Dover Assembly of God
9.12.2021 | Revelation - Week 5 - To The Church In Pergamum
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  • Dover Assembly of God
    4790 Carlisle Rd, Dover, PA 17315, USA
    Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Dover Assembly Online
    Sunday 10:30 AM

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Weekly Bulletin
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September 12, 2021

Welcome to Dover Assembly!
We are so glad you have chosen to attend Dover Assembly this morning. It is not by accident that you are here. We believe that God has allowed you to be here so that you might receive all that He has for you. We pray you are blessed as you allow the Lord to work in your life.

THIS WEEK

Sunday
9:00 am ~ Coffee & Donut Fellowship
9:30 am ~ Sunday School
10:30 am ~ Worship Service
10:30 am ~ R.O.C.K. Children’s Ministry
1:00 pm ~ Spanish Service

Monday
6:00 pm ~ Deacon Board Meeting

Wednesday
6:30 pm ~ FAMILY NIGHT

Saturday
6:30 pm ~ Spanish Service

UPCOMING EVENTS

Youth Convention
Thanks to everyone who supported our teens with our Hot Dog “Grab ‘n Go” last Sunday. We raised $327.00 towards their expenses. Special thanks to Dustin for manning the grill and supervising the teens who helped.

Today is another Hot Dog “Grab ’n Go” day! Thank you in advance for your support of our Youth Ministry!

If you are not a hot dog fan, donations are welcome! (and needed)!

Pastor Appreciation Day
October has been designated as Pastor Appreciation month. We have set aside Sunday, October 10 as the day we will honor Pastor Jeff and Anna.

The Spanish congregation has mentioned that they will recognize Pastor Luis and Edith on a different date.

WOMEN OF PURPOSE EVENTS
Ladies, please mark your calendars for the upcoming events!

Starting TOMORROW, Mon., Sept. 13, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, Women’s Ministries’ (WOP) will resume our Monday evening Bible Study beginning on Monday, September 13, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm in the R.O.C.K. room. All ladies are welcome! Bring a friend! This fall’s Bible Study is entitled ‘A Life of Excellence,’ the Book of James. Who better to tell us about the life of Jesus other than his very own flesh and blood brother!

‘The Word of God Implanted in Your Heart Has the Power to Save Your Soul!’ James 1:21

There is no other book like the book of James in the entire Bible. Written by Jesus’ brother, James, there is no other book so close to the heart of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. From James’ first-hand experience in observing the life of Jesus, James gives us a look at what the nature of God is really like ~ the very same nature that we have inherited from Jesus when we were born again!

Sign-up sheet is in the upper foyer on the women’s table. Please plan to join us! Cost of the Bible Study book is $20 (it is the book and study guide combined). Please see Anna if a scholarship is needed. We want all ladies to be able to attend without concern of the cost of the book.

Fri., Oct. 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. ~ Jewelry Exchange ` do you have some jewelry lying around that you no longer wear? Would you like to exchange that jewelry for some other unused jewelry? Then this night is for you! Join us for refreshments and exchanging of jewelry!

Fri., & Sat., Nov. 12, 13 (or Friday only or Saturday only) ~ District Women of Purpose (WOP) Annual Conference. For any ladies wanting to attend only Friday or Saturday and driving on their own, please see Anna ASAP so we can order you a wristband before the conference fills up. For those ladies already signed up, more information will be provided regarding departure time, etc.

Fri., Dec. 10, 6:00 pm (note time is half hour earlier than the other events) ~ Annual WOP Christmas Dinner will be held at the church. Please join us for Fun! Laughter! Worship! Jesus! Stocking Gift Exchange! More details will be provided.

BODY NEWS

Shut Ins
Continue to pray for those of our church family who are no longer able to join us for worship.
~ Beulah S.
~ Olga K.
~ Rose K.
~ Cindy D. (Angel’s mom)
~ Betty N.
~ Marian T.

Prayer Warriors!
Prayer nights continue on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Join us as we seek the Lord for Dover Assembly and our own lives!

Ministry Staff Meeting
Thank you to everyone has volunteered to be a part of the ministries at Dover Assembly. Because of your availability, we have been able to not only staff all the ministries, but we have been able to have rotating schedules to allow time for our volunteers to be in the service in addition to those ministries.

For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do.- Hebrews 6:10 (NLT)

Flood Update
As was mentioned last week, our church experienced flooding in the basement area during that rain storm on Wednesday Sept 1. The entire carpeted area was covered. Our cost to clean and dry it was after insurance was $1300. If you would like to contribute to cover that cost, it would be appreciated. Just mark your gift “flood” and we will make sure you receive credit. Thank you in advance.

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https://doverassembly.com/app

Online Giving

Thank you for your faithfulness! You can now give to Dover Assembly online at your convenience. Click the link to learn more!

https://doverassembly.com/give

Sep 12, 2021 - Week 5 - Rev. Jeff Bender

In each of these 7 churches, John describes a situation that we can ask “Could this letter be written to me”?

For example, the church in Ephesus, John talks about them forsaking their first love. There are, no doubt some believers that fall into that category.

