“I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.” Revelation 2:13
This congregation is in a spiritual battle, even to the point of martyrdom. They are in a location where the enemy is strong. Idolatry is rife. Fleeing this situation is not an option – these people have to be made ready for the battle. They are called to be faithful witnesses to God’s truth, which is in conflict with the ways and desires of earthly man. Something has to die – either truth or man’s desires.
The faithfulness of the church at Pergamos is a challenge to Christians today to stand true when engulfed by the evil of this present world, the apostasy within the ranks of religion, and the temptation to compromise their stand for the truth.
This was the headquarters of satanic opposition and a Gentile base for false religions. On the acropolis in Pergamos was a huge, throne-shaped altar to Zeus. In addition, Asklepios, the god of healing, was the god most associated with Pergamos. His snake-like form is still the medical symbol today. The famous medical school connected to his temple mingled medicine with superstition. One prescription called for the worshiper to sleep on the temple floor, allowing snakes to crawl over his body and infuse him with their healing power.
When a church is accepted by the world, there is a problem. It means that the church has left the Word of God and Satan has become part of the church. Satan is on the throne of the church. There is no way that the world and the church can be together. This church had left the Word of God and this is what will judge them. One day we will all be judged by God’s Word. Satan dwelt in the church through false doctrine.