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Revelation 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

THE THINGS WHICH ARE (existing things, ch. 2, 3) THE MESSAGE TO EPHESUS: (Left Her First Love)

Note: see also Introduction Revelation

1 ) "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write," (to angelo tes en Epheso ekklesias grapson) "Write thou to the messenger of the church in (located in) Ephesus"; -Ephesus a great seaport city of Asia Minor, where the goddess Diana was held prominent and where production and distribution of her idol statues was big-business Acts 19:23-41.

2) "These things saith he that holdeth," (tade lege ho kraton) These things (that follow) says, speaks, or certifies the one holding or grasping," the pastors (messengers) and their congregations in his care, Revelation 1:17; Psalms 34:7; Ezra 8:22; Hebrews 13:15.

3) "The seven stars in his right hand," (tous hepta asteras en te deksia autou) "The seven stars in his right (hand)," the seven messengers, spokesmen, ambassadors, or pastors of the seven churches are here described as being in his right hand, his hand of care and help 1 Peter 5:1-4.

4) "Who walketh in the midst," (ho peripaton en meso) "The one continually walking in the midst," fellowship with or walking among the brethren in the seven churches of Asia, Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:18-20.

5) "Of the seven golden candlesticks," (ton hepta luchion ton chruson) "Of the seven golden candlesticks or lampstands of Gold," representing the seven named congregations of Asia. Six common things are prominent in the addresses to the seven churches: 1) Christ commands and instructs each, 2) His title of Identity, 3) His praise and criticism, 4) His charge or warnings, 5) His promise to the victor, 6) the call to individuals to give a responsible ear.

Verse 2

1) "I know," (oida) "I perceive," see through, comprehend, or am cognizant of -

a) "Thy works," (ta erga sou) "Your works," what kind they are, your pragmatic or practical Christian conduct.

b) "And thy labor," (kai ton kopon) "And labor," the kind of labor you do.

c) "And thy patience," (kai ten hupomonen soul "And your endurance," as a church, of hardships and wrongs, like their master endured, John 15:20.

2) "And how thou canst not bear them which are evil,," (kai hoti on dene Bastasai kakous) "And that thou canst not endure (tolerate) bad men," those with morally foul lives; They rejected fellowship of the ungodly, and the scorning, Psalms 1:1-3; 1 John 1:7.

3) "And thou hast tried them which say they are apostles," (kai epeirasas tous legontas heautous apostolous) "And you tried (tested) those calling themselves apostles;" they compared their conduct or behavior with the Holy Scriptures, as every church should do, 1 John 4:1-2; 2 Corinthians 11:13; Galatians 1:8.

4) "And are not," (kai ouk eisin) "And they are not," not what they claim to be, 1 John 1:8-9.

5) "And hast found them liars," (kai heures autous pseudeis) "And you found them (to be) liars," based on what the word of God said, Romans 3:3-4; 2 Peter 2:17-19. Since the days of Ephesus churches of the Lord have had to guard against these infiltrators of their own membership who sneak in subtly, as jackals or vampire bats, night predators, Judges 1:3; Judges 1:13-19.

Verse 3

1) "And hast borne, and hast patience," (kai hupomonen echeis kai ebastasas) "And thou hast endurance and didst bear (up)," endure or hold up under burden bearing, 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Hebrews 10:36-37; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

422) "And for my name’s sake hast labored," (dia to onoma mou) "Because of my name," thou hast labored, kept on working in the name of Jesus Christ, Acts 1:8; Colossians 3:17; We are to recognize under all trials that we are "laborers together with (in close affinity with) him," as members of his body, his church-body or assembly, 1 Corinthians 3:9.

3) "And hast not fainted," (kai ou Kekopiakas) "And hast not grown weary," fainted, quit, or fallen -by the wayside, as Christians and church members are charged: Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 12:3; Hebrews 12:5. They had toiled, labored, struggled and endured patiently, in loyalty to Jesus Christ, seeking first (preeminently) to please him in their moral, ethical, and doctrinal stand, all commendable Christian traits, Matthew 6:33. They could bear most anything other than impostors in their fellowship.

Verse 4

1) “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee," (alla echo kata sou) "But I hold against thee," or "I place against thee" I indict or charge against thee the following: The Lord himself sees defects and errors in each of his children and each of his seven churches, even all his churches, which these more broadly represent, Revelation 22:16; 1 Kings 8:46; 1 John 1:8; Ephesians 5:25-27,

2) "Because thou hast left thy first love," (hoti ten agapen sou ten proten aphekas) "That thou didst (and hast) deserted, abandoned, or drifted away from thy first love," from love for Jesus Christ personally, and the corresponding tendency to fail to keep His commandments, to love and serve him, one another, and the lost world, John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13:1-10; John 14:15; John 15:14; Galatians 5:6.

