The context of Revelation strongly indicates that it is a revealing of end time events, and since ALL scripture is for the instruction of ALL of the called out:, the messages to the seven churches are an instructive type or analogy for the end time situation and for every called out individual.
This article is about the conditions and prophecies directly concerning the church [Ekklesia] for this end time.
Messages to the Seven Churches
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
The prophecies were sealed until the end time, when the time of their fulfillment is at hand, Daniel 12 and Revelation 5 confirm this.
At the very End Time the Sealed Books will be unsealed and spiritual knowledge and understanding will be increased for the faithful to God. We have the promise of God in Daniel 12, confirmed in Revelation 5. The books of the prophecies will be opened to the understanding of the faithful, when their redemption is at hand!
We are not only to hear and understand, we are to KEEP the words of Revelation! A blessing being pronounced on those who faithfully KEEP the messages to the seven churches by correcting their faults as identified by Jesus Christ.
We are not to cherry pick the things that make us feel good about ourselves while rejecting anything else as only applying to others; we are to examine ourselves by EVERY Word of God and we are to correct ourselves, or God will have to correct us himself.
1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
ALL of the seven churches existed together at the same time in the first century when John wrote this, and ALL seven attitudes, strengths and issues have always existed at the same time together, through history from the first century to today; and all seven attitudes, strengths and issues exist together at the same time today!
All of these seven churches existed together at the same time and all of these messages are for us today.
The seven churches are about seven different attitudes, strengths and problems in the Ekklesia and are written to the WHOLE of the Ekklesia, to each one of us; and all of these messages were written for the guidance of the New Covenant Ekklesia through the centuries from the first century to today; so that each and every one of us might examine ourselves as to our own spiritual condition.
Of course different attitudes may dominate organizations at different times, however this idea of seven consecutive eras is simplistic and seems designed to justify ignoring most of the messages by claiming they are meant for others: When we are to apply ALL scriptures to ourselves for our own benefit.
Brethren, as verse 3 makes clear, ALL of this Book was written for EVERY PERSON in the Ekklesia at all times!
Nowhere does John record that this was on some mail route and these churches represent consecutive eras! That is not in the scriptures; ALL seven churches existed at the same time together in the first century; all of these problems have existed in the Ekklesia throughout history since the first century, and they all exist in the Ekklesia today!
The true Ekklesia has always been a mix of people containing the Ephesian, Laodicean and all of the other attitudes! In any corporate church group today; ALL of these messages are applicable because each group is a mix of all of these different attitudes in its individual brethren, as well as unconverted briers and tares.
In fact this situation is climaxing today at the end time, fulfilling the prophecies of a great falling away from true godliness!
This study will demonstrate that the problems of all seven churches exist in the Ekklesia at the same time today, just as they have existed throughout the period from the first century to today; which is what the Revelation messages from Jesus Christ are all about.
Every one of these messages from Jesus Christ is a personal message to each and every one of us, alerting us to what we should look out for, and warning us what to examine ourselves for.
All seven church attitudes exist today and ALL of these messages are for every one of us today! Each of us needs to examine himself honestly to see if we have any of these problems. We all need to remember that NO corporate church is a true church of God at all, and that the true Ekklesia is made up of every called out person!
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [including the Seven Messages] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat [the Word of God]; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink [in the physical sense; just as we must do in both the physical and the spiritual sense]: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters [referring to today’s spiritual idolatry], as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
10:8 Neither let us commit fornication [Pornea, which means any disloyalty to our spouse; today referring to following any other than the whole Word of God as inspired by Jesus Christ our espoused Husband], as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ [by not being faithful to His Word and so challenging his authority as our head], as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10:10 Neither murmur ye [We are not to complain against and blame Christ and the Father for our trials and we are not to try to mitigate trials by compromising with God’s Word; instead we are to run to God and cry out to our Mighty Deliverer for salvation.], as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
The Seven Churches
Each one of the seven spirits is the spiritual overseer [angel spirits] of one of the seven churches, helping Christ who is over all.
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed [the sincerely repentant] us from our sins in his own blood,
The reward of those chosen to be changed to spirit at the early harvest, is to be made kings and priests of the order of Jesus Christ unto God the Father.
As kings [rulers] and priests [teachers of godliness] it will be our mission to bring many to the righteousness of understanding and zealously living by every Word of God!
Most tend to think that today’s terrible example of elders dominating the brethren is the right way to go, and look forward to dominating others in the Kingdom.
