18 Nov. Revelation 2:12-17

18 Nov. John writes to the city where Satan has his throne

"Write this to the angel of the church in Pergamum:"

"The One who has the sharp, two-edged sword [whose tongue speaks the word of God] says this:
I know where you live. It is where Satan has his throne."

"But you are true to me. You did not refuse to tell about your faith in me even during the time of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was killed in your city, where Satan lives."

"But I have a few things against you:
you have some there who follow the teaching of Balaam, He taught Balak how to cause the people of Israel to sin by eating food offered to idols and by taking part in sexual sins." [see Numbers 22:1-24:25]

"You also have some who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans. So change your hearts and lives. If you do not, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword [the word of God] that comes out of my mouth."

"Everyone who has ears should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches."

          (Revelation 2:12-17)

 

 

Pergamum was full of pagan temples, including the Temple of Athena and the Temple of Zeus. In addition to the worship of numerous Greek gods, emperor worship was also popular at the time John’s letter was written, and the Temple of Trajan (see the photo) was completed on the Acropolis during Hadrian II’s reign (117-138AD).

John calls Pergamum the city where "the satan" (Hebrew, "the accuser" - who accuses people on the ‘Day of Judgement’ – see Job 1:1-12 & Zechariah 3:1) has his throne (Revelation 2:13). While some translations of the Bible use a capital 'S' for "the satan" and omit the word "the", there is no indication in the Greek that "the satan" is being used here by John as a personal name.

In this city of pagan worship, the Christian believers are praised for remaining faithful to the one true God and his Son Jesus Christ. They are warned not to eat food offered to idols and to avoid sexual immorality.

Modern visitors driving up the steep road to the Acropolis at Pergamum pass the fortifications of the ancient city before entering the Hellenistic Citadel, built in the 2nd century BC.

Early Christians welcoming John’s messenger would have been familiar with the steeply raked Greek amphitheatre, built originally in the 3rd century BC and later extended by the Romans. They would have encountered the numerous pilgrims to the Temples of Athena and Zeus, and may have used the celebrated library whose remains can be seen today, although many of the 200,000 scrolls were sent to Alexandria by Mark Antony as a wedding gift to Cleopatra in 41BC.

The photo shows the temple erected for the worship of Emperor Trajan at Pergamum.

You can read more about Pergamum @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-messages-to-the-beli…/


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