Revelation 2


To Ephesus

The Authority

2:1 “To the messenger of the kehilah at Ephesus write: These things says he who holds the seven stars in his right hand, and walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands!”{1}”

{2:1.1} Revelation 1:12-16

The Praise

2:2 “I know your works, and your labors, and your endurance, and how you cannot bear those who are evil. You have tried those who claim that they are apostles, but are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3You have endured patiently, and you have labored in my name and have not fainted.”

The Grievance

2:4 “Nevertheless, I have this one thing against you – you have abandoned the love you had for me at first.”

The Warning

2:5 “So consider from where you have fallen. Turn back and do the works you did at the first. If you do not return, I will come in among you and forcefully shake your lampstand. 6But you have this to your credit – you hate the deeds of the nicolaitans,{1} which I also hate!”

{2:6.1} Greek: <niko> niko = conqueror, laitoj – laitos = people>

The systematic subjugation of the people under a hierarchical authoritarian religious system. This dictatorial ploy was circumvented by Yeshua when James and John used their mother’s emotional plea in an attempt to secure themselves a nicolaitan position among their fellow disciples (Matthew 20:20-28). This “leadership” technique which results in manipulation, intimidation, and control (witchcraft) is common among gentile dictators and false religious systems which must keep their sheeple from thinking for themselves.

The Promise

2:7 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the kehilot: To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of hwhy!”{1}

{2:7.1} Revelation 22:2

To Smyrna

The Authority

2:8 “To the messenger of the kehilah at Smyrna write: These things says the first and the last, who was dead, and is alive!”{1}”

{2:8.1} Revelation 1:17-18

The Praise

2:9a “I know your works, and your tribulation, and your poverty. But you are indeed rich!”

The Grievance

9b “I also know the blasphemy of those who falsely claim to be Israel,{1} but are of the assembly of hasatan.”

{2:9b.1} Jews (KJV) – In the days of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, the nation of Israel was divided into two separate kingdoms, which became known as Yisrael (Israel in the north) and Yehudah (Judah in the south). Hundreds of years later, the Israelites of the northern kingdom were conquered by the Assyrians and dispersed. A generation after their dispersal, the Israelites in Judaea were exiled into Babylon, where the term Yehudi (shortened in Middle English to Jew circa 1000 CE) became a common term for the Israelites who once lived in the kingdom of Judah. The term Yehudim first appears in II Kings 16:6 before the Babylonian captivity, but it does not become common until the Babylonian captivity. The northern tribes of Israel, as a whole, remained dispersed among the nations.

When the Judean Israelites returned from Babylon, the title Jew (Yehudi in Hebrew) stayed with them“identity. The small number of Israelites from the northern tribes who returned to the land also took on this common descriptor. By the first century, the terms Jew and Israelite were used interchangeably – even though their distinctions are still historically and prophetically valid. Today, the term Jew no longer maintains its geographic distinction to the area of Judaea – and though the term is commonly used to denote the religious sect of the Pharisees, it was not used this way exclusively. Shaul repeatedly used the terms Jew and Israelite interchangeably in his letters. He called himself an Israelite in one context (Romans 11:1), and in another context he described himself as a Jew from the tribe of Benyamin who was raised in the Jew’s religion – a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5).

Here, in the book of the Revelation, Yochanan is addressing those who claimed to be Israelites – but were not. These people in the assembly in Smyrna were neither pretending to be Pharisees – religious Jews – nor asserting to be physical inhabitants of Judaea. Shaul clarified in Romans 2:28-29, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly…But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly…” Shaul“ is obviously comfortable interchanging the terms Jew and Israel. Gentiles were always welcome to be grafted into Israel, which is an issue of turning to the God of Israel with the whole heart and keeping his commandments. Shaul goes on to state in Rom. 2:29 that a true Jew is one whose heart is circumcised by the Ruach. Jeremiah prophesied this inward change in Jer. 31:33, “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel [and with the house of Judah] after those days, says hwhy: I will put My Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Hence, the issue in dividing the true believers from the pretenders remains: is the Ruach Kodesh writing the Torah on the hearts and in the minds of those who claim to be his?

