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Bible Commentaries

John Brown's Commentary on Selected Book of the Bible

Revelation 2

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-7

John Brown

Revelation 2:1-7

The Church in Ephesus

There is only one sort of love, but there are a thousand copies--Franois de La Rochefoucauld

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Matthew 16:18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (NKJV)

1. At His death, he descended into hell and set free all who had died in faith and took them to Paradise with Him.

2. He still retains the keys and hell can never again hold any who die in faith!

3. 2 Corinthians 5:8 tell us We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. (NKJV)

B. We musn"t make the mistake of thinking that because the Lord "chooses" to allow us entrance to Heaven, that we are by any means "perfected" while here in the flesh!!

1. We, though Christians, are still flesh and blood and therefore we remain sinners.

2. It only stands to reason that the churches we attend are not perfect either.

a) Ephesians 5:23; Ephesians 5:25-27 . . . Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. . . . .Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (NKJV)

b) This is what Jesus "chooses" to do in order that we may see Heaven.

c) The reality is that the churches are full of "spots and wrinkles."

C. The churches represented in chapters2 &3are seven in number!

1. As we said last week the number7 in scripture signifies completion, or totality.

a) Just as the Lord rested on the7th day when the work was complete!

2. These7 representations were at John"s time seperate and distinct churches, each with a distinct body of believers.

a) Visitors to the Holy Land today visit the locations of these7 churches. Most of them in ruins!

3. As7 in number, They also represent all churches that will exist `till the Lord"s return.

a) Therefore, there is a message for all Christians in all churches!

D. There is also something here that we should not overlook!

1. Though certainly not the central theme, we mustn"t miss the logical sequential order of the Lord"s dealing with the churches!

2. Nothing in Scripture is ever there by accident Song of Solomon , we will also be able to see a downward spiral of the churches as we deal with each one!

3. This morning we will deal with the church in Ephesus!

II. EPHESUS

A. Ephesus was a rich, seaport, capital city of the province of Asia, (Now modern southwest Turkey).

1. Any time you have pagan, idol worship you are going to have gross immorality.

2. Such was the case in Ephesus- dominated by the worship of Diana, the fertility goddess. Also known as Artemis.

3. In was in the middle of this that Paul established the church and spent more time there than in any other church! (according to Acts 19 , Acts 20:31)

4. It is to this church (some40 years later) that this letter is addressed!

III. TEXT

A. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (NKJV)

B. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.

14And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (NKJV)

C. Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (NKJV)

D. Hebrews 12:3-4 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

4You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. (NKJV)

E. James 1:21-25 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;

24for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (NKJV)

F. Matthew 6:19-24 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

20 "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

21 "For where your treasure Isaiah , there your heart will be also.

22The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (NKJV)

G. 1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJV)

H. Revelation 22:1-3 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. (NKJV)

If there is anything better than to be loved it is loving--Anonymous


Verses 8-11

John Brown

Revelation 2:8-11

The Church in Smyrna

Sometimes We"re Like the Battered Fighter: He heard his trainer say between rounds, "Champ, you"re doing great! He ain"t laid a glove on you!" The champ says, "Well, you better keep an eye on the referee then, because somebody in this ring is beating the daylights outta me."

(Story about being in Anchorage, Alaska: little or no darkness = no sleep!

We learn some things from prosperity, but we learn many more from adversity--E.C McKenzie

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Isaiah 53:3-4 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. (NKJV)

B. Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. (NKJV)

1. The One who writes this letter to the persecuted church in Smyrna, is familiar with suffering!

2. He knows what it is like to suffer at another"s hand to the point of death!

3. Smyrna was such a church. Their pastor, Polycarp, was burned at the stake at the hands of the Roman Empire!

a) Many Christians during this intense time of persecution would give their lives for their faith in Jesus Christ!

b) It seems only appropriate that the One who gave his life for them would be the One to encourage them!

II. 2 Timothy 3:12 YES, AND ALL WHO DESIRE TO LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS WILL SUFFER PERSECUTION. (NKJV)

A. Notice that this verse says, "...all who desire to life Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."

1. This generation may not be required to give up their life (physically) for Jesus, but:

2. Any person who desires to "live Godly in Christ Jesus" MUSTgive up their lives!!!!!!

3. A Goldy life cannot be lived without an abandonment of the self-life!

4. Any person committed to living for the Lord will to some degree suffer for their faith in Jesus Christ!!

B. Acts 14:22 . . ."We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." (NKJV)

1. Being a Christian is not an easy life!

2. Every decision must be judged and every choice governed by God"s Holy Spirit!

3. And sometimes, in fact most of the time, what He wishes for our lives is different than what we want!!

4. When we finally get to heaven, it will not be without "many tribulations"!

III. THE CHURCH AT SMYRNA

A. Smyrna was also a port city located about thirty five miles north of the church that had lost her first love, Ephesus! Today it is called ISMIR, Turkey.