Christ, the bridegroom, is the bride’s first love, the one who is to have priority in fidelity or faithfulness in word and deed from each person of the bride. True love focuses attention on and seeks to correct (in a kind manner) any matter that would destroy or harm harmonious love, Matthew 24:12-13. True love says, "I will keep his commandments," "I will please the bridegroom, at all personal cost."

When one deserts his first love and obedience to Christ he soon is factious with his brethren, 1 John 3:22-23; 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4.

Verse 5

1) "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen," (mnemoneue oun pothen peptokas) "Remember therefore whence (from where and what) thou hast fallen," fallen away. Recognition of wrong is the first step to restoration from that wrong - The Bible is so definitively accurate in its analysis of evil and righteous solution to the problem; to wit the restoration of David and the Prodigal Son and the Publican, Psalms 51:1-4; Luke 15:18; Luke 18:13.

2) "And repent, and do the first works," (kai, metanoeson kai ta prota erga poieson) "and repent (turn, about face) and do the first works," of witnessing and making disciples, in obedience to the Lord’s command, 1 John 1:9; Acts 1:8. Peter turned back from his lying and cursing to preach the Pentecost message and write two books of the New Testament, Luke 22:32; Luke 21:22; Acts 2:14-47.

3) "Or else I will come unto thee quickly," (ei de me erchomai soi) "And if not (if you do not) I am coming to you of my own accord;” quickly promptly without delay, for chastisement or in chastisement unless you repent, turn from your conduct in fallen love, Ephesians 5:14; Ezekiel 18:30-32; Hebrews 12:5-13.

4) "And will remove thy candlestick out of his place," (kai kineso ten luchnian sou ek tou topou autes) "And I will move your candlestick (lampstand, support) out of its place;” will take from you, as a local congregation, the empowering of administration of my work, as I did from Israel who rejected me, Matthew 21:41-43.

5) "Except thou repent," (ean me metanoeses) "Unless you repent;” Repentance is the way to God’s fellowship for 1) the sinner, Mark 1:15; Luke 13:35; Acts 17:31; Acts 2) for the backslidden, the wayward child of God, Psalms 51:1-4; 1 John 1:9; and for erring churches, Revelation 2:16; Revelation 22:21; Revelation 3:3.

Verse 6

1) "But this thou hast," (aIla touto echeis) "But this thou hast or dost hold,"

2) "That thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes," (hoti miseis ta erga ton nikolaiton) "That thou hatest the works (deeds) of the Nicolaitanes;” the "people-conquerors," bossy, bully, church-bosses, those who posed as a licentious law to themselves, living immorally, feasting gluttons, Matthew 24:49; 1 Peter 5:2-3; 3 John 1:9-11; 2 Peter 2:1-3.

3) "Which I also hate,"(ha kago miso) "Which (works or deeds) I also hate," Matthew 20:25-28. Where there is no hatred, there is no love, no genuine affection. For he who commanded to love the good as truthfully commanded to hate the evil, the wrong, the sinful, that which offends an holy God, Amos 5:15.

God hates:

1). every false way, Psalms 119:104; Psalms 119:128;

2). vain thoughts, Psalms 119:113;

3). lying, Psalms 119:163;

4). robbery, Isaiah 61:8

5). even the doctrine (teaching) of the Nicolaitanes, Revelation 2:15

What God hates, abhors so should his church and his children, Amos 5:15; John 15:14; James 1:22.

Verse 7

1) "He that hath an ear, let him hear," (ho echon ous akousato) "The one having an ear, let him hear," or give heed to; Even if a church (as an assembly) will not give heed to or obey God, individuals are charged to do so responsibly, Luke 14:35; Romans 14:11; Matthew 11:15; Ephesians 5:17.

2) "What the Spirit saith unto the churches," (ti to pneuma legei tais ekklesiais) "What the Spirit says to the churches," the -congregations - For John was "in the Spirit," and received The Spirit’s message from God thru Christ, Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:11; Revelation 22:16.

3) "To him that overcometh," (to nikonti) "To the one overcoming or conquering," to anyone or each one conquering or overcoming, as an individual, whether or not the church, as a body, overcomes; note emphasis upon personal responsibility.

4) "Will I give to eat of the tree of life," (doso auto phagein ek tou ksulon tes zoes) "I will dole out to him to eat (always) out of the tree of life," of spiritual blessings, satisfaction for every hunger or thirst of the soul; to that soul that lives in obedient love-service to Christ there exists an unceasing satisfaction of spiritual food from Jesus, the tree of life, John 6:51; Psalms 107:9; Isaiah 55:2-3.

5) "Which is in the midst of the paradise of God," (ho estin en to paradeiso tou theou) "Which is or exists in the paradise of God," as transplanted from Eden, Genesis 2:9; Preserved for eternity, for the redeemed of the Lord, Revelation 22:2.

The second paradise is better than the first for it shall never pass away, Revelation 21:22.

Verse 8

THE MESSAGE TO SMYRNA

1) "And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write,"

ai to angelo tes in Smyrna ekklesias grapson) "And to the messenger of the church in Smyrna write," The term Smyrna, meaning (myrrh) is located about forty miles north of Ephesus; known by the modern name of Ismir, it is a modern seaport city of more than 100,000 people.

2) "These things saith the first and the last," (tade legei ho protos kai ho eschatos) "These things (included in this letter) says the first (one) and the last (one)," or one who is first and last, the term used to identify the one true God, manifested in his Son Jesus Christ, John 1:14; Hebrews 1:1-4; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 1:17-18.

3) "Which was dead and is alive," (hos egeneto nekros kai ezesen) "Who became a dead corpse and lived (lives) again." His is the revealed mystery of Godliness, alive forevermore, 1 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 1:18.

No reproach is leveled or directed against this church. It appears that he was preparing her for greater trials and blessings, 1 Corinthians 10:13. This is the city where Polycarp, an early Christian historian was later martyred.

Verse 9

1) "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty," (oida sou ten thlipsin kai ten ptocheian) "I know or perceive thy affliction and (the) poverty;” They endured pagan destruction of their worldly goods and were brought to poverty. Yet they were spiritually rich, secure in the Lord and his church at Smyrna; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Ephesians 2:10.

2) “(but thou art rich)" (alla plousios ei) "But (really) thou art rich," plutocratic, Matthew 6:19-20; James 2:5; 2 Corinthians 8:2. In poverty the Macedonian brethren abounded in liberality; 1 Timothy 6:18; God’s children can be "rich in good works," 2 Corinthians 6:10.

3) "And I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews," (kai ten blasphemian ek ton legonton loudiaious einai heautous) "And the railing of those calling themselves (claiming to be) Jews," clamoring for a reputation of spiritual honor, without Christ and true spirituality, with "a form of godliness," only, 2 Timothy 3:5. They slander Jesus and his church, John 8:39; John 8:44.

4) "And are not," (kai ouk eisin) "And they are not;" they are not true Jews, of the "faith of Abraham," Romans 4:1-25; Romans 2:28-29; Romans 9:6.

5) "But are of the Synagogue of Satan," (alla sunagoge tou satana) "But in contrast they are (constitute) a Synagogue of Satan," of the Devil himself, as a form of ceremonial worship, espoused as a means of acquiring salvation, they became perverters of truth, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; John 8:44; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 23:23-33.

Verse 10

1) "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer," (me phobou ha melleis paschein) "Do not fear (the) things which you are about to suffer," as a church, or as individuals, Psalms 27:3; Matthew 10:28; John 14:27; Luke 12:32.

2) "Behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison,” (idou mellei Ballein ho diabolos eks humon eis phulaken) "Behold the Devil is about to cast some of you into prison"; to be forewarned is to be forearmed, prepared against an unexpected shock; Both ill treatment and lying have their diabolical origin in the devil, the accuser, 1 Peter 5:8-9.

3) "That ye may be tried," (hina peirasthete) "In order that you all may be tried or tested;” it was then at hand from the pagans, as our Lord had foretold, John 15:20-21; Matthew 5:11-12. They were tempted to abandon their faith and practice, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

14) "And ye shall have tribulation ten days," (kai heksete thliasin hemeron deka) "And you all will have affliction (for) ten days," martyrdom for these Christians was at hand, for a short time, no remote thing, 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Timothy 3:3-5; Genesis 24:55.

5) "Be thou faithful unto death," (ginou pistos achri thanatou) "Be thou faithful until (unto the point of) death;" Even to the point of dying for truth, James 1:12. The one who endures trials or cruel testings will one day be renewed.

6) "And I will give thee a crown of life," (kai doso soi ton stephanon tes zoes) "And I will give thee the crown of life;" The crown pertaining or relating to the faithful life of trials he has chosen to endure, 2 Timothy 4:5-8. Here the loyalty of faith is rewarded.

Verse 11

1) "He that hath an ear, let him hear," (ho echon ous akousato) "The one (anyone) having an ear, let him hear, hearken, or give heed," to or toward what is about to be declared; Romans 10:17, "Faith comes by hearing," without which no man can please God, Hebrews 11:6.

2) "What the Spirit saith unto the churches," (ti to pneuma legei tais ekklesiais) "What the Spirit says to the churches," the congregations. Let it be simply and clearly understood that the Book of Revelation is addressed to all churches of the Lord in this age, Revelation 22:16; and through the book and the church the spirit still speaks, Hebrews 3:7-8; Revelation 22:17.

3) "He that overcometh," (ho nikon) "The. one conquering," the individual in the church who conquers or overcomes," which is done thru the blood of the Lamb, the word of His testimony, and surrendered service, 1 John 5:4; Revelation 12:11.

4) "Shall not be hurt of the second death," (ou me adikethe ek tou thanatou tou deuterou) "Will by no means be hurt by the second death," the spiritual death-judgment; But are of the first resurrection over which the “second death" has no power, Revelation 20:6; Revelation 20:15.

Verse 12

1) "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write," (kai to angelo tes en Pergamo ekklesias grapson) "And to the messenger of the church or congregation in Pergamos write thou;” advise or inform them. This city was located about 100 miles north of Ephesus, and was known as: a) a pagan cathedral city, b) a university town, and c) a royal residence.

2) "These things saith he which hath," (tada legei ho echon) "These things says the one having or holding;” the protruding sword, the word of judgment for sin going forth from his mouth, as present, Revelation 1:16; Psalms 7:11-12.

3) "The sharp sword with two edges," (ten hromphaian ten distomon ten okseian) "The sharp two-mouthed (edged) sword;” mentioned in the introduction because he later threatens to use it, Revelation 1:16. It is an instrument of judgment, as even the Word of God that goes forth from his mouth, Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 55:10-11.

Verse 13

1) "I know thy works, and where thou dwellest," (oida pou katoikeis) "I perceive (recognize) where thou dwellest;” the location and physical, and civil, and religious conditions of their field of witnessing, where they lived, Hebrews 6:10.

2) "Even where Satan’s seat is,"(hopou hothronostou Satana) "Even where the throne of Satan exists;” Here was the legal center of the district of Asia Minor and a center of Emperor worship with Satan enthroned, where Augustus and the goddess Romana were worshipped; Such is idolatry, condemned, Psalms 115:1-9; 1 Corinthians 10:14.

3) "And thou holdest fast my name," (kai krateis to onoma mou) "And thou dost hold my name," with fervency, as Peter and John did, Acts 4:12; Acts 5:29; And as Paul did, Romans 1:16; Colossians 3:17.

4) "And hast not denied my faith," (kai ouk erneso ten pistin mou) "And thou didst not and hast not denied my faith," or the faith, the system of my teachings, the teaching of Christ, Judges 1:3.

5) "Even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr," (kai en tais hemerais Antipas, ho martus mou ho pistos mou) "Even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness," one who was "martyred for the faith;"

6) "Who was slain among you," (hos apektanthe par’ humin) "Who was killed (slain) among you all," Whose painful death you all well know, though shut up in a red hot brazen bull, he ended his life in praise and prayer.

7) "Where Satan dwelleth," (hopou ho Satans katoikei) "Where Satan camps," or dwells - Satan’s throne area; one day he shall be finally dethroned from all worship cast into the Lake of fire, Revelation 20:10.

Verse 14

1) "But I have a few things against thee," (aII’ echo kata sou oliga) "But I hold a few things against you," as a church or congregation. With sin in his churches God is never pleased, 1 Corinthians 5:3-5; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 5:13.

2) "Because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam" (hoti echeis ekei kratountas ten didachen Balaam) "Because there (in the church) you have those holding or embracing the teaching (doctrine) of Balaam," the doctrine was his teaching Balak how to corrupt the people who could not be cursed, by teaching them to marry women of Moab, defile their separation as an holy people and abandon their character, Numbers 31:15-16; Numbers 22:5; Numbers 23:8.

3) "Who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock," (hos edidasken to Balak Balein skandalon) "Who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block," or a tripping block; though he would not curse Israel Balaam betrayed them like a Judas or Benedict Arnold, to intermarriage with the Moabites, turning them from their holy pilgrim testimony, to lust with the world, James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17.

4) "Before the children of Israel," (enopion ton huion Israel) "Before (in the face of) the sons of Israel," as they traveled to the promised land, Romans 12:1-2.

5) "To eat things offered unto idols," (phagein eidolothuta) "to (continually, habitually) eat idol sacrifices;" to become party to idolatry, 1 Corinthians 10:20-21; 1 Corinthians 10:28.

6) "And to commit fornication," (kai porneusai) "And to commit fornication," so invariably connected with feasts made to idols, ending with promiscuous mass fornication, Acts 15:29.

Verse 15

1) "So hast thou also," (houtos echeis kai su) "Even so also thou hast," as a church you have, hold, or embrace, associate with, condone in your fellowship, 1 Corinthians 5:1-2.

2) "Them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes," (Kartountas ten didachen ton Nikolaiton homois) "Those holding or embracing the teaching (doctrine) of the Nicolaitans likewise," in a like manner as they tolerated the doctrine of Balaam, Revelation 2:14. Some of this church, like those in the church at Ephesus, Revelation 2:6, had embraced the selfish, sensual practice of people-conquering, having their own way, doing what was right in their own eyes, and bossism, 3 John 1:9-11.

3) "Which thing I hate," (homoios) "Likewise (Which thing I hate)," as he hated the doctrine of Balaam, a) Idol sacrifice eating, and b) Fornication, c) and enticing to Iust, Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:14. As God hates the self-exalted spirit and practice of those who exalt and esteem themselves more highly than they ought and resort to bossism, dictatorship, and preeminence in the church, so should the people of his church, Matthew 20:25-28; 3 John 1:9-11; Judges 1:4-19; Philippians 2:3-4.

Verse 16

1) "Repent," (metanoeson oun) "Repent thou, therefore," as a church, a guilty congregation, that held too tolerant an attitude toward both Baalism and Nicolaitonism.

2) "Or else I will come unto thee quickly," (ei de me erchomai soi tachu) "Or else I am coming to you, of my own will and accord, quickly," in a very short time, without delay, Revelation 2:5. Weakness or laxity on the part of a parent, leader, or church is false kindness or false goodness, that leads to harm to all parties involved in compromise of Divine disobedience, Revelation 2:5.

3) "And will fight against them," (kai polemeso met’ auton) "And will fight with them," those of your congregation involved in the above described sins. If the church does not put from her fellowship, reprimand, or discipline gross wrong doing, she loses her reputation and weakens her influence and neglects restoration of the erring one, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:4-11.

4) "With the sword of my mouth," (en te hromphaia tou stomatos mou) "With the sword of my mouth," sharp, Divine reproof, and chastening, Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12; Hebrews 4:12; Hebrews 12:5-11. The sword is used to punish deserters as well as to win victories for the faithful, Psalms 7:11-12.

Verse 17

1) "He that hath an ear let him hear," (ho echon ous akousato) "The one (anyone) having an ear, let him hear," give heed to; personal, individual responsibility, is charged to every church member and Christian to give heed to God’s message and charge to his church and each in it, Romans 14:11-12; Matthew 12:3; 1 Corinthians 3:8.

2) "What the Spirit saith unto the churches," (ti to pneuma legei tois ekklesiais) "What the Spirit says to the churches," to the congregations. These seven letters, though addressed separately to seven churches, were also intended to be preserved and shared with other churches of their kind, that all might profit, Revelation 22:16.

3) "To him that overcometh," (to nikonti) "To those conquering or overcoming;" God’s people are to be conquering, possessive, service rendering, achieving people in manner of conduct and service, as over-comers, Romans 12:21; John 16:33.

4) "Will I give to eat of the hidden manna," (doso auto tou manna tou kekrummenou) "I will dole out of the hidden (preserved) manna;” alluding to the hidden pot of manna in the ark of the covenant, symbol of Christ, the Bread of life, Exodus 16:33-34; Hebrews 9:4; John 6:51; John 6:58; John 4:32.

5) "And will give him a white stone," (kai dodo auto psephon leuken) "I will also present him a white stone;” a symbol of acceptance, a well-done symbol, not a black ball, a rejection marble of black, see? The white stone was also a symbol of good fortune admission to a feast, or acquittal of charges of a crime. It is all of these to the believer.

6) "And in the stone a new name written," (kai epi ten psephon onoma kainon gegrammenon) "And on the stone a new name inscribed;” The Creator and Redeemer is continually interested in every individual in each of his churches. He desires that they be a success for him, Matthew 5:15-16; Acts 1:8.

7) "Which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it," (ho oudeis oiden ei me ho lambanon) "Which no person perceives except the one receiving it," Revelation 19:12, of such both John and Paul further wrote 1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4. Blessed mystery, O certain Hope, Titus 2:13.

Verse 18

THE MESSAGE TO THYATIRA

1) "And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write," (kai to angelo tes en thuatiros ekkiesias grapson) "And to the messenger of the church (congregation) in Thyatira write,"

2) "These things saith the Son of God," (tade legei ho huios tou theo) "These things the Son of God says;” This denotes inspiration and authenticity. Thyatira was a Macedonian colony, a city of Lydia, that had as its chief trade the dyeing of purple - the city of which Lydia, the saleswoman of purple, was saved in Philippi, Acts 16:14-15; Acts 16:40.

3) "Who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire," (ho echon tous ophthalmos (autou) hos phloga puros) "The one having his eyes as a flame of fire," as described in his majesty as king and judge, Revelation 1:14; Revelation 19:12; Daniel 10:6, and indicating determined pending judgment for sin, Psalms 7:11-12. His eyes search the reigns and heart, Hebrews 4:12-13.

4) "And his feet are like fine brass," (kai hoi podes autou homoi chalkslibano) "And his feet (appeared to be) like burnished (polished) brass," Revelation 1:15; ready to trample in judgment, Daniel 7:9; Daniel 10:6; Revelation 2:23.

Verse 19

1) "I know thy works, and charity," (oida sou ta erga kai ten agapen) "I know (perceive) take notice of, thy love of spiritual nature;” Like the church of Ephesus, Thyatira is first praised, then reproved or warned - But while Ephesus had gone backward, Thyatira had gone forward, not become weary in well doing, Galatians 6:9.

2) "And service, and faith," (kai ten pistin kai ten diakonian) "And your faith (system of teaching) and common helpful service;” Ephesus had deserted her first love while remaining orthodox in the faith, while Thyatira had much love but had become careless about false doctrine; They continued as "doers of the word.” James 1:22.

3) "And thy patience," (kai ten hupomonen sou) "And thy endurance or perseverance," much as Paul commended the Thessalonian brethren.

4) "And thy works; and the last to be more than the first;”- (kai ta ergo sou ta eschata pleionaton proton)"And (I observe that) your latter works, as a church are more than your first works;” you are doing much more, bearing much more fruit than you formerly did. Such pleased the Master, as they were builders, Matthew 5:15-16; Proverbs 4:18; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

But the best of builders must continually fight termites, ants, roaches, flies, pests, and destroyers of households. Jezebels, fornicators, adulterers, and false prophets must also be exposed fought driven out of each of God’s flock -the church. Killing weeds and grass is as necessary as cultivating vegetables, see?

Verse 20

1) "Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee," (alla echo kata soul "But, in spite of your church growth, I have, hold, or charge against thee," the following - note the specific charges and specific person which and who were occasions for their need of repentance.

2) "Because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel," (hoti apheis ten gunaika lezabel) "That thou permittest the woman Jezebel;” you allow permit or give liberty to that woman Jezebel. Like Ahab’s Jezebel, so many churches have a "that woman" in them, yet tolerate the "that woman," Jezebel to the hurt of their influence, 1 Kings 16:31-32; Proverbs 6:23-24.

3) "Which calleth herself a prophetess," (he legousa heauten prophetin) "Who advertises herself (as or to be) a prophetess;” a self-promoter, an evil woman, lacking both humility of disposition and character, either of which disqualifies for Divine service, James 4:6-10; 1 Peter 5:6; Luke 18:14.

4) "To teach and seduce my servants," (kai didaskei kai plana tous emous doulous) "And she also teaches and deceives or deludes my servants," members of the Lord’s churches, Galatians 6:6-8. What an individual or church sows or permits sown he or it reaps.

5) "To commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols," (porneusai kai phagein eidolothuta) "To commit fornication (immoral sex relations) and continually to eat idol sacrifices, or meat offered to idols; to endorse and practice both loose and debasing morals and to endorse and engage in union worship with idolators - a concept -divinely disapproved. Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 10:19.

Verse 21

1) "And I gave her space to repent," (kai edoka aute chronon hina metanoese) "And I gave, doled out to her sufficient time, in order that she might repent;” that she might turn away from or get out of the entanglement of her sin; God’s call to repentance is not to be despised, without certain judgment, Proverbs 1:22-30; Romans 2:4-5. "Space to repent," means a specific period of ample time so that she was without excuse, Romans 2:1.

