This church is representative of the Age of Constantine 313-600AD in that it represents any church denomination that is married to the state, as the name Pergamum means ‘thoroughly married.’ The Emperor Constantine in 313AD made Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire and so the church was thoroughly married to the state of an Empire spanning many countries. Two examples of this today are the Church of England and the Lutheran Church in Germany. In England the C of E is seen as conformist and all other denominations as non-conformist. Out of this age frame Roman Catholicism would come into being, changing the times and seasons, adding into the Word of God and assuming control as Mother Church over Christianity.
Pergamum was a major city of idolatry and so is Roman Catholicism with all its graven images, icons and statues which are used in worship and looked at, kissed etc. Within Pergamum there were many temples and one of the major ones was the Temple of Aesculapius which contained an idol of a huge serpent and this is possibly why the Lord refers to this city as Satan’s Throne.
Key verses: Revelation 2:12-17.
We may note that the description of Christ in verse 12b is taken from Revelation 1:16 and is a description of Judgment especially as that which is exercised through the Word of God.
– this is in verse 13. The saints at Pergamum are commended for not denying their faith. One saint in particular is named by the Lord as being a faithful servant who suffered martyrdom for his faith. This was Antipas whose name means ‘against all’ and so refers to the fact that he was against all satanic worship and idolatry. The war against the saints at Pergamum was satanically inspired as the city worshipped Aesculapius the serpent son, being anti-Christ in nature. Satan always has his counterfeit including the Satanic Bible.
– this is in verses 14 and 15 and the saints are condemned for two things.
1) Some were allowed to hold to the teachings of Balaam, which is the teaching of intermarriage resulting in fornication and idolatry. Mixing with pagans socially and in marriage meant any believer was now subject to other gods because their religious and civil life were now mixed and intertwined. We are called to come out and be separate, ‘for what does a believer have to do with an unbeliever?’ What does light have to do with darkness!
2) The second condemnation was for permitting the teachings of the Nicolaitans, which the saints at Ephesus were commended for in not tolerating! The Nicolaitan error was one of having a distinction between the clergy and the laity with different sets of laws and regulations for each group. The Word of God teaches leadership but it also teaches one body made up of the priesthood of all believers who are members of the Body of Messiah. This error led to the contamination and corruption of the Church as the next type of church shows.
– this is in verse 16. The Lord asks then to repent of their ways, they had to sort themselves out otherwise the church would be judged.
– this is in verse 17 and is made up of three parts.
1) Overcomers are promised hidden manna, God’s provision.
2) A white stone, denoting innocence.
3) A new name written on the stone which only the Lord knows which is to do with overcoming problems.
Date : 30/11/-0001