“I know that you live in the city where that great throne of Satan is located, and yet you have remained loyal to me. And you refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you by Satan’s followers.” - Revelation 2:13
The Christians in Pergamum lived right next door to Satan himself! Pergamum was not a Satan-worshiping city full of witch doctors, but rather a Satan-worshiping city full of priest doctors! The city was famous for its medical library and hospital. It boasted fantastic temples and a theater that seated thirty-five hundred people. Psychiatry and hypnosis were practiced there, and on the top of a huge hill stood the famous temple of Zeus! Was this “Satan’s seat,” we wonder? In 1871, an altar with the words “Zeus the Savior” inscribed on it was found in that area.
We have to wonder what it would have been like to live in a place like that, daring to believe in Jesus the Savior, the Healer and the Lord of all! Antipas, Christ’s faithful martyr, found out what it was like, and sealed his witness with his blood. Others would be faithful to their deaths in that place. Still, the risen Christ had some things against his church there. Basically, many were compromising their faith in the face of the opposition. Error had been mixed with truth, and morals had been corrupted. “Repent,” commanded Jesus. “I will give [you] manna that has been hidden away in heaven . . . a white stone, and . . . a new name” (Revelation 2:16-17). Jesus promised he would reveal intimate secrets to those who stand firm, however hard it is!
For Further Study: Revelation 2:12-17
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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