1. Ephesus: Rev.2:1-7 The Lord Jesus Christ is seen as the final authority of the Church and He is in control. He holds both the angel and the human leadership in His hands and walks in the midst of the churches, known or unknown to them. It shows who is at the driver’s seat and who is in charge of the steering wheel. Both the leadership and the Church are subject unto Him. He stood above all created beings both spiritually and physically.
The knowledge of the Son of God is thorough, complete and faultless and it includes everything regarding the Church in Ephesus. The Lord is not in the dark as to what the Ephesian Church is and doing. He knows their works, labor and suffering and they stand up against evil. They also have in place the mechanism by the Spirit of the Lord that tries fake apostles to reveal their dishonesty, corruption and greed. They are able to separate the genuine apostles from the fake.
The Church remains faithful to the Word of God and keeps the Word of His patience. They have persevered and maintained their integrity through difficult and hard situations. They have worked, labored and served the Lord and His people with tenacity and patience. They persevered because of their commitment to the Lord and His cause.
Nevertheless, there is one thing against Ephesus and to the Lord and Captain of the Church is very significant. They have allowed their enthusiasm to experience a burn-out and have failed to rekindle it. They have left their first fire that used to burn in their hearts for the Lord and His people. They have lost the passion that gave them a place in Ephesus as a Church. They have lost their first love and settled for mediocre and mundane routines of going through emotions. It is significant and important that they maintain this first love and keep the flames, favor and the fire of their first love ever-increasing in intensity. They have fallen into the depth of great dimension and they have to crawl out of that pit. They know what is required of them and they should do the first works. Repentance will bring everything back to where it was. If they will not repent, He will come quickly and remove their candlestick out of its place and they will cease to exist as a congregation.
He admonishes them to keep up the good works and continue to take a stand against evil as they have done with the Nicolaitans. He applauds them because He also hates the deeds of this sect. The message is given to all the Churches by the Spirit and only those with a hearing ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches will stand with Him on the last day. Those that resist evil to the end will be given the honor to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Can the saints of God see themselves in the Mirror of the Church at Ephesus? Then heed the warning and emulate their success and it shall be well with you at the end.
2. Smyrna: Rev.2:8-11 The idea of the first and the last is an all-inclusive one and it shows that the Lord Jesus Christ has limitless power which holds together everything. Our Savior who died for our sins, is the One who has been risen and now alive forever. The Smyrna Church is dealing with the Lord who has the power of an indestructible life and He is about to speak life into the Smyrna Church.
He is aware of the labor, works, tribulation and poverty of this Smyrna Church. He encourages them that it is what He says that counts not what the world is saying. He assures them that they are rich in Him and beloved in God. The presence of wealth is not the measure of divine approval and acceptance in the Kingdom. He is aware that there are individuals and groups of people who are claiming a right to God by their association to Jewish heritage. (Roms.2:28-29) They are the Synagogue of Satan and their hearts are far from the True and Living God. They have no inclination or idea of what pleases God. Do not be afraid of them and the things that you will suffer for My Name sake. He tells them that the devil will cast some of them into prison and they will be severely tried. They will have tribulation ten days, but if they are faithful in the face of death, they will receive a crown of life. The saints who have ears in their hearts to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches will be over-comers and they will not be hurt by the second death.
3. Pergamos: Rev.2:12-17 The opening verses present the Lord as a Warrior and having a sharp two-edged Sword coming from His Mouth. He knows what prevails and goes on in Pergamos and where the head-quarter of Satan is located. The saints need to hold fast to Jesus Christ and His Name. They have not denied His faith even in the days of Antipas, the Lord’s Martyr who was killed right there where Satan lives. Antipas was a faithful saint of the Lord. We have not experienced opposition to the point of losing blood or giving our lives for the Gospel’s sake. But there are saints then and now in all over the world that are dying and are being tortured because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Church at Pergamos has all kinds of people in her midst. They have some who practice the doctrines of Balaam and Nicolai. (See the section on The Doctrines of Satan) These men ought to repent of their sins and turn away from them. The Lord promises to fight them with the Sword of His Mouth if they will not repent. The Spirit is addressing the Churches then and now and the over-comers will have the honor of eating of the hidden manner and receive a white stone with a new name written on it known by the one who receives it.
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