Revelation 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; 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: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 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. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 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."
The Lord's message to the church at Ephesus.
2:1 - The message is to the angel of the church of Ephesus. Things on earth have a representative in heaven(Daniel 8-11). So God is talking to an angel in heaven that represents this church. Remember that this church spiritually represents the Apostolic Church period during 33-300 A.D. It is called the Apostolic church period because it starts with the Apostles. Ephesus means fully purposed.
2:2 - The early Apostolic church period could tell who were Apostles and who were not (Mark 16:17-18, 2 Cor. 12:12). They are intolerant against the people who lied and professed to be something that they were not. They tried things with the scriptures.
2:3 - The church had patience in tribulation and also the right motive, which is to do everything for Christ.
2:4 - This church was sound on it's doctrine, but was ritualistic, which is why it was said to leave it's first love. This also applies to Christians that get ritualistic with Christ instead of the way they were when they first got saved, and marriages are the same way. Cross reference: Jeremiah 2:2.
2:5 - God warns the church that he will remove it(candlestick) if it does not repent of it's faults. "From whence thou art fallen" has nothing to do with a Christian, nor falling from grace.
2:6 - Nicolaitians is a Greek transliteration that means conquer the common people. Pastors rule spiritually, but no one is to conquer another class of Christians. Keep in mind that God hates things (Psalms 5:5).
2:7 - As Christians we do not have to overcome because we already have through Jesus Christ (1 John 4:4, 1 John 5:4, Romans 8:37). Doctrinally, this verse applies to someone in the Tribulation or Millennium because the tree of life is connected with works. Christians do not partake of the tree of life, rather nations (Revelation 22:2). Christians do not need to eat of the tree of life because we already have eternal life through Jesus Christ. The word paradise in this verse is the same thing as heaven.
Revelation 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; 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 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: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death."
The Lord's message to the church of Smyrna.
2:8 - Smyrna means myrrh, which is connected with death. This church is said to be the Persecuted/Martyred church period during 200-325 A.D. This is the period where Rome killed thousands of Christians.
2:9 - Some of the church leaders in this group claimed to have Jewish Apostolic signs, but were liars. The closest thing that we have to this today is the Amillennialists and Postmillennialists that take away the promises of the Jews regarding end time prophecy. These two groups falsely believe that the Church has replaced Israel and the Christian has replaced the Jew. Contrast this verse with Revelation 3:17 concerning being rich and poor. One can be rich, but spiritually poor and one can be poor on the earth, but rich in heaven.
2:10 - The Crown of Life is a reward given to those who are faithful unto death, but it has nothing to do with salvation. As Christians we are kept by God and eternally secure (1 Cor. 1:7-9). Cross reference the first half of the verse with Matthew 10:28.
2:11 - The Lake of Fire is the Second Death. Remember that Christians do not have to worry about this because they are eternally secure and have already overcome through Jesus Christ.
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; 13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 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, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 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, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
The Lord's message to the church at Pergamos.
2:12 - Pergamos is the church period during 325-550 A.D. that is called the Imperial Church. This period in time has the rise of the Catholic church and Dark Ages. Pergamos mean much marriage and this church is said to join itself with the world. The sword in the last part of the verse is defined as the word of God in Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12.
2:13 - This church is said to dwell where the Devil dwells. The Catholics murder tons of Christians in this period. The name Antipas means "Against All". This man was probably like Martin Luther, who was against all during his time. Tradition says that Antipas was put in a hollow golden calf and burnt alive because he would not deny his faith.
2:14 - The doctrine of Balaam is found in Numbers 22-25. Fornication is part of the worship of these people. Cross references about Balaam are 2 Peter 2:15 and Jude 1:11.
2:15 - Cross reference: Revelation 2:6.
2:16-17 - Spiritually, a Christian can say that Jesus is the stone and we are in Him. We have a white stone, instead of a black stone because we are forgiven by the Blood and we have a new name in Christ.
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 like fine brass; 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. 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, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 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. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 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. 25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
The Lord's message to the church at Thyatira.
2:18 - Thyatira means odor of affliction. This church period is called the Medieval church and is from 500-1000 A.D. The Body of Christ is persecuted by the Catholic church like never before during this period. The cross reference for the last part of the verse is Revelation 1:14-15.
2:19 - This church has left its first love and works.
2:20 - The church left their first love and works because of Jezebel. She is figurative and a reference to the Jezebel in 1 and 2 Kings. She is connected with the queen of heaven, Catholics, idol worship and the worship of Baal. Fornication as a form of worship (1 Samuel 2:22, 1 Kings 15:12, Isaiah 57:3-8).
2:21 - Cross reference: Jeremiah 51:9
2:22 - The ones who hang around her are commanded to repent. (Revelation 18:1-8)
2:23 - If applied to the Church Age, this verse can refer to Europe's Black Death.
2:24 - Catholics are a type of Baal worshippers. Ignorance is not innocence for those who do not study the Book.
2:25-29 - Shivers means splinters. A reference to the rod of iron in found in Revelation 12:3-6. The morning star is Jesus Christ (Revelation 22:16).