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Revelation - Pergamum

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Introduction to Pergamum

Pergamum was about 70 miles North and 15 miles inland of Smyrna.=It was a major city, as Alexander the Great turned it into a major military fortress. It was also an ally of Rome.
It was a major city, as Alexander the Great turned it into a major military fortress. It was also an ally of Rome.
It was also an ally of Rome.
The city was a major religious center of Asia, as well. Many of its religious buildings and shrines were dedicated to various mythological gods. Emperor worship was linked to civic loyalty and patriotism.
Therefore, it is no question as to why the Christians were persecuted. Since they did not worship the gods of the land, they were called Athiests.

The Text

A. Address (v. 12)
Pergamum receives a description of Jesus that is more simple than any other. He is said to have the “sharp two-edged sword.” This description is the symbol of Roman justice.
By saying that Jesus has this sword, it tells the church that it is Christ, not the Romans, who is the true judge.
B. The Situation on the Ground
Christ knows three things about the Church in this city:
The world in which they live.
Their faithful witness, and...
Their endurance under persecution
C. Weakness
Jesus, in the prior section, praised the Ephesian church for opposing heresy. But here, He says that the church at Pergamum has tolerated it.
What they were allowing to happen in their midst was putting the whole church at risk of heresy, which may eventually lead to apostasy. This teaching included two major problems:
Idolatry
Immorality
D. Solution
The heretics were not teaching substitution to the word of God, but rather addition.
This church was faithful but had forgotten how to fight against God’s enemies. It is the direct opposite issue that the Ephesians had.
Regardless, they both were provided with the same solution: Repent!
Jesus then says that if they fail to do so, he will “wage war” against them. Why? … because not opposing God’s enemies will make us an enemy in His sight.
E. Call to Listen and Overcome
Notice that Jesus says that it is the Spirit that is speaking to the churches.
Those who obey will conquer through their obedience and perseverance in the midst of persecution.
The Lord will, in return, give them manna. There are various interpretations of exactly what this means, but they all point to the fact that God will let them foretaste what they will feast upon in the eschaton.
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