Hi, this is the fourth in a short series on Revelation two and three.
Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!
The third church that Jesus writes to is the church in Pergamum which is to be found in the modern state of Turkey.
The beginning is dramatic:
Revelation 2:13 ‘I know where you live – where Satan has his throne.
This verse has been well researched by various commentators and this is just a short potted account for any who have not come across it before.
The city of Pergamum was dominated by an altar to Zeus. A massive stairway led to a bronze bull, hollowed inside, where martyrs would be put inside and burnt alive as an offering to Zeus.
In the 1930’s this huge construction was moved to Berlin and placed in a specially-built museum. The design caught the imagination of the Third Reich and a replica was built and used during their infamous night-rallies. They built a podium where the bronze bull would have stood, and from here, Adolf Hitler would have preached his demonically-inspired orations to his armies.
The term ‘holocaust’, which would come to describe the horrors of the gas chambers of the concentration camps, literally means a whole burnt offering. This is a clear link back to the macabre burning alive of the martyrs in the original altar.
The same spirit that drove the worship of Zeus also drove the Third Reich.
The museum exhibition has been closed for restoration but some surmise that it will eventually be returned to Turkey. This could possibly coincide with the planned re-emergence of the Ottoman Empire, envisaged by Recep Erdogan, the present leader of Turkey.
We will have to wait and see!
This is a macabre account if ever there was one. And we will have to remind ourselves that there is another throne, where God is seated, that is eternal and from whence flows the river of life.
Revelation 4:2 ‘At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was throne in heaven, with someone sitting on it. He had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald encircled the throne.’
Revelation 22:1 ‘Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, down the middle of the great street of the city.‘
The thrones of men, with all their macabre ugliness, will pass away.
The throne of God is beautifully eternal.
Tomorrow we explore Pergamum part b. To get there now, please click here.
To view my previous posts in this series, please click below: