Pergamun had very good relations with the Roman emperor and built a grand temple, the Temple of Trajan (Caesar), to worship him. It was built on the highest peak overlooking the city. It is also referred to as the Throne of Satan. Under this temple is the temple dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine, or the goat-god. He is used to represent Satan.
Jesus knows that they dwell in the realm of Satan. The early church was under persecution because they did not worship the emperor. The Christian martyr Antipas was one example. Despite that, the church was still faithful to the Lord. This letter acknowledges the struggles the Christians go through and is meant to encourage them to continue to be steadfast.
There were some in the church who however, tolerated false teaching (Balaam and Nicolatians) and allowed false teachers to enter the church. The teaching of the Nicolatians condoned immorality and were living a life of self-indulgence. Christian love for one another insists that we speak and practise in both truth and in love. The church had a responsibility to protect and teach the church against false teaching, but they did not correct them.
There was compromise in the church whereby the believers tried to accommodate these false teachers. They thought that they were showing love by not speaking up against those who hold views contrary to the Bible.
Believers practice spiritual immorality by loving the world (James 4:4). There is no fellowship between light and darkness (2 Cor 6:14-18).
The church was told to repent and to turn away from sin and immorality. If not, God would come to judge them according to the righteousness of His Word. To those who overcome, God will promise hidden manna and a white stone.
– Hold fast to Christ. Don’t deny Him in the presence of friends
– Love in truth (1 John 3:18). We should not tolerate false teachings and practices.