To the Angel of the Church Write

In Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 we find a specific message written to each of the seven churches in Asia. In each message, the Lord is addressed differently. For example, to Ephesus he is “the one who walks in the midst” but to Pergamum he is “the one who has the double-edged sword”. And it seems the condition of each church is reflected in the nature of Jesus as he is described to them. For example, the warning to Ephesus is “I will remove your lampstand” but for Pergamum it is “I will make war with them with the sword from my mouth”. For those in Ephesus, it is in their power to change. But to Smyrna, he says “the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and you will experience affliction ten days” then simply says “be faithful till death”. It seems that this is not in their control and we find phrases like “the synagogue of satan”, “the throne of satan”, “where satan lives”. Yet, even in the face of these phrases, throughout the New Testament we find

Acts 9:31 (LEB) Then the church throughout all of Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being strengthened. And living in the fear of the Lord and the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it was increasing in numbers.

Acts 13:49 (LEB) So the word of the Lord was carried through the whole region.

Acts 16:5 (LEB) So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were growing in number every day.

Acts 19:20 (LEB) In this way the word of the Lord was growing in power and was prevailing.

Ephesians 6:18 (LEB) with all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the Spirit, and to this end being alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints,

The Church in Ephesus

Revelation 2:1–7 LEB
The introduction in Revelation 2:1 says “This is what the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand says, the one who walks in the midst of the seven gold lampstands”. Jesus is seeing them, not just in their own circumstance, but as one of many churches. None of their works matter if they aren’t putting their love for him first.

The Good: Revelation 2:2-3,6 “I know your works, and labor, and patient endurance” and cannot tolerate evil, and found false apostles and have not become weary, “and “you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans”.

The Bad: Revelation 2:4-5 “you have left your first love”.

The Warning: Revelation 2:5 “I will remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent”.

The Promise: Revelation 2:7 “To the one who conquers, I will grant to him to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God”.

The Church of Smyrna

Revelation 2:8–11
The introduction in Revelation 2:8 is from the one “who was dead and came to life” because some of these were going to be put to death and it was all out of their control. They are simply told, “do not be afraid”.

The Good: Revelation 2:9 “I know your affliction and poverty and the slander”.

The Bad: Revelation 2:10 “some of you … will experience affliction”.

The Warning: Revelation 2:10 “Be faithful until death”.

The Promise: Revelation 2:10 “I will give you the crown of life”. Revelation 2:11 “The one who conquers will never be harmed by the second death”.

The Church of Pergamum

Revelation 2:12–17
The introduction in Revelation 2:12 is from “the one who has the double-edged sword”. And this church is “were satan lives” so they have no control over the death of “Antipas”. They can though, choose to set aside the wrong teaching and those that do, will receive a personal and private commendation from Jesus, anew name that no one else knows.

The Good: Revelation 2:13 “I know where you live, where the throne of satan is. And you hold fast to my name”.

The Bad: Revelation 2:14-15 “you have there those who hold fast to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat food sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. 15 So likewise you also have those who hold fast to the teaching of the Nicolaitans”.

The Warning: Revelation 2:16 “I will make war with them with the sword from my mouth”.

The Promise: Revelation 2:17 “To the one who conquers I will give to him some of the hidden manna, and I will give to him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, that no one knows except the one who receives it”.

The Church in Thyatira

Revelation 2:18–29
The introduction in Revelation 2:18 is from “the one who has his eyes like a fiery flame and his feet like fine bronze”. Even though this church has great works, they are influenced by Jezebel. They can choose to “hold fast” against Jezebel and need to because it is an enticing spirit and as it says in Revelation 2:24 “all those who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they say, I do not put upon you any other burden”.

The Good: Revelation 2:19 “I know your works, and your love, and faith, and service, and patient endurance—and your last works are greater than the first”.

The Bad: Revelation 2:20-23 “you tolerate the woman Jezebel, the one who calls herself a prophetess, and teaches and deceives”.

The Warning: Revelation 2:23 “I will kill her children with deadly disease”.

The Promise: Revelation 2:26-28 “the one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him authority over the nations, 27 and “he will shepherd them with an iron rod; he will break them in pieces like jars made of clay,” 28 as I also have received from my Father, and I will give him the morning star”.

The Church of Sardis

Revelation 3:1–6

The Church of Philadelphia

Revelation 3:7–13

The Church of Laodicea

Revelation 3:14–22

Study Verses

  • Revelation 2:1–7
  • Revelation 2:8–11
  • Revelation 2:12–17

Today’s Reading

  • Revelation 2:1-29
  • Revelation 3:1-22