Jesus has chosen the Apostle John as His "amanuensis" or scribe. He makes this choice in Chapter 1 and it is clear that the words that John writes are the words of Jesus. In the Book of Revelations, these are the ONLY words of Jesus that are not redacted. Jesus has chosen 7 angels that work for Him as Guardians of these churches. These 7 churches are not the only Christian churches. They are seven churches that Jesus choices to show the entire Church of Jesus Christ the various sins and conditions that exits in the entire church. This is why Jesus wants each church to know what is written to the others and for all who come after that read these Church Reports to understand how the resurrected Lord deals with the conditions that He finds in the Church. In each of the letters He shows that even though He KNOWS the churches, punishment and reward is individually earned.
In today's passage the first 3 churches are Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum. A quick look at the map of Ancient Asia Minor (Turkey today) would place these seven churches in a wide circle. Jesus starts in Ephesus, the most important commercial and cultural center of the then-known world and He proceeds clockwise. Each city has its own specific geo-historical significance and Jesus addresses this specific significance in EACH of His letters to them. Jesus says that Pergamum is the residence of Satan on the earth. Satan's job is the use deception to destroy those who choose the Lord. Satan was expert at tempting the flesh and pulling many people to his purposes away from God. This power was given to Satan in Genesis 3 and the entire Bible is a war between good and evil with the prime creation of God in the midst. As God's greatest creation, we have the right of choice - free agancy, which is the right to choose right from wrong and not the right to do what you want, when you want! Satan is a spirit and therefore can only be in one place at a time. The fact that Satan has a residence in the world is powerful information to show who he is and what his affect on humanity is. Our choice is clear! Will we choose Satan or will we follow the God that created us? This is the ultimate choice. Amen