|Revelation 2 |
1 "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, These things says he who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear those who are evil; and you have tried those who say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars; [Notice! Jesus is referencing their works, which are works of loving obedience to the commands you hear spoken from God in your heart, which works are energized by faith and are essential. When Paul said, "not by works," he was speaking of dead works, (from your own will), from the law: circumcision, washings, sacrifices, special foods, sabbath restrictions, days, feasts, tithing, etc. In these messages to the seven churches, Jesus mentions to every church how their works are key; He even demands perfect works from the believers. All men are judged on their words and works.]
3 And have persevered, and have patience, and for my name's sake have labored, and have not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have something against you: you have left your first love.1
5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of its place — unless you repent.2
6 But you have this, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitians, which I also hate.
7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches: To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.3
8 To the angel of the church in Smyrna write, These things says the first and the last, who was dead, and is alive.
9 I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich), and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan.4 [Though they are relatively rich in spirit, they mourn for more. Christians are inward Jews with circumcised hearts; those who claim to be Christians, but who have not had their hearts circumcised by the Spirit, speak blasphemy calling themselves Christians; their churches are synagogues of Satan. Notice again! Jesus is referencing their works, which are works of loving obedience to the commands you hear spoken from God in your heart.]
10 Fear none of those things that you will suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison, so that you may be tried; and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life.
11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches: He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.5
12 To the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things says he who has the sharp sword with two edges;
13 I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is; yet you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith, even in those days when Antipas my faithful martyr was slain among you, where Satan dwells. [Notice again! Jesus is referencing their works.]
14 But I have a few things against you: you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to set a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitians, which thing I hate. [According to early Quaker Stephen Crisp, who dwelled in the kingdom, the doctrine of the Nicolaitians was: since the law is dead, as long as you have faith, there is no sin to be counted against you, which is the cornerstone of today's Protestant Christianity — that grace excuses their past, present, and future sins — thereby transferring the meaning of grace to become a license for immorality. From the Word of the Lord within: "They have taken the Bible and made it an unholy thing used to justify their immersion in sin." Margaret Fox replied strongly to the ministers and teachers of corruption in her time, who taught that the entire law of God was cancelled and replaced by just believing in Jesus. This letter is also on the Until Your Words and Deeds are Prompted by God, You Must Obey the Inner Law on the Heart of Every Man web page, and perfectly applies to Christianity's false doctrines today. From the Word of the Lord within: "The law is in every man's heart, and it must be obeyed; the supreme law — never been cancelled."]
16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. [Notice, in the Book of Revelation, Jesus emphasizes the necessity of repentance from all sins; but the Christians of today think they have no need to repent, presuming that they are excused from all the warnings of Jesus and all the Bible's stated exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions of salvation; they also overlook that every man will be judged on his works and words. So today's Christians, listening to the words of the scriptures, hear them like a beautiful song that is sweet to their ears, but they fail to apply the commands to themselves — always thinking the warnings and commands apply to bad people, not righteous believing people like themselves; so they do not obey the commands of repentance from sin that they hear or read, remaining slaves to sin; and then they are banned from heaven when they die.]
17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches: To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone with a new name written on it, which no man knows except he who receives it.
18 To the angel of the church in Thyatira write, These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.
19 I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and that the last are more than the first. [Their works are increasing, which is good.]
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you: you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. [Adultery is not only sexual adultery, but also spiritual adultery from God, embracing the world, with lusts and pride. Jezebel is the prototype for the Whore of Babylon, who adulterated with the kings of the earth, to embrace the world.]
21 I gave her time to repent of her adultery; and she has not repented.
22 Therefore, I will cast her onto a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches will know that I am he who searches the minds and the hearts; and I will give to each of you according to your works.6
24 But I say to you, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not hold to this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say; I will put upon you no other burden.
