- Reconstruct from verses 8-11 the situation with which the believers in Smyrna were confronted. What does Christ declare concerning: (a) their immediate, and (b) their final future? In what ways were they already rich? How were they to conquer? What would be the result of such conquest?
- Satan could not break the rocklike steadfastness of the church in Pergamum by frontal attack (verse 13), so he employed another method, tempting believers to ask, ‘It it necessary to be so uncompromising in our attitude towards idolatrous practice and pagan morals?’ What is Christ’s answer to this sort of question?
- Verse 10. ‘Ten days’: i.e., for a short period.
- Verse 11. ‘The second death’: cf. 20:14, 15; 21:8.
- Verse 13. ‘Satan has his throne’: Pergamum was the official residence of the Roman proconsul of the province, and the chief center of the worship of the emperor
- Verse 17. ‘The hidden manna’: the Rabbis taught that the Messiah when he came would give the people manna to eat, now hidden in heaven. What is said here is that Christ is the true manna, the bread of life. Cf. John 6:48-51. ‘A white stone’: stones engraved with names supposed to possess magical qualities were highly valued in heathen circles. Christ gives privileges, personal to each recipient that exceed all that can be found outside of Him.