THE POLLUTED CHURCH AT PERGAMOS –

Revelation 2:12-17

We have already stated that Jesus’ letters to the Church indicate that the Church whether viewed universally or locally, is important to Jesus. It is to and through the Church that Jesus reveals Himself . The Church is not perfect however. We saw that in the first letter of Jesus to the church at Ephesus which was  the miss-placed passion church. Smyrna was the persecuted church and Jesus gave no corrective word to her. But now we turn to the church in Pergamos and we will see more evidence that the Church is not perfect. 

Revelation 2:12a - “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,”

Pergamos is located approximately 60 miles north of Smyrna and 15-20 miles from the coast of the Aegean Sea. It was a wealthy city. Located on the north bank of the Caucaus river it was seen as being an impregnable city. In 241 B.C. Pergamos was known as “the City of Kings.” Pergamos was eventually absorbed into the Roman empire. The city was an intellectual center and had a library of over 200,000 volumes. This city  became very rich with the invention of an alternative to papyrus known as “parchment” which is a paper manufactured from wood pulp. “Parchment” gets it’s name from Pergamos.  [1]

This city was a religious center for the pagan deities of Athena, Aesculapius, Dionysus, and Zeus. There was a huge altar to Zeus there. It was believed that Pergamos was the birthplace of Zeus. The altar was shaped like a throne and referred to as “the Seat of Zeus.”  This altar measured over 100 feet on either side and was located on top of an 800 foot high mountain.[2]

Aesculapius was the deity of medicine. The idol of Aesculapius was a serpent coiled on a pole.  The term “scalpel” is derived from the name Aesculapius.[3] In Numbers 21:4-9 the people of God were struck with a plague of serpents because of their complaining. The means by which they were saved involved the making of a bronze serpent that was then placed on a pole. As the people looked at the bronze serpent they were healed. In John 3:14-15 Jesus makes reference to the bronze serpent mentioned in Numbers 21 by saying, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

How are these two references linked? If we look at one more reference the meaning becomes clear:

  • John 16:8-11 - “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:9 “of sin, because they do not believe in Me;10 “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” (Emphasis added.)

The bronze serpent on the pole is a symbol of the judgment of Satan on the cross of Christ. Jesus disarmed Satan and triumphed over him on the cross. This is what the apostle Paul states in Colossians when he writes:

  • Colossians 2:14-15 - “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

“Pergamos” is translated from the Greek perge or pergos  and means, height, elevation, tower; fortified.  This name can also be interpreted by seeing it’s compound form per which is an enclitic particle implying abundance (thoroughness), i.e. emphasis; much, very or ever:— [whom-] soever.[4] When combined with gamos which means, marriage, wedding [5]  it creates the idea of a church elevated by way of marrying the world. Some commentators have titled this church as one involved in an objectionable marriage.

In Smyrna Satan sought to destroy the church from without via persecution. Now the enemy takes a different strategy and joins the church in an attempt to dilute its influence through getting it to compromise with the world. In the church at Pergamos Satan uses a strategy of pollution  to pollute faith to the extent that the church loses its identity and power.

The church at Pergamos refers to the historical epoch of 312-600 A.D., a time of great compromise in the Church.

Revelation 2:12b - “‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:” 

Jesus describes Himself here with the word “sword” (Greek rhŏmphaia) which refers to, “a sabre, i.e. a long and broad cutlass (any weapon of the kind, lit. or fig.):— sword." [6] This is the sword that it takes two hands to wield. This is the sword that makes a decisive blow. Jesus is speaking decisively about the circumstances at Pergamos. The word that proceeds from His mouth cuts away compromise and hypocrisy and strikes right to the heart of the matter.

Revelation 2:13 -  “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”

Jesus does commend the church at Pergamos. Again He says, “I know.”  Jesus was well aware  that Pergamos was a city full of pagan religions. He commends those at Pergamos who have “kept true to My name,” who are a “faithful witness,” and who did not give up your faith in Me.” Jesus commends those at Pergamos who have not compromised.