1. Smyrna was named after it"s main commercial product; MYRRH.

2. For years it was a very prosperous seaport city because of the export of this product.

a) The word "MYRRH actually means "bitter". The gum resin was taken from a shrubby tree and had a very bitter taste!

(1) How appropriate for the church under great persecution and "bitter" suffering!

B. Scripture tells us Psalm 30:5 . . .Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (NKJV)

1. So it was with this "bitter" root! It was used to make a very fine perfume!

2. When we, as the Lord"s children, suffer for His sake: it is a very sweet perfume to the Lord!

Your character is what you have left when you have lost everything you can lose--E.C.McKenzie

C. The myrrh in Smyrna had several uses:

1. Psalm 45:8 All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad. (NKJV)

a) (PERFUME)

2. Exodus 30:23 "Also take for yourself quality spices-- five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, (NKJV)

a) Ingredient of the holy annointing oil of the priests.

3. John 19:39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrhand aloes, about a hundred pounds. (NKJV)

a) MYRRH was used in embalming, TO KEEP THE STENCH AWAY FROM DEATH!

b) Doesn"t it seem almost mystical that this church the Lord now addresses to give encouragment, produced the same product used in His burial!!!!!

(1) 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (KJV)

IV. TEXT

A. VERSE8 (READ)

1. Notice also, how He addresses Himself: ". . .the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:"

(1) Quite different than the One "who hold the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands." in verse1.

(a) To the church that has lost her first love, he identified Himself as the One in charge of all the churches!

In other words, we stay in love with the Lord by keeping our eyes ON the Lord!!

(b) To the suffering church here in Smyrna, he identifies Himself as the conqueror of death!

(i) He wanted them to know that death was not final!!!

B. VERSE9 (READ)

1. Lehman Strauss says, "There is a poverty that is riches and a wealth that is poverty."

a) Mark 8:35-36 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel"s will save it.

36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (NKJV)

b) The members of this church had lost much of the world"s goods but they were rich in the things of the Lord!

c) They understood Luke 12:15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one"s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." (NKJV)

(1) Later the Lord accuses a very wealthy church of being spiritually bankrupt!

(2) The danger in this life is to assume that because we are blessed financially, that our spiritual life is in order! It may not be so!

(3) Some of the poorest of saints materially are the richest spiritually!

C. VERSE9 (READ)

1. These Christians in Smyrna were also being "slandered" by a group that called themselves "Jews" but weren"t even truely Jews!

a) Even today the greatest persecution seems to come from those who are "religious" but not born again!!

b) Hundreds of thousands have been murdered in what is called "holy wars"!

(1) These murders have been committed by men who thought they were doing the Lord a favor!

(2) During the great tribulation, many will be killed in the name of "religion"!

D. VERSE10 (READ)

1. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (NKJV)

2. Jesus knew what it was like to suffer. He knew what it was like to be thrown in prison, and he knew what it was like to die merciless at the hands of ungodly men!

a) And he promises them the "crown of life" for their faithfulness!

b) This is a special reward for those who suffer for the cause of Christ!

c) Jesus, knew that physical death was not the end! So did the Apostle Paul 2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. (NKJV)

d) The reference to "ten days" may mean a lot of things symbolically, but one thing it does mean for sure is that our present suffering is temporary!

(1) 2 Corinthians 4:16-19; 2 Corinthians 5:1-16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen areeternal.

19 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (NKJV)

E. Verse11

1. The "second death" is eternal separation from the Lord!

2. 1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJV)

V. CONCLUSION

A. None of us enjoy trials!

B. None of us look forward to the persecution that comes form serving the Lord!

C. But, there is a place that is much worse than this!

1. It is a place of compromise that causes us to miss the Lord"s best!

2. A place that preoccupies with the world"s goods. An attatchment to worldly things!

3. There will be many who will miss the Lord completely because they are not willing to give up their "THINGS"

IT IS WHAT WE VALUE, NOT WHAT WE HAVE THAT MAKES US RICH!!!


Verses 12-17

John Brown

Revelation 2:12-17

The Church in Pergamos

I. INTRODUCTION

A. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.