NO, NO, NO, Absolutely NOT. The Nicolaitane attitude of most elders today in coming between the brethren and God and dominating the brethren is an abomination to Jesus Christ.
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father [Did you catch that? Jesus is here referred to a God and with God the Father!]; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus Christ shall come from heaven and will be seen in the skies of the earth, and all who live at that time shall see him. Later in their own time of resurrection, those who killed him will also see him and shall weep and deeply repent.
When Christ comes, all humanity alive after the last battle, when the political and spiritual rulers of spiritual Babylon are destroyed and Satan with his demonic followers are imprisoned; will sincerely repent and turn to God the Father, and the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28).
1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Jesus Christ existed from the beginning and will exist until the end. Of God’s family there shall be no end; and all of the wicked, will have their end in the lake of fire by the power of Jesus Christ! He will NOT tolerate any willful sin, but will cast the unrepentant who will not stop sinning: into the fire of eternal destruction.
1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
John had been exiled to the island of Patmos because of his preaching of Christ.
1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
John was in spirit; that is, he saw a vision.
The term Lord’s day refers to the latter day “Day of the Lord” when Christ comes, so the vision regarding the seven churches was a vision that the end time seven churches which are all together at the Day of the Lord when Christ comes, and the issues being revealed are the issues in the Ekklesia TODAY!
This vision was not about seven churches in the first century, or any first century mail route! The vision merely used the conditions in the first century seven churches to reveal that these same conditions would exist today!
The vision is about seven church problems which exist during the latter days, our time today: the Day of the Lord’s coming!
1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
The whole Book of Revelation is addressed to the seven brother churches; as types representing the seven primary issues of the end time Ekklesia.
1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
The whole Book of Revelation was to be sent to all of the seven churches of Asia in John’s time, and doubtless the specific messages to each of the seven churches did apply at that time to each of them; but they were mere types of the situation in the last days: Day of the Lord time frame!
In John’s time the seven churches all existed at the same time; and in this latter day; all seven messages are applicable for OUR instruction!
The Lamp Stand
In King James England the use of candles was the common method of lighting in the land, so they improperly translated oil burning lamps [lamp stands], as candlesticks; and olive oil lamps as candles. When you see the terms candles or candlesticks: read oil burning lamps or oil lamps [Menorah].
The olive oil represents the Holy Spirit which is in the Ekklesia an d in converted individuals; which if used produces the light of a godly example for all others to see.
Today, the flow of the oil of the Holy Spirit has been quenched because the Ekklesia is spiritually asleep; and must be awakened and fill their lamps with the oil of the Holy Spirit in sincere repentance to be resurrected to life eternal.
It is explained in Zechariah 4 that the latter day Ekklesia is about to die and it is God’s two prophets who God will use to revive them; turning them to a passion for godliness and reviving them so that the oil of God’s Spirit might again make them shine brightly in passionate godliness.
In Zechariah 4 the golden lamp or menorah with is a single lamp stand with seven branches, each one representing one of the end time churches of Revelation. God’s two servants revive all seven branches of the lamp stand; therefore of necessity all seven Revelation churches must exist at the same time that these two are working.
1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [Oil Burning Lamps] one like unto the Son of man,
Jesus Christ and the Seven Spirits
. . . clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars [the seven spirits of the seven churches in his hand serve Christ over the seven churches, each church represented by a branch of the Menorah lamp stand]: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword [The TRUTH of God; which most of the brethren reject today to maintain their false traditions.]: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
John worships Christ and faints in awe of him.
1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Jesus Christ has the keys of judgment to save or to condemn the wicked who stray away from zeal to follow the whole Word of God, and follow idols of men.
1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
John is commanded to write what he sees.
1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks [the seven oil burning lamps; Menorah] which thou sawest are the seven churches.
The Seven Churches
ALL the words of this Book are for the instruction of ALL of God’s people.
Each one of us needs to take a very serious look at every one of the messages and examine ourselves closely as to whether we can learn from them about our own condition; and so profit from these messages in our own personal spiritual growth.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Brethren, How long will we cherry pick scripture to claim the good things are about us and any correction is about others; refusing to examine ourselves by the WHOLE Word of God? How long will we justify our sins by claiming that certain instructions apply only to others and not to ourselves?
ALL of these messages are for EVERYONE who reads the Book. That means that EVERY message is a personal message to each one of us today!
Saying that these messages are for sequential periods and not for us today is rejecting the loving instructions of Jesus Christ as he works to save us!
Jesus Christ speaks directly to those who have lost their first love and zeal for Him and His Word.
Do you remember the passion of our first love of God and the scriptures? Do you remember how we eagerly rushed to the scriptures to see whether some new thing we were learning was so? Do you remember how we tested the words of the various religions and found them to be false? and the joy we had at finding the one closest to the truth?
Do you remember how we lay awake at night trying to understand God’s Word and meditated on the Word of God every moment we could?
Did we not Hunger and Thirst; BURNING with passion to learn – to understand – to know the whole Word and Will of God? Did we not want to learn the things of God; to be like God our Father and passionately, joyously, wholeheartedly follow God’s every Word? Our burning love for our God and his Word was like the passion of a starving man for food, or a thirsty man for water; Or as a man and his bride yearn to be one with each other on their wedding day?
Ephesus 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Can you remember how we loved good and hated evil and tested all men and all things to live by every Word of God? Can you remember the joy we felt in our study of God’s Word at every new truth we discovered? and how we rushed to embrace and to keep it? Remember how we eagerly rushed to repudiate sin and turn to truth as soon as we learned the Will of God in some matter?
Remember how we tested by the scriptures all those who make claims of godliness and rejected all error for the truth of God?
Remember how much we endured for our love? How we were make a laughingstock by our friends, family and neighbours? Yet we patiently endured the pain and the disgrace heaped upon us, because of our passionate love for God and his Word.
2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s [to exalt the authority of God] sake hast labored [To grow in knowledge and understanding of true godliness], and hast not fainted.
2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Brethren, generally in today’s Ekklesia we have grown weary with well doing and have fallen away from our first passionate love and zeal for godliness! We have fallen spiritually asleep content to follow idols of men and corporate institutions in place of following our espoused Husband and living by every Word of God.
We have lost our fire of passionate love for our Husband, and have turned to other lovers by embracing idols of men and calling the promised latter day advances in knowledge and understanding that were promised to us: contemptible.
Jesus Christ admonishes us to REMEMBER our first love and passion for Him, His Father, and His Word. Our Husband stands and calls out to his bride: Remember me and return to me, rekindle your burning fire of zeal for me [Christ], for my Father and for His Word!
So many of us have lost our first passionate zeal for the whole Word of God and turned to a zeal for corporate idols and idols of men.
Oh, How we loved God and his Word!
But deceitful men came in and taught us that they were between us and God, and that we should blindly obey them without question as the supposed chosen leaders of God; and so we became passionate for men, being deceived that this was the same as a passion for God!
Today we love our corporate assemblies and its leaders, elders and our friends in the congregation: MORE THAN WE LOVE OUR GOD!
Today many gladly do what men say, even in contradiction to God’s Word! We no longer have a zeal to run to the whole Word of God to prove all things, instead we look at only the scriptures given to us by deceivers to justify the sins of men!
Brethren, the vast majority of brethren TODAY, have left their first love! We have left off from any zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God, and we have left off from any zeal for the TRUTH of God, to follow idols and false traditions of men.
Christ admonishes us to REPENT from turning away from our zeal for Him, His Father and His Word. He commands us to run back to our first passionate zealous enthusiasm for the righteousness of the whole Word of God to follow the espoused Husband of our baptismal commitment!
Jesus Christ warns each one of us that if we do not quickly and sincerely repent: He will remove our Light [the Holy Spirit in us] and reject us [into the great correction of tribulation] for turning away from our zeal for his Word to follow idols of men and ungodly traditions.
Our sins are many; such as calling the Sabbath and High Days holy, and then openly polluting them; or rejecting the newly revealed knowledge of God’s Biblical Calendar, for the unscriptural Rabbinic calendar; even knowingly lying to justify making an idol of the unconverted Rabbinate.
2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Yes, some of us hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes; which is the domination system of the Nicolaitane Babylonian Mysteries form of church governance; adopted by most of the Ekklesia today.
The ministry are to be helps for the brethren, to focus us on God; they are not to dominate and demand that the brethren follow their false traditions instead of being zealous for God.
2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
Brethren, IF we sincerely repent and turn back to our first love, the whole Word of God; to prove all things by the whole Word of God and to make God’s Word our ultimate moral authority, and if we overcome our tendency to exalt anything else so as to love it as much or more than we love the whole Word of God;: We shall be saved into the promised land of a change to spirit and eternal life by our sincere repentance from this terrible sin.