25 But what you already have, hold fast until I come. [2000 years ago, He told these people "hold fast until I come!" Jesus does not deceive people, and the people He addressed are long gone from this earth. For his statement to be true, He had to have come to them thousands of years ago. He comes to every man in all generations who has worked hard to follow His spoken commands to them. The return of Jesus is a personal experience in the hearts of purified believers; He is seen, He appears, He is revealed. From the Word of the Lord within: "I will come again to the elect; I will be their crown to lead and guide them."]
26 He who overcomes, and continues my [commanded] works to the end, to him I will give power over the nations; [You must overcome the world, sin, and the devil to attain salvation; and to overcome, you must persist in obedience to the word of the Lord within to the end when you see Him bring your eternal life and salvation.]
27 And he will rule them with a rod of iron, like the vessels of a potter they will be broken to pieces; just as I also received authority from my Father.7
28 And I will give him the morning star.8 [We have the more sure prophetic word [the word in your heart]; to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19. As the lightning comes out of the east, and shines to the west; so also will the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:27. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star. Rev 22:16. From the Word of the Lord within: "Light comes from faith in the voice. First the light arises, then the kingdom."]
29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 You have left your first love. Many people have a religious experience, or an awakening, or a touch by God — which sets them on fire. A touch by God, or a spiritual experience, is not to be born again. This experience is God's gift of hunger and a call to put on the incorruptible. So, in the beginning, with the memory of his goodness having touched them, they are on fire for God. They desperately seek how to please him; becoming kind and giving to those around them, turning from evil, doing everything they know how. This is the first love. But then we are lulled by the sects in to believing nothing more is possible than the false salvation they think they have found in the scriptures, failing to come to him, listen to Him, and receive the life of God. Because there is so much toleration of sin to be found in the thousands of deficit sects, we lose our fervor, and we slip back into our old habits. We fall from where we were at first.
Jesus is telling us to rekindle the love; to turn from evil again; to renew our efforts. And how do we do this? We turn from evil as best we can; at least those that our hands and feet control, while our hearts and mouths are in need of his changing grace. So we go to him. We wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. Do this, and you will be touched again; your fire will be rekindled, your love will be renewed, you fervor will be sustained, you will be back on the path of seeing, hearing, and uniting with your beloved.
2 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of its place — unless you repent. Without their repentance Jesus threatens to come quickly, (apparently more quickly than if they stayed obedient until He appears to bring salvation and eternal life), and remove their candlestick — the light within them or even to terminate their life, which occurred to disobedient early Quakers who had an advanced spiritual state and was described as being struck down or more frequently, cut-off, (from the cord of life). These believers had progressed far enough to have had his light dawn in their hearts, but then they returned to sin. This shows how His coming is an individual experience. Jesus makes a similar threat in verse 16 above, and Peter tells us while waiting on God, we can hasten the coming of the day of Christ, 2 Peter 3:12, which clearly shows that the timing of His coming varies by an individual believer's progress. This verse is more substantiation that the coming of Jesus in an individual experience of the purified believer, having believed what he heard the Lord command him to do, having obeyed it, having sought to hear more commands of the Lord by waiting on Him, and having done all with persistence, patience, and endurance to the end.
3 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches:
Notice! Jesus says church(es) — plural. He tells us to hear what he says to the churches seven times in Rev 2-3. The blind guides of Babylon's Christianity teach that the seven churches in Revelation are the churches in seven different ages, but the fact that Jesus tells us to listen to what he is saying to all the churches indicates He is addressing the common problems of all churches in all ages. Every problem, including the churches being synagogues of Satan, are problems with all the churches and are warnings to anyone that can hear, (who has an ear), for in most every church there are a few of His people. He calls His few out of the churches, saying: Come out of her, my people, that you do not share in her sins, and that you do not receive her plagues. Rev 18:4. Think about it: John is writing a few years after Jesus' death, and already great apostasy has set in, churches in His name being taken over by false doctrines and becoming synagogues of Satan. Now fast forward 2000 years. Giving Satan 2000 more years to further deception with false doctrines, is it not logical that Satan's hold on the churches today would be pervasive, even universal?