The church in Smyrna, John talks to them about their persecution. There are Christians and churches today that are being persecuted.

So each letter can be applied to someone’s individual walk with the Lord.
In the NKJV version, each church has a heading.

Ephesus was the “Loveless church”; Smyrna was “the Persecuted church”

And this next one, Pergamum was “the Compromising church”-this title maybe more than the others describe the church in America.

Let’s look at the church in Pergamum.
As we can see, John opens up with some commendation. He tells them what they are doing right.

In two churches, Smyrna & Philadelphia, he only commends them. In three churches Ephesus, Pergamum & Thyatira he starts off with the good things then proceeds to correct or instruct them.

One, Sardis, he corrects them first then tells them that he knows there are a few good believers there. One, Laodicea he only rebukes them.

So Pergamum seems to be a decent church. But they are in need of some correction.

They were divided & compromising. Some held to the faith in spite of the persecution, others began to compromise with the world around them.
Whenever God uses the term sword, he usually is talking about some kind of judgment or reproof or correction.
He is simply reminding the church that he has the ultimate power to judge what’s going on regardless of their own personal feelings or convictions.

No feelings, no extenuating circumstances, no opinions. God will level judgment regardless of those.

He uses the sword to get their attention. He doesn’t need to elaborate on it. He simply states that simple truth. I have the sword, in other words, I am going to administer judgement if you don’t listen up.

God kind of walks in to Pergamum holding his sword and saying nothing. He didn’t come in with quick judgment, but he wanted to correct them like we correct our kids.

Judgment or correction is not contrary to God’s blessing.

He is faithful to bless us and also faithful to correct us. “Whom the Lord loves, he corrects.”
He understands every situation.

What was their situation? Living where Satan has his throne. Literally “Satan’s Seat”.

Pergamum was the center of idolatry and was the only city under Roman rule that was allowed to use capital punishment.

The Bble tells us that Satan is . . .
He has authority here. He has power. Only what God allows, but he still wields power.

The city of Pergamum was the capitol of the Roman Provence of Asia. It was the center for worshipping pagan gods. Especially Emperor Worship.

In the center of town was a great altar to Zeus the chief Greek God.

Nearby was an elegant temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena. Outside the city wall was a shrine to the snake God of medicine, Aesculapius, with his symbol in the form of a serpent.

We get our symbol of medicine from that.
This city was also known for its persecution of Christians.

This city was a hot bed for idolatry. So when Jesus says that this is the place where Satan has his throne he was pretty much on track.

He understood the kind of trials and persecution those folks had to go through. He knew it wasn’t easy for them to remain faithful.

He commends them for their vigilance.
This word witness is actually from the Greek word “martus”. Where we get martyr. It came to be known as “one who died because of his faithfulness in such witnessing.”

They weren’t only faithful inside the church; they were faithful outside in witnessing.

That’s what got him killed. Not going to church on Sundays, but witnessing outside during the week.

They could have been silent Christians, living only on Sundays, knowing what the cost was, to speak about it outside or to live their faith outside, but in spite of the cost, they were faithful in witnessing.
These people were so confident in their relationship with the Lord, they risked death just to tell others.
How would you feel if someone you knew was killed because of Jesus?

This church was losing their friends because of the gospel.

How would you feel?

Antipas, a member of their church, was martyred for being an outspoken witness

Jesus refers to him as MY faithful witness.

Not only did he bear witness to Jesus, he had a personal relationship with Jesus.

MY witness. . .
This is a church who was suffering greatly for their walk with the Lord.

You would think that would be enough!

That Jesus would let them slide in other areas.

No! Our father wants us to “be perfect as I am perfect”

If your child was doing well in a couple of classes, but needed to improve in others, you wouldn’t forsake the ones needing improvement just because they were doing well in a few.
The church as a whole was faithful to Christ but some among them needed the Lord’s rebuke. The church knew that but wasn’t addressing this situation.

What weren’t they addressing? The Teaching of Balaam.

What is the Teaching of Balaam? Balaam was a true prophet of God, but he was selling his services to get money. So King Balak hired Balaam to curse the Israelites for money.

Balaam tried but could not, he could only bless them. He would open his mouth to curse and blessing would come out. So he taught Balak instead of cursing them, you can corrupt them from the inside.

You need to get them to participate in the world systems in small ways at first. Start by just joining them in idol worship. You don’t have to do it, just show up. Then marry Moabite women and they will lead them away for good. Remember God said do not intermarry.

Then those women would lead them away from the Lord.
God takes compromise seriously!
Slowly their involvement in worldly things would separate them from God.

Notice that persecution and hardship did not turn the church at Pergamum away from God.

Just like the Israelites, it wasn’t a curse from without; it was a slow acceptance of the world from the inside.
Some church members were professing faith but were still participating in the local pagan worship. Participation in these festivals involved temple prostitutes and feasts involving the food offered as a sacrifice.

These celebrations were pre-requisites of citizenship and acceptance. Without that, you were an outcast.

