The Security of Jesus, Pergamum: Wed to the World

Notes & Transcripts

March 20, 2012

By: John Barnett

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Revelation 2:12-17

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.14 “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.15 “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.16 ‘Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight 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 him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”/ ’


Genesis Revelation

Creation heavens and earth 1:1 A New Creation of both 21:1

Earth Created 1:1 Earth passes away 21:1

Light created 1:3 Christ is the Light 21:23

Night instituted 1:4 No Night 21:25

Sun and moon placed 1:16 Not needed 21:23

First rest 2:2 Final rest 14:13

The River 2:10 River of Life 22:1

Eden 2:8 Paradise 2:7

Servants appointed 2:15 Servants serving 22:3

Death 2:17 No more death 21:4

First Warning 2:17 Last Warning 22:19

First marriage 2:18-25 Last Marriage 21:9

Satan appears 3:1 Satan stopped 20:10

Sin starts 3:6 Sin ends 20:14-15

God's face hidden 3:8, 24 See His face 22:4

Gates shut 3:24 Gates open 21:25

Curse 3:16-24 No more Curse 22:3

Pain 3:16 No pain 21:4

Sorrow and tears 21:16 Tears stop 21:4

Judgment promised 3:15-24 Judgment executed 20:13

Tree of Life 3:22 Tree 22:2, Book 20:12 & Water 21:6 of Life

Paradise Lost 3:23 Paradise Regained 22:14

City of Man 4:17 City of God 21:2

First murder 4:8; polygamist 4:19; liar, rebel; drunkard... Doom of all such 21:8

Babylon starts 10:9-10 Babylon ends 18:2

Jerusalem 14:18 New Jerusalem 21:2

Twelve Sons 30:1-19 Twelve Tribes 21:12

The church in seven successive stages as well as co-existing phases....

1. In Ephesus than and TBC today there were those whose love had cooled and those who were fervent and warm.

2. In Smyrna and TBC there were faithless and faithful.

3. In Pergamus then and TBC now there were those wed to the world and those knit to Christ alone.

How inescapable is the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ, as He penetrates each heart searching each’s condition today!

Now 2:12-17 Letter #3 (As the others in six parts)


Revelation 2:12a

First the Assembly - The word Pergamum literally means, “mixed marriage”.

• Geographically, this city was 80 miles north of Smyrna, 15 miles inland from the Aegean on a hill 1000 feet above the fertile valleys.

• Historically in 95 AD as John wrote it was an old city, it had been the capital of Asia Minor for 300 years.

• Culturally it was a university town (with the largest library in the ancient world rivaling with Alexandria) w/200,000 volumes, in fact, Pergamos is noted for parchment (boiled animal skins) that books were written on.

• Religiously it was a sacred (to pagans) city.

1. Dionysisus (Bacchus) worship Gods of orgies, wine and debauchery.

2. Zeus worship (King of Greek/Roman Gods) . Largest and most famous wonders of ancient world the altar of Zeus wascextending 40’ over cliff.

3. Ascelapius worship (God of healers) - snakes that slithered over people on dark and wet floors to cure them.

4. Satan’s throne ( He was running his global operation out of this city) Ephesians 6 - thrones, dominions. Two times says it , look at you.

So this assembly was right in the middle of:


2. The IDOLATRY CENTER OF THE ANCIENT WORLD to the king of the gods of the pagan Graeco-Roman religion of Zeus or Jupiter.

3. The FALSE HEALING CENTER OF THE ANCIENT WORLD with drug induced stupors, snakes and the false god of healing: Ascelapius

4. Finally, SATANIC CENTER OF THE ANCIENT WORLD, the Devil himself had a personal throne there for the time as headquarters for his global rebellion.

And in that place was a church... the assembly at Peramum.

Lesson One, Christ can save! The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment, from Jesus, a pardon receives.

# 13 Clinging to Jesus Discover the MESSAGE OF JESUS challenging me to have Him as all I CLING TO (Pergamos)

Christ has one messages to this church : Repent of being wed to the world, stop worldliness... with unbelievers.

