Archive for Pergamum

Revelation The Last Letter

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2018 by paulthepoke
Now Available on Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1720136084

TheLastLetter_Cover_forWeb

These are the last of words of Jesus before He comes for His bride the Church. Revelation The Last Letter looks at the seven churches in their historical and geographical context in the first century. These were actual churches in actual ancient cities in what is modern day Turkey. What did Jesus actually say to the churches? Please, listen to the good news from Jesus Himself…

 

 

This is a great resource for small group Bible studies. Study questions are provided at the end of each chapter.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Revelation-Last-Letter-Paul-Lehr/dp/1720136084/

 

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Revelation: Pergamum and Manna

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , on February 19, 2017 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna…

Do you have an ear or two??? Then listen up! Jesus and the Spirit are talking to you. Pergamum is the third church in the series to be told to pay attention and hear.

Victory is yours if you believe in Christ. The reward is hidden manna.

The Greek word for manna is μαννα/manna. The Hebrew word for manna is “man”. It literally means: “What is it?” Manna is a bread from grain from Heaven. 

Exodus 16:15 When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.

Manna is… Psalm 78:24 He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them food from heaven. 

What did manna taste like? Exodus 16:31 The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey.

What did manna seed look like? Numbers 11:7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. Coriander is also known as cilantro. The seed is like a little pellet and its color is yellow/brown.

Manna is the food of angels. Psalm 78:25 Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance.

Israel ate manna for 40 years as provided by God while drifting in the desert. Exodus 16:35 The sons of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

The manna is concealed or hidden as described in Revelation 2:17. Likewise, manna is concealed in an urn in the Ark of the Covenant.

Hebrews 9:4a having a golden altar of incense and the Ark of the Covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna…

John connects the dots from Moses to Jesus. As manna came from Heaven, Jesus is the bread from Heaven.

John 6:32-35 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

Revelation: Pergamum, Let’s Review

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation, Teshuvah/Repent with tags , , , , , on February 12, 2017 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:15-16 So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.

The church at Pergamum had the same issue as the church at Ephesus, worship of Nicolaitan teaching. There is no reliable documentation to confirm the identity of the Nicolaitans. They are suspected to participate in pagan feasts and orgies.

The issue is the relentless assault of false teachers. Pergamum is Satan’s home and throne. People in the local church were following Satan, Balaam, Balak, and the Nicolaitans. They were not following Jesus Christ.

This is in clear violation of two of the first four Commandments in Exodus. God still wants to be worshipped.

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

Exodus 20:5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.

Notice how God equates worshipping a false god as hatred towards Him. God says worshipping other gods has consequences to your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Does God really mean this? Are there really consequences for believing in other religions and their gods? Did God change?

Therefore repent…This is a call to change your mind. This is the third time in Revelation Jesus calls believers to repent. Incidentally, Jesus will remind the churches seven times in Revelation…Completely repent. Rethink what is being taught.

The Greek word for repent is μετανοεο/metanoeo. It means: to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins. –Strong’s Concordance.

The idea of repent in the Hebrew is teshuvah. Prepare and turn to God. People are called to turn away from their sin, repent, and change course. It is a time of inward reflection and sincere self-assessment. The goal is a change in lifestyle away from sin to obedience in God’s word. The Hebrew month of Elul initiates a 40 day period called Teshuvah.

https://paulthepoke.com/2016/08/28/teshuvah-2016/

This is a reminder to us today as well. Believers throughout the course of the Bible are warned about false teachers. Do not follow false teachers. Worship and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ who is God the man.

or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.

This is the second sword reference to the church at Pergamum. The first sword reference was in Revelation 2:12. I take it they did not repent and Jesus used His sword. The city and church of Pergamum are no longer with us in the 21st century. Today the ancient city is ruins.

FYI: In the last week (February 12, 2017) of the writing of this post, a series of earthquakes has struck approximately 60-75 miles northwest of modern day Pergamum or Bergama, Turkey. The area is back in the news.

Draw your own conclusions.

Revelation: Pergamum; Food, Sex, and the gods…

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , on February 5, 2017 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:14  But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 

The Bible introduces us to Balaam and Balak in the book of Numbers chapters 22-25. The meanings of their names are not pleasant. Balak means “devastator”. And Balaam means “not of the people” or “devourer”.

The general overview of how these two got together is noted in Numbers 23:7 And Balaam took up his discourse and said, “From Aram Balak has brought me, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains: ‘Come, curse Jacob for me, and come, denounce Israel!’

Balaam was from Aram or modern day Syria. He was a prophet. Balak was the King of Moab or modern day Jordan. Moab was the area east of the Dead Sea south of modern day Ammon, Jordan. Balak needed a curse on nation Israel. And Balak called on Balaam to do the job.

Granted, Balaam never cursed Israel as Balak begged repeatedly. But it was Balaam and Balak who introduced practices that were in direct disobedience to God’s Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law. They are summarized in Numbers 25:1-3.

Numbers 25:1 While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.

The Israeli men began to לזנות/zanah in the Hebrew. Translated and defined as: commit fornication or adultery; to be a cult prostitute; figuratively, to be unfaithful to God. The women were from Moab under King Balak.

Numbers 25:2 For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

Food sacrifices to gods are noted throughout time. Give thanks for the food…to our god. Balaam and Balak were a part of this practice. The church at Corinth had issues with this practice as did the church at Pergamum. Today, animal sacrifices and gifting the meat are part of the Muslim holiday Eid.

Numbers 25:3 So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the LORD was angry against Israel.

Balaam would go on to encourage another religion, Baal worship. He is the son of Peor. Numbers 22:5 So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor…

Israel הנצמדים/tsamad with the worship of Baal. They fastened or yoked with a false god.

