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Delivered By
Will Robbins
Delivered On
September 26, 2018 at 6:00 PM
Central Passage
Revelation 2
Subject
Revelation Bible Study
Description

Revelation 2 "To the 7 churches"

Review of Revelation 1:19-20

V. 19 the interpretive key

V. 20 To the angels (as well as the churches) the message is to them, but all those who obey the message to the historical 7 churches will be blessed.

The Pattern of the Letters to the 7 churches

  1. Who is God? A word about Christ, so that the churches are reminded of some truth about their King who is sovereignly active in powerfully implementing His will. For the churches, this is both warning and encouragement in overcoming each of their specific challenges.
  2. The good work of the church: Recognition of the trial that each specific church is going through and encouragement.
  3. Rebuke and/ or warning: A warning or rebuke about the temptation or trial that each specific church is facing in maintaining their witness and integrity before a fallen world who needs to see the pure worship of Christ as they live out the Gospel.
  4. A reward for overcoming by perseverance in faithfulness to Christ and His great commission.

To the angels of the 7 churches: these are real angels in a real spiritual battle for the soul of man as the churches bear the Gospel light of Christ.

Revelation 2 "To the angel of the church in . . ."

Ephesus

  1. A word about Jesus: Christ is with His churches, active among them, and powerfully holds His angelic forces in His hand. He will never leave or forsake His church in empowering them to accomplish His mission. He is in control and presently active.
  2. The good: patient endurance and faithfulness to sound biblical doctrine about Christ as they resist the temptation to compromise like the Nicolaitans. They stand unashamed of the Name of Jesus Christ.
  3. Warning and Rebuke: They have abandoned the love they first had. Sometimes doctrinal purity apart for a love for the person of Christ and one another can lead to spiritless and legalistic ministry that is no Gospel at all. On the outside, all appears sound, but inside the core can be rotten if we do not live out the love of Christ to one another and a lost world.
  4. Affirmation: Again, we are to love what God loves and hate what God hates.
  5. Reward for the conquerors: Those those that remain faithful, they will have access to "the tree of life." What was lost in Eden will be restored, which is life and an intimate relationship with God. Jesus is life (John 14:6) and those faithful to Christ will dwell with the one who creates and sustains life.

Smyrna

  1. A word about Jesus: He is "first and last." He is God. He has always existed and He has always had and will have the final word. He is the eternal omnipotent God alone. "He who died and came to life" points to the fact, like John 1, that God has manifested Himself as Jesus who has brought about His salvation through His death and resurrection. God is a redeeming God and will finish His redemptive work in Christ.
  2. The good: recognition of Smyrna's intense persecution and slander from the Jews. The Jews have rejected the Messiah and to reject the Son is to reject the Father. Jesus has made Jews and Gentiles into one new Israel, but only those who have believed upon Jesus are in the new Israel. Those who say they are Abraham's seed and worship Yahweh are actually worshiping Satan. The synagogue has become Satan's because they reject the Jesus as Messiah who is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 6:15-16; Ephesians 2:14) Persecution will be short, but you will receive the victor's crown.
  3. Warning and Rebuke: Warning not to fear and give up due to severe persecution, because it will be short lived and it will be worth it.
  4. The reward for the conquerors: Faithfulness to Christ through the first physical death will be the only death God's faithful will suffer, and it will be short verses eternal life.

Pergamum

  1. A word about Jesus: "a sharp two-edged sword (1:16) is God's perfect holy word that effectively brings His righteous judgment (Ephesians 6:17). His weapon is His word and the final word. His word brings life but it also brings a deadly judgment to those not faithful to the King.
  2. The good: Recognition is given to Pergamum's difficult situation of being located at "Satan's throne" which in this case points to the intense emperor cult worship. A brother in Christ named Antipas had lost his life for apparently being unwilling to worship the Roman emperor. Balaam desired to curse Israel but Balak refused and blessed them instead. Balaam continued to "feed" Israel the wicked "manna" of false god worship, which ultimately led Israel to worship the Baal of Peor (see Numbers 25:1-3; 31:16).
  3. Warning and Rebuke: Don't compromise to false worship by eating food sacrificed to idols and so prostitute yourselves to false god worship (see 1Corinthians 8 and Romans 14). We do not want to set any stumbling block before ourselves or others that would keep us for staying true to Jesus and leading others into a saving relationship with Him. Stumbling blocks tell others that the Gospel is not really good news. So when in doubt put people before your rights and/ or personal pleasure or comfort.
  4. Reward for the conquerors: "Hidden manna" is a historically complicated word for today's readers but John's readers would have understood this Hebrew story. This with the "white stone" all point to the fact that those who conquer will be admitted and take satisfaction in the Wedding Banquet/ Feast that Jesus spoke of in the Gospels. We will celebrate that all things are new. We will receive a New Name that will be tied to the Name, Jesus! We will inherit the joy of being once and for all in God's family in name and celebration. The stone is symbolic of entry into this great kingdom celebration with the King!
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