Satan’s seat. Henry Morris writes in his book The Revelation Record, “Satan’s . . . throne may have been an expression used to refer to the gigantic temple of Zeus at Pergamos, set on a high hill with it’s altar towering 800 feet over the plain. More likely, however, it refers to the fact that Pergamos had become probably the greatest center of pagan religion in the world at that time. In fact, Alexander Hislop, in his famous book Two Babylons, gave much documentation to show that Pergamos had inherited the religious mantle of ancient Babylon when Babylon fell in the days of Belshazzer. The priests, [Chaldeans] who had kept the secrets of the ancient mystery religions centered at Babylon ever since the days of Nimrod, were forced to migrate at that time, transferring what amounted to the headquarters of Satan’s religious system away from Babylon north and west to Pergamos where it endured for several centuries in that great center of evolutionary pantheistic paganism. Still later, it moved to Rome. If Hislop’s analysis is correct, ‘Satan’s throne’ becomes a very literal description of the invisible principalities and powers centered at Pergamos.” [7]

Who was Antipas? Tertullian states that Antipas was a dentist and doctor who would not refute his belief in Christ. As a result he was executed by being cooked alive in a large brass bowl. [8] But there may be a more comprehensive application here.

The name Antipas consists of the preposition anti which means opposite, i.e. instead or because of (rarely in addition to):— for, in the room of. Often used in composition to denote contrast, requital, substitution, correspondence, etc.[9] The suffix pas means “any, every, the whole:— all (manner of, means), alway (-s), any (one), × daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no (-thing), × thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.[10] Hence, the name Antipas may be translated against all. Antipas may also serve as a literary device to refer to all those who take a stand for Christ even if it means then must stand alone. If so, then Jesus is commending those whose faith remains pure and unpolluted. He is commending those who refuse to compromise their faith with secular worldly influences even if it means they have to do it “against all.”

Revelation 2:14 - “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.”

What is the teaching of Balaam? To understand what the “teaching of Balaam” is we need to go to the Old Testament book of Numbers 21-25. Balaam was a prophet-for-hire hired by the enemies of Israel  (Midianites and Moabites) to curse God’s people. Balaam, to some extent, was aware of the identity of the God of Israel. He approached the God of Israel seeking a curse on this people. Try as he may, Balaam was not able to bring a curse upon God’s people but each time he tried he was given by God a blessing to God’s people instead.

But Balaam was persistent, he forced a way around the will of God. In other words it was as though Balaam said to the Moabite king Balak, “I can’t get the God of Isreal to curese His people, but here’s what you can do to get what you want anyway.” In Numbers it records:

  • Numbers 31:15-16 - “And Moses said to them: “Have you kept all the women alive?16 “Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.”

Balaam was unable to curse God’s people, so he devised a scheme to get what he wanted anyway. He advised the Kings of the Moabites and Midianites to have their women seduce the men of Israel and in the process engage these men in pagan  worship of idols which involved sexual activity. As the men became involved with the pagan women and idol worship they brought a curse upon themselves.

The teaching of Balaam is mixture-syncretism-compromise. Balaam undermined the people of God by arranging for them to mix in pagan worship with their worship of God. It was a subtle way of getting around God’s direct teaching against what you want in order to get what you want. It is akin to rebellion and disobedience.

What does the Bible teach about mixture-syncretism-compromise? The following scriptures give us a taste of what God’s word teaches about mixture-syncretism-compromise:

  • Numbers 33:55 - ‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.”
  • 1 Kings 11:1-2 - “But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites—2 from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.”
  • 1 Corinthians 5:11 - “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:33 - “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 - “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”
  • Matthew 6:24 -  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
  • Galatians 1:6-10 - “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4 - “For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”
  • James 4:4 - “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
  • 1 John 2:15-16 - “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 
  • 2 John 10-11 - “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”

Furthermore, looking at other cross references we find the following:

  1. There are to be no other god’s before our God -  Exodus 20:3, 23
  2. God is jealous of other gods -  Exodus 34:14.
  3. Pagan gods cannot stand before our God -  1 Samuel 5:1–5.
  4. Mixture distracts us from loyalty to God - 1 Kings 11:4–6, 8.
  5. Mixture leads to disaster - 1 Kings 14:1–18.
  6. God will not share His glory with another -  Isaiah 42:8.
  7. Mixture leads to stumbling -  Ezekiel 14:3–5.
  8. You can’t mix God’s holy ways with worldly ways - 1 Corinthians 10:21.
  9. Compromise is the trait of cowards -  Galatians 6:12.
  10. What you are tempted to mix with the gospel is not what it seems to be -  Colossians 2:8, 23.
  11. Mixture breeds confusion -  1 Timothy 1:3–7.  [11]

Historical Application

The church at Pergamos is representative of that epoch of church history from 312 - 600 A.D.

