to overcome to receive what’s hidden.

- Fasting helps us to attain intimacy, fasting helps to attain consecration, which will lead to the revival in your life you’ve been fighting for.

- Antipas received the hidden manna. Why should that encourage you? Because it can happen and it will happen for you, if you will refuse to compromise your faith.

 

- Revelation 2:17c, “A white stone…

- (This was perhaps a reference to an ancient practice of giving a defendant on trial one of two stones: a white one if found innocent or a black one if found guilty. It was also used like a “ticket” to gain admission to a feast)

- the jury has been given the authority to determine verdict in the case. And the jury is, in essence, handing the judge the white stone or the black stone to determine guilty or not guilty.

- The church in Pergamum knew the court system of that time. They understood what the “white stone” represented; they knew it meant redemption.

- But here’s the second meaning to that “white stone”; a ticket to gain admission to a feast.

- The Church in Pergamum had to have remembered the parable Jesus gave of the wedding banquet.

- In Matthew chapter 22 Jesus described a feast prepared for invited guests only. As the story goes on, the guest list opened to any who were willing to come. But, they had to be dressed appropriately.

- To be dressed appropriately means you are dressed in righteousness; means, you are a believer in Jesus and He has clothed you appropriately with His blood.

- One of the guests wasn’t, thought He could get in without the requirements, and was set out.

- In essence, He didn’t have his ticket for the feast.

- And if the church in Pergamum remembered this story, it had to have triggered within them, “We don’t want to be put out of the upcoming feast.”

- Jesus is asking you today church, “Do you have your ticket secured?”

- But here’s the last thing The church in Pergamum was left to ponder and hopefully correct, “If we overcome, not only will we be given the hidden manna, the deeper things, not only will we get the white stone, found innocent, not only will we be given a ticket to attend the feast with Jesus, but we are also going to obtain that promise that was given to our forefathers; the promise of a new name.

- When they were told they would be given a new name, known only to him who receives it, they identified with that, because of the story of Abraham and Jacob.

- What is identifying you now church? What name has the world placed on you that you can’t shake? What name do you think you have to carry in order to stay blessed?

- He has a new name for you, but it awaits your uncompromising faith. And it makes no sense on the outside looking it; it remains hidden for your faith to find out.

bottom of page