In Chapter 2 Verses 8-11 Jesus Speaks to the Second of Seven Churches

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Revelation 2:8
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:

the First and the Last” is our Lord Jesus Christ who tells John to write to the church of Smyrna.

Revelation 2:9
9I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”

“(but you are rich)”! You may ask how can they be rich when Jesus says that they live in poverty? They are rich in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Matthew 6:19-21 –  19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NKJV*)
When you have Christ in your life you are rich, just look at the final destination for the believers!
Matthew 10:22b – “But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (NKJV*)
And Jesus will give them “to eat from the tree of life”! (Rev. 2:7b)

Revelation 2:10
10Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (NKJV*)

The Lord encourages the church of Smyrna and us to be willing to die rather than deny our faith in Him referring back to Matthew 10:22b. The “crown of life” is for human testing even to martyrdom. The Lord Jesus commends the church in Smyrna and lets them know they will be persecuted, but He holds nothing against them.
We can expect to be persecuted:
John 15:20a,b – “Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (NKJV*)no matter how slight or how severe. W.MacDonald comments: “But we cannot expect better treatment than our Lord Jesus received. Our word will be refused just as was the Savior’s.” And still is rejected by many to this day.

Revelation 2:11
11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'”

W.MacDonald: “Again the willing hearer is encouraged to listen to the Spirit’s advice. Here an overcomer is one who proves the reality of his faith by choosing to go to heaven with a good conscience rather than stay on earth with a bad one. He will not be affected by the second death, the doom of all unbelievers.”
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; I say, on the LORD!”
Revelation 20:6, 14 – “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. … Then Death and Hādēs were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

The first resurrection has three principal phases:

1. the resurrection of Christ
2. the resurrection of His Church; and
3. the resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints.

The second death is preceded by a resurrection of the unsaved to face the Lord at the Great White Throne. In this second death the unbeliever just keeps dying; it is –according to King James Study Bible: “eternal punishment in the lake of fire” which will never be quenched. (check out: Isaiah 66:24; Jeremiah 7:20; Ezekiel 20:47-48; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Jude 7)

OUR FIRST LOVE IS GOD –the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—!
First God, second our family, and third our country!

(NKJV*)Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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In Chapter 2 Verses 1-7 Jesus Speaks to the First of Seven Churches

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Revelation Study Guide

Revelation 2:1
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands,”

The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking to John and telling him what to write to the church of Ephesus.

In verse 1 Jesus is emphasizing the description of Himself which we read in chapter 1:
Revelation 1:13 – “and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.”
Revelation 1:16 – “He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”

Ever wondered who or what the seven stars and the seven golden lampstands represent?  To answer this question we must refer back to Revelation 1:20 which states:  “the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” (NKJV*)

Revelation 2:2-4
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil.  And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (NKJV*)

After complementing the Ephesians for their works, labor, intolerance of evil, and ability to discern false apostles and deal with them accordingly, the Lord confronted them with their tragedy being that they left their first love!  William MacDonald comments:  “The fire of their affection had died down.  They were still mostly sound in doctrine and active in service, but the true motive of all worship and service was missing.”  Apparently they were not in the whole counsel of God. Paul had warned them in Acts 20:27-31 and Ephesians 6:13-14a.

Acts 20:31  “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.  Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.  For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.  Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears”. (NKJV*)

Ephesians 6:13-14a  “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth,” (NKJV*)

William MacDonald says:  “It isn’t surprising that God’s Word tells us the first piece of armor is truth.  We must take the responsibility to seriously uphold His truth.  But it is also necessary for the truth to hold us—accountable”.

This makes me want to point out that our first love is GOD!
First God, second our family, and third our country!

(NKJV*) Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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