From persecution to peace. In 312 A.D. the last of the persecuting Roman emperors Diocletian died leaving the Roman empire fragmented between a number of contestants for the throne. The two most powerful were Maxentius and Constantine. In 312 A.D. the armies of these two figures met at the battle of the Milvian Bridge which passed over the Tiber River.  Constantine was on the brink of being pushed out of contention for emperor by Maxentius.  At a critical moment in the battle, badly outnumbered, Constantine is alleged to have seen a vision of a cross in the sky with the Latin  words, “IN HOC SIGNO VINCES” [12]or “IN THIS SIGN CONQUOR.” [13] As a result some contend that Constantine converted to Christianity. As to the authenticity of this conversion Earle E. Cairns writes,

“Though the vision may have occurred, it is likely that Constantine’s favoritism to the church was a matter of expediency. The church might serve as a new center of unity and save classical culture and the empire. The fact that he delayed baptism till shortly before his death and kept the position of Pontifex Maximus, chief priest of the pagan state religion, would seem to support this view. Moreover, his execution of the young men who might have had a claim to his throne was not in keeping with the conduct of a sincere Christian. Perhaps there was a mixture of superstition and expediency in his policy.” [14]

In further support of this view is the fact that Constantine who was badly outnumbered at the battle of the Milvian Bridge, saw that there was a group uninvolved in the war to this point. This group could tip the balance. Who was this group of people? Christians! As he professed their faith he drew them into support of his efforts. Needless to say, Constantine won the battle as a result.

Consequently, Constantine ended the persecution of Christians throughout the Roman empire when  in 313 A.D he granted the Edict of Toleration. Soon all Roman babies were required by law to be baptized into the Christian faith. Christianity became the STATE religion. A coin issued around this time by Constantine had Christian symbols on one side and pagan symbols on the other. A MARRIAGE TOOK PLACE BETWEEN THE STATE AND THE CHURCH.

Constantine nonetheless was presented with a problem. How could he maintain the political support of the pagan religious community as well as the Christianity? What he did was orchestrate a mixture of pagan and Christian religions that polluted the faith of the Church.   

Dr. Raul Ries writes concerning this period:

“By A.D. 312, Constantine had become so affected by the idea of Christianity, that he made it the state religion. Everyone in the Roman empire became a Christian by decree of the emperor. Obviously, that did not mean that everyone under Roman domination suddenly turned to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and embraced the teachings of the Bible. The decree simply re-labeled any existing religious practice as ‘Christianity,’ whether or not it had anything to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. FROM A.D. 312 ON, THEN, THE CHURCH BECAME MORE ROMAN AND LESS CHRISTIAN IN PRACTICE.  The true Christians, however, recognized what was happening, and began separating themselves from the official state religion. As they separated themselves, though, they began to be persecuted again. The church became polluted because of all the things that were imported from Romanism.” (Emphasis added.) [15]

A major theological change. Now that the church was no longer being persecuted the desire for the appearing of the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) began to diminish. The church began to view the period of persecution leading up to Constantine’s reign as The Great Tribulation. They viewed the events of 312 A.D. as the beginning of the Millennium and believed that the Kingdom of God would be established by the church. No longer persecuted, Church leaders began to view prophecy less literally and more allegorically or as amillennial.

The traditions of religious mixture. As mentioned earlier, the false Babylonian religious system which traces it’s origin back to the Tower of Babel and Nimrod (Genesis 10) had emigrated to the  City of Pergamos and then later to Rome itself.[16] The melding of Christianity and pagan Babylonian cultic practices resulted in a number of traditions in the church. In the pagan Babylonian pantheon Nimrod, “a mighty hunter against the Lord” (Genesis 10:9) married a woman named Simeramus.  While Nimrod was away or had died (the exact details are unclear at this point) Simeramus miraculously became pregnant and gave birth to a son who was named Tamuz. Tamuz was killed by a wild beast at around the time of the winter solstice (December 22-25). The story continues with Tamuz came back to life three days later. To celebrate this miracle a holiday was proclaimed for this time of year and a tradition was established the form of which involved the taking of a log, called a “Yule” (Babylonian word for “child”) and burning it in the fire. The fire burns the log and the log is replaced with a tree, an evergreen tree which is decorated with silver and stood up by fastening it with nails so it will not topple over. This is referred to by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 10:1-5.

