Last chapter, we were told what to expect in the rest of the Book of Revelation, which is the book of the last things that Jesus would reveal to us through John the apostle. In this chapter and the next chapter, we have letters that Jesus told John to write to the angels (or messengers, or pastors) of the seven churches in Asia Minor as warnings to those in those churches of the things to come for each. These messages would apply to us today depending on which Christian mindsets we fall into individually. There are only two particular churches, or mindsets, that Jesus approves of at this time, in this generation as we head into the tribulation. Which one are you? And what does Jesus have to say to you?
(Revelation 2:1) Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
This is Christ speaking, and the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the fact that they are in His right hand signifies Christ’s power over those angels.
The seven candlesticks are the seven churches, and the flame of the candles is the truth that they have access to that they are charged to shine across the world.
(Revelation 2:2) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Christ always first tells the things with which He is pleased for each church first. The first thing He mentions with this church is their works. These works are their good deeds. This patience is their patience to withstand the persecution of the Christian church. These members of this church are against the evil of those who are not truly Christian and are not living according to the laws and statutes of God, and they are aware of the false Christian teachers in the world, who claim to be sent by God, and know that these are not in fact sent by God at all.
(Revelation 2:3) And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Those in Thyatira also have put up with a lot just because they are Christians. The world today is not very hospitable to Christians, yet we are to endure and not crumble under the pressure of this hostility, but continue to do good.
Those were the things that Jesus likes about this type of Christian. Now He will tell them what they need to change about their practices if they want His blessings and to overcome in the flesh, rather than failing this second test.
(Revelation 2:4) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Their first love should be Christ [God], however, they have strayed from their love and dedication to serving Him first and foremost. They have put the things of the world before serving Him. These things of the world can become idols without someone even realizing it. It is alright to enjoy some of the things of the world but we should never put them before God. When we make them more important to us than He is, those things become idols.
(Revelation 2:5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first work; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Jesus is telling them to go back to their first love and serve God. If they do this, they’ll still have time for all the little things in life that are fun also, as long as they aren’t against God’s laws. This way they will remain in God’s good graces and remain blessed. However if they do not, they will pay because they aren’t living up to what a Christian is supposed to be. Whenever we fall short of what God wants, as Christians, we can sincerely repent and our sins will be forgiven and forgotten. Then we must do our best not to stray, although straying is inevitable sometimes because we are only human. That is why we have forgiveness.
(Revelation 2:6) But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
The Nicolaitans were heathens that were, and are, in the churches and they allow those who pervert the teaching of God, and live according to their own desires and do not even feel bad for it, to be part of their church. This broadly weakens the church and causes individuals to go astray who may have otherwise remained dedicated because they are exposed to these ungodly practices which are allowed by the church leaders.
(Revelation 2:7) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Jesus, here, is calling on those who have been given understanding from the Holy Spirit to listen to these words and beware. Those who are in this group, yet heed these words and correct these mistakes will receive everlasting Life through Christ, the Tree of Life, and will forever be part of the Kingdom of God, through the Millennium and into the Eternal Kingdom.
Though this church is doomed the way it is run, individuals in this church can still make the choice to overcome and get back on the right path, and even be in good standing with Christ. If this is speaking about you, repent and move forward on the right path.
(Revelation 2:8) And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
Smyrna is the name of a city and a Christian church in Asia Minor, which in the Greek language means myrrh. But Smyrna is also a type of fig, and this indicates the good figs, which alludes to the parable of the fig tree throughout the Bible.
This is one of the two churches that are to be considered by God to be good figs. This letter is dictated by the One who is considered the Firstfruit because He was resurrected into glory, and thus made eternal life possible for those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
(Revelation 2:9) I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
These false jews are those people who claim to be jews (those who are from the tribe of Judah) and of Israel, but are not even of the line of Adam. They are called kenites and were assimilated into the tribes of Israel very early on. Some of them do so purposely and are deceptive, and some don’t even realize that they are not of Israel, but believe that they are as they are told all of their lives. However, remember that anyone, even gentiles, can be grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel and be saved if they become true Christians.
