Tag Archives: Revelation

THE CHURCH THAT LIVED IN SATAN’S SEAT OF POWER


THE CHURCH THAT LIVED IN SATAN’S SEAT OF POWER

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

Twice, our Lord made mention that the church at Pergamos lived where Satan’s seat was, Rev. 2:13.That in itself made the message most interesting. It was my privilege to visit this place several years ago. What I saw is burned into my memory for as long as I have one. Just what was the power of Pergamos. Think with me!
The city was characterized by politics, religion, industry, and health services. Located in western Turkey not far inland from the Aegean Sea, two rivers ran near the city, and one of the most complete libraries of the ancient world containing over 200,000 volumes was there. The word “Pergamos,” according to some linguists, means a high walled city, which Pergamos certainly had. It hosted a great walled citadel, with magnificent idol temples, and one of the steepest amphitheaters in the world. From this mountain part of the city one can see for miles in any direction, allowing ample warning of any approaching enemy. Others think the name comes from the Greek word for marriage with an intensive prefix meaning “thoroughly married,” as in full submission to the forces of the world (Satan).
The political winds of Pergamos were largely passive. They had pursuits of life more important to them than politics, especially on the international scene. So, whether Greeks, Romans, or whoever was in power, they acquiesced to them to continue their pursuits. Thus, it became a significant city to all. They were a city of much idol worship with temples rivaling those of Ephesus. They were also the first city to be known as a city of emperor worship, having a temple to Augustus Caesar.
In industry, they were the first producers of parchment. The very word “parchment” came from “Pergamos.”
In health services, they were worshippers of the mythological god “Asklepios.” It was symbolized as twin or two-headed snakes, a symbol that remains with the medical community. They were into Psychiatry and became a sort of hospital city. Roman soldiers suffering depression were sent there with a full year of leave to heal. Once there they enjoyed entertainment at the city’s two amphitheaters. bathed in the natural hot springs, and spent some time at night walking through great underground tunnels while required to shout constantly whatever was on their mind. “Psychiatrists” would listen in at strategic points and formulate a plan of therapy for them. If they were not well in a year, Rome would have the soldiers executed. It was quite an incentive to heal.
The church at Pergamos witnessed, was persecuted, and yielded up several martyrs, resisting the doctrine of Balaam, and actions of Nicolaitanism which The Lord said He hates. It sounds a lot like today. May God help us to do as well or better than this ancient church did. Satan’s seat did not die with ancient Pergamos.

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HEBREW – Word


 

dāḇār [and] ‘imrāh

 

One of the most significant words used for Scripture, of course, is the term word, which actually is a translation of several Hebrew words. Today we examine two of the most important.

 

The first is dāḇār (H1697), which means a word or “speech” and is a general term for God’s revelation. The Ten Commandments are referred to in Exo_34:28 and Deu_10:4 using dāḇār, which we could translate as “the ten words” because they are exactly what God said. The passion of the Christian should not be the most entertaining speaker of the day or the latest self-help teacher. The believer’s passion should be, “God says . . .” Its first occurrence in Psalms 119, for example, is in Psa_119:9 : “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word,” a clear reference to God’s moral law being the one and only path to right living (February 14).

 

Another Hebrew word translated word is ’imrāh (H565), a derivative of ’āmar (H559). While the latter is found often, the former is a rare poetic word that appears more in Psalms 119 than everywhere else combined. It is more or less a synonym for dāḇār and simply emphasizes not just a concept or thought but the very words of God, and is often used in the phrase “the words of my mouth” (e.g., Psa_19:14; Pro_4:5; Pro_5:7; Pro_7:24; Pro_8:8). Another form (’ēmer; H561) is often translated with the Greek rhēma (G4487) in the Septuagint (e.g., Psa_78:1; Psa_138:4), which usually relates to individual words and utterances.

 

Turning once again to Psalms 119, the first occurrence of ’imrāh there is that wonderful verse, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa_119:11). In a day when God’s words are more and more being replaced by concepts, or what is called “dynamic equivalence,” this word underscores that it is the individual words that are crucial. The same principle is underscored in Psa_12:6-7 : “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Let us truly desire the words of Scripture.

 

Scriptures for Study: Read a few of the occurrences of ’imrāh in Psalms 119, noting the significance of each: Psa_119:50; Psa_119:67; Psa_119:76; Psa_119:103, and Psa_119:117.

 

 

 

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He Is Coming!


 

Revelation 1:7

 

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen,” Revelation 1:7.

 

 

One, hot, August day Joe sat on the porch looking down the dusty road—waiting. His dad had gone on a business trip but was due home any moment. Joe did not act very nicely while his dad was away. He disrespected his mother, terrified his sister and his mom had warned him many times to behave politely—he did not listen to the warnings and now he knew the consequences that faced him. Suddenly, he saw a cloud of dust rising from the road—daddy is coming home.