  • Jeremiah 10:1-5 - “Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.2 Thus says the Lord:  “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold;  They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. 5 They are upright, like a palm tree, And they cannot speak;  They must be carried, Because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, For they cannot do evil, Nor can they do any good.”   [17]

The tree is to celebrate the miracle resurrection of Tamuz. The story of Simeramus and Tamuz is traceable through many different cultures:

  • Roman - Venus and Cupid
  • Greek - Aphrodite and Eros
  • Egypt - Iris and Horis
  • Phoenician - Ashtoroth and Tamuz

This pantheon is a diabolical counterfeit to God’s divine plan of salvation in Christ. Satan knows the Scriptures and seeks to undo God’s plan of salvation (e.g. Genesis 3:15).

The result of the melding of religions led to the change of the Saturnalia holiday which celebrated Tamuz’ resurrection to Christmas.  The same priestly robes and incense burning used by the Babylonian priests were kept and incorporated into the Christian celebration.  The title of Pontifex Maximus held by the Babylonian priests were also incorporated into the religious traditions of the church.

Another holiday incorporated into Christianity was that  of Ishtar which celebrated the miracle birth of Tamuz. On this holiday people  the colored of eggs to call to remembrance how Tamuz was miraculously formed in the womb of Simeramus.  The name of this holiday that was Christianized became Easter.[18]

Other traditions flowed from this mixture of religions. 

Troubling traditions. Below are a number of  traditions and the dates they were adopted by the Church. None of these traditions are Biblically supportable and many are contradictions of the Word of God. The Scriptures listed next to the traditions represent what the Bible has to say about such beliefs.

  • Praying for the dead (A.D. 300) - Hebrews 9:27
  • The sign of the cross (A.D. 375) - Matthew 6:1-18
  • Worship of saints and angels (A.D. 394) - Exodus 20:1-6;  Matthew 4:8-10
  • The Roman Catholic Mass (A.D. 431) - Hebrews 9:24-28
  • Worship of Mary (A.D. 500) - Exodus 20:1-6; Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 1:47; 11:27-28
  • Priests wearing robes and collars to separate themselves from the laity  (A.D. 593) - Mark 10:45; Luke 22:24-27;  Hebrews 8 and 10; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2:6,15 [19]

Revelation 2:15 -  “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”

That which was rejected by the church at Ephesus, had become a presence inside the church for the Pergamos Christians. The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is the establishing of a formal priesthood to mediate between God and His flock. Instead of seeing Jesus as the only and sufficient Mediator between God and people, the Nicolaitans inserted themselves into a position of power and authority that only Jesus Christ justifiably and appropriately is worthy of holding.

When Constantine came to power he called together those bishops who were willing and met with them. He established a basilica in Rome. A group of monks from Haifa who practiced the mingling of Babylonian practices with Christian practices were entertained by Constantine. From this group a monk by the name of DAMISUS  was given the title of SUPREME PONTIFF  by Constantine and named the bishop of Rome. From that point on all of Christendom would bow to the Roman pontiff. It was at this point that the church was renamed the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. [20]

Revelation 2:16 - ‘Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” 

The reference to “them” in this verse is aimed at those in the church who have succumbed to the temptation to compromise, mix and dilute the faith by marrying the world. Those who had compromised their faith via the doctrine  of Balaam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans were called by Christ to repent. Unless they repented of these false doctrines in the church Jesus would come with His sword and decisively divide the true from the false believers in the church. Notice, Jesus will come against “them” that is those who have compromised with these doctrines. Whenever Jesus says, “Or else . . . “ you had better listen!

Revelation 2:17 - “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 to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’ 

John records Jesus words as calling this church to listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say in this regard. Jesus says, “To him who overcomes . . .” How do we overcome? The Apostle John earlier wrote in his first epistle:

  • 1 John 5:4 - “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

We overcome by faith, the faith in Christ that God gives us.

Jesus continues, I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.” What is “hidden manna”? Again we look to the inspired writing of John who wrote in his gospel:

  • John 6:30-35,41-51,58,60-65 - “ Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?31 “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.33 “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.”42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.46 “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.47 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.48 “I am the bread of life.49 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.50 “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”58 “This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

Nothing can feed your soul and spirit better than the manna of Christ. Jesus is the Word (John 1:1-3,14). No tradition or worldly philosophy can compare to the manna of Jesus. You will be satisfied in your hidden innermost being as you feed on Christ. And it is the Spirit who gives the life-giving truth that builds us up spiritually. Extra Biblical traditions cloud truth, create spiritual static, and clog our spiritual pipes. The truth of God’s word administered and illuminated by the Holy Spirit is the only way to grow spiritually.

