Week - 43 The Letters to the Seven Churches
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Authored by Jerry Marshall The Church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) A. The Lord’s Complement (2:1-3)
1. Their service (v.2)
2. Their steadfastness (v.2b, 3)
3. Their spiritual discernment (V.2c)
4. Their stand (v.6)
B. The Lord’s Criticism (2:4)
The Lord did not possess their supreme affection.
C. The Lord’s Command (2:5)
1. Remember (5a)
2. Repent (5b)
3. Repeat (5c)
D. The Lord’s Commitment (2:7-8)
The Church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11)
A. The Context of this Church (2:8)
This church existed in the context of a hostile environment.
B. The Condition of this church (2:9)
1. A persecuted church (2:9a)
2. A poor church (2:9b)
3. A slandered church (2:9c)
C. The Command to this Church (2:10)
1. Be fearless (2:10a)
2. Be faithful (2:10b)
D. The Counsel to this Church (2:11)
1. A command (2:11a)
2. A commitment (2:11b)
The Church in Pergamum (2:12-17)
A. The Lord’s Compliment (2:12-13)
There have been many suggestions as to the identity of this Throne of Satan. Some have suggested that it may have been a reference to one of the many temples of the pagan gods located in this city. But the fact that Antipas was killed, whom the Lord describes as His witness and His faithful one, points to Pergamum as being the leading city for emperor worship. That is probably the best understanding of the Throne of Satan and the place where Satan lives.
According to tradition, Antipas was roasted to death inside of a brass bull during the persecution instigated by Emperor Domitian. Not for his refusal to worship pagan deities but because of his refusal to worship the Emperor.
B. The Lord’s Concern (2:14-15)
1. The teaching of Balaam (v.14)
Balaam, still driven by the promise of financial benefits from Balak, came up with a plan wherein they would get the Israelite men to intermarry with the women of Moab. It was through that union, that they would assimilate the pagan worship and practices with those of the Israelites, which would weaken Israel spiritually and strategically; and it worked for a while (Numbers 25:1-9).
Balaam’s successful strategy is called syncretism, which is the blending together of normally alien beliefs and practice into one. Sproul defines syncretism as… “the process by which aspects of one religion are assimilated into or blended with another religion. This leads to fundamental changes in both religions.”
2. The teaching of the Nicolaitans (v.15)
This toleration of the teaching of Balaam was manifested in the willingness to tolerate some who held to the teaching of the Nicolaitans who also taught that believers could participate in pagan orgies, all in the name of Christian liberty. The Nicolaitans believed that the grace of God somehow provided a license to sin (Titus 2:11 ff).
C. The Lord’s Command (2:16)
D. The Lord’s Counsel (2:17)
1. To those who hear (v.16a)
2. To those who overcome (v.16b)
The White Stone: There is a whole lot of speculation about what this white stone means. But perhaps the best explanation is the one that comes from the Roman custom of awarding white stones to the victors in athletic contests.
Their names were inscribed on the stone and served as a ticket to a special victor’s banquet. So then, those overcomers have a promise from the exalted Lord of a guaranteed entrance to the eternal victory banquet celebration in heaven.
The Church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29)
A. The Lord Compliments This Church (2:18-19)
1. Their deeds (19a)
2. Their love (19b)
3. Their faith (19c)
4. Their service (19d)
5. Their perseverance (19e)
B. The Lord Rebukes this church (2:20-23)
The word tolerate in the original language of the Bible means to allow one to do as they wish without restraint or restriction; to lack the will to reign in. It shows that the corruption of this church was not from external persecution, but internal compromise. It’s not from a pagan deity, but from a false prophet.
1. Her perversion (v.20)
2. Her punishment (v.21