Revelation 2:8-11

Church in Smyrna

Revelation 2:8-11- Church of Smyrna

  • 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;
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Read the complete chapter here: www.biblegateway.com
Revelation 2:8-11- Church of Smyrna
Revelation 2:8-11

Revelation 2:8-11- Church of Smyrna

8 The city of Smyrna was a trade city which was full of wealth and commercial greediness.

It is a city of idolatry and although the unrighteous people were worshipping the idols, the Christians refused.

John is explaining to the church of Smyrna that it is the Lord that is dictating the note to them.

  • God is known by the names: the first and the last.
  • Jesus was killed and he rose to life again.
  • And because Jesus rose again, he received the name: the one who died and yet, is now alive again.
  • That is to say, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is dictating the note from the Father to John.
  • As a result, John is only penning the note as directed.

9 Jesus praises the Church of Smyrna for being poor but in truth rich.

  • Jesus tells the Church of Smyrna that although impoverished and in tribulation, they are rich in spirit.
  • However, many non-Christian Jewish people lived in Smyrna and were treating the Church poorly.
  • Jesus see’s what the Church has to endure by the hand of these so called “Jews”.
  • The people that Jesus calls the so called Jews, are the ones bringing trouble.
  • That is to say, they declared themselves to be true believers in God.
  • They are not! They belong to Satan!
  • Christ tells the Church of Smyrna that in the days coming, the Church will suffer persecution.
  • The devil is going to cast some of them into prison.

10 Jesus tells the Church of Smyrna not to fear.

  • Do not fear, even when thrown into jail for 10 days.
  • Jesus told the Church that the devil will cast some of you into prison.
  • The reason for the imprisonment is to test their commitment to Jesus.
  • This statement would have given the Church some comfort.
  • Knowing that Jesus knew what was about to happen and exactly how long they would have to stay there.
  • There are many different opinions as to what the 10 days mean.
  • Some believe the 10 days may have referred to 10 years.
  • Whatever it meant, it was a time they were not to fear because God was (and is) in control.

Jesus says, those who are faithful until death will be given the crown of life (an eternity in heaven with God).

  • Christians will receive trials and tribulations.
  • Even today, Christians are not exempt from bad things happening.
  • However, those who remain believing in Jesus will not be hurt by the second death.
  • The 2nd death means separation from God – an eternity in Hell.

Jesus did not chastised the Smyrna Church.

  • Jesus encourages them to remain faithful to death and has promised if they do that, they will receive a crown of life (eternal life with Him).
  • The Church may have been tested in life but, they obviously passed. God was pleased with the Church of Smyrna.

11 An ear to hear – this message is to all Christians’ through-out history.

  • Overcome.
  • Stand strong.
  • Keep the faith.
  • If they do this, they will not have to endure the 2nd death.

Revelation of Jesus Christ How Can A Christian Live In A Fallen World?

Revelation 2:1-7

Letters to the Church in Ephesus

  • Revelation 2:1-7-Church of Ephesus
  • 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;
  • 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:
  • 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
  • 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
  • 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.
  • 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
  • 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.
  • Read complete chapter here: www.biblegateway.com
Picture of Jesus Revelation 2:1-7-Church of Ephesus
Revelation 2:1-7

In Revelation 2:1-7-Church of Ephesus -although the letters to the churches happened in the past, they are messages that are important for us today.

  • These are ongoing messages that every era should live by.
  • The 7 churches mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3 were all in Asia Minor, which is present day Turkey.

Revelation 2:1-7-Church of Ephesus

1 John is explaining to the church of Ephesus that it is Christ that is writing to seven stars (the leaders of seven Churches) and they are to read the notes to their candlesticks (the people – their “Church”).

  • Many evil people lived in the city of Ephesus .
  • Jesus says he is “in the midst of the “Church” of the people and holding them securely.
  • I know your works – we must always remember that Jesus see’s everything.

2-3 God is praising the Church of Ephesus for having endured hardships and not grown tired.