Obviously, those of the synagogue of satan are those who are evil, and are servants to him, but often it isn’t obvious to the observer. They have been adding leaven into God’s truth for thousands of years, and turned our faith into a religion of traditions and perversion. Jesus told us to beware of these people. Anything that contradicts the Bible and what was taught to us by Jesus, but teaches a different doctrine, we are to stay away from their teachings, and we are to know the difference. Anyone can choose to be saved, even these gentiles, or any others, and become servants to God through Jesus Christ. But these of the synagogue of satan, in particular, have chosen satan over God.
Those who are of Smyrna know how to tell who these people are from their fruits and from the Key of David, and will not fall for their deception.
(Revelation 2:10) Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
This is during the time of the tribulation that God’s elect will be delivered up to testify for not falling to the deception of satan and worshipping him when he is here as antichrist. Satan wants to know why these people refuse to bow to him and to test them to find who God’s elect are.
During this time of being delivered up to testify, we are not to even contemplate what we will say because the Holy Spirit will give us what to say at that very time. The Holy Spirit will speak through us, and what It says will be very convincing to anyone who is not a gainsayer of satan. You are to not fear death even though they will use that to try to scare you into submitting. It is written that not a hair on your head will be harmed and it is also written that satan and the fallen angels are not to harm anyone with the Seal of God in them (Rev 7). If you have the Seal of God you have nothing to worry about. If you don’t know what the Seal of God is, you should find out as soon as possible if you are feeling and urge to prepare for this.
(Revelation 2:11) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Jesus is calling on those who have been given understanding by Him to listen and understand what is being said here.
The first death is the end of your life in the flesh, and the second death is being thrown into the Lake of Fire to be destroyed and blotted out from existence (this is the death of your soul and is permanent). Those who overcome in the flesh will not even have the chance of being found deserving of the Lake of Fire, because will have been already justified by God. Otherwise, I pray you will be allowed a chance to be taught and disciplined in the Millennium. At that time, for those people, there will be one last test at the end of the thousand years in which satan will be released to deceive anyone who will allow it, and you will have complete ability to understand the severity of all of this and make a well-informed decision of what you would like your final outcome to be. God will have made sure that those who suffer the second death will thoroughly deserve it, because He is not willing to let any perish unless they have earned it. It is better though to overcome in the flesh before the return of Jesus, which is at 7th trump and pass the test sooner than later.
Do you belong to this church? If not, would you like to? There is still time to prepare and make the right choices, if you care enough to.
(Revelation 2:12) And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
The Word of God is a two-edged Sword–it cuts in both directions. It can be used for both offense and defense. Not only does Jesus have the two edge sword of God’s Word, but He is God’s Word (and He is God). Jesus is on the right hand of the Father, and this means that He is the One that performs the actions that our Father dictates. He fills the role that interacts directly with us both in the flesh and in the spirit.
(Revelation 2:13) I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
These people take the name of Christ and call themselves Christians and profess their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Satan’s seat, before he arrives as antichrist, is a position of authority in Christianity in which people are told what to believe and what the scriptures mean, which comes between Christians and God, instead of people going directly to God for understanding of scripture and instead of repenting and confessing sins directly to God in the name of Jesus Christ. This throne and the person on it becomes and idol therefore. When antichrist arrives, this will be his seat as he is satan and he will deceive the entire world except God’s elect.
Though these people allow a person to sit on this throne and come between them and God, because they have been taught and deceived that this is what is right and correct, they stand by their faith in Christ and are even willing to die for their faith.
(Revelation 2:14) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Balaam was a priest of God for money and he caused many to go astray from God and commit spiritual fornication (following after pagan idols and things that come from those idols) and did so in the name of our one true God. Today there is much of paganism added right into Christianity and people have no clue why they follow these rituals and that they have nothing to do with serving God at all. Jesus warned us about the leaven (traditions of men that are added into our faith to plump it up, yet it has nothing to do with God and is an insult to Him) added into our faith. Balaam had no understanding because he was not ordained by God because his heart was not into what he was doing. He did it for gain. When a ministry teaches the truth, it will be blessed and it will not have to beg for money. The people will willingly tithe (give one tenth of income) right to the church without the church needing to beg.
