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Pergamum Church : From Persecution to Seduction

Updated on April 17, 2011

Church of Pergamum : From Persecution to Seduction

To the angel of the church in Pergamum write :

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city where Satan lives.

Nevertheless I have a few things against you. You have people there who hold to the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore ! Otherwise I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives.

Revelation 2:12 - 17

Pergamum is a city of Mysia in Asia Minor. It is located in the Northeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea and South of Thyatira. About 280 B. C. Philetaerus established here the kingdom of Pergamum, which was held by seven kings. Pergamum was celebrated for its library which was founded by Eumenus II, king from 197 to 159BC. The city was the capital of the Roman province of Asia, and an early seat of Christianity. The modern name is Bergama,

Persecution is an open opposition while seduction is hidden, secret deceptive opposition. Both strategies are employed by Satan to oppose the church in Pergamum. Christ started his letter by saying “I know where you live.” It is an expression of the Lord’s personal knowledge of the circumstances of our daily life. It is not easy to be a Christian at Pergamum where Satan has his throne. In Pergamum, there is a powerful force there in opposition to God, Satan has his stronghold in the city. And at this time, Satan made Pergamum his headquarter as the center of his demonic activities. There is a great presence of dark religions in the city.

Satan first employed his first strategy to defeat Christianity in the city, which is persecution. But Satan had not succeeded in this strategy in destroying Christianity in the city even in the days of Antipas. Antipas is the first Christian martyr in Asia and he was burned alive for his faith.

So Satan employed another strategy to defeat the Christians in the city, and that is seduction of believers to lead them to sin. There were those people in Pergamum who were allowing them to be seduced. There were people in Pergamum who hold to the teaching of Balaam.

Balaam was an instrument of Satan. He was hired by Balak to curse Israel through witchcraft. But he cannot do it instead using Moabite women he enticed the Israelites to commit sexual immorality and idolatry. Number Chapter 25 records this.

The Subtle Attack of Wordliness

Wordliness is giving in to the seduction of the world.. The world is Satan’s system for opposing the works of Christ on earth. We are to be extra cautious of the world’s influence on us. Worldliness does not depend much on the activities but on the attitude of the heart. It is a matter of the heart. Anything in our lives that makes us lose appetite for spiritual things and makes it easy for us to sin is worldly.

What the Bible says about being seduced by the world ?

It is written in John 2:15- 17:

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of the sinful men, the lust of his eyes and the boastings of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

We are seduced by the world because of the following things found in us :

  • Cravings of sinful man

This refers not only to sinful desires but even legitimate desires that we want too much that they become our “idols in the heart.” According to John Calvin:

“Our hearts are perpetual factory of idols.”

For example, desiring for a lifetime partner is a legitimate desire of the heart longing for a lifetime companion. But if this desire preoccupied so much of your thoughts that it become your obsession, it is becoming dangerous. We must constantly guard our hearts from all forms of idols.

  • Lust of the eyes

When the eyes have become instrument not only so that we can observe but have become Satan’s instrument that we could covet. What images have the power to arouse your interest ? What for you are those things that are exciting to watch ?

Be cautious of those things. They may lead you astray from the Lord.

  • Boasting of what one has and does

This is taking pride inwardly and outwardly in our accomplishments, physical appearance, possessions, basing our significance primarlly on these things. Our significance should be found in Christ alone.

“The world and its desires pass away.”

The things of the world wont last. There is no future for worldliness. God wanted us to be aware and exercise caution and discernment in the world where we live in. According to Jerry Bridges :

“Worldliness is accepting and going along with the values and practices of our culture without discerning if they are pleasing to God.”

The chuch at Pergamum need to repent for practicing and tolerating worldliness. For worldliness is equal to “spiritual adultery.” As Christians we are married to Christ, and engaging to worldliness is spiritual adultery.. According to C. J. Mahoney : “ Worldliness is so serious because Christ is so glorious. He is most important and most beautiful.”

The Reward for Overcomers :

He will know what it means to be nourished by the “hidden manna”, the person of JesusChrist Himself , the Bread from Heaven. He will know what it means to have a truly intimate relationship with Christ.

This hub is an excerpt from the Vesper Worship Service message as preached by Brother Benjie Baclagon last February 6, 2011 at Grace Bible Church ( Manila, Philipines).


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    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      7 years ago from Manila

      Hi DeBorrah K. Ogans it is great to see you on this hub. Your visit and comments are great source of encouragement to me. I always appreciate your visit. Blessings to you always. Best regards.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      7 years ago

      Cristina, Great article on the Church of Pergamum! There is much here to ponder...We must be mindful to seek God above all else! As you well stated: “Worldliness is accepting and going along with the values and practices of our culture without discerning if they are pleasing to God.” Amen!

      Thank you for sharing, In His Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings! To GOD Be The GLORY!

    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      7 years ago from Manila

      Hi Brother Raymond it is good to see you here in this hub. Thank you for dropping by and sharing your input. Your visit is always appreciated. Yes the Enemy is always devicing ways to defeat us christians, we must always on the guard at all times. WE should always hold on to our faith at all times and stand firm for Christ. Blessings to you always and regards.

    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      7 years ago from Manila

      Hi Dave Mathews it is good to hear from you. Your visit is always appreciated. Blessings to you always and regards.

    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      7 years ago from Manila

      Hi lifegate thank you for dropping by and appreciating this hub. Your visit is much appreciated. Blessings to you always and regards.

    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      7 years ago from Manila

      Thank you Patrick for taking time to read this hub. Blessings to you always. Regards.

    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      7 years ago from Manila

      Hi Tamarajo it is great to hear from you again. Thank you for dropping by. Your visit and comments are a great source of encouragement to me. Yes we must constantly guard our hearts from the seduction of the world. They are so subtle. Sometimes they are appear are little, mundane things but they can snare us if we will not guard our hearts. Remain blessed always and regards.

    • profile image

      Raymond Tremain 

      7 years ago

      Cristina you sure have done some study to get all this info. well done.

      Yes we need to be on guard against the devil as all the time he is out to try and get each of us, BUT when we stand firm in the message about Jesus we will defeat him.

      God loves all

      I pray that all love God

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      7 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Thanks for sharing this hub. You've included a lot of good information with Scripture and a challenge. Thank Brother Benjie Baclagon as well.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Ate Cristina thankyou for bringing this to light again. We need to be constantly reminded.

    • profile image

      Patrick Teng 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for the wake up call

    • Tamarajo profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent message. thank you for sharing it.

      I liked how these two tactics are distinguished,

      "Persecution is an open opposition while seduction is hidden, secret deceptive opposition."

      This is very descriptive of what Balaam ended up doing because he couldn't curse Israel. Seduction is like the back door.

      It is also true that we lose our appetite for Him when we fill up on the things of this world and life and as stated they don't even have to be overtly sinful. Our heart really does know how to manufacture idols.

      Good examples of how that works practically speaking.

      Another good exhortation.


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