1. The New Testament contains
information that was written "about" as well as "to"
various congregations in the first century.
2. By "rightly dividing"
this information we can know the Lord's will for His church today.
3. This lesson is a study of the
message that the Lord sent to the church in Pergamos (Revelation 2:12-17). Discussion:
THE INTRODUCTION TO
A. (vs.12a) This message was
addressed to "the angel [messenger]
of the church in Pergamos."
B. (vs.12b) Although John recorded
this message, it was spoken by the Lord who described Himself as "he which hath the sharp sword with two
edges" (1:16; Hebrews 4:12).
KNEW THIS CHURCH'S
A. He knew:
1. this church's "works"
2. where this church was located -- "Satan's seat."
B. Jesus was able to empathize with
this congregation because He had some dealings with Satan (Mark 1:13).
C. Jesus also showed by His example
how Satan can be overcome (Psalm 119:11).
COMMENDED THIS CHURCH
A. This church "held fast"
the Lord's name.
B. This church had not denied its
faith in the Lord.
C. This church had remained true to
the Lord, even when Antipas was killed as a martyr.
REBUKED THIS CHURCH
A. (vs.14a) The Lord held a few
things against this congregation.
B. (vs.14b) For one thing, some of
the members held to the doctrine of Balaam.
1. Balaam taught Balak how to cause
the Israelites to stumble.
2. The details of what happened are
revealed in the book of Numbers.
a. (Numbers 25:1-3) The Israelites
got involved with the women of Moab,
and they worshipped the gods of the Moabites.
b. (Numbers 25:9) God punished the
Israelites by killing many of them.
c. According to Numbers 31:16,
Balaam was responsible for what happened by informing Balak how to cause the
Israelites to stumble.
3. Unfortunately, some people in
this congregation were teaching the same doctrine that Balaam taught -- they
were teaching Christians to worship idols and commit fornication.
C. (vs.15) For another thing, some
of the members of the church in Pergamos held to the teaching of the
1. These people believed that
Christians did not have to remain morally pure.
2. The Lord feels very strongly
about this doctrine -- He hates it (2:6).
D. It does not appear that everyone
in the congregation practiced these sins, but the Lord rebuked the entire
church for allowing these things to be taught and practiced.
EXHORTED THIS CHURCH
A. To repent, this congregation
would have to get rid of these false doctrines and deal with those who were
B. In exhorting this congregation to
1. the Lord threatened it if it
failed to repent (vs.16)
2. the Lord promised to bless those
who overcame (vs.17b). Conclusion:
1. The Lord wants us to hear His
message to the congregation in Pergamos (vs.17a).
2. We learn from it that the Lord
requires His church to be scripturally sound and morally pure.