Revelation Chapter 2
What does the second chapter of Revelation really mean to us today?
V 1. "To the angel of the church in 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;"
The apostle Paul wrote to 7 churches: Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippia, Collosse and Thessalica. In the very same way, when John wrote here to the 7 churches in Asia. When they address one they address all. Seven is a number denoting fullness and completeness. Writing to seven only, intended to have it understood that all churches of all times are comprehended in seven; only seven candlesticks representing the churches. It represents the entire Gospel Church in seven periods!
V 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:"
Ephesus 31-100 AD signifies "desirable" a well described term of the character and condition of the church in its very first state. This new apostolic church had received its doctrines from CHRIST in its purity before it became corrupted by false apostles. Up to the 100 AD stage, this false apostles were rejected.
V 3. "And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted."
Here are the Christ like characteristics of that church displayed and commended.
V 4. "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."
However, love and zeal for evangelism and the concern for the lost started to wane away here.
V 5. "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."
The gift of the Holy Spirit symbolized by the candlestick would be withdrawn if they did not reform!
V 6. "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate."
The deeds or actions of the Nicolaitens were hated by both the early church members and JESUS Himself. The word Nicolaiten in this verse and verse 15 come from 2 Greek words "NIKAO" =conquer, and "LAO" =Laity. Put together means to "Conquer the laity or layman! It is a division and demeaning brought in to divide the common priesthood of Believers. A hierarchy of an elevated priesthood with titles such as Bishops and Archbishops and cardinals and Popes started to emerge that is unscriptural! Soon as the laity was conquered, all active soul winning ceased. The devil won the day.
V 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."
Here the false Gospel of modernism is exposed as a fallacy. Quick savism is here refuted. Only those eating from the tree of life will have eternal life if we are among the overcomers!
V 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 100-323 AD signifies "myrrh" while passing through the fiery furnace of persecution providing a "sweet smelling savor"
V 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."
An Anglican Minister wrote in the Taree newspaper that Seventh Day Adventists were the Jews here mentioned and of the synagogue of the church of Satan. The problem is, the SDA Church does not consider itself Jewish. It is people like this ignorant Minister that calls the Sabbath of CHRIST Jewish despite the fact that JESUS Himself called it none Jewish [Mark 2:28]. New Gentile Christians were obeying the fourth of the 10 Commandments by observing the sanctity of CHRIST'S own Sabbath day [Acts 13:42-44] the true Lord's day (see Revelation 1:10).
V 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 prophecy found literal fulfilment during the Diocletian era 303-313 exactly 10 years. Here is the proof of the Protestant and biblical principle of the year per day interpretation verified. Only when we are using this interpretation, will the rest of Revelation make sense to us because the 1260 days or 42 month and 3 1/2 times all refer to Daniel's prophecies counting a prophetic day for a literal year. Keeping in mind that JESUS says in chapter 10 that prophetic time would end in the mid 1800's at the great and bitter disappointment in 1844 and therefore any application of prophecy put forward by some for today must be mistaken. So sad that the literalists are not walking in the light.
V 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."
Here again is set forth the condition for eternal life. No fence sitting with the Good News of the Gospel! See also Matthew 10:22; 24:13; James 1:12; 2.Timothy 4:7,8; Revelation 3:4,21.
V 12. "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; these things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;"
Pergamos 323-538 AD signifies "height, elevation" and it was a period in which the true servants of GOD had to struggle against the spirit of worldly policy, pride, and popularity among the professed followers of CHRIST, and against the virulent workings of the mystery of iniquity, which finally resulted in the full development of the papal "man of sin" [2.Thess.2:3]. The Holy Spirit is compared to a sharp two edged sword [ Ephesians 6:17].
V 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."
Antipas was not an individual but a class of men who opposed the power of the bishops, or popes, in that day being a combination of two words: 'Anti', opposed, and 'Papas', father, or pope [papa in Latin and Italian]. In other words, those true Christians opposed the papal system. Most of them suffered martyrdom at that time in Rome and Constantinople which was soon in the next church period even brought into subjection the kings of the earth.
V 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 desired to curse Israel for the sake of rich reward which Balak offered him. He ended up seducing Israel to participate in the celebrations of the rites of idolatry in the very same way Protestants are now joining the celebrations of idoltry with all its licentious accompaniments in the church of Rome.
V 15 "So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate."
As already explained in verse 6 above.
V 16. "Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."
V 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."
"Jacob after his victory, gained the new name of Israel. Would you want to know what your new name would be? The way is very plain - overcome. Till then all the inquiries are vain. You will then read it on the white stone.-John Wesley. In primitive times, when travelling was difficult, hospitality was given by induviduals, especially in the Old Testament. It became well established in Greek and Roman times, to provide their guests with some particular mark, which was handed down from father to Son, and ensured hospitality and a kind treatment when it was presented. This mark was usually a small stone or pebble, cut in half, on the halves of which the host and guests mutually inscribed their names, and then interchanged with each other. These tessera's were carefully concealed, unless others would get hold of it and enjoy the privileges.
V 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;"
Thyatira 538-1560's signifies "sweet savor of labor" or "sacrifice of contrition" during long periods of papal persecutions improved the religious condition of the Believers.
V 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."
Works are again mentioned, as if worth a double commendation and the last more than the first.
V 20. "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest 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." The cause of complaint. That woman Jezebel. As in the preceeding church Antipas, so Jezebel is not an induvidual but a class of persons. A more striking figure could not have been used to describe the papal abominations [see also Revelation 17]
V 21. "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not."
Fornication usually is referred to persons committing an sexual act outside marriage. Revelation 18:3 the kings of the earth are said to have committed fornication with the great Whore Babylon.
V 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."
Committing adultery is well explained by James 4:4 and compared to Revelation 17. The bed is of course the deathbed!
V 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."
We are saved by grace unto obedience [Romans 1:5 and it is a free gift especially to do good works [Ephesians 2:8-10] but judged by works and even things done in our bodies [2.Corinthians 5:10].
V 24. "But unto you I say, and unto the rest of 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."
V 25. "But that which ye have already hold fast till I come."
V 26. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:"
V 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."
V 28. "And I will give him the morning star."
CHRIST says in Revelation 22:16 that He is the morning star also called the daystar in 2.Peter 1:19 where it is associated with the dawn of the day: "Until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts.
V 29. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."