 

Many people are like Joe. The gospel has been preached, and they have turned a deaf ear. The Bible is made available in every form possible and yet, they do not read it. A witness of His salvation has told them personally but they mock and laugh. They must face the consequences of their choice. The clouds are gathering—Jesus is coming.

 

My friend, do not be like Joe. This is your warning—Jesus is coming again. Do not turn away from the message of salvation. Do not spend your Sundays, leisurely, as you please. Come to Jesus as He pleads. Do not laugh or mock when family, friends, or even strangers tell you about the only begotten Son. Believe. He is coming again, and that day will not be a happy day if you do not heed the warning.

 

 

Reflection

 

Jesus is coming in the clouds on that day. It will be a sad, sad day for many people when their loved ones are gone and they alone remain.

 

Beverly Barnett

 

 

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Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom? 1


 By Kelly OConnell  Monday, December 17, 2012

It must be some kind of joke to suggest the United States of America is turning resolutely towards paganism, the antithesis of Christianity—correct? Sadly, this is exactly what appears to be quickly happening to this most Christian of all nations in terms of origin and practice. We see this in our views of government, family, economics, freedom, law and especially religion. We are now presented with a kind modern homo paganus, a modernized version of ancient man. Paganism is defined as:
1. An adherent of a polytheistic religion in antiquity, especially when viewed in contrast to an adherent of a monotheistic religion.
2. A Neopagan.
3. Offensive—a. One who has no religion; b. An adherent of a religion other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
4. A hedonist.
Paganism is a set of beliefs and practices essentially tied to the societies of the ancient world outside Judaism and Christianity. In particular, classical paganism was the worldview of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The revival of these ancient cultures during the Renaissance by way of the ancient writers is the foundation for Humanism. Despite the many high points of ancient classical paganism, these cultures’ values were rejected by the Christian West as utterly at odds with the great standards created by the rise of Christian Europe. This article details how these standards, misunderstood and rejected, are being slowly lost and replaced by unenlightened instincts and more primitive beliefs.

I. The Drift of Modern American Public Policy & Societal Mores
When gay marriage bills pass for the first time in state ballots, it is obvious that a new day has dawned in America. As opposed to the mere evolution of ideas and habits which occurs in every culture, the transition in the US represents a sea-change in beliefs and practice. This change represents a fall back into paganism, which could be argued the default thoughts and ideals of unregenerate mankind. Further, one could directly state that there are two essential worldviews of mankind—the biblical versus pagan.
Paganism therefore rejects biblical revelation of the One God, and an objective definition of truth—replacing it with a regime of superstition, earth worship, polytheism, and radical humanism. The latter is the replacement of any traditional Western idea of religion with rank secularism, however that might attain. An example of the latter would be Marxism with its savage embargo of God, which replaced tradition with a comically inept reign of humanistic pseudo-science, totally rejecting constitutionalism, natural law, and human rights.
It is a fundamental conviction of modern mankind that human society is destined to evolve and that all evolution occurs to positive results. This notion is tied into the prevalent belief that humans evolved and therefore evolution is a fixed and positive reality of human life. Instead, this pernicious notion would be harmful, even if humans were products of Darwinian evolution—because it fatalistically blesses every change without bothering to analyze it. Certainly this is one of the causes of the continuing fall in human happiness in our increasingly confused and contradictory society. These reborn pagan practices all help guide our fall.
II. Ancient Roots of Modern Paganism
Foundation of the West’s Argument Against Paganism
The chief and most devastating arguments against paganism were levied by Christian Roman emperors, and by the ancient Church Fathers. These can be boiled down to a few central principles. First, according to the emperors, paganism rejected God’s rule over mankind. Likewise, according to the Patristic Fathers, essential truth can only be known via revelation—by divine gift to mankind, as opposed to the flawed results of humanistic philosophizing.
Second, since only God knows the truth, only He can deliver this through His Word. So to oppose this, whether by pagan or heretic means is one of the most grievous sins imaginable. The emperors, such as Constantine made proposing such pagan falsehoods against the law. Other emperors may have battled back against this mandate, such as Julian the Apostate, but the tide was clear and eventually the Roman Empire became officially Christianized.
The triumph of Christianity against paganism amongst the common people should be seen as the understandable acceptance of a theory of God which was not arbitrary, offering a description of life based upon hope over fear. Also, the Bible gained cachet by presenting a vision of life where all men and women, regardless of status, citizenship, free or slave, all stood on equal footing before God. This powerful idea was the opposite of Roman society. Sadly, rejecting this can only be seen as a lapse from faith back into the abyss of ignorance and certain failure.