14And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (NKJV)

B. Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

1. Lehman Strauss calls the church in Pergamos, "The Church Infiltrated!"

a) We have been warned that there are those fueled by fire of hell that will disguise themselves as "christians" and infiltrate the church!

b) We have also been told that eventually they will turn their hand though at first they will seem legitimate!

c) A couple of the areas doctrinally that will give them away,(according to Jude 1:4), will be:

(1) In the area of grace: they will turn into a doctrine all by itself:

(a) It will become a license to do what ever you want "in the name of the Lord" of course!

(b) Experience has proven that their catch phrase seems to be "Hey, were not under the Law anymore, the Lord has forgiven me!"

(c) Repentance will no longer be necessary

(d) Christian fellowship will not longer be advised!

(e) And being committed to a local body will be too "legalistic!"

(f) This advise will come from "christian" leadership high up the ladder!

(2) The second area will be the denial of Jesus Christ as God!

(a) Please keep in mind, satan is too smart to have this come from outside the church, it will come from within!

(b) Many televangelists are already minimizing the deity of Christ by saying they we too are little gods!

(c) If these doctrines are left unchallenged, eventually the true church will cease to exist!

(d) Luke 18:7-8 "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

8 "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (NKJV)

(e) So it was in "The church infiltrated"!

(i) They had turned their heads and let these people dwell among themselves!

(ii) They didn"t agree with their doctrine, but they also didn"t have enough backbone to kick them out of the church!

Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another--too often ending in the loss of both--Tryon Edwards

II. THE CHURCH AT PERGAMOS

A. Unlike Ephesus and Smyrna, Pergamos was not a port city and it was not known for it"s commerce!

1. Pergamos was known for it"s religion!!!!

a) You could find some of the world"s finest temples built in honor of their many gods.

b) Some of the biggies were Zeus, Aphrodite, and Aesculapius.

(1) The people of Pergamos love to worship the "scalpel"!

(a) Well, not exactly, they worshipped the god of medicine, Aesculapius!

(b) It is from this name that we get our word scalpel!

(c) It is ironic that this god of medicine was worshipped in the form of a serpent.

(d) This serpent was usually wrapped around a staff!

(e) This "symbol" of medicine has become common in every hospital and Dr."s office around the world!!

III. TEXT

A. Verse12

1. Notice how the Lord addresses Himself:

a) To each church He addresses Himself in a different manner!

(1) To the church that has lost her first love (Ephesus), he identified Himself as the One in charge of all the churches!

(2) To the suffering and persecuted church in Smyrna, he identified Himself as the conqueror of death!

(3) To the "infiltrated" church he addresses Himself as "...He who has the sharp two-edged sword:"

(a) The two-edged sword is His Word! Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV)

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile--hoping it will eat him last--Winston Churchill

(b) For the church that had let the Word of His testimony be polluted by deception, He uses this address!

B. Verse13

1. Again the Lord is aware of the circumstances of his Church!

a) He is aware of their work for Him and He is aware of their attempt to stay true in a very wicked city!

b) As we have said, satan is very much at home in a religious environment.

(1) In this city of pagan religions, satan kept one of his bases of operations!

(2) The antichrist will rise and flourish out of "religion"!!!

(a) The story is told of Constantine contending fo the throne of the Roman empire during the4th century!

(i) It seems that the night before the battle at Milvian Bridge, Constantine saw a vision in the sky in the shape of a cross with the incription "by this sign you will conquer."

(ii) That night He bargained with satan to join the church and declare himself a Christian if he won the battle.

(iii) He did, and the Christians went from the catacombs to the palaces!

(iv) Constantine became head over the church, but there was no evidence that he was born again!

(v) It became "popular" to be a Christian and the church "married" the world!

(vi) So it was in Pergamos!!

(3) This is the only mention of Antipas in the Bible, but he we on the mind and lips of the Lord Himself!

(4) Even with this "infiltration" there were those in Pergamos, who wore the name of CHRISTIAN proudly!

C. Verse14

1. We may have a problem with letting "politics" interfere with Christianity, but the Lord does not!

a) As much as He loves us, and maybe because He loves us, He tells the truth!!!

b) This church in Pergamos was in trouble because they allowed those among themselves who "held the doctrine of Balaam".

(1) They did not believe it nor teach it, they simply "allowed it"!

2. What was the "doctrine of Balaam?" ( Numbers 22)

a) Balaam had been given special prophetic gifts from the Lord!

b) He was an opportunist and decided that these gifts could be sold!

(1) The results are given to us here in verse14:

(a) His advise to Balak was to let the young women sleep with the men of the children of Israel.

(b) He knew that they would fall and worship their new wive"s idols, and that the Lord would have to remove His hand from them because of their sin!

c) This church, though not condoning it, let others in the church commit sexual immorality, and pagan worship without putting them out!

