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The Gospel From Patmos
Everyday Insights For Living
From The Last Book Of The Bible
Daily Devotional
Monday, February 19, 2018

            And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These things says the One who has the sharp, two-edged sword. I know where you live, where the throne of Satan is. You are holding fast to My name and have not denied My faith even in the days of Antipas, My faithful martyr who was put to death among you, where Satan lives. Rev 2:12-13.



            Some students of this passage have suggested that the church at Pergamum was a compromising church. This could explain the reason that Jesus approaches this church with a sharp, double-edged sword. It needs the sharp double-edged discernment that comes by the word of God. “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” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV).
            The church at Pergamum seems to be the opposite of the church at Ephesus which was sound in doctrine and lacking in love. The church at Pergamum is weak in the very area that Ephesus is strong, the area of sound doctrine.
            According to Jesus, Pergamum was a dangerous place for Christians to live. In some sense Jesus considered it the dwelling place of Satan. Pergamum was probably the most impressive of the seven cities listed in this part of Revelation. Its primary ruins lie on top of a steep hill hundreds of feet above the plain. The most spectacular remaining structure is that of the amphitheater, capable of seating some 15,000 people. It was built into a steep hillside overlooking the valley to the west.
            The most spectacular of its many temples, the Pergamon Altar, was taken up stone by stone and rebuilt inside a museum in the eastern part of Berlin. It included a huge marble staircase (nearly 20 feet high and 100 wide) surrounded and topped in a horseshoe shape by colonnaded statuary carved into the marble itself. It was an incredible piece of work, exuding confidence in human genius and the overwhelming power of the religion it represented. Beholders would be attracted to the pagan religions of Rome. Compromise would have easily crept in without the believers even being aware of it.
            The power of human achievement is even more impressive today. Giant skyscrapers, awesome technological advances, dazzling sports events and shows, all subtly suggest that real life is to be found in human achievement and pride. The Word of God is a sharp, two-edged sword calling this false reality the illusion that it is. Events like September 11 underline the accuracy of Jesus’ diagnosis. After all, mighty Pergamum is largely in ruins today.



            Lord, apply Your discerning Word to my life today. Expose my tendency to compromise.




 
 
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