| CHAPTER TWO
Church of EPHESUS: Lukewarm
TO THE angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars [which are the messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, Who goes about among the seven golden lampstands [which are the seven churches]:
Each church begins by showing us another attribute of Jesus. Jesus walks in the midst of His people. Nothing is hidden from Him.
I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.
These people did the right thing in testing all would be workers, not tolerating false leaders as well as showing patience for others etc. BUT...
I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name's sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.
They did good works. BUT without love and passion for the Lord we are just being "religious".
But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].
Where is their LOVE for Jesus? Works alone mean nothing. We need to love Him first., before anyone and anything else.
Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God's will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.
Unless they repent and turn themselves over to Jesus He will remove His glory from among them. Are we caught up in the GLORY of ministering? Are we caught up in doing the RIGHT thing, rather then loving the LORD? Do we really study the Word? Do we love to be in prayer? Are we leaning on Him or on the arm of man?
Yet you have this [in your favor and to your credit]: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself also detest.
These people hate sin, which is in their favor; BUT they are depending on their works rather then their Love of Jesus and His GRACE.
He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Complete happiness and joy is promised to the person that overcomes and repents of his coldness AND reaches out to Jesus.
Church of SMYRNA: The persecuted church; no condemnation here.
And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Smyrna write: These are the words of the First and the Last, Who died and came to life again:
Smyrna was a verywealthy city, which hated Christians.
I know your affliction and distress and pressing trouble and your poverty--but you are rich! and how you are abused and reviled and slandered by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
No matter what persecution we may encounter, or how poor we are, the more of God we have in our life the richer we become in peace and joy.
1 Thes 5:1-4
BUT as to the suitable times and the precise seasons and dates, brethren, you have no necessity for anything being written to you. For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the [return of the] Lord will come [as unexpectedly and suddenly] as a thief in the night. When people are saying, All is well and secure, and, There is peace and safety, then in a moment unforeseen destruction (ruin and death) will come upon them as suddenly as labor pains come upon a woman with child; and they shall by no means escape, for there will be no escape. But you are not in [given up to the power of] darkness, brethren, for that day to overtake you by surprise like a thief.
This tells us we will know what to look for, so we won't be surprised when Lord comes in the clouds for us.
Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life.
Number ten is used to represent worldly powers or manís control. The trials & persecutions will last only for a season.
He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). He who overcomes (is victorious) shall in no way be injured by the second death.
Those not turning away from God, but pressing in close to Him will not suffer damnation.
Church of PERGAMOS: False doctrines [teachings].
Then to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Pergamum write: These are the words of Him Who has and wields the sharp two-edged sword:
The Two edged sword represents judgement.
I know where you live--a place where Satan sits enthroned. [Yet] you are clinging to and holding fast My name, and you did not deny My faith, even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed (martyred) in your midst--where Satan dwells.
These people speak of Jesus, they stand in faith, but they donít live the life. They take part in the sins of the city, and teach a false doctrine. These people think they are saved; BUT we cannot eat from Satanís table and Godís. We are either for God and righteousness or against God being for sin and Satan.
1 Cor 10:21
You cannot drink the Lord's cup and the demons' cup. You cannot partake of the Lord's table and the demons' table.
He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (conquers), I will give to eat of the manna that is hidden, and I will give him a white stone with a new name engraved on the stone, which no one knows or understands except he who receives it.
The person, whom repents and turns from sin will receive Jesus as his Savior; which is the hidden manna. The reality of the gift of salvation is not understood or even seen by those, which reject it. The white stone was used to vote with in times past. White was for innocent and black for guilty. Another use of the white stone: A host would show special appreciation to a person by giving a White Stone with the name or message written upon it.
A NEW NAME implies having the authority, character, rank, and power to do whatever one is called by Christís name, or identification with him.
Church of THYATIRA: False prophetess: sex sins, paganism, idolatry.
And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, Who has eyes that flash like a flame of fire, and Whose feet glow like bright and burnished and white-hot bronze:
His body also was [a golden luster] like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and his feet like glowing burnished bronze, and the sound of his words was like the noise of a multitude [of people or the roaring of the sea]
I know your record and what you are doing, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your recent works are more numerous and greater than your first ones.
This group has good works, faith etc., but, their acceptance of false doctrine will keep them out of Heaven.
But I have this against you; that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols. There are many false teachers, pastors, evangelist, as well as false prophets.
Many Christians are being led astray with feelings, today we are hearing from most pulpits how we are to be rich... this too is false and feeding lust. No where in the Bible does the Lord say we are to be rich. We need to study the Word along with the Greek and Hebrew Dictionary so we won't be seduced into false doctrines by Jezebel.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
I gave her time to repent, but she has no desire to repent of her immorality (symbolic of idolatry) and refuses to do so. We allow the world to contaminate us, and we give in to the allure of the world, our conscience will become dull, and seared. We will no longer be able to hear the voice of God. Idolatry is putting anything in the place of leadership in our lives.
We cannot serve two Masters.
And I will strike her children (her proper followers) dead [thoroughly exterminating them]. And all the assemblies (churches) shall recognize and understand that I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts, and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves.
God searchís the soul (emotions, will and intellect) of each man/woman. We are unable to deceive God. We are seeing a real lack of fear in the churches today. Father God is not our DADDY, He loves and takes care of us; but we must remember to worshipfully fear His displeasure. Thinking of God as our daddy is bringing Him down to us rather then rising up to Him.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding
Judgment is coming to all who rebel against God.
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