Studying : The Book of Revelation from Bible Part II

Revelation 2 ESV

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

To the Church in Smyrna

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander[a] of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith[b] even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

To the Church in Thyatira

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants[c] to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’


   Chapter Two

 

In this chapter John is instructed to write to four churches in Asia: 
Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, and Thyatira.  The Lord generally follows
the same format:  His self-designation, commendation, condemnation and
related warning, exhortation and promise.  Each letter closes with the
admonition, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to
the churches."  This suggests the letters were not just for the
personal benefit of the churches addressed.

The church at Ephesus is commended for its steadfastness, especially
against false apostles.  But while standing for the truth, they had
lost their first love.  Exhorted to repent and be restored by doing the
"first works", they are warned that their "lampstand" would be removed
if they did not repent (1-7).
  
The church at Smyrna is commended for being "rich" despite their
tribulation and poverty.  Unlike most churches, there are no words of
condemnation directed toward it.  While they would experience a little
persecution, they are exhorted to remain faithful to death (8-11).  

The church  at Pergamos is also praised for its steadfastness, but
faulted for allowing false teachers in their midst.  The Lord threatens
to come and fight with the sword of His mouth if there is no repentance
(12-17).  

The church at Thyatira is also commended, for their last works are more
than their first.  But they too have a false teacher and followers
which jeopardize the condition of the church.  Despite giving this
"Jezebel" time to repent, she has not and so the Lord intends to make
her and her followers an example before the other churches (18-29).

I find noteworthy the connection between these letters with what was
seen in chapter one, and what will be seen in succeeding chapters.  In
most cases the Lord's self-designation borrows something from the
vision of the Son of Man in chapter one, which relates somehow with the
particular message in which it is found.  Also, we will see how most of
the promises to those who overcome will be fulfilled in the unfolding
of the visions that begin in chapter four.

POINTS TO PONDER

*  The condition of each church:  their strengths and weaknesses, the
   warnings and promises given

*  How the fulfillment of most promises is described later in the visions
   to come

OUTLINE

I. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS (1-7)

   A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (1)
      1. "He who holds the seven stars in His right hand"   
      2. "Who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands"

   B. COMMENDATION (2-3,6)
      1. For their works, labor and patience
         a. They cannot bear those who are evil, having tested those who
            say they are apostles but were liars
         b. Their perseverance, patience and labor for His name's sake, 
            not growing weary
      2. They hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, as does the Lord

   C. CONDEMNATION AND WARNING (4-5)
      1. Condemnation
         a. The Lord has something against them
         b. They have left their first love
      2. Warning
         a. Remember from where they have fallen
         b. Repent and do the first works
         c. Or the Lord will come quickly and remove their lampstand from
            its place

   D. EXHORTATION AND PROMISE (7)
      1. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches
      2. To him who overcomes, He will give to eat from the tree of life
         in the midst of the Paradise of God

II. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA (8-11)

   A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (8)
      1. "The First and the Last"
      2. "Who was dead, and came to life"

   B. COMMENDATION (9a)
      1. For the works, tribulation, and poverty
      2. But they are rich

   C. EXHORTATION AND PROMISE (9b-11)
      1. The Lord knows those who claim to be Jews but are a synagogue of
         Satan
      2. Do not fear what they are about to suffer
         a. The devil is about throw some into prison, that they may be 
            tested
         b. They will have tribulation ten days
      3. Be faithful unto death, and He will give them a crown of life
      4. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches
      5. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death

III. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN PERGAMOS (12-17)

   A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (12)
      1. "Who has the sharp two-edged sword"

   B. COMMENDATION (13)
      1. He knows their works, and where they dwell, where Satan's throne
         is
      2. For holding fast to His name
      3. For not denying His faith even when Antipas was killed among
         them

   C. CONDEMNATION AND WARNING (14-16)
      1. Condemnation
         a. They have those who hold the doctrine of Balaam
            1) Who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before Israel
            2) To eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual 
               immorality
         b. They have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans,
            which He hates
      2. Warning
         a. Repent or He will come to them quickly
         b. He will fight against them with the sword of His mouth

   D. EXHORTATION AND PROMISE (17)
      1. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches
      2. To him who overcomes, He will give...
         a. Some of the hidden manna to eat
         b. A white stone with a new name written on it which no one
            knows except he who receives it

