Here are some websites and articles that give some information about the city of Pergamum.
Christ says he hates the practices of Balaam and the Nicolaitans, but who are they and what do they believe? You may need your MyValleyForge information to access some of these articles.
These books about Roman religion and culture are available through Ebrary. You may need your My.ValleyForge information to access these books.
The Peculiar City
The Deceptive Church
Has Your Deceptive Behavior Contradicted Your Orthodox Doctrine?
I. Looking at the Text: Revelation 2:12-17
A. Commission – v:12
To the Angel of the Church in Pergamum
B. Character – v: 12
· Rev. 1:16 – “Out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword”
· Heb. 4:12-13 – “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
C. Commendation – v: 13
· I know where you live
· In the midst of persecution and enormous opposition, they remained true in their works and their testimony
D. Condemnation – v: 14-15
· Nevertheless, I have a few things against you…
o Doctrine of Balaam
o Doctrine of the Nicolaitans
· Sporadic acts had become settled doctrine
E. Correction – v: 16
· Repent or else…
F. Call – v: 17
G. Challenge – v: 17
· Hidden manna – food; nourishment
· White stone
II. Looking At Practical Lessons
· Ephesus: Has Your First Love Become Your Last Priority?
· Smyrna: Has Your Greatest Fear Contaminated Your Genuine Goodness?
· Pergamum: Has Your Deceptive Behavior Contradicted Your Orthodox Doctrine?
Here we have a church with orthodox doctrine and behavior, but here also is a church that was holding on to that which God was against.
They were living divided lives…
Three Critical Lessons about God’s Omniscience:
1. I Know Where You Live
2. I Know What You Embrace
3. I Know Whom You Oppose
We are talking about integrity – the same inside as we are on the outside.
“Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.” G.K. Chesterton
“The older you get, the more like yourself you become.” Calvin Thielman
“Your success in life will be shallow if your character is not deep.” Carl Colletti
“You can’t put a fence around conscience.” Don Argue
“I pay a steep price when I live a divided life – feeling fraudulent, anxious about being found out, and depressed by the fact that I am denying my own selfhood. The people around me pay a price as well, for now they walk on ground made unstable by my dividedness. … A fault line runs down the middle of my life, and whenever it cracks open – divorcing my words and actions from the truth I hold within – things around me get shaky and start to fall apart.” Parker J. Palmer (from A Hidden Wholeness; The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, 2004)
I have also attached this “Think About It” article of on “An Undivided Life” published in our local newspaper, “The Phoenix” in of 2004, which may also be of interest to you.
12"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. 14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He 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. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
This article was originally printed in The Phoenix in 2004.