And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is…where Satan dwelleth (Revelation 2:12–13 KJV)
What activities do you envisage happening in a city where Satan’s capital is located? If you are the typical Christian today—and that is most likely the case—you will think of activities such as extreme occultism, celebrated witchcraft, wanton idolatry, or rampant sexual perversion. But the story of the Church in Pergamum in Asia Minor has volumes to teach us about the subtleties of Satan’s operation and our spiritual blindness to his methods.
Jesus began by calling Pergamum the capital of Satan’s kingdom. The location of Pergamum today is in Bergama, a city in modern-day Turkey. We might not know the whole meaning Pergamum as Satan’s capital, but the idea of a capital implies Satanic or demonic activities were heightened in that city. What were the outward manifestations of this heightened activity of darkness in this city? Rather than the the grossest idolatry, occultism, or sin, Pergamum’s problem was a perverted doctrine in the Church.
“But I have a few things against thee because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which I hate.” (Revelation 2:14–15 KJV)
The Christians in Pergamum had two perverted doctrines: the doctrine of Balaam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The details of these doctrines are not our concern; instead, we are interested in the truth that the activity most prominent in Satan’s capital is the corruption of the doctrine—pollution of the Word of God taught and believed.
Demons corrupt doctrines amongst God’s people and crave to influence what Christians know and believe. Besides, these doctrines are not teachings in bars, nightclubs, or witch doctors’ shrines. They are teachings in Churches amongst God’s people. Paul said:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons (1 Timothy 4:1 ESV)
Although the thought of demons influencing our doctrines makes us cringe, it is nonetheless not the worst part of this story. Even more dreadful is the truth that many believers or Churches see nothing “demonic” or “spiritual warfare” in this—maybe just “theological perspectives,” “denominational stands,” etc. I believe it is high time the Church returns to a pure Biblical understanding of Satan and his activities, throwing everything our Christian religion, spiritual warfare, cultures, or traditions have instilled in our minds.
And why does Satan have his eyes on doctrines in Churches? Because our doctrine is so powerful that it can completely cut off someone from God if they know and believe the wrong things. All Satan needs to pour darkness in a city or nation is a celebrated Church or ministry with diluted, adulterated, polluted, or namby-pamby teachings!
There might be teachers and pastors ordained by God in our churches, but the Father expects every one of us to be personally rooted and grounded in His Word.
Why is Satan interested in doctrines?
Apply the Word
The adulteration or corruption of the Word of God is the most effective demonic strategy; it has worked from the time of Adam and Eve to date. Be rooted and grounded in the Word.
Ask the Father to help us be rooted and grounded in the truth of His Word.
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