Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Revelation of Christ – Part 5: Pergamos the Immoral Church - HOFC


The Revelation of Christ – Part 5:
Pergamos the Immoral Church - HOFC
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

This Document is a Sermon Outline, you may hear the full audio of the actual sermon by following the link Online Audio Files located above for this, and other Full Sermon Audios.  For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit TruthDigest.org, or Truth Digest on facebook; for our Official Church website, visit PS127.org, or find us on facebook at House of Faith Church

SERMON INTRODUCTION
The Book of Revelation, or the Revelation of Christ, is the most difficult book in the bible.

Because of this fact, many avoid it, or ignore it all together. Some fear lack of understanding, others afraid to misinterpret, which I guess it is better to avoid than dive in and get it completely wrong.

Many times, when a new believer comes to me for direction, they want to jump right into Revelation and find out what’s to come.

This is equivalent to deciding one day to learn Mandarin and sitting down to author a novel in Chinese that very same day.

Or, a kindergartener learning how to count, and then trying to calculate quantum mechanics calculations.

The words in Revelation have caused much debate on rapture, judgement, even some who claim John was writing about the events in his day in code rather than Jesus Christ revealing to him about the coming events and Judgment.

A special blessing is promised to those who read Revelation.

Although it may be a difficult book, we could all use a special blessing, reading this is good for us all, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will take the Revelation of Christ in small portions and gain understanding, little by little.





SERMON SERIES

THE THINGS WHICH ARE – The Church Age (Age of Grace)
Part 4 – Smyrna The Steadfast Church
Part 5 – Pergamos The Immoral Church
Part 6 – Thyatira The Careless Pagan Church
Part 7 – Sardis The Dead Church
Part 8 – Philadelphia The Favored Church
Part 9 – Laodicea The Church God Hates

THE THINGS WHICH SHALL BE – The Coming Judgment
Part 10 – The Throne of God
Part 11 – The Living Creatures (Various Angels)
Part 12 – Heavenly Worship (As it is in Heaven)
Part 13 – The Sealed Book (Various Books)
Part 14 – The Lion and the Lamb
Part 15 – The First 6 Seals
Part 16 – The 144,000 Jews
Part 17 – The Tribulation Saints
Part 18 – The Seventh Seal
Part 19 – The First 4 Trumpets
Part 20 – The 5th Trumpet
Part 21 – The 6th Trumpet
Part 22 – The Mighty Angel
Part 23 – The Two Witnesses
Part 24 – The Seventh Trumpet
Part 25 – The Woman and the Dragon
Part 26 – Manchild
Part 27 – Michael
Part 28 – Overcomers
Part 29 – Persecution
Part 30 – Antichrist
Part 31 – The Lamb

More sermons in the series listed in Part 1

TODAY’S SERMON
Part 5 – Pergamos The Immoral Church

Revelation 1:3
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”


SCRIPTURE READING
Revelation 2:12-17
 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.
14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.”

          I.      INTRODUCTION AND PRAISE
a.   These are the words of Him who has the sharp double-edge sword
                                     i.   The double-edge sword the Lord has is the Word of God
1.   Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

                                    ii.   The Lord is stating that He is able to judge the thoughts, and attitudes of the heart.

                                   iii.   So, when the Lord says “I know…” whatever He says next is 100% accurate in His knowledge and understanding.

                                   iv.   The Lord has complete comprehension of the matter.


b.   I know Where you live
                                     i.   “…where Satan has his throne.”
1.   The symbol of authority.
2.   Jesus doesn’t mean, “I know your address…” rather, He means “I understand where you live”
3.   He knows the situation, what it is like, and all the struggles there.
4.   “I know…” showing the Lord’s complete understanding of whatever He says next.

                                    ii.   “You remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me.”
1.   Speaking to the church as a “body” not wayward individuals within the church body

c.   You did not renounce me
                                     i.   “Not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness who was put to death in your city where Satan lives.”
1.   We know nothing more of Antipas here than what is told in Revelation.
2.   But we do know, if those faithful to Christ were being martyred, it would scare some into denying faith in Jesus.
3.   Peter denied knowing Jesus three times when Jesus was captured and taken to the cross.
4.   This is a real fear for many, but this church, as a body, did not renounce the Lord, even under the fear of persecution and death.

                                    ii.   The Lord says Pergamos is ruled by Satan (the throne), and Satan himself “lives there”
1.   “lives there” meaning dwell, or abode.
2.   Today, Pergamos (pergamon) is located in the modern town of Bergama, in the province of Izmir, Turkey.

a.   Does Satan still have his throne there and rule the land?

                                   iii.   The name Bergama is connected to the Hittite language and means “high”

1.   Isaiah 14:11-14 “All your pride has been brought down to the grave,
    along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
    and worms cover you.
12 How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
13 
You said in your heart, (Revelation 2:12 the Lord knows ourhearts)
    “I will
ascend to the heavens;
I will
raise my throne
    
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the
mount of assembly,
    on the
utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
14 I will
ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”

                                   iv.   Zaphon was the most sacred mountain of the Canaanites
1.   The Canaanites are mentioned over 150 times in the Bible. They were a wicked, idolatrous people descended from Noah’s grandson Canaan, who was a son of Ham (Genesis 9:18).
2.   Modern day Jebel Aqra, properly Jebel al-ʾAqraʿ
3.   also known as Mount Casius
4.   Zaphon is also in Turkey