• The majority of those who call themselves Christians in our world today follow a way of worship that would have offended the apostles and early saints.

• What do I mean?

1. The statues of Christ and saints with candles and incense burning before them are idolatrous.

2. The incense, the orders of priests and monks (would be contradictory to Christlike humility), the calendar of observances, the titles of pontiff, vicar, most excellent, holy water, purgatory, and so much more. All that came directly from the pagans. The early saints tried to convert!

⇨ There was the Ephesian period--30-60 AD a period of warmth and love and labor for Christ, dating directly from the apostles, in which defection began by the gradual cooling of the love of some, the false professions of others and the incoming of undue exaltations of the clergy and church offices.

⇨ Then came the Smyrna period--60 -300 AD the era of martyrdom, and of the sweet savor unto God of faithfulness unto death, but marked with further developments of defection in the establishment of castes and orders, the license of Judaizing propensities, and consequent departures from the true simplicities of the Gospel.

⇨ Then followed the Pergamite period, 300-500 AD in which true faith more and more disappeared from view, and clericalism gradually formed itself into system,and the church united with the world, and Babylon began to rear itself aloft.

• It is the historic portrait of the era when the true Holy Catholic Church united with Roman paganism.

• It is the timeless portrait of any so called Christian who loves and joins in with unbelievers and in the world system.

It warns of the deadly sin of being in love and communion with that which God has condemned and will destroy.....God has told us there is only one action to take when confronted with worldliness and apostasy: SEPARATE FROM IT!

• 2 Corinthians 6:14-17" Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”

• James 4:4-8 "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

• 1 John 2:15-17" Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." (Remember how the Apostle John dealt with the infidel apostate Celsius? He ran out of the bath house when he was told Celsius was in there!)

• Revelation 18:1-4 "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."


v. 12b

Jesus introduces Himself as the Word of God. He says, Revelation 2:12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword.

Jesus is the Word of God. Why should we listen to Him? Because He is:

• The one that created all things, Gen. 1

• The one who sustains the universe, Col. 3

• The one who accomplished our eternal redemption, Mt. 27

• The one who stilled the raging sea, Mt. 14

• The one who calmed the fearful hearts, Jn. 6

• The one who quelled the terror of disease, Mk. 5

• The one who halted the grip of death, Lk. 7, Jn. 11

• He who controlled the elements commands demons

• He declares He is the one who determines destiny of all!

Jesus Christ who has two edged sword. What are the edges of His sword ?

1. Saving Power if you listen to Him today as SAVIOR or

2. Destroying Wrath if you face Him tomorrow as JUDGE!

He that is life and judgment, gives God’s word.


v. 13

--they were saved inspite of all that...

--they claimed the true name...

--they didn’t deny Christ in fierce trials...

--so, they were to be commended


v. 14-15

Christ said you are in sin “I have few things against you!”

1. First, you have BALAAM’S DOCTRINE = what is that?

• “Put stumbling block...” Numbers 22-25 records how Moabites contacted Balaam prophet for hire, he prophesied 4x promising Israel’ s conquest of Moab and Christ’s coming, they angrily fired him and God killed 24,000 of Israel with a plague.

• What? 24,000 Israel Yes, that’s the doctrine of Balaam, “If you can’t defeat it, join it and defile it and God will judge it”. Balaam said get them involved in sexual sin and God will judge them and did...

• Balaam’s doctrine is still here -- people actually say they are Christians and live in sexual sin. And today if you are living in such sin and drawing in others, to you Christ says “I am coming to war against you”.

2. Second, NICOLAITANS, what’s that? Nicolas supposedly started a cult but no record in church history. Many pastors through the centuries take this to be Nike-laios - conquered people.

• Yes, self made prophets ruling with rods of iron, building ecclesiastical kingdoms of wealth and power---still with us sadly.

• Just quickly aside - How did it happen? How did the pure, simple gospel get in purple robes with gold rings and set in paganism, idols and false work your way to heaven doctrines?

• In short, it happened in 313 AD, 2 generals were fighting to take Diocletian’s (persecutor of last week) kingdom. The place : Maxentius in East, Constantine in West.

