Revelation Chapter 2
1 "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
Commentary: In this verse Jesus tells the angel to write what he's about to say to the church in Ephesus. Remember in chapter one He said the candelsticks represent the seven churches and the stars represent angels so here he's holding the stars/angels in his right hand.
Holding the angels in his right hand means he controls the angels and they do as He will and He will remove the angel and the church will lose its position they would fail to exist at some point if they did not repent.
This concept of God controlling angels and sending them out to do his will, is documented in scripture.
Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.
The last part of the verse speaks of the seven golden candle sticks:
Commentary: The golden lampstands are the churches…here Christ is said to walk one among them one author said this means Christ patrols the ground..
Scripture says it was Jesus’ custom to go to church and it is still his custom. It may be seen as if Christ walks among the congregation Watching what’s going on with the church’s administration policies as well as the life of each member. Remember in Mark chapter 12 he sat and watched how much money people were putting in church?
The Widow's Offering
Mar 12:41 And he sat down opposite the contribution box and was observing how the crowd was putting coins into the contribution box. And many rich people were putting in many coins.
Mar 12:42 And one poor widow came and put in two small copper coins (that is, a penny).
Mar 12:43 And summoning his disciples, he said to them, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow put in more than all those who put offerings into the contribution box.
Mar 12:44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in everything she had, her whole means of subsistence."
That is up close and personal Jesus knows about everything and everybody in the church…..in the following verse he said:
Verse 2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
Commentary: Again…Christ new about everything they were doing…they couldn’t bear those who were evil, bear means to endure or tolerate. Evil means corrupt, depraved, morally bad, harmful, destructive.
Psalm 101:4 They would not tolerate evil or wicked people…David said He would not know a wicked person: That means … to be familiar with him, or show him any respect; have any affection for him, or take any notice of him; such Christ will not know at the great day,Matthew 7:23, or "I will not know wickedness" (l), or any wicked work and action, approve of it, love it, delight in it, and do it: Ps 139:20 I hate those who hate thee.
These were apostles who presented themselves to be Christ followers but they were not. The phrase found them to be liars means they were not deceived or misled apostles needing correction but apostles who were liars they were pretending to be Christians but were not. Jesus knew some preachers were preaching only for financial gain.Matthew 7:15… He called them ravenous wolves strong’s bible dictionary says the term ravenous means extortion Law. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by abuse of one's office or authority.
Paul says in the book of Colossians: Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ
Christianity is not a philosophy, but a life—not a knowledge of abstract principles, but a personal knowledge of faith and love of God in Christ. Ellicott
Rudiments refers to things belonging to the visible sphere of the world.
Jesus said we will know these “spoilers by their fruit.
Wordsworth: “From the fruits of their teaching; not from their acts alone, because acts seemingly virtuous are often nothing more than the sheep’s clothing in which the wolf wraps himself in order that he may deceive and devour the sheep.”
Do their teachings encourage you to love God and live holy encouraging you to look forward to Christ’s second coming, looking forward to the new heaven and new earth to God’s kingdom coming in its fullness to the time when evil and sorrow will be banished. Or do their teachings cause you to focus on how to use your faith to get more things…said the end of faith is the Salvation of your souls.
Verse 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary.
Commentary: They were fighting the good fight of faith. They fought against wrong doctrine, they persevered with patience. They worked diligently to keep false teachers and false doctrine of the church and they enjoyed doing it,they had not become weary while doing this work because they did it all for Christ’s sake.
Verse 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
What was their first love. Ephesians 1:15 Love for All the Saints. It’s not that their love for Jesus grew cold because everything they were doing they were doing for his name’s sake but their love for All the saints had grown cold.
They were so focused on fighting the false brethren that their love for the people of God grew cold. Perhaps they were suspicious of other believers as they tried to stay pure doctrinally. I’ve seen Christian ministries attack other ministries or a ministers doctrines based upon the ministry God had given them…I’ve seen people attack Joyce Meyer’s saying her doctrine is wrong but to the people Joyce has helped we know she is a gift from God because we look at the fruit her ministry produces….she encourages us to love God, leave sin behind and to love others.
Verse 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.
Jesus told them to remember where they had fallen to repent and do the first works that is love the Saints…let down your wall, not everyone who comes to you is false, they would look for any sign of false hood and perhaps were saying some were false and they were not so I can see strife and contention in the church as they tried to discern the good apostles from the bad they were good at keeping out the bad but perhaps they were keeping out some of the good apostles and the only way to stop doing that is starting loving All the saints…even if their ministry is different from yours. In Luke chapter nine the disciples told Jesus they saw a man casting out demons in His name but they told him to stop because he wasn’t part of their group, Jesus said they shouldn’t have tried to stop him. He said if they are not against us they are for us. Luke 9:49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
Luke 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
In Luke 9:54….John and his brother threatened to call down hell fire on people in Samaria because they didn’t give Jesus the respect he deserved….Jesus said you don’t know what spirit you are of, I didn’t come to destroy mens lives but to save them. When it comes to the gospel we can’t get in a fleshly fight mode because it leads us away from love which is the spirit of God and towards the other spirit that will lead us to attack and devour each other.
