I. "And to the angel of the church in Pergamum ...." (V-12)Pergamum was a very religious city. It was more cultured and temples in Ephesus. Among them, worshiped the god Asclepius, god of therapeutics and whose symbol was a snake, hated by Christians. Pergamum was the first city in Asia to build a temple dedicated to the worship of Caesar Augustus.Pergamum was the center of an independent kingdom for many centuries and eventually became the possession of Rome in 133 BC The Romans made the capital of the province of Asia. The town was also the headquarters for emperor worship. The so-called "council" is located here. This was a committee of the state religion. There to promote and enforce the worship of the Emperor. This city had been loyal to the Emperor in all matters, including his uncompromising persecution of Christians. (Revelation 1:16) The sword is symbolic of God's Word. The word is described as a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). We have indicated to the sword of the Spirit being used in different ways.
It is often used to convince the people of their sins (Acts 2:37-38, 2 Timothy 4:2). Sometimes it is used to divide between truth and error (Hebrews 4:12-14). This passage teaches that a mature Christian should be able to do two things. Must be able to teach and be able to discern between true and false doctrine. This ability comes with the growth in use of one to use the sword of the Spirit. Another thing that makes the sword of the Spirit is to cut any union with impiety and false teaching.Obedience and loyalty from one to the doctrine of Christ determines whether it is in communion with God or not (2 John 1:9) "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. "The Lord is identified as "He who has the sharp two-edged sword says this." Identifies strongly penetrating severity. The sword suggests the word and the Gospel of Christ, active in government discipline of grace for our King Jesus.The church in Pergamum had defected from the ranks of our Lord Jesus Christ and was under the control of earthly authority. The church of Pergamum was say: "In spiritual bigamy". When the church does not use the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) in self-corrected, then Christ will come and use it by itself in divine judgment against the church.
II. "I know thy works, and where you dwell ..." (V-13).Jesus knows our works. It may be that when you or I we stand before the judgment seat of Christ could say: "We have done many wonderful works in your name", and he will answer, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21 -23), being well DEPENDS WHICH HAVE VERY CAREFUL NOT stray from the doctrine of Christ.Jesus knew where they lived, "... where the throne of Satan ..." It should encourage us to know that the Lord is interested in our circumstances. He knows where we dwell.
When Samuel was sent to anoint one of Jesse's sons as king of Israel, he saw Eliab was apparently very tall and regal look, and said, "Truly the LORD is his anointed." But the answer came: (1 Samuel 16:7) "Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man sees, for man looks at the is before their eyes, but the Lord looks at the heart. " God knows the hearts of men. Jehovah God is the loving Father who has compassion on his children. Meet our structure, circumstances, temptations (Psalm 103:13-14). Jehovah is the Father patient in suffering you want to forward to the return of the prodigal son of the sty of sin. When he sees his son walk on foot through the way back, run to find it and puts a blanket over her body, a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. Lord knows our circumstances.
There in heaven one who has experienced the temptation. Have you experienced sadness, tribulation, suffering. All that man has to suffer, this has suffered (Hebrews 4:14-15). Although not given in to temptation, not sitting in heaven as one who is not willing to be lenient with us that we miss.Pergamum was the capital's "imperial cult," and "council" forcibly demanded emperor worship in Asia Minor. These saints lived precisely in the shadow of the altar for the Emperor. The Lord knew that they dwelt where Satan's seat was. He knew they were facing great trials.