• One made a deal with some supernatural being and said if you help me win at a bridge over a river called Milvian, I’ll make the empire Christian...he won and overnight the priests of pagan, Godless roman temples were part of the New Roman Catholic Church. The soldiers baptised, the old rituals renamed and everything was confused.


God had no sooner begun the blessed work in preparing for himself a people than the Devil did likewise. In fact, the first baby to be born on this earth later became Satan’s original convert! See Genesis 4:8 {Religion Starts}’ I John 3:12. We shall now consider the historical, current, and future activities of this perverted prostitute.

• The harlot viewed historically: Satan’s church began officially at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9 {Organized Religion}, nearly 24 centuries B.C. Here, in the fertile plain of Shinar, probably very close to the original Garden of Eden, the first spade of dirt was turned for the purpose of Devil-worship.

• The first full-time minister of Satan was Nimrod, Noah’s wicked and apostate grandson (Gen. 10:8-10). Secular history and tradition tell us that Nimrod married a woman who was as evil and demonic as himself. Her name was Semerimus. Knowing God’s promise of a future Savior (Gen. 3:15), Semerimus brazenly claimed that Tammuz, her first son, fulfilled this prophecy.

• Semerimus thereupon instituted a religious system which made both her and her son the objects of divine worship. She herself became the first high priestess. Thus began the mother-child cult which later spread all over the world.

1. From Babylon it spread to Phoenicia under the name of Ashteroth and Tammuz.

2. From Phoenicia it traveled to Pergamos in Asia Minor. This is the reason for John’s admonition to the church of Pergamos in the book of Revelation: “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is...” (Rev. 2:13).

• In Egypt the mother-child cult was known as Isis and Horus.

• In Greece it became Aphrodite and Eros.

• In Rome this pair was worshiped as Venus and Cupid. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost writes, “Several years ago I visited an archeological museum in Mexico City. A recent find had just been put on display which Mexican archeologists had authenticated as belonging to the period about 200 years before Christ. The object was the center of religious worship among some of the early Indians in Mexico. To my amazement, it was an image of a mother with a child in her arms. This Babylonian religion spread abroad to become the religion of the world....”1

• What was the teaching of Semerimus’ satanic church? That Semerimus herself was the way to God. She actually adopted the title “Queen of Heaven.” Now look at JEREMIAH 7:17; 44:17-19, 25.

1. That she alone could administer salvation to the sinner through various sacraments, such as the sprinkling of holy water.

2. That her son Tammuz was tragically slain by a wild boar during a hunting trip.

3. That he was, however, resurrected from the dead forty days later. Thus, each year afterward the temple virgins of this cult would enter a forty-day fast as a memorial to Tammuz’ death and resurrection.

4. After the forty-day fast, a joyful feast {Easter} called Ishtar tood place. At this feast colored eggs were exchanged and eaten as a symbol of the resurrection. An evergreen tree was displayed and a yule log was burned. Finally hot cakes marked with the letter T (to remind everybody of Tammuz) were baked and eaten!

About 2000 B.C. God called Abraham away from all this (see Joshua 24:2, 3) and led him into the Promised Land. But by the ninth century B. C. Israel had returned to this devil worship under the influence of wicked Jezebel (see 1 Kings 16:30-33). At this time the cult was worshiped under the name of Baal.

• Both Ezekiel and Jeremiah warned against this hellish thing. “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezek. 8:14).

• “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her...” (Jer. 7:18; 44:25).

• By the time of Christ this cult had so influenced Roman life that the Caesars were not only crowned as emperors of Rome but also bore the title Pontifex Maximus, meaning, “high priest.” They were high priests of the Babylonian satanic church!

• During the year A. D. 306 a Roman emperor named Constantine was threatened by a very powerful enemy army. Realizing that his uneasy troops needed confidence, Constantine claimed to have seen a vision on the eve of the battle. He saw a large blue flag with a red cross on it and heard a might voice which said In hoc signo vinces -- “in this sign conquer.” He thereupon marched his troops into a shallow river, claimed them to be officially baptized, and ordered the sign of the cross painted on all his weapons. Thus inspired, he led his troops to victory and subsequently made Christianity the state religion of Rome.