2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
If only the brethren, leaders and elders of the assemblies would open up the scriptures and instead of saying that the messages to teh first five churches, or Ezra and Nehemiah, or such and such; do not apply to us, but apply to others:
If we would only accept that ALL scripture is for our instruction; and that we NEED to wholeheartedly REPENT of polluting the Sabbath and Holy Days, and we NEED to STOP cooking and paying other to cook for and serve us on God’s holy time; that we NEED to stop marrying outside the faith; that we need to STOP idolizing men and the false traditions of men and turn with passionate zeal to the Word of God!
If such a thing were to be done; the whole heavens would erupt with a uncontainable rejoicing!
As Paul told Timothy all scripture is for OUR instruction. These scriptures apply to us: if we will only acknowledge that and correct ourselves, we shall be saved.
A message of encouragement for those who are physically poor yet faithfully following every Word of God and spiritually rich. Jesus reminds us that he died for us and is now alive by the power of God the Father; implying that we too as flesh will die, but if we are faithful to God the Father and continue to live by Word of God as Christ does. we will also be resurrected to eternal life.
2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive [Jesus Christ];
Those who are faithful in their godly actions [works of faith] to zealously KEEP the whole Word of God, may suffer physical poverty and persecution in this world, but they will become spiritually rich and will have riches in the world to come.
Those who claim to be Christians [spiritual Jews]; and then follow men away from and contrary to the Word of God, are of Satan. This includes the Church of God groups who idolize men and reject zealous obedience to the whole Word of God.
Does this seem harsh? The Spirit of God leads us into an enthusiastic passion to become like God, by learning and living by every Word and Will of God; which is TRUTH.
It is the spirit of Antichrist, the spirit of Satan, which leads people to follow idols of men, and to leave our first love of godliness and to reject any zeal to follow the whole Word and Will of God.
Those who know better and even stoop to LYING to themselves and others, to justify idolizing the Rabbinate and their false calendar are not of God. Neither are those who call God’s Sabbaths holy and then routinely and deliberately pollute them, or those who reject the truth to maintain past false traditions.
2:9 I know thy works [works of faith], and tribulation [trials], and [physical] poverty, (but thou art [spiritually] rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are [converted spiritual New Covenant called out] Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
The faithful to God and his Word, will suffer in this life; even from the hands of their families and friends in their beloved church corporations. God allows us to be tried so that me may grow in godliness and bring forth much fruit (John 15).
Christ encourages us that our trials will bring forth much fruit and are for our ultimate good; revealing that through patient endurance through trials we shall inherit a crown of eternal life.
2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days [years]: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Specifically there was a ten year persecution in the reign of Diocletian, from A. D. 303-313; which was ended by the Edict of Milan, issued by the two emperors, Constantine and Licinius, March, A. D. 313.
This persecution covered the whole extent of the Roman empire and affected all professing Christians. Smyrna type Christians suffered a great persecution for ten years and that persecution is analogous to the fact that all faithful Christians, zealous to keep the whole Word of God; are persecuted in this world.
Whether or not one wants to argue that Smyrna was dominant for a specific period of time: Who among those trying to live by every Word of God has not had their faith tested by many trials? This applies to us, as an encouragement, that though we may have many trials in this life, if we rely on our great God and continue to zealously live by every Word of God, we shall become spiritually rich and have a good reward.
Hebrews 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 10:33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
This is a promise from Jesus Christ that all those who are adamantly enthusiastic and full of love for God and his Word will suffer in this world for their zeal, but they will become spiritually rich forevermore!
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
The message ends with the promise to Smyrna and to all those in the Ekklesia who are zealous to live by every Word of God, that if we are willing to suffer and patiently endure for our passion or even to die for the faith, we shall receive the gift of eternal life.
This is a particular encouragement for most of today’s church of God who will soon be in the correction of a great tribulation. If we sincerely repent and overcome and turn to live by every Word of God, we will surely be persecuted, many to the death. But if we are faithful to God to steadfastly put God first above any trial and are even willing to die for love of God, we shall receive a crown of eternal life and will be delivered from the second death.
The vast majority of the called out brethren are zealous for God and his Word; but they have been deceived into thinking of their leaders and elders as being between them and God; and falsely believe that loyalty to these men is the same as loyalty to God: That is the sin of idolatry. And that is the lesson that God is teaching his people today!
Follow men ONLY as they follow God!
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
5:20 Despise not prophesyings [warnings and correction].
5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
3:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto [All the called out, the Ekklesia] the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
The Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword, to divide the holy from the profane. If we loved the truth we would never knowingly lie to justify our own positions, therefore it is obvious that many today have no love for the truth.
Nothing negative is said of Smyrna, only encouragement to be steadfast in trials.