  • God praises the congregation of the Ephesus Church, for not putting up with the evil people.
  • Even though the church of Ephesus is standing solid amid evil.
  • Furthermore, the Lord praised the church for testing those who say they are apostles and are not.
  • And then finding them to be liars.
  • Praised for having stayed true to God, for their patience and that have not stopped grown tired of living for Jesus.

4 Never-the-less – there was something bad within them that Jesus also saw.

  • God tells the Ephesus church to “do the first works” and to repent for having left their “first love”.
  • Because, they have fallen somewhat.
  • Some of the goodness remains, but they are drifting away.
  • However, enough of their faith remains that they couldn’t tolerate evil.
  • Then, the Lord explains to the Ephesus church that they are not quite up to the standard of faith they had been.

5 God tells the people to remember back to when they were first saved (the happiness, love and joy they felt).

  • Especially remember their willingness and obedience.
  • That is to say, go back to those feelings and repent that they have fallen somewhat.
  • If they don’t repent and “step up” then God will remove the candle (Jesus Christ) from them.

6. One of the first seven men ordained to the diaconate was Nicolas.

Who were the Nicolaitans that Jesus speaks of? (Also seen in Revelation 2:15)

  • Diaconates were leaders (like Deacons) elected by the apostles to minister to the community of believers in Jerusalem.
  • Further more, it was their job was to enable the apostles to concentrate on ‘prayer and the ministry of the word’.

Nicolas’ many followers were called the Nicolaitans. However, they had fallen away from the correct doctrine and were inventing their own “better” version of Christianity.

  • God tells the Church of Ephesus that he hates the works of the Nicolaitans.
  • And tells the Church that he sees that they also hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans.

7 A note for all Christians (not just the Church of Ephesus).

  • Everyone who hears this message; let them listen to what the Spirit said to ALL the Churches.
  • All people (throughout history) who reads or hears this message – pay attention!
  • Those who belong to Jesus and can overcome the earthly sins are granted to eat from the tree of life, which is amid the Paradise of God (heaven).

What is Salvation?

Prayer – God’s Blessings

Picture of a beautiful blue and orange sky.  Words read - The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.  The Lord make his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace.
God’s Blessings on Israel and Christians

Prayer – God’s Blessings

At God’s request, the Spiritual Leaders had to memorized this blessing word for word. Then, at the end of every service, Moses, Aaron and other spiritual priests spoke this exact blessing over their people.

One word repeated six times – the word “Thee” (you)! Why? Because God wants Christians to remember just how blessed we are. As a result, even today, as this benediction is prayed over the church, it is meant for each of us, individually.

BLESS THEE

Contrary to what some believe; being a child of God, does not exempt us from going through rough times. In other words, we can be at peace, regardless of what is happening around us. When we know that God is always present, and blessing us, we can be at peace.

  • The blessing is from God himself.
  • He continuously watches over us.
  • He keeps us from sliding off the narrow path.
  • The Lord keeps us safe in all that life throws at us.
  • We don’t have to be fearful as God is our keeper.

KEEP THEE

As God watches over us, we are drawn closer to him.

  • We are able to withstand everything that we have to deal with.
  • When we understand that God keeps us close to him, we don’t have to be worried or anxious ever.

FACE SHINE UPON THEE

As our Father, he smiles at us lovingly, while showering us with forgiveness, favour and acceptance.

BE GRACIOUS UNTO THEE

God is the only one who can give us grace.

  • Grace is not something we can ask for.
  • He doesn’t have to give us grace, but when he does, it shows how much he loves and wants to bless us.

LIFT HIS COUNTENANCE UNTO THEE

Countenance means support.

  • As a result, each day we receive the kind of support that only God can give.
  • The radiance of God is looking down on us.
  • He is waiting to help us and yes, even willing to forgive our sins.

GIVE YOU PEACE

God’s peace is right there for us.

  • Further, no matter what is going on, what problems we have, or what situation we are in, the peace of the Lord is with us.
  • God blesses us with peace, which is ours for the taking.
  • And then as we accept, his peace encompasses our entire being and situation.
  • If we ask and then accept God’s blessing of peace, it will fills us completely – hearts, mind and soul.

Loving Father in Heaven,

I am thankful for your Prayer of God’s blessings. Thank you Lord for placing the desire in our Spiritual Leaders hearts to declare this blessing over your sheep/congregation every Sunday.

Because I am your child, this scripture reminds me that you are blessing me, loving me and always watching over me. in spite of what my eyes are seeing or what I’m feeling.

You know what my needs are and I can relax knowing that you are right there with me. In the same way you are my strength and my support. Thank you that I can also call for peace, at any time over people, situations and for myself.

Thank you for your unconditional love that showers me with your blessings.

In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, I pray. Amen

The Many Ways of Prayer – Ephesians 6:18

Revelation 1:8-20

Revelation 1:8-20 – John see’s Jesus

Revelation 1:8-20 Sees Jesus

  • 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
  • 9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
  • 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
  • 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
  • 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
  • 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
  • 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
  • 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
  • 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
  • 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
  • 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
  • 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
  • 20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
  • Read complete chapter here: http://www.biblegateway.com
Picture of Jesus with text Rev.1:8-20
Revelation 1:8-20

Revelation 1:8-20 Sees Jesus

The letters of Revelation 1:8-20 to the Churches follow a common pattern:

  • The Lord first addresses each church and identifies himself.
  • Then defines things that he knows about the church in question.
  • Afterwards, the Lord gives a challenge or reproach.
  • Followed by a promise.
  • God includes a caution to each church. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”, although sometimes this comes before the promise and sometimes after.

God instructs John to write to the seven Churches of Asia everything that he has seen and heard.

  • Although the letters differ in length in accordance with the needs of each community, all conclude with an appeal to hold fast and to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
  • That is to say, that Christ promises the churches that every person who conquers their failures, will be rewarded.

At the time of this message, there were about sixty church’s in Asia . Meaning, we must realize that the seven were chosen specifically for their type of worship.

  • John did not choose which of the churches to write to, Jesus did.

The Lords message were not given to any one church, but to the seven different churches in John’s era. (plural).

  • We (even today) must take heed to the warnings of the Lord’s message.
  • That is to say, open the ears of our heart and receive Jesus in His fullness.

8. Alpha and Omega.

  • God is the beginning and is the end which denotes God is the whole.

Beginning and the end – which is and was and which is yet to come.

  • These titles apply to, who God is right now, always was and always will be in the future.
  • That is to say, this title is applied to the Father, Holy Spirit and Jesus as they are part of the trinity of God.
  • Jesus will be reigning over people in the future.
  • God is the Almighty.
  • Also, God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is all powerful.
  • The Revelation is coming. So, prepare yourself, by reading the Book of Revelation.

9. So John begins writing.

Companion in tribes and in kingdom.

  • John is a Christian suffering persecution which other Christians also suffer.
  • Christians are a group that spreads the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Patience of Jesus.

  • John is bearing what he (and other Christians) must bear just as Jesus did.

Island of Patmos for the word of God and test of Jesus Christ.

  • John was spreading the word of God to all people. Because of that, the Romans banished John to prison.
  • And for preaching about Jesus Christ, as the Son of God.

10. John tells us he was under the influence of the Holy Spirit on the Lords Day.

After Christ died the apostles kept the Sabbath.

  • In Acts 3:1 Peter and John went to the Temple.
  • It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon when they went into the Temple to attend the prayer service.
  • When the sacrifices were taking place, Peter and John were not inside the Temple,
  • In other words, they were only entering the Temple for the daily prayer service.
  • The apostles kept one day per week as the Lords Day.

Does it matter which day we hold Church Service on?

  • Most Christians meet on the first day of the week (Sunday) because that’s the day Jesus rose from the grave.
  • Christians should always set aside one day of the week, as the Lord’s day.
  • Apart from the Lord’s Day, Christians should use every day to praise and worship the Lord. In other words, not just on one day per week.

Revelation 1:10 A great voice sounded like a trumpet.

  • A voice like a trumpet was meant to get John to pay attention.
  • Moses was also called by a voice like a trumpet when he was to receive the 10 Commandments.
  • This voice came suddenly however, John already knew he was in Divine Inspiration.
  • Revelation 1:8-20 Sees Jesus

11. I am Alpha. (See 1:8 above)

Write in a book what you see.

  • John is being told to write as it is presented to him.
  • We must keep in mind everything that John is seeing, hearing, and experiencing. As a result, he is trying to describe from his own perspective. That is to say, from his own era.
  • He is directed to write about it and then send it to the 7 Churches.

12. John turned to see who spoke to him and saw 7 golden candlesticks.

  • The lamps represent the 7 Churches that John was to write letters to.
  • As for the candlesticks, they emitted the light of God that shone in them.
  • Furthermore, golden usually means something precious to God.

The seven candlesticks, we are told here, are the seven churches in John’s era. They are however, symbolic of all churches for then and now.

  • The Church is not the building but the people (Christians).
  • A candlestick is not a light. It is however, the holder for the Light.
  • These candlesticks lift the Light up for all to see.
  • Therefore, Christians (candlesticks) are to tell and show others about the Light (Jesus).

13. In the midst stood one like the Son of man.

  • John was at the transfiguration of Jesus and had already seen a glimpse of what Jesus would be like in Heaven.
  • Although John had seen Jesus as Son of man, he is now seeing Him as the second person of the Godhead.

14-15. John describes what Jesus looks like.

  • John’s description gives us a picture of a High Priest in amongst and watching over his people.
  • Jesus was wearing a long garment. In other words, the long garment shows a mark of high authority.
  • Girt about the paps and golden girdle. Also, these items showed the rank of his priesthood.
  • Hair was white. Similarly speaks of as ancient. While the white shows purity.
  • Eyes – flames of fire. As a result, his eyes were all seeing and penetrating.
  • Fine brass feet – fire = judgement.
  • We know that brass was used at Israel’s altar for sacrifices. In the same way, the 7 candlesticks in the Holy Place of the sanctuary in the Old Testament era were used.
  • Voice – very powerful and loud.

16. In Jesus’ right hand he holds 7 stars and out of his mouth went a 2 edged sword – Jesus will interpret these for John.

  • 7 Stars – Are messengers. Although, some believe they are angels. I don’t think they are heavenly angels because Jesus is speaking of the 7 church’s.
  • Most likely, they are (angels) key elders or Pastors/Ministers representing each of the 7 Churches.
  • 2- Edged sword – this sword is the Word of God that comes out of Jesus’ mouth.
  • As a result, the word will pronounce judgement.

Hebrews 4:12

12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

KJV

17. John was totally overwhelmed by this vision of Jesus.

  • It was so overwhelming that John fainted.
  • Even though John knew Jesus on this earth, seeing Jesus now made John faint.

18. I am he that liveth and have the keys of hell and of death.

Jesus was once dead but now lives forever more.

  • John realizes that he is in the presence of his friend Jesus whom he had known in the flesh and then again at Pentecost.
  • Although John fainted at the sight of Jesus, Jesus confirmed to John that yes he was indeed the Jesus that John knew and loved from earth.
  • I believe Jesus was there to put John at ease in this strange situation.

I have the keys of hell and death.

  • Jesus willingly went to the cross. He gave up his life for our salvation.
  • Because Jesus had the power to die and rise from death, he now has the power and authority to save Christian’s from death.
  • Jesus also holds the key to hell. Many believe Satan holds those keys but he does not.
  • Furthermore, Satan himself will banished to hell, and will not be the leader of it.

19. John is commanded by the Lord, to write regarding the past, present, and future.

  • God has made it clear that the tribulation period coming, will be a horrible time to go through.
  • Further to that, the Lord told John there has never has there been such a time in all the earth’s history.
  • And as a result, there never will be such a time again.

20. Jesus kindly interprets his own hidden images for John.

  • The seven lampstands are the seven churches.
  • In the same way, the stars in his right hand represent the angels the seven churches.
  • People have different opinions who the angels represent.
  • Some people believe because John writes the word “angel” they are guiding angels watching over the churches.
  • Still, other’s believe the angels are leaders/pastors/ministers, the key elders.
  • Why do some people believe they are key elders? Because, the Lord directs John is to write to the angel of each Church.
  • They are representing each of the seven churches because
Picture of Jesus with outstretched arms Text: The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Revelation 1:8-20