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ECCLESIOLOGY (A Study Of The Church)


LESSON 1.
THE ENGLISH WORD “CHURCH”

I.THE WORD DEFINED.
A.Overbey says, “According to most scholars the word church comes from a Greek word meaning ‘the Lord’s’ with the word house usually understood.” (The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T.. – Overbey, p. 7)
B.The Greek “kuriakos”:
1.Easton’s Bible dictionary says, “Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship. In the New Testament is is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the “Church of England,” the “Church of Scotland,” etc.
2.Smith’s Bible Dictionary says,
a.The derivation of the word is generally said to be from the Greek kuriakon, “belonging to the Lord”. But the derivation has been too hastily assumed. It is probably connected with kirk,the Latin circus, circulus, the Greek kuklos, (kuklos), because the congregations were gathered in circles.
b.Ecclesia, the Greek word for church, originally meant an assembly called out by the magistrate, or by legitimate authority. It was, in this last sense, that the word was adapted and applied by the writers of the New Testament to the Christian congreagation.
3.Kuriakos used in the New Testament.
a.Revelation 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day (kuriake hemera), and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”
b.I Corinthians 11:20, “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper (kuriakon deipnon).”

II.SUGGESTED READING.
A.Ecclesia – the Church – B. H. Carrol
B.Ekklesia – the Church – Bob L. Ross
C.Theodosia Earnest, Bol. II – A. C. Dayton

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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT HELL


Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:7-15

Penitentiaries and jails speak of man’s belief in the punishment of men for wrongdoing. Man believes the criminal should be separated from the law abiding. God also believes in separating the righteous from the unrighteous. Hell is a reality.

I cannot imagine a death more horrible than death by burning. The pain and suffering that has to be involved with this type of death is totally unimaginable to me. I would not wish this type of death on my worst enemy. What is worse, is the people that make light of  dying  and descending into  a place of eternal burning and suffering; that place called HELL!!

Let us examine this place.

I. THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT.    (REVELATION 20:7-15)
    1. The judge. John 5:22; “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”
   
2. The subjects. (Rev. 20:12; Eph. 2:1-3). All who have never repented and trusted in Jesus.
    3. Basis of judgement (John 20:13).
       
a. According to works (Rev. 20:13).
        b. In the Great White Throne, judgement because of unbelief (John 3:18).
    4. The reason for this judgement. That each unbeliever
might receive his just part in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8; Matt. 10:15; 11:24).
NOTICE THIS; The Great White Throne Judgement is not to determine whether one is saved and going to heaven or unsaved and going to hell. It is strictly for the unsaved/lost and determines how bad they were and all are cast into the lake of fire.

II. HELL IS THE FINAL ABODE OF THE DEVIL, FALLEN ANGELS, AND UNBELIEVEERS.
    1. Origin of Hell and why (Matt. 24:41; II Peter 2:4; Jude 6).
    2. Those in Hell.
        a. The Devil (Rev. 20:10).
        b. Fallen Angels (Jude 6).
        c. Unbelievers (Rev. 20:13-15).
    3. The final Hell (Rev. 20:13-15).

III. WHAT HELL IS LIKE.
    1. A lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8). If this is figurative language, how awful the reality!
    2. A place of torment. (Greek: odunaomai, mental and/or physical pain, agony, suffering, Luke 16:23.) Revelation 20:10: “Tormented day and night forever.”
    3. Read Luke 3:17.

IV. HOW LONG HELL LASTS – ITS DURATION.
    1. It is called an everlasting destruction (II Thess. 1:9).
    2. It is said to be forever and ever (Rev. 14:10,11).
    3. Figurative speech describes it as eternal (Mark 9:44, 46, 48).

V. THE STATE OF THOSE WHO GO TO HELL.
   
1. Their condition is final and there is no escape (Luke 16:24-26).
    2. There is no future chance (Rev. 22:11; Eccl. 11:3).
    3. Why they are there (Luke 16:27-31).
    4. Those who go there remain in a conscious state (Luke 16:23).

VI. HELL, THEN, IS A DEFINITE PLACE OF REALITY, AND IS NOT THE GRAVE.
    1. All of the foregoing scriptures teach the consciousness of those in Hell, therefore it could not be the grave.
    2. Some questions with scriptural answers show that Hell is not the grave.
        a. Are angels buried in graves? II Peter 2:4: “Cast down to hell.” Can this be construed to mean that they are in the grave? (Jude 6).
        b. Are none but the wicked in the grave? Psalm 9:17: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” What about the righteous who die?
       
c. Can a man put another man in Hell? He could if Hell is the grave. Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather feat him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION YOU WILL EVER MAKE IN LIFE IS WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY.

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