NOTE:There is a double praise in the congregation (Rev. 2:13).1) You hold firmly the name of the Lord: "... And you hold fast my name ...".2) do not deny the faith. "... And as not denied my faith ...". That is, you have not retracted confess that you believe in the doctrine of Christ. Pagans pressured and persecuted Christians to publicly refuse to believe in Christ. Jesus knows our faithfulness. Do your circumstances were sufficient for them to practice sin? A thousand times no! External circumstances do not determine one's faithfulness to God as closely both the inner attitude (Psalm 119:11). If a person is committed and determined to persevere to the end, the stability in our lives guided by the doctrine of Christ motivates us to have in our life that beats the great hope in our hearts, then the trials and tribulations ventilated outdoor flames that burning passion for the Doctrine of Christ (Acts 5:41).These Christians retained their name. God changed the names of several people (Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter) and all these changes were significant. Jesus has a name which is above every name (Philippians 2:9-11). Neither is there salvation in any other name (Acts 4:12). All things must be done in His name (Col. 3:17). Be reproached for the name of Christ is suffering as a Christian. Those in Pergamum who held the name of Christ were suffering as Christians. Also were praised because they had denied their faith. This is the "one faith" (Ephesians 4:5) that was "once delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3). They had not subsided. They had compromised the truth of God.
They had not yet denied the faith (Revelation 2:13) "... In the days when Antipas was my faithful martyr was slain among you ..." This is all we know about Antipas, but how wonderful to know this. He gave his life for Christ. Perhaps the government aimed to make an example of him. What this simply makes the most faithful faithful!When Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7:55,59), there arose a great persecution against the church (Acts 8:3-4). After James was beheaded, (Acts 12:24) "the word of God grew and multiplied." We pray for peace, but maybe what we need is persecution. Maybe we will become more spiritual and more dedicated, more diligent and more serious about our religion if it costs us a little more. Maybe we will be more aware of how important our faith if we knew that a Christian could cost us our homes, jobs, families and our very lives. Some have presented the question: If a Christian were a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
III. "What you have there ... the doctrine of Balaam ..." (vs. 14-15).The term "Nicolaitans" is the Greek equivalent of the name "Balaam" in Hebrew. They both mean "destroyer of people." You can read about Balaam in Numbers 22-25. The outstanding example is the one who taught others to sin. Balaam taught that it was wrong to eat "eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication." So in the church of Pergamum believers who had taught the same doctrine of Balaam and thus affected the spiritual life of the congregation. But talk is common.
This reminds me of many that celebrate everything and every one of the celebrations that the world has also celebrate it in their congregations saying there is nothing wrong and also take a six drinks because everything with measurement and control and nothing happens to these "Nicolaitans" of 2013, these still shout a slogan, "We talk where the Bible speaks and silent where the Bible is silent" as they do what they want, whether the Bible authorized or not. Balaam taught the children of Israel to participate in idolatrous feasts and to commit fornication with the daughters of Moab (Numbers 31:16, 2 Peter 2:15). The other complaint is the presence of the Lord of the Nicolaitans in Pergamum congregation. As already mentioned, the Nicolaitans know its origin. It seems then that the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans practice complemented one another in the church at Pergamum.The entrance of worldliness in the church threatened to have to face the judgment of God and what Israel faced in the desert, and the same is happening in the Church even today when they read this passage this dull understanding; (Santiago 4:4) "Ye adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. " The church in Pergamum had failed to discipline certain members among them who had the same attitude compromising. We can assume that they were the minority because of the good things already said, but "a little leaven leavens the whole lump" for today is that we are the majority.There is an important distinction between eating things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. Both were involved in idolatrous worship, but fornication is always wrong. Eating food sacrificed to idols was not wrong in itself, but is incorrect if this had turned stumbling block to another (Romans 14:13,15,21, 1 Corinthians 8:8-13).
Sometimes then, in some circumstances, we should let the consciences of others to be our guide. This does not mean that we should strive to please everyone in everything. This would be impossible. Some Christians in Pergamum were apparently attending these pagan festivals. They were participating in the meals offered to idols and rationalizing that such a thing was not to worship them because they knew that the idols were not gods. Some even had involved themselves in immoralities that characterized the holidays. Probably attending pagan feasts involving sacrifices to idols or where meat meal had been dedicated to a god. These banquets included sexual immorality. Here the Lord is rebuking both. Even being there was a bad deal. It was a temptation for them and a bad influence on the other. But refusing to join in this could mean that a man would lose his job, business, or become an outcast.
