"THE BOOK OF REVELATION" Chapter Two OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To examine the first four of seven letters to the churches in Asia 2) To glean what we can about the condition of each church: their strengths and weaknesses, the warnings and promises given 3) To note that the fulfillment of most promises will be described later in the visions to come SUMMARY In this chapter John is instructed to write to four churches in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, and Thyatira. The Lord generally follows the same format: His self-designation, commendation, condemnation and related warning, exhortation and promise. Each letter closes with the admonition, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." This suggests the letters were not just for the personal benefit of the churches addressed. The church at Ephesus is commended for its steadfastness, especially against false apostles. But while standing for the truth, they had lost their first love. Exhorted to repent and be restored by doing the "first works," they are warned that their "lampstand" would be removed if they did not repent (1-7). The church at Smyrna is commended for being "rich" despite their tribulation and poverty. Unlike most churches, there are no words of condemnation directed toward it. While they would experience a little persecution, they are exhorted to remain faithful to death (8-11). The church at Pergamos is also praised for its steadfastness, but faulted for allowing false teachers in their midst. The Lord threatens to come and fight with the sword of His mouth if there is no repentance (12-17). The church at Thyatira is also commended, for their last works are more than their first. But they too have a false teacher and followers which jeopardize the condition of the church. Despite giving this "Jezebel" time to repent, she has not and so the Lord intends to make her and her followers an example before the other churches (18-29). I find noteworthy the connection between these letters with what was seen in chapter one, and what will be seen in succeeding chapters. In most cases the Lord's self-designation borrows something from the vision of the Son of Man in chapter one, which relates somehow with the particular message in which it is found. Also, we will see how most of the promises to those who overcome will be fulfilled in the unfolding of the visions that begin in chapter four. OUTLINE I. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS (1-7) A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (1) 1. "He who holds the seven stars in His right hand" 2. "Who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands" B. COMMENDATION (2-3,6) 1. For their works, labor and patience a. They cannot bear those who are evil, having tested those who say they are apostles but were liars b. Their perseverance, patience and labor for His name's sake, not growing weary 2. They hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, as does the Lord C. CONDEMNATION AND WARNING (4-5) 1. Condemnation a. The Lord has something against them b. They have left their first love 2. Warning a. Remember from where they have fallen b. Repent and do the first works c. Or the Lord will come quickly and remove their lampstand from its place D. EXHORTATION AND PROMISE (7) 1. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches 2. To him who overcomes, He will give to eat from the tree of life in the midst of the Paradise of God II. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA (8-11) A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (8) 1. "The First and the Last" 2. "Who was dead, and came to life" B. COMMENDATION (9a) 1. For the works, tribulation, and poverty 2. But they are rich C. EXHORTATION AND PROMISE (9b-11) 1. The Lord knows those who claim to be Jews but are a synagogue of Satan 2. Do not fear what they are about to suffer a. The devil is about throw some into prison, that they may be tested b. They will have tribulation ten days 3. Be faithful unto death, and He will give them a crown of life 4. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches 5. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death III. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN PERGAMOS (12-17) A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (12) 1. "Who has the sharp two-edged sword" B. COMMENDATION (13) 1. He knows their works, and where they dwell, where Satan's throne is 2. For holding fast to His name 3. For not denying His faith even when Antipas was killed among them C. CONDEMNATION AND WARNING (14-16) 1. Condemnation a. They have those who hold the doctrine of Balaam 1) Who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before Israel 2) To eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality b. They have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which He hates 2. Warning a. Repent or He will come to them quickly b. He will fight against them with the sword of His mouth D. EXHORTATION AND PROMISE (17) 1. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches 2. To him who overcomes, He will give... a. Some of the hidden manna to eat b. A white stone with a new name written on it which no one knows except he who receives it IV. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA (18-29) A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (18) 1. "The Son of God" 2. "Who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass" B. COMMENDATION (19) 1. For their works, love, service, faith, and patience 2. Their last works are more than the first C. CONDEMNATION AND WARNING (20-24) 1. Condemnation a. They allow that woman Jezebel 1) Who calls herself a prophetess 2) To teach and beguile His servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols b. Whom the Lord had given time to repent of her sexual immorality, but she did not 2. Warning a. He will cast her into a sickbed b. Those who commit adultery with her will have great tribulation, unless they repent c. He will kill her children with death; and the churches will know that He searches the minds and hearts d. He will give to each one according to their works e. For those in Thyatira who do not follow her doctrine, or have not known the depths of Satan, as they call it, He places on them no other burden E. EXHORTATION AND PROMISE (25-29) 1. Hold fast what they have till He come 2. To him who overcomes and keeps His works until the end... a. He will give power over the nations, just as He received from the Father b. He will give the morning star 3. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) What pattern is generally followed in these letters to the churches? 3) What is generally the basis for the Lord's self-designation in these letters? (1,8,12,18) 4) For what does the Lord commend the church in Ephesus? (2-3,6) 5) For what does the Lord condemn them? (4) 6) What solution does Jesus give for restoring their first love? (5) 7) What warning does Jesus give the church in Ephesus? (5) 8) For what does the Lord commend the church in Smyrna? (9) 9) Who was guilty of blasphemy in Smyrna? (9) 10) Why were they not to fear what they were about to suffer? (10) 11) For what does the Lord commend the church in Pergamos? (13) 12) What is said about where they dwell? (13) 13) For what does the Lord condemn them? (14-15) 14) What warning does Jesus give the church in Pergamos? (16) 15) For what does the Lord commend the church in Thyatira? (19) 16) For what does the Lord condemn them? (20) 17) What does the Lord say regarding the woman who calls herself a prophetess? (21-23) 18) What exhortation does He give the church at Thyatira? (25) 19) What exhortation is given at the end of each letter? (7,11,17,29) 20) List the promises given in this chapter to those who overcome (7, 11,17,26-28)