Jesus said the false prophets in sheep's clothing would come. John said the antichrists and false apostles had come and had gone out from among them. Peter saw the false teachers had come. Paul saw the false apostles had come, and warned the brothers night and day for three years of more coming. And in Revelation, John saw where the whole world was to go after the false prophets and the false church, which occurred shortly afterwards. Jesus now addresses the apostatized churches in these two chapters of Revelations.
He who overcomes.
Overcomes what? The world: the lusts of the world, the pride of life in the world, the customs and traditions of the world, the greed of the world, the pleasures of the world, the profanity of the world, the sexual immorality of the world, the hate and anger of the world. Your heart is a mirror of the world; your heart has been programmed by the world. The draws, the lures, the attractions, the habits, the addictions — all have to be conquered — overcome. This is done by the Spirit, mortifying the deeds of the flesh. When you are obedient to the Spirit's leading, this is true faith — and the faith purifies your heart, and your obedience to the truth purifies your soul. This is to fight the good fight of faith to lay hold of life eternal. 1 Tim 6:12.
What kind of faith purifies? Believing? No, not belief in the facts of the Bible. Faith that results in obedience to what you hear the Lord speak to you is evidence of your belief. Christendom would have you believe that hearing someone read the words of the Bible is hearing the word of God, and if you believe them, you are a "believer." But this only results in belief in a book and faith in the words in a book. Yet Paul has told us that faith comes from hearing the word, which word is in our heart; so to have real faith, you must hear from within and believe whom you hear, to be the Son of God; and believe enough to completely obey him; and then keep on waiting on God, hearing, believing what you hear, and then obeying what you are commanded to do. For Jesus became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him. Heb 5:9. This is the beginning of real faith, the foundation of faith:
For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and does [obeys] them,
I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house,
who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock;
and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it,
because it had been securely built or founded on a rock. Luke 6:47-48.
He who overcomes, will eat of the tree of life.
Adam exchanged the life of God for the life of the serpent, and thus became dead to the life of God; and all his children are dead to the life of God and unable to eat from the tree of life, which is guarded by a flaming sword from men. When man has crucified his sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial, and received the baptism of fire, he can eat from the tree of life again, having been restored to the image of God in righteousness and holiness. As an early Quaker, William Dewsbury, wrote in 1655:
“Thus through the righteous law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, I was and am made free from the body of sin and death; and through these great tribulations, my garments are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, who has led me into the new Jerusalem, where no one enters that works abomination or speaks a lie, but those whose name is written in the Lamb's book of life. Here my soul now feeds upon the tree of life, which I had so long hungered and thirsted after, that stands in the paradise of God. Here there is no more curse nor night; but the Lord God and the Lamb are my light and life forever and ever! And I witness that I am regenerated and born again of the immortal seed, and having partaken of the first resurrection, over such the second death has no power."
Notice, he who overcomes, I will give power over the nations; he will rule them with a rod of iron, like the vessels of a potter they will be broken to pieces; just as I also received authority from my Father.
The Lord rules the nations through his saints. He is not coming back to the world, except as his spirit appears in his saints, to rule the world through them. The rod is the words from his mouth, Isa 11:4, spoken by the saints as they hear from the Spirit.
4 I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. A true Christian is an inward Jew, his heart having been circumcised, putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. Those who claim to be Christians, but who have not had their hearts circumcised by the Spirit, speak blasphemy calling themselves Christians. These are the false Christians of Babylon, worshiping in a form, without the power of God to free them from sin by cutting off the flesh of their hearts; their churches are synagogues of Satan. Throughout his writings, Kingdom-dwelling George Fox identified churches of those who professed Christ, but did not possess Christ, (those without a circumcised heart), as synagogues of Satan; Fox even has a letter devoted to identifying them as synagogues of Satan.
5 He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death. Everyone passes through the fire on the Day of the Lord, but he who has overcome will be snatched from the flames unhurt by the Lord. See Francis Howgill's writing on the Day of the Lord for the details.