(Revelation 2:15) So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Some people in this church or thought process even follow the ways of the heathens. They will go to church one day and live like the world the rest of the week.
(Revelation 2:16) Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth (the Word of God).
Jesus is asking these people to repent and get back to serving Him (their first love) or else there will be major consequences.
(Revelation 2:17) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Those who overcome this teaching and thought process, while in the flesh, will receive eternal life of their soul and will belong to God and receive His inheritance. That is much better than the death of their soul. Anyone who has an ear to hear must heed this warning.
(Revelation 2:18) And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
This is what Christ told John to write to Thyatira.
(Revelation 2:19) I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
The last will truly be more than the first because the first one to come claiming to be Christ is in fact antichrist at the 6th trump. Christ will be returning to end this flesh part of this earth age at the 7th (last) trump and will lead us into the Promised Land of the Millennium Kingdom just as Joshua (Yahshua–the Hebrew name for Jesus, Iesous and Joshua) led the Israelites in the Promised Land. The One who comes last claiming to be Christ, because He is Christ, is the Firstfruit, Jesus.
(Revelation 2:20) Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest (listen to) that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
This Jezebel of the end times that calls herself a prophetess is those who listen to people who claim to have some sort of divine knowledge, yet this knowledge is in direct contradiction to the Word of the Bible. Any divine knowledge, even if it is from an angel or God Himself, will never contradict the Bible as it was originally written. These people lead others astray, away from God, and begin to draw people even to new age thought processes sometimes. This fornication or idolatry refers to idolatry as whoredom, and is a physical representation of going after other gods or idols. God is the same now as he ever was since the beginning and ever will be in the future to come, and nothing true about God will ever be revealed in these new age followings.
(Revelation 2:21) And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
The people who listen to these false prophets and new age thinkers and listen to these “new” ideas are gradually led away from God and even when, and if, they realize how they have been led away, they do not repent to God or come back to Him. It is God’s desire that all of His children would come back to Him, and He gives them a chance to come back to Him, many chances, but He knows many will not.
(Revelation 2:22) Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Because of their willingness to follow these false ideas and because these people do not love the truth enough to study it and learn it, God will send them strong delusion that they would believe a lie. He will allow them to fawn over antichrist when he arrives, thinking he is Christ, and they will not be the wiser. And unless they repent for these fornications, they will not overcome in the flesh.
(Revelation 2:23) And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Anyone who does not overcome in the flesh will be spiritually dead. This means they do not yet have an eternal soul, a living soul. Their soul is liable to die the second death unless they overcome satan’s deception at the end of the Millennium. The second death is the death of your soul when it is thrown into the Lake of Fire and your existence, and all memory of it, is blotted out. You will have never existed. It is difficult to wrap your mind around concepts like this. It is different than anything you know in the flesh. The important thing is that you would not allow this to be your fate.
(Revelation 2:24) But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
These who have not this doctrine of Thyatira, are those who have overcome in the flesh before the return Of Jesus Christ. You will not suffer the burdens that befall those who have not overcome.
(Revelation 2:25) But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Those who stand for Christ and hold on to His name, as a Christian, continue to do so until it is He that returns. Do not fall short by mistakenly following after antichrist, but remain faithful to Jesus.
(Revelation 2:26) And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
(Revelation 2:27) And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Those who overcome in this age will serve in the Millennium Temple. Those who have not strayed from Christ will be His kings, and priests, teachers and judges and will serve Him personally in the Temple (Ezekiel 44).
(Revelation 2:28) And I will give him the morning star.
These who overcome will receive Christ as their inheritance (Ezekiel 44) and He owns it all. He is the true morning star, while satan (lucifer) is the false morning star.
(Revelation 2:29) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
If you understand everything said here, then heed this warning.
Jesus gives us these warnings for a reason: it is written in the Bible not to be overlooked, but to be taken seriously. Will you take them seriously and learn what Jesus wants?
The next chapter will give us three more churches of which to be aware.