D. Verse15

1. Notice that the church in Ephesus hated the "deeds" of the Nicolatians ()

2. Now in this church in Pergamos, (the infiltrated church), it has become "doctrine" = teachings!

3. Ephesus hated their deeds as the Lord hated their deeds. Now Pergamos allows what God hates!

a) The Lord has always hated when anyone "lords" over His people but Himself!!

b) Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.

26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.

27 "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave--

28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (NKJV)

E. Verse16

1. Repentance is not mere "I"m sorry!" It must be a change of heart and actions!

2. If we, as the Lord messengers and servants, do not admonish and stand for the truth, HE WILL!!!

3. Notice it is with His Word that He will fight!

a) It was with His Word that Jesus fought satan and it is with His Word that you and I will should fight!

b) We must stand for righteousness, and bring to light the lies!!!

F. Verse17

1. This type of hearing comes from the heart not the ears!

2. 1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJV)

3. For these overcommers several things are promised by the Lord:

a) Hidden manna!

(1) Manna is angel"s food cake, supplied by the Lord to the children of Israel while in the wilderness!

(2) The "hidden" part alludes to the manner that was hidden away in Ark of the Covenant as a reminder to all generations that the Lord is an eternal supply for all our wants and needs! It represents HIMSELF!!

b) A white stone with a new name!

(1) No one knows for sure what this allude to but there used to be a custom of voting for an accused criminal with a black and a white stone.

(2) If the white stones outnumbered, the criminal was set free!

(3) Through our faith in Jesus as Lord as Savior, the white stone has been cast, we have been set free!!

(a) And along with that freedom as slaves to this world, we have been given our FATHER"S name! It will be written in the Lamb" Book of Life!!!

c) Revelation 21:22-27 and Revelation 22:1-7 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

23The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

24And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.

25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).

26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb"s Book of Life.

1And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

4They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

6 Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." (NKJV)

IV. CONCLUSION

A. We too must be careful of compromise!

B. We too must be careful of "political" Christianity!


Verses 18-29

John Brown

Revelation 2:18-29

The Church in Thyatira

A liar is hard not to believe when he says nice things about you. (So it is when people speak of the Lord, even if it is lies)

It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that is unpopular!

I. INTRODUCTION

A. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, (antichrist) whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,

10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth (Jesus), that they might be saved.

11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,

12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (NKJV)

1. Lehman Strauss called the church in Pergamos, "The Church Infiltrated!"

2. The church in Thyatira would have to be labeled "The Adulterous Church!"

a) Throughout the Bible physical adultery is symbolic of spiritual adultery!

b) It represents the the ultimate betrayal of the Lord!

c) The "organized" church of Thyatira had betrayed Jesus and all that He stood for and taken on another lover!

d) And in the process, many had fallen under the lies and delusions being taught from the pulpit.

e) Keep in mind, there is always a "remnant", those who didn"t buy into it.

f) But, they were in the minority!!

It"s like the two women having lunch in a fashionable restaurant in London simply talking about their husbands. They decided to show each other photographs and realized they were married to the same husband!

Jesus put it another way in Matthew 6:24 " No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (NKJV)

II. THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA

A. Thyatira, like Pergamos was known for it"s commerce!

1. There was no place in the world that could dye cloth the color of purple quite like Thyatira.

a) It was from Thyatira that Lydia came, "the seller of purple" spoken of in Acts 16:14.

b) She was in the town of Philippi in Macedonia) doing business when she heard the Gospel from Paul for the first time!

(1) Many believe it was through her that the church was started in Thyatira.

III. TEXT

A. Verse18

1. Notice how the Lord addresses Himself:

a) As we have noted, to each church He addresses Himself in a different manner!

(1) To the church that has lost her first love (Ephesus), he identified Himself as the One in charge of all the churches!

(2) To the "suffering and persecuted church" in Smyrna, he identified Himself as the conqueror of death!

(3) To the "infiltrated church" in Pergamos he addressed Himself as THE WORD OF GOD by which all things must line up.

(4) And here, to the "adulterous church" he addresses Himself as "THE SON OF GOD"

(a) It is by the way, the only place in Revelation that He does so.

(b) Lehman Strauss says that he believes that this church prophetically represents a time from approximately600 A.D. to1500 A.D.

(c) A time we refer to as The Dark Ages!

(i) It was a time when the church in Rome took the Bible away from the people and said only they could interpret it!

(ii) It was a time when the "mother of God" and the "queen of heaven" was exhalted above Jesus!

(iii) It was a time when the church was telling the people that they must pray to a woman to get to God!