6 I will kill her children with death; and all the churches will know that I am he who searches the minds and the hearts; and I will give to each of you according to your works. The Spirit of Jesus, the Word of God, searches our hearts and minds; why? To show us our problems, to show us our sins, to show us the secrets of our heart that we can't even see. By sitting quietly, listening and watching, you let the gentle Teacher show you your problems; and with your regret and resolve to do better, he then removes the desire to sin from your heart.
Jesus, the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is not any created being that is not seen [continually] by God, but all things are exposed and open to the eyes of him [God] to whom we must give an account. Heb 4:12-13.
So Jesus is threatening death to those continuing to commit adultery. Clearly, he does not tolerate sin: I will kill her children with death. He is not partial to those who call him Lord and still sin. He is not partial to those who quote scriptures to him to prove they are excused by their grace-license for immorality. I will give to everyone according to his works, without partiality.
And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither does he come to the light, for fear his deeds will be exposed and reproved.
But he who practices truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be shown to have been produced [formed and powered] through God. John 3:19-21.
Just in case you didn't know, "doing evil" means "still sinning." Jesus has warned us, and warned us, that sin and he don't coexist; but Christendom takes no notice; they have discarded all of his teachings. If you have any doubts, click here for several of the warnings.
Notice! Jesus is severely warning "believers" in the churches of their pending destruction. This does not fit with the widespread gospel of instant grace that is the cornerstone of Protestantism.
In his arrogance, Martin Luther had harsh words for this book of Revelation, saying that he could "in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it." He also rejected Hebrews, James, and Jude because they too did not support salvation by "just believing."
7 He who overcomes, and continues in my [commanded] works until the end.
To overcome the world is to be crucified from the lusts of the world: to have mortified the lusts and desires for things, wealth, bodies, sex; that is the victory that overcomes.
Who continues in my works — is to remain obedient to the commands of God that will be given continuously, once you have overcome sin. Now you will be walking in continued watchfulness with the Lord, as he prompts you with thoughts, words, and works to be performed. This fulfills the purpose of God creating saints:
Now the God of peace, .. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Heb 13:20-21
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, Eph 2:10
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin], and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works. Tit 2:14
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Mat 5:16
till the end. After you have demonstrated your watchfulness against sin, and after you have been further prepared, you are then born again. Here you enter into union with God, and you sit down at rest in Christ; therefore you possess Christ and his righteousness, which is the end of imputation and the end of belief. Now you are a permanent part of Christ's body, fit to rule in his stead.
to him (who overcomes) will I give power over the nations. And he will rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter they will be broken to pieces; even as I received from my Father.
Note! Jesus is not going to rule the nations himself; Jesus is going to give power over the nations to his saints, who have overcome the world and have become free from sin. Jesus will rule the nations through his saints, but he will not be physically on the earth. Jesus' saints will not be "raptured" into heaven out of the world; they will remain in the world to rule the world, and rule it with a rod of iron. The rapture is a personal experience, when a purified believer receives salvation, enters into union with God, and is translated into the Kingdom of Christ. To be translated does not mean one leaves the earth, as Paul and others were on the earth, but whose consciousness and sight had been translated into the Kingdom, a parallel dimension sharing the same physical space.
Sinners will never be taken into heaven, otherwise heaven would be full of evil, selfish, cheating, lying, stealing, murdering, drunken, angry, jealous, envious, profane, hating, raging people. Hell is for sinners, where they learn the consequences of their selfish hearts and eventually become pure too; and then be able to enter heaven.
8 He who overcomes, ..I will give him the morning star. What morning star? We also have the more sure prophetic word which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19. While we wait for the appearance of the Light, Jesus, we listen to and obey his spoken prophetic words. I, Jesus.. am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. Rev 22:16. When you overcome: the Light of God shines in your heart to see the face of Jesus, giving you knowledge of the glory of God, and this light intensifies in ever increasing glory. 2 Cor 4:6,3:18.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Light comes from faith in the voice. First the light arises, then the kingdom."
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter