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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Revelation 2

Introduction

The Addresses to the Seven Churches.

Verses 1-29

2 The Seven Churches (Revelation 2-3)Rev 1:4; Rev 1:11; Rev 1:20, that the Revelation was addressed to seven churches existing in the days of the Apostles in a province of Asia Minor. But it can hardly be questioned that these particular churches were selected in order to present pictures of the moral conditions that would successively develop in the Christian profession from the days of the Apostles until the close of the church period. Thus, "the things which are" prophetically present the whole period of the church's history on earth. Moreover, these seven churches are seen under the symbol of seven candlesticks. This surely indicates that these addresses view the church in its responsibility to be a light for Christ in the time of His absence.

Further, we see that the Lord is presented as walking in the midst of the churches as the Judge, to discover how far the Church has answered to its responsibility to shine for Christ. From these addresses we learn that the church, as with all others, would utterly break down in responsibility. We see the root of all the failure exposed, its progress traced through the ages, and its end foretold when the professing church will be utterly rejected as nauseous to Christ. Nevertheless, in the midst of all the failure we learn there is that which the Lord approves, and that it is possible for the individual to overcome that which the Lord condemns; and to such there are special promises of blessing.Rev 2:1-7)

In this address, may we not say that we have a presentation of the church, as seen by Christ in the closing days of the apostles? In each address it will be found that the Lord presents Himself in a character that corresponds to the condition of the church. At this early stage of the church's history there were no outward signs of departure. Christ is still seen as the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, and walks in the midst of the churches. Does this not indicate that those who were set in subordinate authority under the guidance of the Lord to represent His interests in the assembly, were still held in His power and under His direction? Moreover, the Lord was still able to walk in the midst of the churches, and not outside the door as in Laodicea.Rev 2:8-11)

This address would surely indicate the days of persecution that we know the church was allowed to pass through after its declension from apostolic purity.Rev 2:12-17)

In this address we see the further departure of the professing church that followed the days of persecution, and that was the outcome of the teaching and practices of the judaising party within the profession.Rev 2:18-29)

Can it be questioned that in this address we have a forecast of the condition of the professing church in medieval times? The Lord is presented as the Son of God with eyes like unto a flame of fire, discerning all evil, and with feet like fine brass, prepared to act against the evil.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Revelation 2". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/revelation-2.html. 1832.