Jesus’ letter to the Church in Pergamos is like reading a newspaper today! It’s history is being repeated before our very eyes.
The Apostle Peter wrote of false believers even in his day saying, “They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;”. In the Revelation letters Jesus dictated to John, the Apostle, He warns there would also be false believers in the last days.
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 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. 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. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. 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.” – Rev. 2:12-17
Now for a little history. When the Greek successor of Alexander the Great, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, invaded Israel he took over the Temple and desecrated it by erecting an altar to Zeus. He even sacrificed a pig on the altar. It was forever after referred to as the “abomination of desolation”.
This led to what is known as the Maccabean revolt and the cleansing of the Temple. This re-dedication is commemorated in the Feast of Dedication, which we call Hanukkah , and marks the Jewish New Year.
A second similar event occurred in 130 AD by the Roman Hadrian, which involved the visit of the Roman Emperor Hadrian to the ruins of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 70 AD by Titus. At first sympathetic towards the Jews, Hadrian promised to rebuild the Temple, but the Jews felt betrayed when they found out that he intended to build a temple dedicated to Jupiter (the Roman version of Zeus) upon the ruins of the Second Temple. The resulting Jewish revolt led to the expulsion of all Jews from Jerusalem, the renaming of Israel to Palestine (Roman for Philistine), prohibiting the Torah law and the Hebrew calendar, and destroying the association of Jews to Judea and forbidding the practice of Jewish faith. This is history but, prophetically, Jesus predicted it would happen once more –
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” – Matthew 24:15
Now to the question of what is Satan’s throne? When Hadrian built an altar to Jupiter on the Temple mount, a copy of it was built in Pergamum because it was the center of emperor worship at that time. Only they called it the throne of Zeus. This is what Jesus refers to as Satan’s Throne. After Rome became Christian under Emperor Constantine, the altar fell into disuse and was gradually covered
by the sands of time. Eventually, it was re-discovered in the early 1900’s by a German archaeologist and moved to Berlin, where it was reassembled and made into a museum. In 1930, Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer, designed a copy of it in Nuremberg where Hitler announced his famous ‘final solution’ to the Jewish problem. There is no doubt that Satan dwelt there when Hitler tried to destroy the Jewish people. It symbolizes hatred of the Jewish people, which we call anti-Semitism. It also symbolizes the spirit of fascism which inspired Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
When Jesus dictated this Revelation letter to John, Satan’s throne was literally in Pergamos. But in the 1930’s it was moved to Germany, and I believe it will be found somewhere in Europe at the end of the age (right now it is in Germany). One thing is sure however, wherever persecution and hatred of God’s people are found, Satan dwells there. This is the link between Fascism, Socialism, Marxism, and Atheism; they all hate God and His people! They push the new non-Biblical morality, they support abortion, and they want to close the Church down. But Jesus commended the believers in Pergamos because they held fast to His Name and did not deny the faith, even in the face of persecution.
But, Satan’s insidious ways had begun to creep in, in the form of the doctrine of Balaam. Balaam was the prophet who encouraged the Israelite people to follow the ways of the world; the world’s view on marriage and on adultery and on fornication. (Num. 31:16) (Sounds like today doesn’t it?). Next, he had them worshipping false gods and neglecting to obey God’s commandments. That led to an open door for the Nicolaitans to enter the Church. The Nicolaitans taught sexual immorality was OK (as many in the church do now) and they separated the people into classes of laity and priesthood and fostered the idea that only the priesthood could hear from God and read His words. Nicolaitan is a compound word made up of ‘Nico’, meaning to get the victory, and ‘laity’, meaning the people, so Nicolaitan literally means to get the victory over the people. Strong’s concordance says it means “destruction of people”.
Jesus said He hated the Nicolaitan spirit. He called all of us to read and know His word. He taught the Apostles to teach His word to us all.
“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” – 1 Pet. 2:4, 5
There are those called to be ministers (Elders or Pastors) but, their purpose is equip us to be ‘living stones’ and ‘a holy priesthood’ that we may together offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. Jesus does not want mere ‘pew sitters’! We are to be holy as God is holy and we can if we rely on the Holy Spirit and on Jesus.
Now, our country, indeed the world, is under attack by globalist socialists and Marxists who want to destroy the United States of America and change it’s heavenly calling from a Republic founded by God and for God. But where are the ministers standing in the pulpits sounding the alarm? Where are the believers echoing President Trumps challenge, “We will never be socialists!” The National Review proclaimed The Democrats are the Socialist Party Again. But, the Republican Party also is filled with wimps who will not stand up and speak out about the election fraud going on in support of their own President! Maybe it is time for a new Party named the American Party who will once again stand for the Constitution and Christian principles!
In this letter to Pergamos, Jesus warned that unless they repent He will come with His sword and meet out justice. I’m expecting Him to move at the last moment in this election in just that way. We need to once again have the fear of the Lord ruling in our land. We need to have a church cleansing of all the half-hearted pastors and believers that are just there for a good time. And we need to have a cleansing of both political parties until justice once again reigns in the land! Oh Lord, let Your word to the prophet Amos come true in our land –
“But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.” – Amos 5:24