03/27/2011 SWord of Power!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, March 28, 2011 Under: Sermon
The Letters to the Seven Churches Series - Pergamum

Test: Revelation 2:12-17 (HCSB)

12 To the angel of the church in Pergamum
write: “The One who has the sharp, two-edged sword says: 13 I know where you live—where Satan’s throne is! And you are holding on to My name and did not deny your faith in Me, even in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan lives. 14 But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block in front of the sons of Israel: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. 15 In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent! Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give the victor some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it.

"For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

Intro: I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore very deeply stained within sinking to rise no more… Love lifted me that is the power of the Sword!

Pergamus: Satan’s headquarters.

Application: The power of the Sword leads you to repentance!

Greek word: nikaō (Knee ka o) = Conqueror, Overcome, prevail, victorious

1. Confirmation from Christ: vs. 12-13

12 To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: “The One who has the sharp, two-edged sword says: 13 I know where you live—where Satan’s throne is! And you are holding on to My name and did not deny your faith in Me, even in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan lives.”

The minister is responsible! There must be the preaching of separation from the world, we are to be sanctified and set a part to do the work of our Lord! Love the sinner but hate the act, lead them in the ways of Christ. Christ describes himself as the one with the sharp two-edged sword in His mouth. What Christ is spewing from His mouth: the worldly church needs to hear and be obedient to the word of God!

The Word of God is sharp: it will cut through the most worldly and hardened heart. It will convict and convince the worldly of their sins and cut a sharp gash, separating the sinner from his sin. The word proclaims the necessity of living a righteous life or else facing judgment and destruction. On the other side it proclaims the love and grace of God to those who separate from the world and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.” Ephesians 6:17 (HCSB)

"For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

The believers in Pergamos were being persecuted and some were even being martyred for their faith. Some government officials were misusing the power of the sword or execution. They were slaying innocent people, in particular believers who refused to deny Christ. Jesus Christ is proclaiming that the power of His sword—the power of His Word—is far greater. He holds the power of life and death over all men. He can speak the Word and snatch the life away from any person. All men must heed this message. Those who do evil are hereby warned. If the Word of Christ is all powerful, then Christ can look after and take care of us no matter what confronts us. His power, the sword of His Word, is able to strengthen, deliver, and save us. And if it is our time to leave this world, His Word is able to transfer us right into God's presence to live perfected forever and ever.

The church was loyal to Christ's name despite the environment. The church had been established in a cesspool of worldliness, a city of people who were consumed with the pleasures, possessions, and comforts of the world. They held fast to the only name that could really save them, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.” Titus 1:9 (HCSB)

Antipas died a martyred death they say he was placed inside a brazen bull and slowly roasted to death. If the heat gets a little hot in your life what are you willing to do? The early believers knew exactly what it meant to become a follower of Christ: it meant the commitment of all they were and had. It meant the possibility of death.

The Lord’s Confirmation was positive and encouraging to some but to others it was judgmental.

2. Corruption & Compromise plagued the Church: vs. 14-15

14 But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block in front of the sons of Israel: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. 15 In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.”

There is the complaint. The church was guilty of false doctrine and of gross worldliness. The worldly church is guilty of the doctrine of Balaam. What does this mean? It means that corruption and worldliness are within the church itself; it means a mixture of religion and worldliness.

This starts the beginning of the world moving into the church. It takes no Rocket scientist to understand that worldliness corrupts the church. Four things cause a church to become worldly. The church and its members begin to participate in worldly functions. The church and its members allow worldly activities to take place in the church and in the homes of its members. The church begins to baptize and accept people as members who have not truly repented and turned from the world to Christ. The church and its members allow false teaching and preaching. Nothing corrupts a church any quicker than worldliness. Pergamos was a corrupted church, a worldly church. Pergamos is the picture of the corrupted church that is married to the world.

“Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 17 Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. 18 I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17-18 (HCSB)

3. Cling Close to Christ: vs. 16-17

16 Therefore repent! Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give the victor some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

The church and its believers needed to repent and to change their ways. They need to deal with those who are worldly and lead them to repentance. The church cannot continue the practice of accepting people into the church just because they professed Christ. There needs to be evidence of repentance. Discipline those who refuse to repent and chose to continue on in their worldly living.

“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!’ Luke 13:3 (HCSB)

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" 2 Chronicles 7:14

Christ will never punish the spiritual members of a church; He will only punish the worldly members. With the sword of His mouth, that is, with the power of His Word. His Word is strong enough to judge all the worldly, no matter who they are or how many there may be.

There is the great promise to the Clinger or overcomer. The overcomer is given the right to eat the manna or bread of heaven. This is a reference to the manna that was used to feed the children of Israel during their wilderness wanderings. God actually caused the manna or bread to be rained down from heaven upon them. The manna was given by God to feed them and to keep them alive during their wandering upon this earth. Now, what does the hidden manna mean? What is the bread of heaven? It means Christ Himself. The overcomer is given the right to feed upon Christ. This is exactly what Christ Himself said.

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” John 6:51 (HCSB)

The bread or manna of God is not physical and material bread: it is spiritual. The point is clearly seen: the person who overcomes worldliness—who stops feeding upon the world—that person will be given the food of heaven itself. He will be allowed to eat the eternal bread of heaven. He will never die. The overcomer is given a white stone with a new name written on it. There are an endless number of guesses about what this stone is. Only one thing is clear in this reference to it, and it is best to stick to the Scripture. The white stone is the means of being admitted into heaven, into God's presence. The overcomer is allowed into God's presence because of the white stone. The church member who has an ear must hear this message to the worldly church. He can never overcome the attacks of worldliness unless he heeds this message. Hearing and heeding is his only hope of ever conquering the seductive worldliness of this earth. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

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