1. Exposition

In what sense was Pergamum the abode of Satan?

Revelation 2:13 (ESV)

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

We’re not to imagine that hell (or perhaps some entrance to hell) was in Pergamum, nor are we to think that the prince of demons had a home in Pergamum. The phrase instead conveys the thought that in the city Satan was acknowledged as master, as king. Again, he was not acknowledged explicitly but implicitly. The city had numerous temples for idols and embraced emperor worship enthusiastically. Yet idols are not real (1 Corinthians 8:4); idols are the face of Satan and his demons. With the phrase “Satan’s throne” and the clause “where Satan dwells,” the Lord pointed to the dominance of idol worship in this city. Since the church of “the ruler of kings on earth” (Revelation 1:5) is in this city too, a collision between Satan and the church would be inevitable.