I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
In the third letter that Jesus dictates to John, Jesus speaks to the church in Pergamum. The angel of this church was faithful — hold fast My Name (v13) — but there were people in the fellowship who believed false doctrines — you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam … you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans (vv14-15). This church was a bit of a mixed bag doctrinally. And this is something with which I can easily empathize. The church in America is a mixed bag. There are some fellowships that are faithful to the scriptures and sound doctrine while there are others who have somehow gotten confused. And because of the availability of materials — both good and bad — even individuals within a fellowship can vary with regard to how sound their doctrine is. It is to a mixed group of believers — some sound in doctrine, others not — that Jesus writes this letter.
And He begins His message with I know where you dwell. It is comforting to me to know that Jesus is aware of where I am. I used to work in California’s San Fernando Valley — an area once infamous for its prevalence of studios making and distributing pornography —and I now work in the general vicinity of Hollywood. The math on that one is not difficult. It is good to know that God knows precisely where I am and, by extension, what sorts of trials and temptations and difficulties are in store for me. Most days are just work days, but there have been a couple of days wherein things hurt my heart. Pergamum was situated where Satan’s throne is; where Satan had the most power. I do not think I am in quite that bad of shape with regard to my location, but things can be difficult nonetheless.
This morning, I derive comfort from the passage at hand. Yes, Jesus had correction for this church, but He began with the statement that He knew where they were. He is aware of my circumstances and they do not phase Him. He is perfectly able to step into the place I am and do what needs to be done.
Jesus, thank You for this encouragement that You know where I am; that You know the conditions that surround me. Thank You that the challenge is simply to repent of false doctrines; to turn from lies to Truth. Please search me and root out any false doctrines that are in me and replace them with Truth.