There is tension with Paul's teaching about eating food sacrificed to idols. When Paul writes in Corinthians, it seems that the invitation to dine with an unbelieving friend. And it was very likely to eat meat that had been dedicated to idols by the butcher, because it was the custom. John, speaking instead of a banquet openly dedicated to an idol. Participating would publicly worship the idol.In (Matthew 24:4-13) We can see from this passage that similar and even worse temptations are presented to Christians today. One might be tempted to visit the nightclub, or dance, or be silent about certain convictions, to be popular, or be promoted. Jesus hates this doctrine. The church, therefore, should hate it too. Attention to worldliness among us believers! Not enough to know much about the Bible and doctrine. Even the demons believe!
IV. "Repent, for if not, I will come to you quickly ..." (v. 16).The complaint made, the Lord requires immediate repentance on the part of the church in Pergamum. The warning is to do it as urgent and fast. If the church is neglecting the immediate repentance would bring the Lord's judgment. I will come to you. This refers to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in his second coming.
V. "He who overcomes will I give to eat of the manna ..." (v. 17).The hidden manna. This symbol is based on the food that sustained the Israelites in the desert. But may relate to the fact that the believer can appropriate the spiritual sustenance through the sound doctrine of Christ to have fellowship with the Lord. Manna is a clear reference to the same Lord Jesus Christ, (John 6:31-35,49). Jesus himself claimed to be the true manna. Jesus Christ says, and will give him a white stone. The white stone was often used by the courts to represent acquittal. It's a sign of privilege. So the white stone is a figure that is used to indicate that the Christian will have free entry into the great feast of celebration connected with the second coming of Christ. A new name written, which no one knows except him who receives it. This will be a sign of intimacy and tender affection for the recipient. This name is used by the Lord and is only known to the believer in fellowship with Jesus Christ. These things the faithful have to wait for them. In the Bible, the name of a person represents their character and identity. Sin distorts human identity. In Christ, God gives us a new identity. We know who we are and we can only relate to God in Christ.
Although the church of Pergamum was "married" to the world and involved in practices that displease our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord's mercies and God works extends a call to repentance to all the congregation (Psalm 86:15) "Thou, Lord, God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy and truth. " While it is true that the Lord speaks to the church and warns of judgment that could come upon it, the fact remains that there are three beautiful promises for the winner: spiritual sustenance through the sound doctrine of Christ, especially for repentance and intimate communion by the Blood of Jesus Christ. The same call that the Lord made to the church at Pergamum, is the same as calling on all Christian churches, is also a call to all of us on this day. Yes you can be a Christian without being worldly!
STARTS WHEN THE CHURCH to sleep is a bad sign that we must put very alert because the Bible warns us about being a sleepy CHURCH: (Revelation 3:1-6)
Sardis means those who escape or renewal, was the prominent Greek city of Asia Minor. Sardis was one of the largest cities in the world and the capital of Lydia. When Rome came to power, the city was large and rich again. In 17 D.C. suffered a devastating earthquake. As a result, Tiberius, the Roman emperor, reduced city taxes for five years and contributed to the rebuilding program of the city. Sardis became famous for its rich material. A mid-sixth century BC under the leadership of King Croesus, Sardis reached the height of his fame. Sardis, was also a center for the worship of the goddess Cybele, another name for the goddess Artemis. This goddess was associated with fertility and was invoked by women at the time of delivery.When John wrote the Book of Revelation, the city had degenerated. And look for a church of God, but sleepy.
I. "He who has the seven ... and the seven stars ... I know your works ... you name it ... you're dead" (Revelation 3:1).The seven spirits of God. It is a clear reference to the Holy Spirit. Talk about training and life in the Spirit and are available to the church of Sardis, a prototype of the current church is falling asleep and despite the condition of spiritual death which is for our time we live very urgent wake of all the false doctrines and seek the one valid doctrine of Christ. The seven stars. The seven messengers to the churches, but also speaks of the Lord is in control of the seven churches and makes them accountable to answer his call. Sardis was a church that did not issue its candlestick powerful light to the world and now you really have forgotten the only purpose for Jesus brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light only to advertise their virtues otherwise referred to Jesus saying, I know thy works. This phrase points to the powerful knowledge of sound doctrine of Christ our Lord. He has an absolute and perfect knowledge of all the things we are taught in the healing of his Doctrine. Nothing and no past, neither the present nor the future lies in Jesus Christ.