(iv) Is it any wonder that the Lord would address Himself as Deity?

(v) At a time when HE was being denigrated it was important for this church to know who He was!!

B. Verse18 ". . .who has eyes like a flame of fire."

1. There is nothing more piercing and thorough than fire.

a) It consumes everything that opposes it!

(1) Likewise, Jesus doesn"t miss anything!

(2) Nothing can be hidden from the Lord.

(3) 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,

13his work will be shown for what it Isaiah , because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man"s work.

14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.

15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (NIV)

C. Verse18 ". . .His feet are like fine brass:"

1. Brass throughout scripture represents judgment!

a) He sees all that is going on in this church, and it will be judged accordingly!

b) We now enjoy a period of God"s grace, but sin must be judged.

(1) For the Christian it was "judged" at the cross.

(2) For the unrepented, they must stand before God!

D. Verse19

1. The Lord was aware of the good as well as the not so good.

2. As far as their works was concerned, they were going for it!

a) Unlike many who start with great gusto only to end up making excuses, this church was increasing in the area of works and good deeds!

b) But, all their good deeds couldn"t make up for wrong doctrine!

E. Verse20

1. The church in Ephesus was lacking in love but would not tolerate evil.

2. This church has love (at least for fellow man), but they have allowed the evil to have a pulpit!

a) 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (NKJV)

b) The two extreem churches exist today!

(1) One is so legalistic there is no room for the Holy Spirit.

(2) And the other is so liberal they stand for nothing!

3. The Jezebel of old was the epitome of whoredom!

a) She introduced Baal worship to the children of Israel and caused mass spiritual adultery as well as sexual immorality.

b) Dr. Barnhouse said this, "every sanctuary in a sacred wood was at the same time an asylum of debauchery and adultery, institutions of male and female sexual practices. The priests of Ball were wicked sex perverts."

c) This "Jezebel" in the church of Thyatira claimed to be a prophetess of the Lord!

(1) Therefore she was given a "pulpit" from which to propagate her seductions.

(a) One of the last acts of the Jezebel of old was to paint her face in an attempt to conceal her identity!

(2) This Jezebel had convinced the people (since she was a prophetess and therefore infallible) that the Lord approved of the sexual perversion and pagan practices of the day!

(3) No doubt some of her teachings had an element of truth, but had the effect of leading people away from the Lord.

(a) Vance Havner once said "that he used to have an old clock around the house that was completely broken, but that it was right at least2times a day!"

d) We must never compromise who God is in an effort to please people!

(1) Even if it is for good humanitarian reasons!

F. Verse21

1. Although John doesn"t tell us how, the Lord had confronted this "prophetess" with her sin.

a) She was not merely a "misguided" soul who really intended to do the right thing!

b) SHE KNEW SHE WAS WRONG AND CONTINUED TO PERVERT THE TRUTH!

(1) Therefore the only remedy to a lack of repentance must be JUDGMENT!

G. Verse22

1. I like the way the NIV puts this verse Revelation 2:22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. (NIV)

2. The bed of suffering is the great tribulation!

3. The adulterous churches who allow the propagation of lies because it is popular will go through the tribulation!

a) Matthew 7:21-23 " Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 "Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?"

23 "And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (NKJV)

H. Verse23

1. The children my refer to the illegitimate offspring of this sexual chaos, but it definitely applies to the "spiritual children" produced by the lies and deception.

a) Notice that the Lord "will give to each one . . according to their own works."

b) He is always fair and just. He will judge only those who made a willful choice to follow the lies, and reject the TRUTH!

I. Verse24

1. This verse refers to the "remnant" the true believers of Jesus as "THE SON OF GOD".

2. They had rejected the "deep things of satan".

3. So the Lord said He would put no other burden on them except to "hold fast what you have till I come." Verse25

J. Verse26-27

1. These verses refer to the millennial kingdom in which we shall reign with the Lord on the earth.

a) 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? . . .

3Do you not know that we shall judge angels?. . .(NKJV)

K. Verse28

1. Revelation 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star." (NKJV)

a) Jesus promises Himself to those who overcome!

b) He that is eternal and perpetual

L. Verse29

IV. CONCLUSION

A. Have we let anything come between us and the Lord?

B. Are there any Jezebels in our lives, telling us lies and perverting the Bible?

If you tell a big enough lie and tell it often enough, many will believe it--E.C. McKenzie

Some people remember a lie for ten years but forget the truth in ten minutes-- E.C. McKenzie

C. If Song of Solomon , remember the Lord had given room for repentance!

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:4". John Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jbs/revelation-2.html.

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