                                    v.   Pergamos (Pergamon) is where the throne of Satan was and where he lived
1.   This is in modern Turkey
2.   In Isaiah, Satan says he will ascend, raise, above, be utmost high, ascend above, tops, make himself like the most high on Mount Zaphon
3.   Zaphon was the sacred mountain of the wicked Canaanites
4.   Zaphon is also located in Turkey

                                   vi.   So, Satan according to scripture ruled Turkey and lived there. Is his throne still there today? Does he still “live” there?
1.   Turkey is 98% Islam
2.   So, perhaps?
3.   Out of the 82,003,882 people living there, there is approximately 16,000 professing Christians, or 0.2%

d.   Such was the state of the church in Pergamos
                         i.   Within Satan’s throne, and his home, surrounded by evil, they did not renounce Christ.


         II.      FAULT & SINS
a.   Nevertheless, I have a few things against you
                                     i.   The Lord shows where they excel as a church, but where they could do better as individuals.

b.   Balaam
                                     i.   The Lord states, “there are some among you”

                                    ii.   Who hold to the teaching of Balaam
1.   Balaam, a prophet from Mesopotamia, was willing to use his God-given talents for illicit purposes.

2.   According to 2 Peter 2:15, Balaam’s way is a choice to promote falsehood for financial reasons.
3.   According to Jude 1:11, Balaam’s error was his willingness to accommodate pagan beliefs out of greed.

4.   Jude 1:4 also refers to the sin of those “who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality.”

5.   One trait of false teachers in the church is that they attempt to turn Christian liberty into a “freedom” to be promiscuous (see Romans 14:1–5).

6.   Putting these ideas together gives a clear view of the doctrine of Balaam.

a.   It is the attitude that one can be fully cooperative with the world and still serve God. The doctrine of Balaam teaches compromise, wanting Christians to forget they are called to be separate and holy (Leviticus 20:26; 1 Peter 1:2)
b.   The doctrine of Balaam makes believers indistinguishable from the unbelieving world (Matthew 5:13).
c.   The doctrine of Balaam is a belief that “a little sin” doesn’t hurt (Galatians 5:9), especially if there’s some financial or personal benefit involved (1 Timothy 6:5).
d.   A person following the doctrine of Balaam is willing to compromise his beliefs for the sake of economics.
e.   He acts to enable sinful behaviors for personal gain or even participate in them (Romans 1:32).

7.   In practical terms, the teaching or doctrine of Balaam is the view that Christians can—or even should—compromise their convictions for the sake of popularity, money, sexual gratification, or personal gain. It’s the attitude that treats sin as “no big deal.”



                                   iii.   Christians can’t—and shouldn’t—totally shun the presence of sinners or unbelievers (Luke 7:34; 1 Corinthians 5:9–13), but we are obligated to stand up for truth (Ephesians 4:25), righteousness (Proverbs 23:20; Romans 14:22), and goodness (2 Peter 1:5, Matthew 5:16), whether it’s what others want to hear or not (John 4:16–18; 8:11; Acts 24:24–25).


c.   Nicolatians
                                     i.   The Lord also states, “Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolatians.”
1.   Remember, in Revelation 2:6, God says He “hates” their practices.

                                    ii.   What are Nicolatians?
1.   Nicolaitans means the bishops and cardinals of the Church have gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the laity.

2.   Members are compelled and forced to submit to the arbitrary dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates.

3.   The Apostle Peter warned that those who were leaders among God's people were NOT to dominate over the faith of others but rather exhort them to do right (1Peter 5:1-3).

                                   iii.   The teachings and preaching of this group is also variously defined as a hierarchy, the power of dominion, or as the establishment of a government by ecclesiastical rulers.

                                   iv.   The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is the teaching that there is a strict hierarchy within God's church that must be respected by all. Ranks and levels are created in order to maintain power and control so that, ultimately, the lowest level of the church (the members) can be ruled over and taken advantage of at any time. The whole system feeds on competition and strife among those who consider themselves Christians.

                                    v.   The Lord not only demands repentance from those who believe and practice the doctrine of the Nicolaitans but also threatens severe punishment if they do not. God warns us to "Remember therefore from where you have fallen . . . or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place" (Revelation 2:5).

        III.      REPENT & REWARDS
a.   Repent therefore!
                                     i.   Revelation 2:16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”
                                    ii.   Meaning the Lord will “speak” judgment against them!

b.   Whoever has ears
                                     i.   Let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

c.   To the Victorious
                                     i.   Who is victorious here?
1.   Those who turn from the teachings of Balaam
2.   Those who reject the hierarchy of church leadership

                                    ii.   They will receive the reward the Lord promises!

CONCLUSION – Whoever has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches
What are the rewards the Lord promises to the Victorious?
Ephesus - To the one who is VICTORIOUS I (Jesus) will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.

Smyrna - The one who is VICTORIOUS will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Pergamos - The one who is VICTORIOUS I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

The best theory regarding the meaning of the white stone probably has to do with the ancient Roman custom of awarding white stones to the victors of athletic games. The winner of a contest was awarded a white stone with his name inscribed on it. This served as his “ticket” to a special awards banquet. According to this view, Jesus promises the overcomers entrance to the eternal victory celebration in heaven. The “new name” most likely refers to the Holy Spirit’s work of conforming believers to the holiness of Christ (see Romans 8:29; Colossians 3:10).

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