THE CHURCH AT PERGAMOS (A Licentious Church) Revelation 2:12-17

1. THE SALUTATION- “And to the Angel of the Church in Pergamos write: These things saith He which hath the Sharp Sword with two edges.”

2. THE COMMENDATION- “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where SATAN’S SEA IS: and thou holdestfast My Name, and hast not denied My Faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyrs, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.”

3. THE COMPLAINT- “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the DOCTRINE OF BALAAM, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the Children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.  So hast thou also them that hold the DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES, which thing I hate.”

4. THE WARNING- ¨Repent! or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the SWORD OF MY MOUTH.”

5. THE PROMISE- “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.”

In this message, Pergamos is spoken of as “Satan Seat.”  When Attalus III, the Priest-King of the Chaldean Hierarchy, fled before the conquering Persians to Pergamos, and settled there, Satan shifted his capital from Babylon to Pergamos.  At first he persecuted the followers of Christ, and Antipas was one of the martyrs.  But soon he changed his tactics and began to exhalt the Church, and through Constantine, united the Church and State, and offered all kinds of inducements for worldly people to come into the church.  Constantine’s motive was more political than religious.  He wished to weld his Christians and Pagan subjects into one people, and so consolidate his empire.  The result of this union was that two false and pernicious doctrines crept into the Church.  The first was the “Doctrine of Balaam,” and the second the “Doctrine of the Nicolaitanes.”  The latter we have already considered under the Message to the Church at Epherus and the foothold it had secured in the Church was seen in the First Great Council of the Church held in Nicaea in A.D. 325.  The Council was composed of about 1500 delegates; the laymen outnumbering the Bishops 5 to 1.  It was a stormy council, full of intrigue and political methods, and the supremacy of the “Clergy” over the “Laity,” it was evident that the “Doctrine of the Nicolaitanes” had secured a strong and permanent foothold. 

(Next week we will take up the Doctrine of Balaam.)