2) "Of her fornication," (ek tes porneias) "Out of her fornication involvement;" this certifies that God, in mercy and grace grants emotionally involved women, who are guilty of fornication, time and space to desert, turn away from, and to put away fornication from their lives. He is a merciful and longsuffering God, 1 Corinthians 5:1-4.

3) "And she repented not," (kai ou thelei metanoesai) "And she wills not to repent," or turn away from her fornication involvement -She has no holy will to leave her wickedness, 2 Peter 3:9; Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30-31.

Note sorrow for sin can be too late - It was for the rich man in hell Luke 16:19-31; It was for Esau, who found no place for repentance, Hebrews 12:16-17.

Verse 22

1) "Behold, I will cast her into a bed," (idou ballo auten eis klinen) "Behold, I am tossing her into a bed," the exclamation is to arrest attention and direct consideration to something unexpected and terrible - Into a bed of pain and anguish, 1 Corinthians 5:9; Proverbs 6:24-29.

2) "And them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation," (kai tous moicheuountas met’ autes eis thilpsin megalen) "And those committing adultery with her into great affliction, trouble, or suffering," great pain or sorrow wages for their sin, Galatians 6:7-8. All who share in, tolerate, or approve her wickedness share in her punishment, James 4:4.

3) "Except they repent of their deeds," (ean me metanoesousin ek ton ergon autes) "Unless they repent, turn away from, get out of involvement in, her kind of works, deeds, business, of conduct," of fornication and eating things offered to idols, teaching that such was an holy thing, Revelation 2:20. Yet, the Word of God forbad it, condemned it, and his churches were instructed to abstain from such, Acts 15:20; Acts 15:29; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 1 Corinthians 8:7-13; Ephesians 5:3; Galatians 3:5.

Except one repents of, turns away from such sins, great pain, suffering, remorse of conscience, and physical anguish will come to him, in Divine chastisement upon sinning children of God, even to a church led away from church truth into unholy conduct, Acts 3:19; Romans 2:4-5; Hebrews 12:5-11.

Verse 23

1) "And I will kill her children with death," (kai ta tekna autes apokteno en thanato) "And I will cut off or cut away her children in death," those who adhere to her teachings of fornication, idolatry, licentious, lustful conduct and disrespect for the doctrines of Christ, those who form her party are appointed to untimely death, if they repent not, 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:5-9; Revelation 9:20-21.

2) "And all the churches shall know," (kai gnosontai pasai hai ekklesiai) "And all the assemblies, churches, or congregations will know;” by her destruction; as no man lives to himself alone, without influencing others for good or bad, even so churches that err influence others, except they be judged, Romans 14:7.

3) "That I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts," (hoti ego eimi ho ereunon nephrous kai kardias) "That I am the one continually searching the vitals and hearts, the mind and emotions, of hate, love, compassion etc. because he is the omniscient (all-knowing one) Jeremiah 17:9-10.

4) "And I will give unto every one of you," (Kai doso humin hekasto) "And I will give to you, as a church, (and) to each of you;” as individuals - God is near, cares for, and is interested in every individual human being; without regards to what others do, each is called by him to salvation and service, John 3:16; Romans 14:11-12; Revelation 22:17.

5) "According to your works," (kata ta erga humon) "According to your works," whether good or bad. All shall be brought to the great tribunal, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 12:36; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; The works of man’s heart and life are basis for Divine judgment, Romans 2:6-9; Matthew 16:27; Romans 10:10-11.

Verse 24

1) "But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira," (humin de legotois loipoistois enthuatiros)"But to you all I say (this), to those loitering or remaining in Thyatira," those who had not been swept up in the Jezebel, Balaam, or Nicoloitain parties.

2) "As many as have not this doctrine," (hosoi ouk echousin ten didochen tauten) "As many as hold not or embrace not this teaching," the teaching of Jezebel specifically, who were immoral, lustful, high flying, pious, false spiritualist libertines, Revelation 2:20.

3) "And which have not known the depths of Satan," (oitines ouk egnosan to Bathea tou satana) "Those who knew not the deep things of Satan;” the covert, hidden, veiled deceptions, Daniel 8:23-25. These are traits of the antichrist to come as a Satan-empowered end time world leader.