What’s the right way to deal with false prophets, teachers, preachers….just don’t listen to them…
The book of proverbs says: Pro 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
Don’t try to correct them…Pro 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2 John 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Verse 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Commentary: Notice he hated their deeds not the people themselves…
"Nico means to conquer," and "the people," or "laity. A type of preacher or teacher who is being used by Satan to conquer the people by failing to teach them right from wrong. They teach about the love of God and not the wrath of God. Let’s look at a few scriptures to see how this works in our churches.
Conquerers of the People
Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
Ezekiel 22:27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
Ezekiel 22:28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.
Their teachings were used to catch men in webs and nets of deceit.
Ezekiel 13:22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:
Jeremiah 5:26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
Jeremiah 5:27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
Isaiah 1:13 Your sacrifices are worthless, and incense is disgusting. I can't stand the evil you do on your New Moon Festivals or on your Sabbaths and other times of worship.
Isaiah 1:14 I hate your New Moon Festivals and all others as well. They are a heavy burden I am tired of carrying.
Isaiah 1:15 "No matter how much you pray, I won't listen. You are too violent.
Isaiah 1:16 Wash yourselves clean! I am disgusted with your filthy deeds. Stop doing wrong
Isaiah 1:17 and learn to live right. See that justice is done. Defend widows and orphans and help those in need."
Isaiah 1:18 I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.
Isaiah 1:19 If you willingly obey me, the best crops in the land will be yours.
Isaiah 1:20 But if you turn against me, your enemies will kill you. I, the LORD, have spoken.
Verse 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." '
The tree of life was in the garden of Eden….and if one ate of he or she would live forever. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice God has given us a second chance to eat of the tree of life…In Luke 23:43Jesus told the thief on the cross today you shall be with me in paradise…The only way to gain entrance to the paradise of God is through Jesus Christ…..He who has an ear means he or she whose willing to hear….a person must be willing to hear what God says. Some are unwilling to hear because they are not of God. Although they go to church and they are of Satan. They have a form of godliness or desire to be like God but despise his commands. They are attracted to God's glory but despise His holiness.
In John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Verse 8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:
Verse 9 I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Commentary Jesus said they were materially poor but spiritually rich. You can’t gage spiritual authority, holiness or righteousness based on outward possessions. I know some in the church will make you feel like if you don’t have any money or are in lack that you don’t have favor with God or that you are somehow less than others but throughout Jesus’ ministry he appears to comfort the poor but warn the rich….
Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. (comfort)
Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Synagogue of Satan Here Christ said he knew about the blasphemy of those who say they were Jews…..Strongs says blasphemy means evil speaking, vilification, they were being vilified vilify is to slander, defame. they are of the Synagogue of Satan.
They weren’t real Jews according to Christ because they did not accept Him….reals Jews are those who have faith in Him like Abraham…They were not of Christ…they belonged to Satan he inspired or incited their behavior.
Verse 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Commentary: He wanted them to face their future sufferings without fear…the ten days are said to reference a short time of suffering compared to the rewards of eternity…if they endured to the end they would receive the crown of life…you will note they are one of two churches that did not have to repent of anything! They are told to just to be faithful to the end….
Verse 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."
If they hold on to the end they will not be hurt by the second death which is final
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death, Rev_2:11. Observe, (1.) There is not only a first, but a second death, a death after the body is dead. (2.) This second death is unspeakably worse than the first death, Matthew Henry
the second death involves “the lake of fire.” “The second death will be experienced by those who are lost, They who die that death shall be hurt by it; …for the living torments are the second death” [Bishop Pearson]. Jamieson Fausset Brown
Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Verse 12 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
Verse 13 I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
Romans worshipped their emperors they were seen as gods…if you failed to worship the emperor you were put to death. Antipas was a bishop who was roasted alive in an iron bull during the reign of Roman Emperor Domitian…. Pergamos was the seat of a Roman Superior court and many Christians were sentenced to death there because they failed to worship the roman emperor.
Yet they held fast to Christ's name they did not deny him in word or deed. Jesus said they had not denied "My Faith" perhaps meaning they had not denied Him but had chosen to boldly proclaim their belief in Him though they could face death for acknowleding their faith publicly and refusing to worship the Emperor.
Verse 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
Commentary: Although they lived in an Anti-Christ environment and had chosen to publicly accept Him and not deny him they had amongst them those who ate things sacrificed to idols and they practiced fornication….The Gentiles were told they did not have to become circumcised to become a part of the church but they were told to abstain from blood, things strangled, idols and fornication. (Acts 21:25)
So here we have Christ saying it is good they believed in him and were not afraid to acknowledge him publicly but he still had a few things against them….there were a few other things they needed to do to recieve totoal approval and acceptance…. they needed to give up their idols and stop committing fornication and turn away from false doctrines.
