by: Dr. Dean Crosby
[Editor's Note: For this study, the author uses easy to understand Contemporary English Version (CEV) of Bible that has been created by the American Bible Society. His insights are given in capital letters. This include explanations and historical background information for the words you have just read in order to make the startling predictions made in this important and fascinating book comprehensible. Occasionally make changes will be made in the CEV words if a variance is detected from the meaning found in the King James Bible.]
1 This is what you must write to the angel (MINISTER) of the church in Ephesus: I am the one who holds the seven stars (REFERS TO MINISTERS WHO ARE CLOSE TO JESUS) in my right hand and I walk among the seven gold lamp stands. (JESUS WAS LEADING AND GUIDING SEVEN CHURCHES THAT ARE REFERRED TO AS LAMP STANDS) Listen to what I say. 2 I know everything you have done, (JESUS HAS THE ABILITY TO KNOW ALL) including your hard work and how you have endured. I know you won't put up with anyone who is evil. When some people pretended to be apostles, you tested them and found out that they were liars. 3 You have endured and gone through hard times because of me, and you have not given up.
4 But I do have something against you and it is this; you have left your first love. (THIS IS THOUGHT TO REFER TO THEIR FAILURE TO CONTINUE TO PRAISE JESUS FOR HIS SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS) 5 Think about where you have fallen from, (THIS IS THOUGHT TO REFER TO THEIR FALLING AWAY FROM THE CHURCH'S ORIGINAL TEACHINGS ON SALVATION THROUGH JESUS' SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS ON THE CROSS; Galatians 5:4 And if you try to please God by obeying the Law, you have cut yourself off from Christ and his love and saving grace for you) and then turn back and do as you did at first. (GO BACK TO THE ORIGINAL TEACHINGS) If you don't turn back, I will come and remove your lamp stand from my presence. (JESUS THREATENS TO REMOVE HIS PRESENCE AND THUS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FROM THE CHURCH)
6 But there is one thing you are doing right. You hate what the Nicolaitans (THE LITERAL MEANING OF THIS WORD IS "LAITY CONQUERORS" WHICH REFERS TO CLERGY WHO EXPLOIT THE MEMBERS OF THEIR CHURCH FOR THEIR OWN FINANCIAL GAIN) are doing, and so do I. 7 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. ( RETURN TO A SALVATION THROUGH GRACE NOT WORKS BELIEF) I will let everyone who wins the victory (OVER SIN) eat from the life-giving tree in God's wonderful garden in heaven.
8 This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Smyrna: I am the first and the last. (JESUS EXISTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE WHICH REFERS TO HIS ROLE AS CREATOR AND ALWAYS WILL EXIST WHICH CONFIRMS HIS DIVINITY) I died, but now I am alive! Listen to what I say. 9 I know how much you suffer and how poor you are, (SMYRNA IS KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN POVERTY STRICKEN) but you are rich. (THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY RICH) I also know the blasphemy by people who claim to be Jews. But they are not really Jews. They attend the synagogue of Satan. (HERE JESUS DISCLOSES THAT JEWS WHO REJECT HIM ARE SATANIC) 10 Don't worry about what you will suffer. The devil will throw some of you into jail, and you will be tested and made to suffer for ten days. But if you are faithful until you die, (REPUDIATION OF THE "ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED" THEORY) I will reward you with a crown of life. 11 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. (THERE WILL BE SUFFERING FOR GOD'S CHILDREN BUT THEY WILL BE REWARDED WITH SALVATION IF THEY REMAIN FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH) Whoever wins the victory will not be hurt by the second death. (THE FIRST DEATH IS THE PHYSICAL DEATH ON EARTH, THE SECOND DEATH IS THE ETERNAL DEATH IN HELL WHICH WILL BE DESCRIBED IN CHAPTER 21 )
12 This is what you must write to the angel (MINISTER) of the church in Pergamum: I am the one who has the sharp double-edged sword! (WORD OF GOD) Listen to what I say. 13 I know where you dwell (THOUGHT TO REFER TO THEIR SPIRITUAL LIFE) and where Satan has his throne. ( THOUGHT TO REFER TO THE FACT THAT SATAN HAD INFLUENCE IN THIS CHURCH) But you have kept true to my name. Right there where Satan lives, my faithful witness Antipas was put to death among you. (HE WAS KILLED BY CHURCH MEMBERS) 14 I do have a few things against you. Some of you are following the teaching of Balaam. ( BALAAM IS CALLED EVIL IN NUMEROUS OLD TESTAMENT VERSES IE. DEUTERONOMY 23:4-5, JOSHUA 13:22 AND 24:9-10 AS WELL AS NEHEMIAH 13:2) Long ago he told Balak to teach the people of Israel to eat food that had been offered to idols and to become sexually promiscuous.
