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Although it is perhaps the hardest book of the New Testament to understand, Revelation is meant to reveal truth, not to obscure it. It provides a rich host of images to enable the imagination, as well as the mind, to grasp the key concepts of the Christian faith.

If Ephesus was the New York of Asia, Pergamum was its Washington, for there the Roman imperial power had its seat of government. There also was built the earliest temple for the state-sponsored worship of the Emperor. Whether or not this was what Christ meant by ‘the throne of Satan’, it emphasizes the kind of difficulties the Pergamene Christians had to face. For them Satan is not merely, as at Smyrna, a slanderer working through a group of ill-disposed Jews. He appears as ‘the ruler of this world’,
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