The Church in Pergamum
“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:” Revelation 2:12 NLT
In order to keep the daily devotionals within bite size portions, I am going to examine the verses slowly and methodically. Today's scripture tells us of the recipient and the sender. The recipient of the letter was Pergamum (Pergamos in the KJV). Pergamum was located about 15 miles inland from the coastal city of Smyrna. Pergamum was a capital city. It had been the capital city of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) for about 250 -300 years by the time this letter is given to John by Jesus in A.D. 95-96. Great Roman Architecture dotted the landscape. The city housed one of the most elaborate libraries in the world, boasting approximately 200,000 volumes. This would have made it second only to the great library of Alexandria, Egypt. Interestingly, the word Pergamum means "parchment". Parchment was the material used for recording writings. This city boasted itself with its knowledge and affluence. Multiple Temples were erected to worship Roman authorities, particularly, the Roman Caesar. The citizens of this city exalted the Roman Emperor to the place of deity. Pergamum had requested permission from Rome to build temples to worship the Caesar. These human "gods" were their object of devotion and worship. Of course, Rome was delighted to grant this request. Believers in Christ, who lived in this wicked, Satan filled city, would either lose their Roman citizenship, be killed, or both for not worshiping the Roman Caesar. Life in this city was extraordinarily difficult for a true disciple of Jesus. Some held true and undeterred. Others caved in to the political and cultural pressures. Sounds like our day doesn't it? The sender of the letter is Jesus! He describes Himself as the one with the sharp two -edged sword. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” NLT His word pierces our very spirit and soul. In Revelation 1:16 we see Jesus standing in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands (churches) with a sharp two - edged sword coming out of His mouth. In Revelation 19 we read this: “He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a wine press. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” Revelation 19:13-16 NLT One day, Jesus will return as the conquering God and King! This time, He will come in power and smite the nations of the earth with His rod of iron. Those who chose to reject Him will mourn. Those who accepted Him and loved Him will rejoice because our King has come. The whole world will bow and worship the One and Only King!!!!!!! Stand true my brothers and sisters. He will come!!! O how we need Jesus to reveal the state of the church in our time. Prayer: Lord, please speak to us with your Holy Word and show us what we need to understand about the state of the church here in our city!
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Rev. Curtis Norris