Israelis were led to a false god by sexual enticement and a full belly. Israel had become unequally yoked to a false god.

The church at Pergamum was having the same problems as ancient Israel. The church was falling into the same trap set by a prophet and a king from the book of Numbers. Balaam and Balak’s influence had been baked into Jewish culture for over 1,600 years. History was repeating itself. Jesus is making an observation relative to history. A point was being made to the local body at Pergamum.

God’s attitude toward this behavior has not changed…and the LORD was angry against Israel.

Revelation: Pergamum, A Two-Edged Sword

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , on January 22, 2017 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:12b The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:

Jesus is the owner of the two-edged sword. He is the one talking to the churches. This is another example of Jesus defining who He is. The two edged sword is previously noted to be in Christ’s possession in Revelation 1:16b …and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword…

Here are some other references to Jesus as a sword in Scripture. The sword penetrates more than flesh and blood. It cuts to the essence of who we are as humanity, soul and spirit. And Jesus Himself is sharper than the sword He possesses.

Isaiah 49:2 He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; and He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver.

The “word of God” is another name for Christ (See John 1:1-2, Revelation 19:13).

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The Greek word for “sword” is ρηομπηαια/rhomphaia. Besides sword, it can also be translated as a long Thracian javelin, also a kind of long sword to be worn on the right shoulder. This definition is of note in light of Habakkuk 3:11.

Habakkuk 3:11 Sun and moon stood in their places; they went away at the light of Your arrows, at the radiance of Your gleaming spear.

The first sword as a weapon is dated to around 3,300 B.C. It was made of bronze. The earliest sword was found in what is central, modern day Turkey.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword

This sword is a weapon of war. The sword is described as sharp, swift, or quick. A two-edged sword is sharp on both sides of the blade. It can cut both ways. The user of the sword can attack from either the left or the right or assault head on. The sword belongs to Jesus and He is going to use it when He returns to establish His kingdom.

 

Revelation: Historical Pergamum

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2017 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:12a And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

Ancient Pergamum today is essentially Bergama, Turkey. Today, not much is left of the ancient city but ruins. The city was located about 60 miles north of Smyrna. It is the northern most church in the Book of Revelation. The name means “citadel, height or elevation” per Strong’s Concordance. Pergamum was located in the ancient Roman province of Mysia.

This is the same region of Mysia the Apostle Paul was instructed to stay put.

Acts 16:7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them…

The Spirit of Jesus intervened and kept the crew in Mysia. Bithynia and Mysia are in Turkey. Jesus wanted them in Mysia. The region of Mysia is home to Satan and his capital, Pergamum (Revelation 2:13). Paul was forbidden by the Spirit of Christ from going into the region of Bithynia, home to modern day Istanbul, Constantinople, or Byzantium (synonymous names). The Holy Spirit and Jesus clearly had a plan for the gospel in Satan’s back yard.

Art and literature were very important to Pergamum. The city had a library of 200,000 volumes. Antony would later give this library to Cleopatra. The books were written on parchment. Pergamum was the city where parchment was developed. The word “parchment” or “pergamena” comes from the name of the town Pergamum. Because of this economic development, the city was very wealthy.

The Altar of Zeus is located in Pergamum. The statue was 40 feet tall. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Pergamum was a medical center of the ancient world. The worship of the medicine god Aesculpius took place here. The name Aesculpius is where we get the term “scalpel”. Surgery is a reminder of Aesculpius.  The symbol for medicine, the coiled snake on a pole comes from Pergamum. The irony, this medical symbol is a counterfeit to the bronze serpent of Numbers 21:8-9.

Numbers 21:8-9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

Jesus would later refer to Himself as the serpent who would be lifted.

John 3:14-15 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

The ancient world and history to this day have a choice when it comes to healing, Jesus or Aesculpius. Aesculpius is a link to a scalpel that cuts and causes bleeding to the individual. Jesus bled for us and the result is eternal life for the individual. We can worship the god of medicine. Modern medicine is temporary at best. Or we can worship the Son of God. What He offers is forever.

http://bibleatlas.org/pergamum.htm

The Revelation Record, Henry M. Morris, p. 57.

Revelation Churches: Modern Day Turkey

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 1:11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” –Jesus

The Greek word for “book” is Βιβλιον/biblion. It means: a small book, a scroll, a written document. This is the word where we get the term Bible.

The word “book” is singular in the sentence. It would appear John sent one “book” or epistle to the seven churches. The book was sent from the island of Patmos. The order of the seven churches listed is geographical and clockwise in nature. The first stop on the mainland of Turkey was Ephesus. Next, the letter would have gone north to Smyrna. The third stop was north in Pergamum. Following Pergamum to the east and a bit south was Thyatira. The fifth stop to the south would have been Sardis. A jog to the east and the letter stopped in Philadelphia. The last stop to the south and east was Laodicea.

All seven churches are located in what is modern day Turkey.

Four of the seven churches in Revelation have references to Satan. Jesus is the one talking directly to the churches. Jesus got His information from God the Father (Revelation 1). This is not conjecture. The churches are: Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Philadelphia.

Acts 16:6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia… The Holy Spirit made sure Paul and his companions stayed in modern day Turkey instead of advancing east to China. The regions of Phrygia and Galatia are in the heart of Asia Minor.

Satan has his trinity. He plays the role of God. The antichrist plays the role of Jesus. And the false prophet plays the role of the Holy Spirit. Satan clearly has a foot hold in Turkey per the comments of Jesus to the churches in Revelation. Satan has a religious system and structures in place in this geographical area. If Satan’s home land is modern day Turkey, would it make sense for him to establish his kingdom with his minions here?

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch

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