15 Now some of you also are following the teaching of the Nicolaitans. (SOME OF THEIR TEACHINGS VIOLATED BIBLICAL DOCTRINES) 16 Turn back! (TO JESUS' TEACHINGS) If you don't, I will come quickly (IN THE FORM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT) and fight (SPIRITUALLY) against these people. And my words will cut like a sword. (THIS WILL OCCUR DURING THE JUDGEMENT AS WELL) 17 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. (CHURCHES MUST ELIMINATE FALSE TEACHINGS AND PRACTICES )
To everyone who wins the victory, I will give some of the hidden Manna. ( THE PROPHET JEREMIAH RESCUED A CHEST FILLED WITH MANNA WHICH WAS FOOD SENT BY GOD FROM A TEMPLE WHEN IT WAS BEING DESTROYED BY THE BABYLONIANS AND HE WAS TOLD TO HIDE IT UNTIL GOD RETURNED TO SAVE THE WORLD) I will also give each one a white stone (THIS IS SIMILAR TO A TICKET PEOPLE WILL BE GIVEN TO ALLOW THEM TO ENTER JESUS' BANQUET HALL TO FEAST ON THE MANNA) with a new name (AT THE FEAST THE SAVED WILL BE ASSIGNED NEW NAMES BY JESUS) written on it. No one will know that name except the one who is given the stone.
18 This is what you must write to the angel (MINISTER) of the church in Thyatira: I am the Son of God! My eyes are like flames of fire, and my feet are like bronze. Listen to what I say. 19 I know everything about you, including your love, your faith, your service, and how you have endured. I know that you are doing more now than you have ever done before. 20 But I still have something against you because of that woman Jezebel. She calls herself a prophet, and you let her teach and seduce my servants into engaging in fornication and to eat food sacrificed for idols. 21 I gave her a chance to turn from her sins, but she did not want to stop doing these immoral things. 22 I am going to strike down Jezebel. Everyone who commits adultery with her will also be punished, if they don't repent. 23 I will even kill her followers. Then all the churches will see that I know everyone's thoughts and feelings. I will reward each of you according to your behavior. 24 Some of you in Thyatira don't follow Jezebel's teaching. You don't know anything about what her followers call the "deep secrets of Satan." (HER TEACHINGS) So I won't burden you down with any other commands.
25 But until I come (THE RAPTURE), you must hold firmly to the teaching you have. (JESUS' TEACHINGS) 26 I will give power over the nations to everyone who wins the victory and keeps on obeying me until the end. 27-28 They will rule the nations with an iron rod even as I received from my Father and smash them to pieces like clay pots. (DURING THE 1000 YEAR KINGDOM OF CHRIST ON EARTH, GOD'S SAINTS WILL RULE OVER NATIONS HARSHLY TO ELIMINATE EVIL) I will also give them the morning star. (THOUGHT TO REFER TO THE PLANET VENUS WHICH LOOKS LIKE A STAR AS NIGHT ENDS AND DAYLIGHT COMES. IT WILL BE USED TO SYMBOLIZE THE END OF THE DARKNESS OF THE WORLD AND THE PASSING INTO THE LIGHT AND GLORY OF GOD IN CHRIST'S KINGDOM ) 29. If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. (GIVING UP THE BELIEF IN THE FREE REDEMPTION JESUS OFFERS TO US BY DYING ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS IS AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL DECEIT THAT WILL LEAD TO DEATH BUT HOLDING ON TO THIS CORE BELIEF WILL LEAD TO SPIRITUAL VICTORY AND REWARDS FROM JESUS AFTER HE RETURNS)
About The Author
Bible Study - Home | Previous Chapter (Chapter 1) | Next Chapter (Chapter 3)
Bible Study | Church Fathers | Faith | History | Inspirational | Lectionary Sermons | General Sermons | eBooks | General | Library - Home
A service of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio
Copyright © 2009-2011 - ICBS Group. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer
Website designed, built, and hosted by International Cyber Business Services, Inc., Hudson, Ohio