Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The study of Pergamos was fascinating. The city’s name means mixed or objectionable marriage. The official emblem of the city was the Caduceus. This led us to a study of Aesculapius (whose symbol was a single serpent wrapped around a staff) and discussion about the origin of the snake on the pole being a representation of healing which came from Scripture (Numbers 21:6-9).
Jesus’ title in this letter (he which hath the sharp sword with two edges) identifies Him as the highest official authority. The commendation of the church’s works includes the mention of a faithful martyr named Antipas. A legendary story says he was shut up into a red-hot brazen bull during Domitian’s reign and that he ended his life giving thanks and prayers to God.
The mention of Balaam referred to being spiritually unchaste, married to the world (sound like the translation of the city’s name?), selling their spiritual gifts for profit and sacrificing eternal riches for temporal gain. Sounds a lot like our world today.
The overcomer is promised hidden manna, a stone and a new name. In 1 John 5:4-5, the overcomer is identified as he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Hallelujah!
I learned recently from another study that some scholars believe there is a correlation between the seven kingdom parables of Matthew 13 and the letters to the churches of Revelation. The church of Pergamum corresponds to the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32.
Homework for next time: Read chapters 2 & 3. Analyze the letter to Thyatira. Read Revelation 2:18-29. Who was Jezebel? Read 1 Kings 21.
Posted by Stacey at 12:00 AM