Revelation 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
The Pergamos attitude holds fast to the name [the authority of God the Father and Jesus Christ] even though they dwell at the very seat of Satan in Pergamos and were among the martyrs. These people exalted the authority [name] of Christ and the Father above all else even to death.
This is an allegory that there are some in the Ekklesia today, who still exalt the “name” the AUTHORITY of the Word of God, Jesus Christ and God the Father.
They accept the authority of the Word of God as their ONLY moral authority even under persecution or doing so; this applies to the first century and it applies today as so many such faithful people are cast out of the Assemblies of the called out for not bowing to the Nicolaitane governance used in much of the latter day Ekklesia.
2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name [God’s authority], and hast not denied my faith [by turning away from the works of faith], even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols [to accept false doctrines of idols of men], and to commit fornication [pornea; spiritually disloyalty to our espoused husband Jesus Christ].
Balaam taught Balac how to entice Israel into sin to bring a curse upon themselves, by tempting them into fornication and idolatry.
It is the same today, as Satan has enticed us to follow idols of men and to commit spiritual adultery against our espoused Husband. We follow the false teachings of the heathen like the Nicolaitane Babylonian church governance system which puts the ministry as a layer of authority between us and our God to be blindly followed and obeyed. And by teaching for doctrine the commandments of men we bring the curse of rejection from Christ and his correction down upon ourselves.
2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
Just as the ancients exalted men placing them between men and God [the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes] today’s Ekklesia are also full of the abominable doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, and most maintain the doctrine of a layer of ministry between the brethren and God to this very day. Jesus Christ says he HATES this false doctrine, because it separates him from his people and attempts to give an authority that belongs to God the Father alone, to mere mortal men.
Jesus Christ says very clearly that this condition will exist when he comes and that Christ WILL FIGHT against those who hold to this abominable teaching when he comes.
2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth [the TRUTH] .
We are commanded to REPENT of the spiritual adultery of following men in place of the Husband of our baptismal espousal. We are commanded by Jesus Christ to REPENT of the Nicolaitane church governance system of exalting idols of men above the Word of Almighty God!
I am NOT against godly leaders and governance!
Godly leadership points all men to obey and zealously learn, Keep and Live By EVERY WORD OF GOD! Nicolaitane leadership says obey us because we are God’s appointed leaders; and so exalts men as little idols, placing men between the brethren and God!
Those who overcome the spiritual chains of exalting men and thinking of loyalty to idols of men as loyalty to God; will be delivered from slavery to men and will be fed the true heavenly manna of the Bread of Life, the whole Word of God!
As the physical temple was built of stones so the spiritual Temple is built of stones of the faithful chosen of humanity.
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Those who overcome the abominable church governance system of following men and not living by every Word of God will each be given a white [white being a symbol of purity from sin] stone; and a place among the stones [the spiritual stones of the spiritual temple of God] which will constitute the temple [the government of God]; they will, with the other stones [of resurrected men, Jesus Christ being the Chief Corner Stone] of the Temple, become a part of the spiritual Temple which is the eternal government of God!
They will receive a new name; that is a title [God calls things what they are] reflecting their new life and responsibilities in the government of God!
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna [to internalize the Bread of Life, the whole Word of God and to understand the things of God], and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Pride in good works toward men, while lacking any zeal to love God and live by EVERY Word of God; is exalting a love of men above our duty to follow and keep the whole Word and Will of God: This is idolatry!
Christ is described as like a flame of fire. Flames are a fire that purifies all things. Jesus Christ will purify all things by forgiving sincerely repented sins and destroying all willful sinners in the lake of fire.
Revelation 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are [shine] like fine brass;
There are people who have many good works and much good in them, who still sin and tolerate sin. A little leaven [leaven as a type of sin] leavens the whole lump. Let us not deceive ourselves that because we have some good or do some good works; that a few good things mixed with sins, makes us acceptable to God.
It is not a few good things which make us acceptable to God; but that we should live by EVERY WORD of God! Many sinners are charitable and do many good things, but they fall short because they will not live by every Word of God!
The problem that many fine generous people have is the putting of the first great commandment second and putting the secondary commandment first. They get so immersed in doing good for mankind that they forget any zeal to put God FIRST so that the good works become an idol replacing God as their primary concern.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Friends we ought to be charitable and serve others, but we ought to put God FIRST and serve God FIRST! We ought to live by EVERY WORD of God, and not by only a few of God’s words!
2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication [spiritually to serve others than to serve God], and to eat things sacrificed unto idols [to follow and internalize false teachings].
