“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain
We have a generation of blissful young Americans ignorant of history and theology.
Those born after 1990 grew up with minimal teaching from the Scriptures and a revised or redacted American history curriculum.
This is why many young Americans wrongly see nothing wrong with financial government dependence.
It’s also why the young think any American opposing federal restrictions on personal autonomy in health (e.g., mandates on vaccines or masks), federal restrictions on private enterprise (e.g., Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) federal mandates), and any federal restrictions on individual liberties (e.g., the Second Amendment) are purely political and not principled.
That kind of thinking is false. And, like Mark Twain, it won’t be long until young Americans realize their mistake.
That’s why the Bible was the first major textbook in America’s public schools. It stayed in public schools as a textbook for over two hundred years.In fact, America’s public schools were esablished to ensure all children learned the Bible.
In God We Trust is the motto of America.
But in recent years, trust in government has become the mandate of Americans.
- Single mothers (slang: “baby momma“) think it is the government’s responsibility to care for them.
- Business owners, farmers, and, more recently, even churches and individuals believe the government should give them money.
- Students attending college believe the government should pay off their loans.
- In the minds of Americans, the government has become the source of financial security, personal prosperity, and cultural morality.
This shift is very dangerous for our nation.
Trust in government and not God is what the Bible calls ‘living where Satan dwells.’ – Revelation 2:13
I’ll show you this from the Bible.
Pergamum: Where Satan’s Throne Is
Jesus, a few years after His death and resurrection as the Savior of the world, sent a message to His followers who lived in Pergamum (Pergamon, Turkey). The ancient spelling of the city is Pergamum, and the modern spelling is Pergamon. I will use the ancient, biblical spelling in this post.
The Apostle John recorded this message to Christians in Pergamum in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 2:12-17)
Jesus says, “I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to My name. You did not renounce your faith in Me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.” (Revelation 2:13).
Jesus makes four statements in His message about the city of Pergamum and the Christians who lived there:
1. Satan had his throne in Pergamum during the first century A.D.
2. The Christians in Pergamum were faithful to Jesus Christ.
3. Antipas, a Christian living Pergamum, stayed faithful even when dying a martyr’s death.
4. Satan lived in Pergamum during these difficult days.
Jesus’ statements are not from a conspiracy theorist. They come from the Creator of the universe (Colossians 1:16).
The only way you’ll understand the impact of Jesus’ words is to know the history of Pergamum.
You must also understand the implications of dwelling where Satan lives. Finally, the full impact of what Jesus is saying won’t be felt until you know who Antipas was and why Antipas lost his life as a Christian martyr in Pergamum, where Satan dwells.
The Throne of Satan
The throne of Satan in Pergamum was literally in a Temple that represented the seat of government’s influence in the ancient world.
This throne was the Temple of Zeus Soter (Greek for “Zeus our Savior”) in Pergamum.
This Temple was the seat of world government in the days of Jesus. It was the place where people worshiped the leaders (emperors) of their respective government.
What is Emperor worship?
To believe the state or the head of state should be obeyed, revered, and worshiped is emperor worship.
At the Temple of Zeus Soter in Pergamum, the people expressed their allegiance to the Emperor, believing that the state was their source of prosperity, security, and safety.
Near the “throne of Satan” in Pergamum was the asclepeion or “the healing center” for the people.
The peoples’ worship of Asclepius, the god of medicine, was as crucial as their state worship. Citizens flocked to Pergamum to express their obedience to the state and receive an opportunity to be healed of their diseases at the Asclepieia.
The People in Pergamum Trusted in Government.
After the sick and diseased visited the Temple of Zeus Soter and expressed their trust in the Emperor, they moved to the healing center for treatment.
Ritual purifications would be followed by offerings to Asclepius according to one’s income.
The people of Pergamum were not stupid. They had a massive library in the city, second only to the great library in Alexandria, Egypt. They were wealthy, educated, and at peace. The “throne of Satan” was where the people expressed their belief that their security, prosperity, and safety were due to the Emperor and the state.
Antipas, the Physician in Pergamum
A physician in Pergamum, however, believed that trust in government and government mandates and the worship of government leaders was contrary to the Law of God.
His name was Antipas.
He spread his belief that Jesus alone is the world’s Savior and that everyone’s trust should be placed in Him for their security, prosperity, and safety.
Antipas practiced medicine, but he believed one’s trust should be in God, not the state or medical treatment at the Aesculapian.
The members of the cult of Aesculapian, who formed the members of the medical establishment, accused Antipas of disloyalty to Caesar.
Upon being asked to deny Jesus as the Savior of the world and publicly express his belief in the state’s and emperor’s power to heal and protect the people, Antipas refused.
The medical establishment condemned Antipas to death, believing him to be a danger to the state.
State officials placed Antipas alive inside a hollow brass container shaped like a bull. They filled the brass bull with water and set it over a blazing fire, boiling Antipas to death.
The beliefs held by the Pergamum people have as much popularity today as they did in Jesus’ day.
Citizens depend on the state.
The state demands obedience from citizens, especially in communist states like China or the Soviet Union, but there is a growing demand for government obedience and obeisance in the United States of America.
In communist states, the tyrants Mao and Lenin were elevated to godlike status by citizens, similar to the veneration of ancient emperors by the citizens of the Roman Empire.
More and more Americans express their trust in and dependence upon the government.
In pseudo-intellectualism, American citizens ridicule the ancients for their belief in the “gods,” but these same American citizens adhere to similar beliefs.
Acquiescence to forced injections by government mandate is similar to the ancient worship of the Emperor and Asclepius.
Today, anyone who believes that the state or state health departments do not know best is persecuted.
In some cases, in the Chinese and Russian collectivist states, dissidents are treated like Antipas in Pergamum.
We the People, must resist the pressure of government authorities to demand obedience and obeisance to the U.S. federal government.
In Marx and Satan, a short book by Richard Wurmbrand, the author shows how Lenin’s Tomb expresses a denial of the existence of God and encourages faith in the state, just like at Pergamum. Wurmbrand writes:
“Architect Stjusev, who built Lenin’s tomb, took the Pergamos altar as the project prototype. This was in 1924. It’s a known fact that Stjusev received all the needed information from Frederic Paulsen – an acknowledged authority in archaeology.” (Richard Wurmbrand, Marx and Satan).
Billy Graham once called communism “The religion of the devil.”
He’s correct. The throne of Satan – or the seat of Satan – is figuratively any nation whose citizens trust the government as their source of personal security and prosperity.
That nation of government worshipers will be a nation that fails and collapses on itself.
My principled opposition to increasing federal authority and decreasing personal autonomy in the United States is based on the history of Pergamum, the faithful witness of Antipas, and the teachings of the Bible.
Jesus, the Savior and Protector of this world, is the one we all should trust.
If you don’t think a powerful state and emperor will one day put people to death for failing to comply with government mandates, I suggest you study history and the Bible.
As Benjamin Franklin once said:
“Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
I trust that, by God’s grace, the millennials in America will awaken to the truth that some of us have principled opposition to government mandates and increasing government dependence.
We know our Bible, and we know Pergamum, the throne of Satan.
Lenin’s Tomb and the Tomb of Jesus
Jesus has risen from the dead. He is the Savior and Lord of this world. He is the King over all kings.
Lenin remains in his tomb.
Satan’s throne is destined for destruction.
All governments rise and fall.
Never put your trust in the government.
Never give up even an inch of your individual autonomy and liberty to the government of the United States.
Those of us who resist the throne of Satan do so for the ultimate good of our nation and all nations.
That’s what we learn from the Bible and a faithful recounting of world history.