Pergamum was an important place in the religion of several false gods. In that religion, people gave honour to the images of snakes. Genesis 3:1-15 describes Satan (the devil) as a snake.
Of course, an image is only a model of something. When people give honour to an image, really they are giving honour to an evil spirit (1 Corinthians 10:19-20). So, really, the inhabitants of Pergamum were giving honour to the devil; they were serving Satan. Satan ruled Pergamum.
In a city where people followed such an evil religion, of course, many people hated the Christians. They could recognise that the Christiansí God was the enemy of their gods. They opposed the Christians because the Christians refused to give honour to their images.
In such circumstances, the Christians saw that they must trust God completely. As they depended on God, they became strong and bold. They did not lose their courage even when their enemies killed Antipas. In all his troubles, Antipas had remained loyal to God. Christ calls Antipas: Ďmy loyal witnessí. In other words, Antipas had declared the truth about God; he had spoken about what God had done for him. Probably, that was why his enemies killed him.
Satanís power in this world is real. We see his power in every evil thing that happens in the world, but especially in the actions of wicked rulers. However, Christ has defeated Satanís power (Hebrews 2:14). At the present time, we wait for God to carry out his judgement against Satan. God has allowed this time so that people can turn to him (2 Peter 3:9). However, at the future time that God has chosen, Godís judgement against Satan is certain (20:2-3; 20:10).
Next part: About Balaam (Revelation 2:14)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.