Tuesday, May 6, 2014

PERGAMOS

Suggested Reading: Revelation 2:12-17

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

You can see on the slopes of the hill ruins of the theatre in Pergamos. My son, David Reynold, says that acoustics were so good that a whisper on stage could be heard all the way to the top row. In the middle of the photo, the long plateau path was once a building which led to the pagan temple (its ruins can be seen at the bottom of the photo). Today's reading speaks of "Satan's throne." Satan occupied these temples in order to receive the worship which he had coveted in Heaven before he was cast down to the earth. In Luke 10:18 we read the words of Jesus, "I beheld Satan fall like lightening from Heaven." Did Satan make this city the centre of his activities here on earth?

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Revelation 2:17

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.

 

Some believers in this church were being swept into the vortex of compromise with pagan practises. The “Doctrine of Balaam” was one of prostituting the prophetic gift for financial gain (Numbers 22:1-8). There are two temptations which Satan used then and now…1) coveting money, and 2) sex outside of a one-man, one-woman relationship of holy matrimony. The “Doctrine of the Nicolaitans” was that one could worship the true God and also participate in pagan temple rituals (offering sacrifices to idols and engaging sexually with the temple prostitutes). It is believed that most of the followers of Jesus Christ in Pergamos were not Jews, but Gentiles, former Pagans. The published decision of the Jerusalem church leaders for non-Jewish believers in Jesus is found in Acts 15:22-29. They did not insist that non-Jewish believers become converts to Judaism, nor did they put doctrines such as Sabbath (Saturday) keeping, etc., on them. They wrote of what they considered “necessary things.” “Abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality”… period. We must not let the legalists bring those of us who are non-Jews under bondage. This decision by the Jewish mother church in Jerusalem may have been directed specifically to Pergamos. Of course it was applicable to all the churches, but at that time most believers in Jesus were Jews, and the Apostles and almost all the Christian Pastors all over the world were Jewish.

What a great promise Jesus made to the ones who “overcome!” In the games played in the great stadia of the Greek and Roman world, a “white stone” was given to those who excelled in their sport. Their names were inscribed on the stone, and it could be used for free access to the stadia for all events. We who overcome have special access to all God’s ¬†blessings! The “hidden manna” is God’s special treat for His people; just what we need and want for spiritual nutrition.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, as I read twice in today’s reading, Your Word is as a sharp sword. May Your Word cut away from me anything displeasing to You. I pray daily for the grace of a repentant heart and mind. Deliver me from the evil doctrines of Balaam and of the Nicolaitans. In the Name of my Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Again today I’m reminded of the importance of encountering that sharp two-edged Sword, which is the “Word of God” every day without fail (Hebrews 4:12-16). I understand that the pagan temple in Pergamos had at its centre an image of Asklepios, the so-called god of healing. Unthinkable things took place there with temple prostitutes, and those seeking healing would spend a night on the floor of the temple where non-poisonous snakes would be released by the priests to crawl over them, believing that this would cure them. The medical symbol of today may relate to this, but I prefer to believe it comes from the time when God told Moses to put a brass serpent image on a pole, and those who had been bitten by poisonous snakes would be healed. Satan, that snake in the Garden of Eden, was rendered powerless through the suffering of the Cross of Christ. ¬†Isaiah wrote, “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-6). The Apostle Matthew referred to Isaiah in (Matthew 8:14-17). Peter referred also to Isaiah’s prophecy of healing in Christ (1 Peter 2:21-25). It was Peter’s mother-in-law’s healing by Jesus which Matthew recorded.

Yours for the blessings promised “to him that overcomes”,

David

P.S. I must not let this go without mentioning the martyr of Pergamos, Antipas. He is surely worthy of honour. I plan, God willing, to meet Antipas some day and find out more about his testimony, which resulted in his death at the hands of the Roman authorities.

The Altar of Zeus was built by Eumenes II to commemorate a great victory over the Gauls (Galatians) in Pontus and Bithynia in 229-228 BC. The open-air altar (not a temple) was about 100 feet long and 35 feet high, and it was decorated with life-sized figures depicting a battle between gods and giants. The great altar, which was included on some lists of the world's wonders, was destroyed during the Byzantine era and the remains were used to repair the acropolis defense walls. In the 19th century these fragments were removed to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany, and used in a full-scale reconstruction of the temple. It's very possible that "Satan's throne" moved to Berlin during the Nazi era. Satan hates Jews, for through the Jewish people we have received the Word of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus, and the Apostles and true Prophets of God, hence anti-semitism.

20 thoughts on “Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  1. Amen to that prayer David. I have friends who are sabbath Christians and my Husband to be is also a Sabbath Christian. I must confess that even though i have no intentions of converting, i admire the fact that they try so hard to rest on the day (Saturday), they considered the sabbath as God commands. That’s one thing most Sunday worshipers including me have been unable to do. To be honest i fell so uncomfortable to go to work some Sundays instead of church but yet still this very deceiving voice keeps telling me ( i can go to Saturday evening mass in place of Sunday morning to make up for choosing work over church on Sundays, or because i am a Health Care Aide, its understandable). Deep within me, i want to Rest on Sundays, keep Sundays only for the things of God and not work. I believe God will Make a way where there seem to be no one and where there is a way, make it wider. May we all have a blessed day fellow bloggers. Amen

  2. It is so difficult not to judge people by their behaviour so will just make an observation with the knowledge we have. Hitler seemed to be ant-semitic, therefore Satan’s helper. So nearly impossible to pray for such a man and yet I believe we were supposed to?
    Nice pics again DM and loved ones.
    Blessings to everyone.

