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REVELATION - THE END OF THE AGE OF MAN
(A Synopsis of the Revelation of Jesus Christ)

CHAPTERS TWO & THREE

The Second Revelation of Jesus Christ
The Judge of the Church
Messages to the 7 Churches


"I the LORD [Yahweh - Jehovah] search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."     Jeremiah 17:10    (NIV)

This is expanded from "a man" to "all the churches" in Revelation 2:23:

'And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.'    (NKJV)


Judgment On The Churches

The Mystery revealed (chapter 1:20)

The Seven Stars These are the Angels of the Seven Churches
The Seven Golden Candlesticks These are the Seven Churches

Revelation 2:1-7

(1)   "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,

'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:  (2)  "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;  (3)  and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary.  (4)  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  (5)  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent.  (6)  But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

(7)  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."'
(NKJV)


EPHESUS Ephesos (Strong's NT:2181) Desirable
The Charge You have forsaken your first love.
The Judgment If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Revelation 2:8-11

(8)   "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,

'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:  (9)  "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.  (10)  Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until 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. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."'
(NKJV)


SMYRNA Smurna  (Strong's NT:4667) Myrrh (bitterness)
The Charge There was no charge against Smyrna. But they are required to be faithful even unto death.
The Judgment Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Revelation 2:12-17

(12)  "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:  (13)  "I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. (14)  But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.  (15)  Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.  (16)  Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight 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 him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."'
(NKJV)


PERGAMOS Pergamos  (Strong's NT:4444) Fortified; Height (high tower)
The Charge You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. You also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
The Judgment Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Revelation 2:18-29

(18)  "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:  (19)  "I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.  (20)  Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.  (21)  And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.  (22)  Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.  (23)  I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

(24)  "Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.  (25)  But hold fast what you have till I come.  (26)  And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations —

(27)  'He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' —

as I also have received 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."'
(NKJV)

THYATIRA Thuateira (Strong's NT:2363) Perfume; sacrifice of labor (perpetual sacrifice or continual offering)
The Charge

You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

The Judgment

I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering. I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead.


Revelation 3:1-6

(1)   "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,

'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  (2)  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.  (3)  Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.  (4)  You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.  (5)  He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

(6)  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'
(NKJV)

SARDIS Sardeis  (Strong's NT:4554) Prince of joy
The Charge You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die ... Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.
The Judgment But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Revelation 3:7-13

(7)  "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":  (8)  "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.  (9)  Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.  (10)  Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  (11)  Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  (12)  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

(13)  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'
(NKJV)

PHILADELPHIA Filadelfeía (Strong's NT:5359) Love of a brother
The Charge There was no charge against Philadelphia. They were told to: Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
The Judgment I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars — I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial* that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

Revelation 3:14-22

(14)   "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  (15)  "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  (16)  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  (17)  Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked —  (18)  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  (19)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  (20)  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  (21)  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

(22)  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'"
(NKJV)

LAODICEA Laodikeía  (Strong's NT:2994) Just people  (people ruling or speaking)
The Charge  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
The Judgment I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

* This is the judgment to the church at Philadelphia includes the promise of the rapture of the church before the 7 seals are opened for those that are ready and are looking for His return (Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth). We see the fulfillment of this promise in Revelation 5:8-10.

Historical Periods
 
2:2-7 Ephesus period  —  100 A.D
    The close of the apostolic-period.
They had departed from their first love.
    Jesus desired that the church would have kept the fire of the Holy Spirit outpouring continuing, but after the death the apostles, and their disciples, the church failed to continue with that holy fire, so they left there first love.

2:8-11 Smyrna period  —  100 A.D. to 300 A.D.
    The first martyr period.
This brings us down to the last of the 10 persecutions under Diocletian, emperor of Rome.
    Jesus had nothing to say against the them. Their name means Myrrh, which speaks of death and burial. See Foxe’s book of Martyrs.

2:12-17 Pergamos period  —  300 A.D. to 700 A.D.
    The decreasing spirituality and increasing worldliness period.
The accession of Constantine [keeper of the Babylonian mysteries] and his public patronage of Christianity on to the seventh century.
    Jesus has much to say against those of the Pergamos period which under Constantine brought the heresies into the church of that day, mixing the mysteries & Christian worship. The church was thoroughly married to false doctrine and paganism..