A truth that must constantly be reminded that Jesus knows the works of each church and is very annoying with all those money changers who have possessed inside and outside the house of worship of Jehovah God. And he knows the condition of each person who has made his calling when Jesus gave were: (Ephesians 4:11) "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers "And do not call if no servers holders and of course to any leader since Jesus himself was saying such did not come to be served but to serve. We often have to rely on reports and reputations, but Jesus is able to go beyond the facade appearance and reputation to the real person Jesus goes where the heart is. The reputation of a church could be one thing and something completely different the truth as the devil as impersonator who is also the call and instituted five leaders, apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, Jesus says that by their fruits ye shall know them.
Jesus knows the real works and intentions of every heart. Jesus also tells us saying: "you have a reputation of being alive and you're dead." This statement reflects the status of the city of Sardis today. When writing the Revelation of John, the glory of the city had already passed into history. It is likely that the inhabitants of the city live past glory holding irrespective living in a different situation, as many now realize that many things are not right but taking up saying the good and discard the bad and thus continue on the road to perdition as if he were Jesus Christ is truly their congregations from the smallest to largest without respect everyone would have at least a whiplash from Christ because He is the same yesterday and of today and forever that bother the moneychangers and idolatry.
Jesus in his dedication is something very hard against the congregations are the prototype of Sardis: Sardis had a false reputation for life. A "name to live" suggests that people who had watched the congregation of Sardis inferred that a church with acceptable vital signs. And now it was like a church with many activities, sermons, programs and conferences, but in regard to Christ is dead as a cemetery. The church of Sardis as many now live only in appearance but in reality before God is dead. In love of Jehovah God's Holy Name observed if the congregation where you attend real faith and works go parallel and full of love and mercy is otherwise quite sure you're in a place where his father is the devil and is time to escape and run for your life. There was a church in Sardis, and as the city itself, the church was resting on its past reputation and so does anyone claims to be a Christian without knowing the sound doctrine of Christ and to apply such worldly rather than applying the Word, for example: Help yourself and I will help!, which the Lord does not say. Take win! Instead of declaring: (Joshua 1:9) Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. " "Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." Those who seek to find a church that suits them and that is according to their own desires in Sardis of the times there's something for all tastes, if I, who am a simple hurts your servant, how much more will hurt Jesus Christ?
There is nothing more peaceful than a cemetery and church no more peaceful than a dead church where everyone says it's okay that everything is exaggerated Victor Shepherd and all those like me who obey the sound doctrine of Christ. Some have observed that anything that moves some parts generates friction and heat friction. But the parties are not moving in such churches. Jesus says: "You're dead." To understand what this involves, we must recognize as the Scriptures use the word "death". It is usually used in a literal sense. The word means "separation." When a body returns to dust and the spirit to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7, James 2:26), you're dead.
The word "death" is also used in a figurative sense of separation from God because of sin (1 Timothy 5:6, Luke 15:24). When one leaves his father's house and goes to a distant country to sin and spend their livelihood with harlots and partying, is dead in sin. Paul said (Romans 6:13) that Christians were alive from the dead, and in (Ephesians 2:1-5) that their converts had been dead in trespasses and sins, but were now alive or resurrected in Christ Jesus . That had been true of the saints in Sardis also, but were now dead again. They had the reputation of being alive, of being a vibrant church. Still bearing the name of Him who died and lives forever. They still had their joint meeting periods. Even going through the motions of worship. But they were dead.
