Friday, February 6, 2009


In this chapter we find Christ's admonition and praise for Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos and Thyatira. It must be noted that the characteristics found in the Seven Churches are still found in the churches today. Thus we have the warning: "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the seven churches."

While there is a teaching which traces the historical connection between the main characteristics of the seven churches, we will not deal with it now due to the lack of biblical evidence to support such a teaching. (Although it remains an interesting study)

Christ's Message to Ephesus:

  1. He first praises them for their dedication and hard work

  2. He then warns them that they have left their first love. The Bride of Christ's (Church) first love can be no other than the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. Now, clearly the believer cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom 8) but the intimacy of that relationship can grow cold. We ought never to replace our closeness with our savior for the work he has left us to do. Christ makes it clear that this problem overrode all of their hard work and they were in danger of having their candlestick removed. For the local congregation, we have an opportunity to be a "light" to the community around us. Surely they were in danger of losing that opportunity should they not repent and return to the intimate fellowship with Christ.

  3. Christ also praises them for avoiding the Doctrine of the Nicolatians, which He himself hates. While some point to the hierarchy among clerics in some faiths like the Catholic church, it seems more likely that this refers to the teaching which allowed for Christians to go on willfully in sinful behavior claiming the grace of God gave them safe passage to do as they desired. Once again, Christ hated the teaching! The liberty of a Christian is not to go on in willful sin, but to be freed from sin and live unto God!

Christ's Message to Smyrna: This church was heavily persecuted and Christ encourages them to endure the persecution faithfully even unto death. They already had a promised reward waiting for them. They are one of two out of the seven that do not receive any rebuke from the Lord Jesus.

Christ's Message to Pergamos: located in a city noted for its worship of the Roman Emperor and Zeus who's altar was located at the Acropolis. (Satan's Seat?)

  1. Christ admonishes them concerning doctrine they allowed in their midst promoting fornication among believers and the doctrine of the Nicolatians, promising a license to willfully sin.

  2. Repentance was the key to avoiding a harsh judgment from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ's Message to Thyatira: Once again we find a congregation which had allowed someone in their midst who promoted fornication among believers and idol worship. Christ calls it the "depths of Satan" and promises swift judgment except for those who had not participated in this teaching. It should be noted that fornication is rampant among our churches today along with the idea that one may truly become born again and then go on living life simply to fulfill their own desires and appetites without the Lord doing anything about it. We find here as well as Hebrews 12 that God, as a Father to His Children, disciplines them to the measure necessary, even to the point of physical death (1 cor 5). A truly saved individual belongs to the Lord and we are not our own any longer!

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