2:18-29 Thyatira period  —  800 A.D. to 1500 A.D.
    The second martyr period.
Here we find a time of assumption of universal authority in the church of that day and cruel persecution of the saints of God. It is called "the middle ages" or "the dark ages." See Foxe's book of Martyrs.
    This next one I find interesting, because of Jezebel and her power over the church, and the Lord speaks of her children will be killed. This speaks of the Continual sacrifice from the period of 800 A.D. to 1500 A.D. Could all of this have anything to do with Mystery Babylon the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, in that this woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Revelation chapter 17)? They were told to "Hold fast until I come."

3:1-6 Sardis period  —  1500 A.D. on.
    The first renewal period.
This was God’s intervention in grace and power to bring in renewed light for some 300 years. And in the new movement, with it came many divisions leading to deadness. This shows clearly enough how far short it comes of God’s ideal desire for the Church and Christianity.
    Now our Lord speaks about those escaping. He say’s you have a name that you live, but in reality you are dead. Your works are not perfect before God. This speaks of those denominations that from old were dedicated to Christ but in these last days have fallen into apostasy.

3:7-13 Philadelphia period  —  1900 A.D. on
    The second renewal period.
Renewing the apostolic experience. Another Reformation takes place in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God on His people in the last century, which restored the gifts of healing and other spiritual gifts according to 1 Corinthians 12. But importantly it also began to restore 1 Corinthians 13: the love of God.
    Now we come to the true believers in Jesus, who has a little strength and has also kept His word, and above all has not denied His name. Jesus, the name above all names. Philadelphia which speaks of brotherly love. But take notice especially of Revelation 3:10 ‘Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation [the time of the Antichrist period] which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.’

3:14-22 Laodicea period  —  Ongoing
    The falling away period.
This next and last dispensation of the Church of Jesus Christ speaks of the professing so called Christian church, which has denied the Scriptures and the Sonship of Jesus, the Christ of God. This professing Church, which is one of luke warmness, is the most hateful and nauseous of any yet described. We may well term the last phrase of church-history on the eve of the Great Day of Judgment, as the Christ-less period.
    This church is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. This is the church that thinks it needs nothing because it is rich and increased with goods, and does not realize that it is actually wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. .

Personal application

We must each search our hearts carefully and ask ourselves:
2:4 Have I left my first love (agape)? Have I lost that first feeling of delight just to be in His presence?
2:4 Is Jesus no longer first (most important) in my life? Do I only "serve" Him when it is convenient?
2:14, 15 Do I compromise my belief in the true Word of God, mixing it with worldly philosophies of the day?
2:20, 21 Do I overlook sexual immorality in the name of "tolerance?"
3:1 Am I dead inside, even thought I call myself a Christian? Am I a Christian in name only?
3:15 Am I "luke worm?" Have I lost the zeal to know Jesus and to share His love with others?
If the answer to any of these is "Yes," then we must Repent with true repentance.
 
Repent metanoeo  (NT:3340) to change one's mind; a turning to God in total obedience
True repentance is more than just apologizing to God and saying "I'm sorry," although that is the first step. It is to stop, turn around, and go in the opposite direction. According to the Louw and Nida Greek-English Lexicon, it is "to change one's way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness."

If I truly repent:
2:4 I will love Jesus with all of my heart, mind and strength.
2:5, 19 I will persevere in the work of the Lord.
2:10 I will not be afraid to suffer for Jesus.
2:14, 19 I will not follow false teachers and false prophets, but will follow in the footprints of Jesus.
2:20, 21 I will keep myself pure and will denounce sexual immorality. It will be repulsive to me.
3:8 I will remain true to His name.
3:15-19 I will renew my zeal for Jesus, His Word and His love.

What are the results of true repentance?
2:5 My lampstand will remain in its place.
2:7 I will be able to eat of the tree of life.
2:10 He will give me the crown of life.
2:11 I will not be hurt by the second death.
2:17 He will give me the hidden manna. He will give me Himself, for He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48).
2:17 He will give me a new name.
2:26 He will give me authority over nations.
2:28 He will give me the morning star. He will give me Himself, for He is the Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)
3:4 I will walk with Jesus.
3:4, 5 I will be dressed in white, in His purity.
3:5 He will acknowledge me before His Father as belonging to Him
3:10 He will keep me from the "hour of trial" coming upon the earth
3:12 He will make me a pillar in the temple of God eternally.
3:12 He will write on me the name God and the city of God.
3:12 He will write on me His new name.
3:21 He will give me the right to sit with Him on His throne.

Do we hear what the Spirit is saying to these seven churches? If we truly hear, we will act on it!

Revelation 3:20-21
Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.   (TLB)



 

Bibliography

 


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