The Way It Happened

Revelation 2:13, The Throne of Satan

I know where you live–where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city–where Satan lives.

//Ever wonder where Satan lives? Here it is, in black and white, in a message to the church of Pergamum, one of the seven cities of Asia Minor. As Rome had apparently become the center of Satan’s activity in the West, Pergamum had become the “throne” of the East.

Pergamum, according to John of Patmos, was far from perfect. They had some among them who “held to the teaching of Balaam,” an Old Testament character known for corrupting Israel by promoting idol worship. Pergamum also had some who “held to the teaching of the Nicolaitans,” known for their deviant sexual practices and, again, for idolatry. But of the greatest idolatry of all, worshipping the throne of Satan, Pergamum’s record remains unblemished.

What exactly was this throne of Satan in Revelation? Some have wondered if it referred to the great throne-like altar in Pergamum to Zeus, a massive structure originally built in the second century B.C. Given that Zeus is the father of Apollo, that Nero Caesar often portrayed himself in the divine image of Apollo, and that Nero Caesar is, by nearly every historical-critical account of Revelation, the original Beast of the Sea, it all comes together, once more displaying John’s fondness for parody. As Jesus, the Lamb, is named the Son of God, Nero, the Beast, is named the son of Satan.

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