The Lord Knows Where We Dwell

Wim Malgo (1922-1992)

An interpretation of the last book of the Bible. Part 22. Revelation 2:12.

Pergamos means “stronghold.” The church in Pergamos was in great danger. Pergamos was the official residence of the Roman governor at that time. It was also the center of divine imperial worship. There was, among other things, a large temple dedicated to the pagan goddess Roma, in which the emperor Augustus was to be worshiped. As a result, the small church came into great difficulties.

The Lord knew that His church in Pergamos was very endangered, because it lived within Satan’s sphere of influence: “I know…where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.” The word “dwell” is used a second time: when He speaks of His faithful witness Antipas, He says once more, “where Satan dwelleth.” Shared accommodation with the devil; how awful! When it says, “where Satan’s seat is,” it means that the prince of darkness in Pergamos was endowed with a special abundance of power, be it through a spiritualist cult, through the Roman governor, or through visual aspect. We know from history that there was a 300-meter-high altar in honor of Zeus in Pergamos. Additionally, there was a well-known and famous snake-healing cult in Pergamos. People sought cure from their torments in a temple where snakes were kept. The top serpent was even called “savior.” Many people worshiped and believed in her—Satan’s throne. This evokes associations with Paradise and the evil Old Serpent.

When the Lord calls out to those purchased by His blood: “I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is,” He proves that He’s not missing the negative power of circumstances and the atmosphere, and passing judgment. He also knows exactly where you live, and what circumstances you are in: in which neighborhood, in which family, in which workplace. He knows the satanic forces raging around you in everyday life, almost causing you to lose the ability to breathe. What is the soul’s breathing? Prayer!

Jesus knows everything, including everything about you. He’d never allow us to be tested beyond hope and sink into despair. For example, He allowed Satan to touch his servant Job. Not only were Job’s ten children killed in an accident on a single day and all of his property stolen, but his own wife even said to him: “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die” (Job 2:9). But Job had a rock-solid certainty, a knowledge of God, and said: “I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25a). This word of comfort applies to us all in this eschatological night.

The following is also revealing about Pergamos. The Lord doesn’t say: “I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat stands,” but rather: “where Satan’s seat is.” Satan’s throne is there, but it doesn’t “stand”; it doesn’t last! There is only one throne that stands, and that is the throne of the living God and the Lamb. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and also in eternity.

We’re repeatedly confronted with the question of who is stronger, who is the victor. Is it Satan, who harasses me inwardly and outwardly, or is it Jesus Christ? Of course it is Jesus Christ! “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:57). We are threatened, shaken, and sifted by the power of Satan in a thousand different ways, but the Lord knows where we dwell. The church of Jesus isn’t opposed by people, but by powers. Thus, our fight isn’t against flesh and blood, but against principalities and forces of darkness (Eph 6:12).

In our day we’re seeing how peoples, churches, and organizations are increasingly coming under the power of evil. All professional specialties are being increasingly infiltrated by the spirit of the Antichrist. As back then in Pergamos, the people and powers that are physically and spiritually possessed by the spirit of the adversary, are striking ever more threateningly. Against who? Spiritually, against the church of Jesus, and physically, against Israel. How can we even survive? Or as the disciples put it, “Who then can be saved?” (Matt 19:25b). The Bible says, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11).

Midnight Call - 08/2021

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