December 2/Revelation 2

Verse 1 > Our Lord Jesus reminds us that he is with us and that he walks among. He is the good shepherd who always takes care of his sheep. This should calm our fears and anxieties and give us the boldness we need to face each day. The unseen one sees us and nothing takes him by surprise. The lampstands indicate that there is no darkness in Jesus and all is laid bare before his eyes and that light lives in us. Jesus said that we were to lights showing people the way to Jesus. It was tough being a lampstand in Ephesus. The heathen temple of Diana dominated everything.

Paul had stayed two years in Ephesus preaching, teaching and performing many miracles in the name of Jesus. It was in Ephesus that 12 men were baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues and prophesied. Many occultists came to Jesus and they burned their magic books to the tune of a few million dollars. The silversmiths of the city started a riot when they realized they would lose business if people converted to Christ. They wouldn’t be able to sell their idols. Paul then had to leave town. You can read about this in Acts 19.

In spite of all this opposition the Church had done well.

Verses 2-3 > The passed the service test > their hard work, the endurance test by persevering under hardships, and the doctrine test by not giving in to false teaching. We still have to pass these tests today.

Verse 4 > They only had one flaw a very vital flaw. Their love for Christ had cooled off. Your love affects your worship, your relationships and your outreach to others. The one thing that sets a Christian apart from everyone else and identifies him with Christ is LOVE.

Galatians 5:6 (NLT) — 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

John 13:34–35 (NLT) — 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Verses 8-11 > It is a matter of perspective. When the people of Smyrna looked at Christians they saw people that had no resources and no bank accounts, they were poor and were only good for picking on and persecuting. When Christ looked at them he saw a rich beautiful people!

Matthew 5:10–12 (NLT) — 10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Verses 12-13 > According to Greek mythology, Pergamos was the birthplace of Zeus. “Satan’s seat” is in reference to the one hundred-fifty-foot-high structure dedicated to Zeus in the middle of the city of Pergamos. The historian Tertullian tells us that, because Antipas, a physician in the city of Pergamos, wouldn’t renounce his faith, he was fried to death.

Verses 14-16 > we must allow God ‘s word to find a home in our hearts so that we don’t find ourselves accepting of immoral behavior. What happened in Pergamos is happening here today with all of the ‘approved’ sexual behavior that is contrary to the word of God. When you know the truth  you don’t accept these lies of Satan.

Verse 17 > the manna sustained the Israelites in the desert. Jesus said that he was the bread of life sent down from heaven. Jesus also is the living word of God. So we feed on the word of God to sustain us in this life. In those days a white stone was given as a ticket to a show or a feast. Jesus is saying all of us who remain faithful to him feast with him today in the word and then later in eternity. Jesus is our ticket.

Revelation 3:20 (NLT) — 20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

Revelation 19:6–9 (NLT) — 6 Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: “Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. 8 She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.” For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”

Verses 18-29 > the Church in Thyatira was being polluted by a lady who had a Jezebel spirit; she claimed to be prophet and she was promoting idolatry and immoral sexual behavior. Apparently they thought they could get by with it however those blazing fiery eyes of Jesus see all. An idol is anything that takes priority over Christ in your life. They were probably saying then as we say today, “It’s just sex.” They were proud of their sexual freedoms and were unwilling to repent. Those people cannot be tolerated in the Church. We must always watch out for false teaching. As pastors we must protect our people.

If we hold true to the truth and do not give in to lies we are given the promise that we will one day rule with Christ and be with Christ the Morning Star. What a wonderful reward for faithfulness.

Revelation 22:16 (NLT) — 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”

2 Peter 1:19 (NLT) — 19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    In this chapter we are introduced to 4 of the churches. They each showed different responses to Jesus and the people around them. In reading this chapter and the next chapter we need to look at our faith and see if we have become lax in our show of love, have remained faithful despite persecution, have tolerated false teachings, or have welcomed sexual sin into your midst. We want to be a church that Jesus will have nothing to hold against us.

  2. Mary Anne Frank says:

    The two words or phrases that stood out to me in the chapter were the word ‘tolerate’ in vs 14 and the phrase ‘deeper truths’ in vs 24. Both of these are popular words in our culture today. We hear them often in the secular world and in Christian teaching. When we hear those words we need to beware!

    • Daniel Mueller says:

      Very good observation Mary Anne. Those crying the loudest for tolerance can’t seem to tolerate Christianity.