Thyatiran’s are generally humanly good folks in the Ekklesia who love their neighbor and are very kind and charitable, but lack a zeal to live by every Word of God.
Jezebel is a type of Baalism, or the Babylonian Nicolaitane system of obeying men as our idols; instead of fully zealously obeying God. The Thyatiran’s permit seducers and deceivers to teach the false traditions of men and entice the brethren away from any zeal to learn and keep the whole Word and Will of God.
Those with the Thyatira attitude tolerate false teachings of false religions and teaching people to spiritually [Pornea; refers to ALL sexual immorality i.e. disloyalty] commit spiritual adultery against our espoused spiritual Husband and His Word, with the false idea that they are godly because they are generous toward men.
Yes, generosity toward men is a godly thing,as long as it is kept secondary to putting every Word of God first. If we give vast sums to charitable enterprises and we do not regard the sanctity of the Sabbath, all our charitable works will be accounted as nothing when we are judged.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Today’s church of God has been warned and given time to repent of this same sin of exalting a layer of men as our idols to come between the brethren and God.
Elders and leaders can be excellent helps as long as they focus on God; yet prove all things and follow ONLY what is consistent with the whole Word of God!
2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication [putting men above God]; and she repented not.
Those with this attitude of tolerating the sin of idolizing men above the whole Word of God to obey men without question and to follow them contrary to the Word of God: are proud of their misguided love of men and will not repent of being unfaithful to the whole Word of God, therefore they will be cast into great tribulation.
This proves that there will be those with this problem at the end time. In fact this is an overspreading sin in the vast majority of the Ekklesia today. Nearly all of today’s congregations exalt some man above the Word of God or put good works above a zeal to put God first.
Jesus Christ calls on us to repent of this sin and threatens us with the tribulation if we refuse to do so.!
2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
The correction of the great tribulation will fall on ALL of the seven “churches” in this latter day, and being corrected they will learn to exalt the Eternal and the whole Word and Will of God above all else! Christ will judge us by ALL of our deeds, not just by those deeds that are good, but by ALL our works good and bad!
Appearances can be deceiving. Some great charities can hide much evil!
2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins [the hidden sensitive places] and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Brethren all of us will be judged by what we say and do therefore this example is for us today!
They were not criticized for doing good works, but they had good works towards men while having no zeal to keep all the other things in God’s Word. They were/are proud of their good works towards men, not understanding that they lack the good works of obeying God in other things. Jesus Christ tells us that this exalting of love of men above any zeal for God is a “Doctrine of Satan!”
Jesus then comforts those who are full of the good works of Thyatira, that if they do sincerely repent and put God first and reject making idols of men; that they will be covered by His sacrifice and will be made blameless; and instructs them to hold fast until he comes.
This instruction to Thyatira clearly says that those with the Thyatiran attitude will be cast into great tribulation in our day and will be present at the coming of Christ.
2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Christ has received ruler-ship over the whole earth and it is those with the Thyatira attitude of faith and service to GOD and to others; without the sins of Thyatira [serving men and neglecting service to God], who will rule the nations with him.
To the Thyatira attitude people who are proud of their good works toward men and are not zealous to learn and to keep the whole Word and Will of God, Christ says that this is a “doctrine of Satan” and that Christ will reject them into the correction of great tribulation in the hope that they will sincerely repent.
Those who overcome the sins of tolerating the sin of pride in exalting love of men above love of God and the sin of idolizing men according to the Babylonian church governance system; need to sincerely repent and turn to zealously live by every Word of God as Jesus lived.
2:26 And he that overcometh [repents of serving men while neglecting the service of God], and keepeth my works [has the works of faith in keeping the whole Word and Will of God] unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 2:27 And he [Christ] shall rule them [all nations] with a rod of iron [refusing to tolerate any law breaking]; as the vessels of a potter shall they [shall all rebellion and refusal to put God FIRST] be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Once they learn to put God first they will serve God with the same zeal with which they had served men, and the sincerely repentant of Thyatira will shine brightly in the government of God forever.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Revelation 2:28 And I will give him the morning star [the repentant of Thyatira will be one with Jesus Christ at his coming].
Brethren, these things may have some historical era meaning; but their main purpose is for our instruction at the end of the age. It is not wise to neglect these things as only ancient history. All of these attitudes and problems are climaxing in the Ekklesia TODAY!
All of these messages are absolutely applicable to the Ekklesia today.
May those with God’s Spirit understand what the Spirit is saying to them.
2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.