There were those in the kehilah of Smyrna who claimed to be grafted into Israel and of the same body – but they were liars (Romans 11:1-36; Ephesians 3:6). They ascribed to a newly invented, man-made covenant which bore no resemblance to the Covenant that the Messiah renewed with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31). As Yeshua walked among the lampstands undetected, he exposed those who pretended to be grafted into Israel, yet did not have the Torah written on their hearts. He called them out as deceivers – members of the assembly of hasatan – not grafted-in members of the kehilah of Israel. Though they feign themselves to be in the faith and pretend to manifest the power of the Holy Spirit, one day Yeshua will tell them straight to their face, “I never knew you – you violators of the Torah” (Matthew 7:22-23).

The Warning

2:10 “Do not fear the things you will endure. Behold, hasatan will throw some of you into the darkness of the night watch to test you, and you will be afflicted for ten days. But be faithful to the death, and I will give you a crown of life.”

The Promise

2:11 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the kehilot: He who overcomes{1} shall not be harmed by the second death!”{2}

{2:11.1} Revelation 2:7, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7

{2:11.2} Revelation 20:6, 14; 21:8

To Pergamos

The Authority

2:12 “To the messenger of the kehilah at Pergamos write: These things says he who has the sharp sword with two edges!”{1}

{2:12.1} Revelation 1:16; 2:16; 19:15, 21

The Praise

2:13 “I know your works, and where you dwell – where the seat of hasatan is. You have held fast to my name and have not denied my faith – even in the days in which Antipas, my faithful martyr, was slain in your midst at the seat of hasatan.”{1}

{2:13.1} The edifice known as the Seat of Satan was the place where numbers of Messianic believers were publicly executed in the Temple of Zeus. In 1902 the edifice was removed from Pergamos and taken to Berlin, Germany by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Adolf Hitler used the Seat of Satan as the structural template for the Third “Reich’s outdoor military theater, which he built in Nuremburg. The original Seat of Satan was later taken to Russia by Stalin, who subsequently murdered millions of his fellow countrymen. The Seat was returned to Berlin in 1958.

The Grievance

2:14 “But I have a few things against you, because you have among you those who hold the doctrine of Balaam,{1} who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel by eating things sacrificed to idols and committing fornication with pagan temple prostitutes. 15You also have those who hold the doctrine of the nicolaitans,{1} which I hate!”

{2:14.1} Numbers 31:16; II Peter 2:15

{2:15.1} See note {2:6.1} on nicolaitanism – the “leadership” perversion Yeshua hates with a Divine passion.

The Warning

2:16 “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword{1} that comes out of my mouth.”

{2:16.1} Revelation 1:16; 2:12; 19:15, 21

The Promise

2:17 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the kehilot: To him who overcomes{1} will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written{2} which no man can know except the one who receives it!”

{2:17.1} Revelation 15:2-4

{2:17.2} Isaiah 56:5, 62:2, 65:15; Revelation 3:12

To Thyatira

The Authority

2:18 “To the messenger of the kehilah at Thyatira write: These things says the Son of hwhy, who has eyes like a flaming fire, and feet like burnished brass!”{1}

{2:18.1} Revelation 1:14-15”

The Praise

2:19 “I know your works of righteousness, and your charity, and your service, and your faith, and your patient endurance, and your labors – and your labors are now more abundant than at the first.”

The Grievance

20“Nevertheless, I have a few things against you because you allow that “Jezebel” woman, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach.  She seduces my servants to prostitute themselves and indulge in idolatry. 21I gave her some space to repent of her seductive behavior, but she refused.”

The Warning

22“Watch me – I will throw her and those who commit adultery with her into a bed of great tribulation – unless they repent of their deeds. 23I will exterminate her children, and then all the kehilot will know that I am he who searches the innermost thoughts and hearts. I will reward every one of you according to your works.”

The Promise

24“But I say to you, and to the rest in Thyatira who have not embraced this perverted doctrine and have “not known the depths of hasatan’s depravity of which they speak from experience; I will put no other burden upon you. 25Just hold fast to that which you still have until I come. 26He who overcomes and keeps my commandments to the end, to him will I give authority over the nations. 27He shall rule them with a rod of iron! As the vessels of a potter, they shall be broken to shards – just as I have received this authority from my Father.{1} 28Yes, I will give him the morning star!{1}

29He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the kehilot.”

{2:27.1} Psalm 2:8-9

{2:28.1} Revelation 20:4-6, 22:16”

Excerpt From: Michael J. Rood. “The Chronological Gospels.” iBooks

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