Pergamum: ‘Loyal To The Truth’

The truth matters! The truth of God’s Word / Jesus Christ matters!

The truth is a rare commodity in a information age. I encourage you to dig for the truth, the only way to be well informed is to have multiple source who acknowledge their bias. If they do not acknowledge their bias they are trying to deceive.

So there is a battle for your ‘Heart’. Who and what has captured your heart?

The word ‘tolerate’. The Cult of Tolerance in our world is not about ‘The Truth’

Beware when ‘The World’ tells you that ‘Everyone’ should agree that _______

Do not detach the message from the messenger: ‘Test the spirits’

1st John 4:1

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

We have to see and fight for truth and protect our lives & minds from being corrupted

The danger is not in the outright lie, but in the subtle distortion of truth

Beware the ‘Truth Plus’…the tolerance of untruth along with truth

The message to the church in Pergamum is very relevant to us here today.

Revelation 2:12-17

Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:

  • Provincial Roman Capital City ‘Seat of Power’ (Temple of the Imperial Cult)
  • Art, Science & Technology ‘Parchment’
  • Healing Cult of ‘Esculapius’ (Serpent)
  • Library 2nd only to Alexandria in Ancient World (Mark Anthony Gift to Cleopatra)
  • High level of ‘Spirituality’…
  • The two edged sword: The Truth / God’s Word / 2 edges signifies separating

I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.

  • Satan is empowered when he is worshiped…
  • Satan sets himself up to be worshiped in deceptive ways
  • Pergamum: Zeus / Snake Healer / Emperor
  • But the church as a whole had remained loyal to Jesus Christ
  • The martyrdom of Antipas: Refusal to worship the Emperor
  • The definition of faithful witness: He was confessing / preaching Christ Jesus

But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel.

  • What does it mean to tolerate? Is it ok to not tolerate evil?
  • Can followers of Jesus Christ say “we will not tolerate Evil”?
  • Balaam’s teaching is a perversion of Christian Liberty
  • The intermixing of evil with God’s people & God’s way is what Balak did
  • This is the error of becoming ‘Worldly’ or ‘Married to the World’
  • Pergamum means: Completely Married

He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching.

  • Taking part in some of the Temple festivities & practices / Mixing lifestyle
  • The Nicolaitans their current example of this heresy…we have our examples

Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

  • Christ says the church body has sin in this area (individuals and corporately)
  • Repentance is how we connect to ‘The Truth’
  • We can learn with spiritual sensitivity and humility or…
  • He will come amongst us and fight the ‘Grace Abusers’ with HIS Truth
  • It will be a lesson we learn but it will be with conflict and pain (the sword)

Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

  • We’re called to obedience by God’s Spirit as one Body, we understand together
  • We must consider what is important to our Lord as important to us

To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven.

  • The reward of the intimate presence of Christ
  • God sustained the Israelites with mana, Christ declared he was that same thing
  • Only by standing for ‘The Truth’ will you get to be standing with ‘The Truth’

And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.

  • The personal identity of exactly who God made you to be
  • You will be exactly who God made you to be and you will know it

Repentance is Crucial

Application Questions

What areas of your life are more impacted by Satan’s Throne than by Christ’s Truth?

What does ‘remaining loyal’ & being A Faithful Witness look like in your life?

How do we figure out what we as ‘Christ’s Body’ should not tolerate?

What sins of association, compliance, and silence do you need to repent of?

How might we raise our cultural value of ‘repentance’ here @ Midtown?

Why should we care about getting Hidden Manna or A White Stone?