IV. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA (18-29)

   A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (18)
      1. "The Son of God"
      2. "Who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine
         brass"

   B. COMMENDATION (19)
      1. For their works, love, service, faith, and patience
      2. Their last works are more than the first

   C. CONDEMNATION AND WARNING (20-24)
      1. Condemnation
         a. They allow that woman Jezebel
            1) Who calls herself a prophetess
            2) To teach and beguile His servants to commit sexual
               immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols
         b. Whom the Lord had given time to repent of her sexual
            immorality, but she did not
      2. Warning
         a. He will cast her into a sickbed
         b. Those who commit adultery with her will have great 
            tribulation, unless they repent
         c. He will kill her children with death; and the churches will 
            know that He searches the minds and hearts
         d. He will give to each one according to their works
         e. For those in Thyatira who do not follow her doctrine, or
            have not known the depths of Satan, as they call it, He 
            places on them no other burden

   E. EXHORTATION AND PROMISE (25-29)
      1. Hold fast what they have till He come
      2. To him who overcomes and keeps His works until the end...
         a. He will give power over the nations, just as He received from
            the Father
         b. He will give the morning star
      3. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches

REVIEW QUESTIONS

1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Letter to the church in Ephesus (1-7)
   - Letter to the church in Smyrna (8-11)
   - Letter to the church in Pergamos (12-17)
   - Letter to the church in Thyatira (18-29)

2) What pattern is generally followed in these letters to the churches?
   - Self-designation, commendation, condemnation/warning, 
     exhortation/promise

3) What is often the basis for the Lord's self-designation in the 
   letters? (1,8,12,18)
   - The description of the vision of the Son of Man in chapter one
     (cf. Re 1:10-20)

4) For what does the Lord commend the church in Ephesus? (2-3)
   - Their works, labor, patience
   - Testing those who claimed to be apostles, but were liars
   - Persevering and laboring for His name's sake, not growing weary

5) For what does the Lord condemn them? (4)
   - Losing their first love

6) What solution does Jesus give for restoring their first love? (5)
   - Remember from where they have fallen
   - Repent and do the first works

7) What warning does Jesus give the church in Ephesus? (5)
   - Repent or else He will come quickly and remove their lampstand from
     its place

8) For what else does Jesus commend them? (6)
   - That they hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans (about which little is
     known)

9) For what does the Lord commend the church in Smyrna? (9)
   - Their works, tribulation, and poverty (but they are rich)

10) Who was guilty of blasphemy in Smyrna? (9)
   - Those who say they are Jews, but are a synagogue of Satan

11) Why were they not to fear what they were about to suffer? (10)
   - Their tribulation will be short (ten days)
   - If they are faithful unto death, Jesus will give them a crown of
     life

12) For what does the Lord commend the church in Pergamos? (13)
   - Their works, holding fast to His name, not denying His faith even
     when Antipas was killed

13) What is said about where they dwell? (13)
   - Where Satan's throne is, where Satan dwells

14) For what does the Lord condemn them? (14-15)
   - Having those who hold the doctrine of Balaam
   - Having those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans

15) What warning does Jesus give the church in Pergamos? (16)
   - Repent or else He will come quickly and fight against them with the
     sword of His mouth

16) For what does the Lord commend the church in Thyatira? (19)
   - Their works, love, service, faith and patience
   - Their last works being more than the first

17) For what does the Lord condemn them? (20)
   - Allowing Jezebel to teach and beguile His servants to commit sexual
     immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols

18) What does the Lord say about the woman who calls herself a 
    prophetess? (21-23)
   - He gave her time to repent, but she did not
   - He will cast her into a sickbed, and those with her into great
     tribulation unless they repent
   - He will kill her children with death

19) What exhortation does He give the church at Thyatira? (25)
   - Hold fast what they have till He come

20) What exhortation is given at the end of each letter? (7,11,17,29)
   - He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches

21) List the promises given in this chapter to those who overcome (7,11,
    17,26-28)
   - To eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise
      of God (cf. Re 22:2)
   - Not be hurt by the second death (cf. Re 20:6)
   - Some of the hidden manna to eat
   - A white stone, on which a new name is written which no one knows but
     him who receives it
   - Power over the nations, as He received from His Father (cf. Re 20:4)
   - The morning star (cf. Re 22:16)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011
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