The Church In Pergamum: Dangers Of Compromise

The Church In Pergamum: Dangers Of Compromise

Deacon Chengji - 18 February 2024

The Church In Pergamum: Dangers of Compromise

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Revelations 2

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.

Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 

14 But I have a few things against you:

you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 

15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 1

6 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war 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 the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’


Church in Pergamum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Said to be where parchment was invented
  • Great library with 200,000 parchment scrolls
  • Once capital of the province
  • Worship of Roman Emperors
  • Worship of Aesculapius – healing with snakes
  • Worship of Zeus, the Saviour – Temple and Altar

 

Jesus comes as a Judge

Revelations 2:12

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

Hebrews 4:12

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Revelations 19:15

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

 

Jesus knows your faithfulness

Revelations 2:13

I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.

Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 

 

Jesus threatened war against those who compromised

Revelation 2:14-16

But I have a few things against you:

you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 

So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 

 

Numbers 22:18-19

18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God to do less or more. 19 So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.” 

34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 

 

Numbers 23-24 – Balaam blessing Israel

Numbers 25 –  “whore with daughters of Moab” and “people at and bowed down to their gods.

Numbers 31:16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people.

Beware of the slippery slope of compromises

  • Forgetting our identity
  • Wanting God on our terms
  • “Following our hearts”
  • “But everyone is doing it!”

1 John 2:17

“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”


Reward for those who repent and are true witnesses

Revelation 2:17

To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

John 6:51

 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”


A Faithful and Holy Church

Leviticus 18:1-5

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.


Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching

1 Timothy 4:16

16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

From C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters:

MY DEAR WORMWOOD,
… For this reason I am almost glad to hear that he is still a churchgoer …. As long as he retains externally the habits of a Christian he can still be made to think of himself as one who has adopted a few new friends and amusements but whose spiritual state is much the same as it was six weeks ago.

And while he thinks that, we do not have to contend with the explicit repentance of a definite, fully recognised, sin, but only with his vague, though uneasy, feeling that he hasn’t been doing very well lately.

This dim uneasiness needs careful handling. If it gets too strong it may wake him up and spoil the whole game. …  If such a feeling is allowed to live, but not allowed to become irresistible and flower into real repentance, it has one invaluable tendency.

It increases the patient’s reluctance to think about the Enemy. All humans at nearly all times have some such reluctance; but when thinking of Him involves facing and intensifying a whole vague cloud of half-conscious guilt, this reluctance is increased tenfold.


1 John 1:9-10

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Deacon Chengji
Deacon Chengji
c.chengji@gmail.com

Deacon Chengji is currently studying at Singapore Bible College. He joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a ministry staff in 2013. He is married to Preacher Huijun.

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