Verse 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Commentary: Some in the church were not preaching or teaching out of pure motives. Some ministers preach for money instead of preaching to save souls they don't preach about sin or repentance because they want the peoples money.
Verse 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against youwith the sword of My mouth.
Commentary: Albert Barnes With the sword of my mouth - notes on Rev_1:16; Rev_2:12. That is, he would give the order, and they would be cut as if by a sword. Precisely in what way it would be done he does not say; but it might be by persecution, or by heavy judgment.
Verse 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."
Commentary: Since some were preaching for money they are concerned about temporal bread …..
Thomas coke~According to the notion of the ancients, and especially the Hebrews, temporal riches consist in meats and drink, in having plenty of the fruits of the earth, and much cattle, with all things necessary and convenient to human life. The hidden manna is the unknown meat; the riches well preserved in heaven. It is incorruptible food, the treasure not subject to theft or decay; and that is immortal life, not to be taken away by any means, when once bestowed upon the faithful saint; the necessary sustenance of life being here put for the life itself. As therefore David, upon the undertaking the combat with Goliath, had riches promised him, and accordingly ate at the king's table; so Christ promises to his champions heavenly riches;
A new name signifies the same thing as freedom, and a change of condition. New names were given upon change of condition. Abram and Sarai received new names from God; our Saviour changed Simon's name for Peter,
Verse 18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
Verse 19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
Verse 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexuall immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
Commentary: Jezebel was remarkable for her idolatry, whoredoms, witchcrafts, and cruel persecution of the prophets of the Lord, and for murder, and innocent blood she shed; in our case whoredom may refer to modern churches who have prostituted their gates that is open their doors/gates of the church to allow false teachers to share and promote false doctrine that conflicts with basic Christian doctrine.
Henry Morris notes: Jezebel under the guise of promoting spirituality (remember she called a fast prior to having Naboth killed for his vineyard) promoted carnality in life no doubt by expressing love while degrading doctrine and separation and justifying her teaching by asserting she had received it by supernatural revelation. She had persuaded them there was no need to have unnecessary antagonism with those around them by refusing to participate in their approved practices since Salvation was free and the important matters were love, faith and good works.
Jesus often made statements he knew would cause people to turn away from Him …..
He wanted true worshippers those who would worship Him in Spirit and in truth not because He fed them or gave them permission to do whatever they wanted to do.
Verse 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
Verse 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
1Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
1Corinthians 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
Verse 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
Jezebel’s teachings are a live and well in the church. And Jesus knows all about it and wants the church to repent. And if they don't they will go through great tribulation.
Jezebel's chidren are her converts, those who followed her brand of Christanity…Here Jesus said He would kill her converts. He will search their hearts and minds to determine if they are true Christians/Christ followers or if they are Jezebel's offerspring aka children of the evil one.
Have they sat under her teaching for so long that they actually believe it although His word and doctrines say the opposite of what she teaches.
He said He will repay every one according to their works some used to believe scripture but now speak against it turning the hearts and minds of men and women away from God…surely He will repay them for this.
Verse 24 Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
Have you heard some preachers say they have a new Revelation on a certain topic or passage….they had to go deep and they explain away the text saying I know the passage says but I’m goint to tell you what it really means. Jesus said they get their doctrine from Satan himself.
Now the phrase may be woke… Woke people believe they have seen the light certain things this is from Satan. Woke people attack and turn away basic foundational truths from the bible, history, politics and even the law.
Verse 25 But hold fast what you have till I come.
Commentary: We’ve got to hold on to the truth….turn away from reading, watching, listening that speaks against Christ, the bible and anything you know to be true. For great deception will come upon the land and it will deceive even the elect if they aren’t careful.
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-12The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and false wonder, 10and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them. 11For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, 12in order that judgment will come upon all who have disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness
Verse 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-
Commentary:In the coming period when Christ shall rule all kingdoms the saints who loved truth
Those who refused to stoop to the customs around them, and to gain influence by crushing or ignoring their convictions—those who, like their Master, refused to win power by doing homage to wrong and have endured shall share his authority.
Verse 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'-- as I also have received from My Father;
Verse 28 and I will give him the morning star.
Verse 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '
A scepter of iron means a firm and enduring power. They shall rule as a shepherd.
As the vessels of a potter. So the nations shall be broken in pieces and all become one under the rule of Christ.
I will give him the morning star. The Morning Star is one of the titles of Christ. See Rev_22:16. This, then, means that Christ will give them a fellowship with himself; they shall share his dominion.
Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
2Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Luke 19:17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
Luke 19:18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
Luke 19:19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.