Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pergamus: Compromised & Indulged

                                                                                               Photo  Source: Bible History Daily

Pergamus, located in modern Turkey, was a provincial capital and the seat of Emperor worship. It was the center of four of the greatest pagan cults: Zeus, Athena, Dionysus and Asklepious. The latter was the god of healing and was honored with a great medical school which was associated with the worship of this god. This idol was shaped like a serpent, a symbol still used for the medical profession today. It was a very wealthy city sporting a library of 200,000 volumes later given by Anthony to Cleopatra.


The name 'Pergamos' according to some means 'elevated to marriage' or 'bigamy and/or
polygamy.'  In other words, 'mixed marriage' or 'compromise,' indicating the marriage of the church to the world. This was indeed what happened in this great city. However, the word etymology is mostly uncertain.

According to Revelation, this church is in a dangerous place, as this is where Satan's throne dwells - in fact, this is where Lucifer is not only present, but 'dwells.'  He also rules, as is inferred by the word throne.

The Pergamon Altar or 'Altar of Zeus'scholars believe was the Throne of Satan mentioned by John in Revelation
                                                                                                Photo Source: Bible History Daily
When Emperor Diocletian died in 305 AD, the succession of the Roman Empire was in dispute. On the night before a battle, Constantine had a vision of a flaming cross in the sky with the latin words "by this sign conquer." He won the battle, became emperor and stopped all christian persecution. Christianity became the state religion, and by law everyone had to profess to be a christian or lose his job. All heathen temples were converted to churches, all the names of the pagan entities were changed to christian names. Pagan feasts were converted to christian holidays but some maintained their pagan symbolism - like Easter and Christmas. In fact, many of the practices that exist in the Catholic church today trace their beginnings to this time period.

Unfortunately, Constantine brought about a religious dominion backed by secular power, which brought about a religious system with a form of godliness, without the power thereof. His efforts brought about an apparent freedom for christians, but at the altar of compromise.

Revelation mentions two false doctrines being practised:

The doctrine of Balaam (Numbers 22:2-6,12; Numbers 25:1-3). Balaam taught that people should intermarry with the heathen in order to compromise their beliefs.

The doctrine of the Nicolatians: "Niko" means 'to conquer,' "laity" means 'the people.'
This was a group who tried to separate laymen from clergy for the purpose of power. They claimed to be christians but lived immoral unclean lives believing that what you did to the body had no effect on the spirit (gnosticism).  They Lorded themselves over the laymen of the church, therefore this doctrine destroys the concept of the body of Christ as a whole unit.

Even so, Christ had commendations for them; their good works, they did not deny the faith; they held fast Christ's name. They were challenged to 'eat the hidden' manna'  (manna refers to God's provision for the Israelites in the wilderness and typifies Christ.) 

Did you know? 

The Altar of Pergamom was re-assembled in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin during Hitler's reign. Only the foundations of the altar can be seen at Pergamos today. The Turkish government wants this structure back on it's base and has been pressuring Germany for the return of the Zeus Altar.

The Base of the Altar in Pergamum. Photo Source: wingsofeaglesct.com

The Altar in Berlin.    Photo Source: whale.to
The Seven Churches of Revelation:

Introduction
Ephesus: Where Did I Leave My Love?
Sweet Smelling Smyrna 
Falling Away Into Laodicea