“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of Him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast My name, and you did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also, you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore, repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of My mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.'”Revelation 2:12-17
“Satan’s throne” refers to any place where pagan religion abounds. It can be argued that our own nation, America, is Satan’s throne. For what do the people believe in? In Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, etc. etc.? No, but in sacred autonomy, in money, in notoriety—the false trinity of Me, Myself, and I. Therefore, they massacre their unborn babies like the pagans of old who murdered their children for Moloch. They depose their family for wealth and notoriety. They fornicate. Everything is the brunt of a sex joke. Thus, they carry the spirit of the Nicolaitans. Who were they? They were a Christian sect who not only ate meat sacrificed to idols, but they also engaged in various sexual immoralities. The Church Fathers Irenaeus and Clement claimed this sect was named after Nicolaus in Acts 6:5, which, if so, would indicate an extreme fall from grace.
The point is not whom this group was named after, however; the point is that their activity is condemned. Christians are not called to engage in pagan rituals or sexual immorality. Rather, we are called to worship the One True God and to “lead a sexually pure and decent life” (SC, The Sixth Commandment). Even though the peoples all around us may be engaging in the occult, practicing old pagan religions like Wicca, fornicating with anyone and anything whom they desire, and making a joke out of God’s gift of sex between a man and a woman in holy matrimony, we flee from these things. They may think us strange for not being like them, even hate us, and we may then become the brunt of their crude japes—yet again, so what? This would make us like Christ, who Himself was mocked and ridiculed as He bore His cross; and we shall receive the white stone with a new name written on it.
One’s mantra for reading Revelation should always be, “Not a literal description of its intended referent” because of the high symbolism indicative of the Greek apocalyptic genre it’s written in (thanks to Rev. Dr. Bruce Schuchard for this mantra). Thus, the white stone is not literal but symbolic. What, then, does this mean? In some places in the ancient world, special pebbles were given as an invitation and admission ticket to a banquet. Those who remain faithful, therefore, will be admitted to Christ’s heavenly banquet, the kingdom of heaven. This is what He taught us in the parable, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come” (Matthew 22:2-3). All are invited, but not all are admitted; for some throw the invitation into the trash and engage in reckless living described above, while others hold on to the Lord’s invitation given to them and are welcomed when the Lord announces the feast is ready. Pray, therefore, that the Lord strengthen you with His Spirit when the world increases in darkness and persecution of the saints.