• The Roman priests of Tammuz soon discovered that they could easily make the transition into Christianity (with certain changes) and thereupon carried their traditions forward without interruption by promoting the Madonna-Child worship concept, the holy water sacrament, etc. For years the Roman Catholic popes have worn their well-known “fisherman ring.” This symbol can be traced back to the Philistines, who worshiped the fish god Dagon (1 Sam. 5) along with Tammuz.

Thus for nearly 300 years the Devil had desperately attempted to destroy the church from outside by his terrible persecutions. But with the advent of Constantine he changed his tactics, walking the aisle, applying for membership, and joining the church! To this very day he holds his church letter! The corrupted church was already flourishing in Christ’s day, and the Savior delivered a scathing attack against some of its very deacons and elders! See Matthew 23.

Thus seven biblical erasons I can’t ever be in the Roman Catholic Church.

1. The lie of The Mass

2. The lie of The role of Mary

3. The lie of Tradition over Scripture

4. The lie of Veneration (worship) of images

5. The lie of The false Sacraments

6. The lie of Purgatory

7. The lie to Paganism

Balaam joined and defiled the Church and Nicolatians were lording over......

LESSON #3: Watch out , Satan can’t conquer you, but he can get you to slip into filth.


Revelation 2:16

Finally now, the heart of the message this morning. Let's review the lessons we’ve learned.

• God can save - the vilest offender - even Pergamum or you.

• The same Word of God that saves, can dawn the destiny of one who neglects to be saved.

• Watch out since Satan can’t conquer you he will seek to defile you!

So what’s the ultimate lesson? Well, the church at Pergamum had a problem...some had lost these vital birthrights of being born again. They had lost their PURITY, THEIR INTIMACY and THEIR NOURISHMENT. How? Because they got too close to the world by mixing with them, or marrying them, or loving the system.

So Jesus lovingly offers a solution to theirs and sometimes our woeful problems.

• If you have lost your purity - Christ says, Come back and I’ll give you my white stone.

• If you have lost your intimacy - Christ says, Come back and I’ll give you my new name.

• If you have lost your nourishment - Christ says , Come back and I’ll give you my hidden manna.

• If you have lost your focus - Christ says , Come back and I’ll give you my new ears, listen.

• So this morning do you want Christ's focus? Then go back to listening to Christ speaking to you in the word.

• So this morning do you want Christ Jesus to help you grow? Let Him start feeding you in His word.

• So this morning do you want Christ's intimacy? Let Him start drawing you to spend time alone with Him, He’s waiting for you.

• So this morning do you want Christ's purity? Let Him wash and cleanse you and make you pure, as white as snow.

Note the Emphasis = You must let Him do this today!


v. 17



The last message Jesus has for us this morning is His wonderful plan. He has spelled out what He wants us to be like. He has detailed how He by His grace will enable us to live! This morning Jesus is here. CHRIST SEEKING OUT HIS CHURCH: Our Lord Jesus Christ came to give so much. Have you received what Jesus came to give every one of His own born again children?

1. TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE Revelation 2:7 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 tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (KJV) = Has infinite life in paradise regained - John 3:16

• AN OVERFLOWING LIFE: John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (NIV)

• AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE: John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. [perissos exceeding some number or measure or rank or need, over and above, more than is necessary, superadded, exceeding abundantly, supremely something further, more, much more than all, more plainly, superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon, pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent]

2. TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE AN INDESTRUCTIBLE LIFE Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (KJV)

• SECURE FROM ANY PHYSICAL ADVERSARY: John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand. (KJV)

• SECURE FROM ANY SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV)

3. JESUS CAME TO GIVE HIS OVERCOMERS AN INEXAUSTIBLE SUPPLY Revelation 2:17 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]. (KJV)

• ALL SPIRITUAL NEEDS MET: John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (KJV)

• ALL SPIRITUAL DESIRES FULFILLED: John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (NIV)


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