There are different things that can bring death to these congregations, many churches are dying because of the false doctrines that slide. Paul warned of such to the elders of Ephesus (Acts 20:28-32). This death process is usually a slow test allowing traditions come into congregations and then it is easy to enter into the hearts of its members. The false doctrines suddenly slip. A small deviation from the Word of God is introduced, nullifying the holy judgments of Jehovah God. If this happens not checked with the Bible, an additional deviation surely be in the way, the error to the extent of being well convinced that where there are only is the only absolute truth, thy soul CARE DANGER.The church of Sardis this could die because of hidden sin and worldliness and immorality. There are two major problems: too many churches in the world and the church world too. Too many churches with names you can not find in the Bible, with doctrines that you can not find in the Bible and support, and do works that you can not find in the Bible either. And it has always been too much worldliness in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ when Jesus came did not name but made sure to teach and make it clear their only doctrine and still begged the Father to send his Holy Spirit to us for the sole purpose to give evidence of this single doctrine of Christ (2 John 1:9) "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. " There are many who are weak and sick and dying because of worldliness, carnality and immorality in the church at Corinth also happened (1 Corinthians 3:3, 5:1-2, 11:30).The church could die from members are destroyed each other with vicious words, jealousies and contentions (Galatians 5:15). Any of these represent a separation of the Lord Jesus Christ and that is a condition of death (John 15:6,10).
II. "Be vigilant ... says ... I have not found" (Revelation 3:2).Sardis fell to the invading Persians because the city was left unguarded. They believed themselves to need insurance too guard, so that fell. Now, it is necessary that this Sardis church wakes from death found that he was able to account for the Doctrine of Christ are dead. "Be watchful," the idea is for our good, we must be vigilant so many false doctrines. It is a call to awaken from their spiritual and continue to monitor anesthesia. This is one of the fundamental principles of the Bible for Christians because we are commanded to search the Scriptures. Often we are told in the Word of God we wake (Romans 13:11-12, 1 Corinthians 16:13). Why should ensure a Christian? Should ensure the deceptions and tricks of the devil (1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 6:11, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Many base their hope of salvation in how they feel in the congregation where they are, rather than what God's Word says.
The Christian must also be vigilant against temptation, I want to comment that the first thing the devil is going to steal prayer, subtly longer will pray for food, then you rush the job no longer will pray for God to keep you in soon you will not have those moments you had with the Lord God in your privacy and so then it will be easy prey for the devil. Jesus warned His disciples (Matthew 26:41) "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation." The temptation overcomes us when we let our guard down. When you become too confident, will best ensure (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). Another thing that the Christian must ensure is false teaching. Paul told the elders at Ephesus to ensure because of the wolves ... false teachers (Acts 20:31). We must also ensure because of the false doctrine (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Hebrews 5:14, 1 John 4:1). As the Bereans of (Acts 17:11), we must search the Scriptures to see if the Doctrine of Christ and if not we have to discard because we have time to do it and the only way that Christ left us to walk in health of their doctrine.We must also ensure that the coming of the Lord (Matthew 24:42-43). We do not know the time of our departure and we do not know the time of His second coming (Matthew 24:36). We should live each day as if it were our last day on earth. The Lord said, "Be watchful." Then he said, "And strengthen the things that are ready to die." There were a few things left that were alive. They were ready to die, but could be saved if prompt action was taken. It could have been that his form of worship was good, but not in spirit (John 4:24).Some of the religions of our neighbors have what they call the religion of the "feel good". However, their religion is not consistent with the truth established by Jehovah God through Christ his beloved Son, then this will not benefit them at all. On the other hand, we can only do those things exposed in the sound doctrine of Christ that is the whole context of the Word of God, and if we have our hearts in it if we are just going through the emotions, it does not benefit us nothing.
"I have not found thy works perfect before God," the Lord has sought but has not found the works of believers in Sardis. The works of believers in Sardis were lacking divine approval because they were generated by a genuine faith. What is criticized is not the amount of work but the quality of the works of that church.
III. "Remember ... you've been ... heard ... hold fast and repent ..." (Revelation 3:3).We must remember how we receive and hear the Gospel of Christ. Apparently there was a time when they experienced zeal and enthusiasm as young Christians. As the Ethiopian Eunuch, when he heard and responded to the gospel message, they went their way rejoicing. We need to remember that initial communion with Christ. God has given us a number of things that will remain as memorials for us.