Christians were being involved with these in order to advance themselves in society, to fit in, to not seem weird and accepted, and the church was not stopping it. They thought it was harmless celebration and saw nothing wrong.

How often do we get tempted to participate in something we know is wrong, but we don’t want to appear stand offish, or judgmental, or weird, so we join in?

We fool ourselves by thinking I’m trying to fit in so I can do better in the world. If you find yourself involved in something because it seems advantageous to you, but you know it goes against God, you need to leave that organization, regardless of the consequences.

So the directive was to both. The church had to address those that were involved and those who were involved had to make a choice.
What are or who are the Nicolaitans? According to more than one commentary both the names Balaam and Nicolaitans, have the same meaning:

“to conquer or rule the people”. To overrule God and follow our new and easier and better rules

So both teachings were people who professed to be Christians, but lived licentiously.

There was one main difference. The teaching of Balaam involved getting people involved in idol worship. In other words, it’s ok to be a part of the town feast to idols because you want to fit in.

Since immorality was part of their “religion” it’s ok to participate because our gods say it’s ok. You need permission, you have permission.

The Nicolaitans did the same, but without the idol part. Just wanted to live however they wanted.

They didn’t need permission because they though God already gave it because we have freedom in Christ and God forgives sin, and God is love, so that means God is ok with your lifestyle.

So this must have been the prevalent problem. And it seems that there was not just a group of folks doing this on their own, it seems that there was a teaching to this effect.

Not just a few renegades, but a whole contingent that were teaching other believers.

The church was responsible for NOT correcting it.

What does he tell them?
Repent. . quit turning a blind eye to it and stop it.

They tolerated these teachings and God said, they need to handle it.

Why? Because the church is responsible for the sheep. We will be judged for how we protected them.

One way of protecting them is for us to stop anything that will hurt, discourage and dissuade young believers.
We are to protect the sheep by keeping the wolves out. If we do not, then we are allowing those innocents to be hurt.
And He was also issuing a special threat to those who were heretical in their beliefs and teachings and lifestyle.

It was a good church, but they looked the other way.
He will fight against them with the sword of His mouth. Look back at Revelation 2:12 The one who has the sharp two-edged sword.

What did we say that represented? Judgment or correction. So Jesus says I am going to correct you!

If God puts his mind to correcting you, watch out. He will get the job done.

Look at Old Testament Israel. He exiles them to unbelievable torment and sorrow for 70 years. Why? Because they would not quit being idol worshipers.

But look at the result. Israel as a nation all the way to today does not worship idols!! They worship the God of Abraham. It took 70 years of pain some 3000 years ago, but God corrected their problem.

The reason I believe that this could be for any one today is because of the next verse.
CHURCHES -- plural. . . To anyone who will hear. Anyone! Do we fall into the category of anyone?

There are obviously people who do not respond to this correction, but God wants us all to heed this warning.

ASK YOURSELF . . .
Does this speak to me? Does this activity draw me to God or away from God?

Am I compromising what I know and believe to be true?

Am I living in a manner that I know in my heart is wrong, but have justified it?

Do my ears need to be opened to hear the truth? Sometimes we just like the line from that movie, we can’t handle the truth, because then we have to admit that we are wrong! And how easy is that to do?

God wants us to not only hear the truth, but do the right thing. What will God do if we accept the truth?

God’s punishments are always remedial. God’s ultimate desire is to bring us back close to him. Then what?
And what is that hidden Manna?
Hidden manna is Christ’s nature!

As bread, he is given and he sustains our spiritual life AS WE CONSTANTLY PARTAKE OF HIM. (Manna)

The more we do what the Holy Spirit prompts us to do, feed on God’s word (bread) the more we will have Christ’s nature.

Jesus will give us more of himself.

I will continue to impart to you my nature.

He will make us more like Him. He will give us the ability to defeat these things in our lives that keep us separated from Christ.

If you truly repent, God will give you the desire and ability to be what he wants you to be.

What else will He do?
A white pebble was used in biblical times in a judicial setting.
This was cast as a vote of NOT GUILTY.

If we hear what Jesus is saying to us and do what he asks, then we will know that we will be “not guilty” in his eyes.

Our sins will be blotted out as if we never sinned.

The new name means a new nature. It is your adopted name.

When you are adopted, your name becomes that of the person who adopts you.

When you receive salvation or forgiveness you have the name of your heavenly father. The new name also means you have a new nature; a spiritual nature that desires to please God.
Once we are saved and have a relationship, no one can really describe what has happened. Only we can do that. And even, then it seems incomplete.

The Bible says that these things are written so they you may KNOW. . .

Once you have the white stone and a new nature, even if no one else knows or understands-you know exactly what has happened.

Compromise always leads you away from God and if it continues without change, you will eventually walk away totally from God.

Compromise allows you to feel that things are ok, because you have 1 foot in the church. The problem is you have 1 foot in the world. And at some point you’ll be faced with a choice.

Either you repent of the compromise, or God will attempt to bring you back, but by then, you may be in position where even that doesn’t work and you walk away.

Thank you for joining us!

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