  3. WOW!
    As I expected, you are sharing great wisdom with us all regarding the challenging book of Revelation.
    I now need to do research on the martyrdom of Antipas.
    Shalom,
    Graham.
    2012 Holy Land Yellow Bus.
    PS I know that after all is said and done about the book of Revelation, in the end Jesus wins!

  4. Beautiful pics again Reynold…

    “We must not let the legalists bring those of us who are non-jews under bondage”. As David Mainse teaches from scripture in Revelation – we are not called to be converted into Judaism.

    We are called to love one another in the name of our Father God, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit… the Holy Trinity. Amen!

    Blessings upon us brethren…

  5. I still don’t understand why in “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” John was told to write to “the angel of the church”…(Rev/ 2:12 in todays reading). What does that mean?

  6. Angels are used by God as messengers, in fact the word Angel means messenger in both Hebrew and Greek. God can also appoint certain Angels over areas, people, and churches. God used Gabriele to give Mary the message she would have a son, and there are many other instances in the bible where he used Angels as messengers.

  7. The wealth of knowledge throughout the Bible and particularly in today’s message for the Church of Pergamos is so eye-opening–thank you, David Mainse et all. And thank you, Reynold, for the amazing photos!

    The limited history behind Antipas of Pergamum, ‘the faithful witness’ is amazing! When Antipas was advised, “Antipas, the whole world is against you,” Antipas replied, “Then I am against the whole world.” His faith in Christ was unshakable! He was a true martyr, burned alive in the brazen bull shaped altar, used for casting out demons worshiped by the locals of Pergamon, in c. 92 AD.

    Fragments of the remains of the Altar of Zeus are part of the reconstructed temple in the Museum in Berlin, Germany. It seems very logical that “Satan’s throne” moved to Berlin during the Nazi era because we know for a fact that Satan hates Jews. Through the Jewish people, we received the Word of God–thanks be to the Apostles, true Prophets of God, and Jesus Christ! The demonic power and evil of Satan was evident through Hitler and the Nazis in WW3 who diabolically tortured and slaughtered six million Jews including one million children, two million women and three million men. Though Hitler failed to develop a Nordic Aryan master race, the evil of antisemitism took root. You have no power over us, Satan. We rebuke you, in the MIGHTY NAME of JESUS!

    Your mighty army of Christians mark their days by Your Word, LORD GOD–the razor-sharp, two-edged Sword. We live by the Truth, alive in the power through the written Word and Light of Christ that lives and breathes in and through us. All living, it penetrates and pierces the division of our bodies minds and souls, from our joints and marrows; judges the attitudes of our hearts; and divides our souls and spirit. The Word of God is the discerner that understands, convicts and corrects our intentions. We are reminded that nothing is hidden from Your sight and to You we must give account for everything. Let us not be like sheep that have gone astray but rather cling to your Word. Without You, we are nothing but by Your stripes, we are healed! Because of your Word and Truth, God, we are alive now and eternally. It isn’t about us “worshiping.” It’s about us “worshiping YOU!”

    Blessings fellow saints on this amazing day!! Here is an amazing song by Bethel Music, Sing a New Song
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ulu3A8eHuE&hd=1

    We sing a new song for YOU, LORD, OUR GOD and JEHOVAH JIREH!!!

    • Dear sister thank you for such an awesome prayer and such beautiful worship song .
      God bless you
      xxxx Carole.

      • WOW! I could feel the Holy Spirit of joy move within during that song. Amen. Thanks sister Beverlee for posting that…

  8. Thank you once again Pastor David and fellow bloggers for your uplifting words.

    Jesus, Lord and Saviour, may I always renew my soul each day, by staying focused on You, and reading Your inerrant Word, which is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

    I am enjoying Revelation and learning more and more each day.

    By lifting the name of JESUS high, who has overcome the world, may satan flee from us.

    HALLELUJAH TO THE KING!!

  9. Dear Rev. David M.
    So enjoying your teaching of Revelation these past few days.
    Thank you Jesus Christ, for tearing the veil , bridging the divide , and taking us from darkness to LIGHT. We give you thanks, we give you praise , let us be Your Shining Light for all those that we come across until your return. Amen.

    Have a blessed day fellow saints.
    xxxx Carole.

  10. Thank you again for your wonderful words David and God bless you and yours!
    I do think that the Nicolaitans doctrine is one that the could not worship the True God because one cannot worship the True God and also participate in pagan temple rituals so the people, at that time were not understanding the doctrine correctly!! If they were, they certainly would see it differently. But, we all make mistakes, Thank you , Lord for Jesus!!
    XBlessings,
    Margaret

  11. It is quite an eye opener to hear about the kind of crazy worship that took place and how destructive it must have been to all involved. Thankfully, we have scripture and sound teachings! Blessings everyone!

  12. Thank you David for enlightening us concerning the message to the church at Pergamos. Thank God for faithful Antipas whose life stands in contrast to the pagan worship of the Nicolaitans and the evil doctrine of Balaam.

  13. Thank you Beverlee Kaye for the research on Antipas…and for the song…how great that we have on God’s armor that includes the
    “Sword of the Spirit” that two-edged sword

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