4) "As they speak," (hos legousin) "As they say or speak," with fake profundities, like clouds and wind without rain, speaking great swelling words, verbal hypocrites, deceivers, 2 Peter 2:2-3; 2 Peter 2:10-19.

5) "I will put upon you none other burden," (ou ballo eph’ humas allo baros) "I will not cast, put, or place upon you another (kind of) burden;” other than that advised by the Jerusalem council, to abstain from meats offered to idols and from fornication, Acts 15:28; Acts 15:19; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

Verse 25

1) "But that which ye have already," (plen ho echete) ’Nevertheless, what you all have, hold, or already possess," of doctrine, charity, service, faith, and patience, Revelation 2:19. Be an "example of believers," 1 Timothy 4:12; and think on "Think on these things," Philippians 4:8-9.

2) "Hold fast till I come," (kratesate achri hou an kekso) "Until the very moment that I shall come," in faith and service, keep on till I come, 1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 10:36-37; Especially till he come to punish the wicked and vindicate the righteous, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9.

Verse 26

1) "And he that overcometh," (kai ho nikon) "And the one conquering or overcoming," among you all, the one "keeping his body under subjection," continually, with perseverance and fidelity, shall have high rank of honor in reigning with Christ and his church, in the future, 1 Corinthians 9:27; John 15:14; Revelation 3:21.

2) "And keepeth my works unto the end," (kai ho teron achri telous ta erga mou) "And the one keeping my works or standing guard until the very end," the end purpose of the Christian life of service and glory to God is, the church, Ephesians 3:21; Colossians 3:17; Matthew 28:18-20.

3) "To him will I give power over the nations," (doso auto eksousian epi ton ethon) "I will give to him administrative power, authority, or jurisdiction over the nations or races," a kingdom heritage of rulership, Acts 26:18; Romans 8:17-18; Galatians 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:11-12; Luke 22:28-30; Luke 19:14-17; Luke 19:19; Revelation 3:21.

Verse 27

1) "And he shall rule them with a rod of iron," (kai poimanei autous en hrabdo sidera)"And he will shepherd or pastor them with an iron staff," a firm hand of rule with impartial, infallible, and unbending justice, Psalms 2:8-9; Daniel 7:22; Hebrews 1:8-12.

2) "As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers," (hos ta skeve ta keramika suntribetai) "As the clay vessels are cracked or broken," of the potter. He (Christ) is to rule the earth (the nations) with absolute mastery, in righteousness, as expressed in the crushed potsherd, Isaiah 30:14; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Luke 1:33.

Verse 28

1) "Even as I received of my Father," (hos kago eilepha para tou partos mou) "As I also have received administrative authority, power or jurisdiction of my Father," with all committed to me, John 3:35; Luke 10:22; and all things will one day be put under his feet, under his subjection, Hebrews 2:8.

2) "And I will give him the morning star," (kai doso auto ton astera ton proinon) "And I will give (dole out) to him the morning (lead) star," the bright lead-star, the guiding star, the light of help and hope; all that the over-comer now of hereafter ever needs Jesus pledges, as the guiding star of hope, out of the night, out of the darkness, to walk, work, and honor him always in the light, John 8:12; 1 John 1:7; 2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 22:16.

Verse 29

1) "He that hath an ear, let him hear," (ho echon ous akousato) "The one having or holding an ear let him hear," having capability and accountability to hear, "let him give heed, respond, or obey;” O the gravity, the seriousness, of personal accountability for salvation and service to God in life, John 8:21; John 8:24; Romans 1:16; Romans 14:11-12.

The one not heeding this word of Christ shall be cut off, Acts 3:22; Acts 3:21

2) "What the Spirit saith unto the churches," (ti to pneuma legei tois ekklesianis) "Whatever the Spirit says or addresses to the churches;” It applies in priority to them, the churches, and church members - not merely to the sum total of the redeemed, See? Revelation 1:11; Revelation 22:16.

Each of the seven churches received personal letters addressed first, specifically to them and their members, and second, to other churches of like - colleague - faith -and - order - not to the sum total of the redeemed. The latter notion is an erroneous concept embraced by Protestants, protestant-baptists, and false conceivers of an imaginary universal, invisible, mystical church composed of all believers. What the Spirit says in Revelation 2:1 to Revelation 3:22 is primarily, and in priority, addressed to and concerns the churches and church members and their conduct. To ignore or add to this context and contextual setting, as a primary basis of interpretation, is a basic error that inevitably tends to doctrinal error, Revelation 22:16.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Revelation 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/revelation-2.html. 1985.
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