Jesus goes on to write, And I will give him a white stone, . . . What is the white stone? In the Roman courts voting was done with a black and white stones. Black stones were “no” and white stones were “yes.” Therefore a white stone indicated ACCEPTANCE AND  NOT GUILTY, FREE.

Lastly Jesus writes, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.The Roman government would often give a white stone engraved with a person’s name on it when they wanted to give a person a FREE PASS to the games and to receive free food from the government. THOSE WHO OVERCOME WILL BE GIVEN A PASS INTO HEAVEN AND ALL IT’S STOREHOUSES.

In recent years there seems to have been a spirit of compromise that has crept into the church. We see this in attempts to unify Christianity and Islam in a mutated hybrid religion called Chrislam. This is done at the expense of clear and undeniable differences in each religion’s truth claims. For instance Islam is a religion of works, Christianity is a religion of grace. Islam is a religion that permits lying to reach its desired goals (e.g. Al-taqiyya), whereas Christianity is bound and determined to speak the truth in love (e.g. Ephesians 4:15; see also John 8:31-36). Islam teaches annihilation of their enemies, Christianity teaches love for enemies (Matthew 5:43-44; Luke 6:27-35). Islam defines God (i.e. Allah) as distant, capricious and tyrannical, Christianity defines God near and knowable (Psalm 139 and John 17:3-4), faithful to His word (e.g. Joshua 23:14) and lovingly merciful (e.g. Lamentations 3:22-26; John 3:16). And most importantly, Islam teaches “God does not beget, nor is He begotten,” Christianity teaches the deity of Jesus and the Trinity of God’s nature. There truly is no reconciling these two religions as far as truth is concerned.

In 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea the doctrinal question of “WHO IS CHRIST?” was addressed by the church. Arius from Alexandria  held that Jesus was an ideal man but inferior to God and not eternal (this is the doctrinal root of Jehovah’s Witnesses.) Those who held that Jesus was fully Man as well as fully God were led by Bishop Alexander of Alexandria. The Council spent two months debating and finally deciding that Jesus was fully God and fully Man and this was put into the Nicean Creed. The tide was turned by the eloquent and effective teaching of a young man by the name of Athanasius. While the Arians were defeated they continued to hold political strength and made life for Athanasius very hard. At one point a friend of Athanasius said to him, “Athanasius, you have the whole world against you!” Athanasius’ response was “ATHANASIUS CONTRA MUNDUM!” OR ATHANASIUS AGAINST THE WORLD - YOU SEE, ATHANASIUS WAS WILLING TO STAND ALONE (WITH JESUS BY HIS SIDE) AGAINST THE WORLD IF NEED BE, IN ORDER TO BE RIGHT BEFORE HIS GOD. [21] WOULD YOU STAND ALONE WITH CHRIST? WOULD YOU RETURN TO BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY? IS YOUR FAITH POLUTTED? IF SO, JESUS IS CALLING YOU TO REPENT AND HAVE HIM PURIFY YOUR FAITH.


[1] Raul Ries, Hear What the Spirit Is Saying, Logos Media Group: Diamond Bar, CA, 1993, p. 56

[2] John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Moody Press: Chicago, 1966, p.65-66

[3] Henry Morris, The Revelation Record, Tyndale House Pub. Inc: Wheaton, IL; Creation-Life Pub.: San Diego, CA, 1983,p.57

[4]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[5]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[6]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[7] Ibid. Henry Morris, p.57

[8] John Courson, Tree of Life Tapes - #W760 - Revelation 2:1-17 - 11/20/96. Applegate Christian Fellowship, 7590 Hwy 238, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530

[9]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[10]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[11]Ken Anderson; illustrated by John Hayes, Where to find it in the Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996 by Ken Anderson.

[12] Marvin L. Galbreath, 20 Centuries of Christianity, Light and Life Press: Winona Lake, IN., 1970,. p14

[13] Earle E. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries, Academe Books : Grand Rapids, MI., 1981, p. 124.

[14] Ibid., Cairns, p. 124.

[15] Raul Ries, Ibid., p. 57

[16] Rev. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, Loizeau Brothers,:Neptune, N.J. , 1916, pgs. 225-256.

[17]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[18] Jon Courson, Ibid.

[19] Raul Ries, Ibid., pgs. 58, 75-76

[20] Pastor Joe Focht, Straight From the Heart,  Tape #1537 Revelation 2:12-17

[21] Marvin L. Galbreath, 20 Centuries of Christianity, Light and Life Press: Winona Lake, IN., 1970, p. 16