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Revelations
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JMC
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:33 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

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-Revelation 2:8-11
8"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.


2:8 Smyrna (Izmir in modern Turkey) was, like Ephesus, a beautiful and prosperous city, maintaining a strong allegiance with Rome. A large and influential Jewish population actively opposed Christianity there. St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was one of the first of the early heirarchs to be martyred. He was burned to death on a pyre, confessing he had served Christ faithfully "for 86 years". Therefore Polycarp was probably a youth in Smyrna when John addressed the letter to the church there. St. Ignatius of Antioch also wrote to Smyrnans - and to Polycarp as well.

2:9 The Smyrnan church was poor, perhaps because of the persecution, but spiritually rich - the opposite of Laodicea. The jews of the synagogue of satan may be (1) Jews in name only (Rom 2:28,29) and compromising in their beliefs (John 8:31-47); or (2) Jews who refused to embrace the Messiah and His Church (Rom 2:28; Gal 6:15)

2:10,11 The persecution would be completed in ten days (i.e. a limited time) and some would undergo martyrdom. Christ encourages faithfulness to the end. The crown of life, an allusion to the wreath awarded to a victor in the arena (Phil 3:14; 2Tim 2:5; 1Pet 5:4), is the reward of eternal life granted to those who conquer in Christ. The second death indicates eternal damnation, the "lake of fire", wherein sinners will receive their reward of final and lasting estrangement from God (20:6, 14, 15; 21:8)
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JMC
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
     These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. 14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.


Pergamum (modern Bergama) lay about 55 miles north of Smyrna inland a few miles from the Aegean coast. The meaning of the name “Pergamum” is “citadel.” The town was noteworthy for three reasons. It was a center for many pagan religious cults, and emperor worship was more intense there than in any other surrounding city.Second, it boasted a university with a large library. Third, it was the leader and center of the production of parchment.

Meaning of Pergamos:

Πέργαμος Pergamos (Pergamus or Pergamum), the city by that name, height or elevation

Possibly from πύργος purgos tower, fortified structure

Possibly from πέραν peran, beyond, on the other side + γάμος gamos, marriage.

“It is interesting that Pergamum was a city to which Rome had given the rare power of capital punishment (ius gladii), which was symbolized by the sword. The Christians in Pergamum were thus reminded that though they lived under the rule of an almost unlimited imperium, they were citizens of another kingdom—that of him who needs no other sword than that of his mouth….”

Pergamos was home to many pagan temples, including the Aesculapium, which was a complex of buildings devoted to the god of healing.

“Antipas is said to have been a dentist and a physician, but the Aesculapiades [healers] suspected that he was propagating Christianity secretly and they accused him of disloyalty to Caesar. He was condemned to death and was shut up in a brazen (or copper) bull, which was then heated until it was red-hot.”

Balaam told Balak that he could overcome the Israelites if he would involve them in Moabite religious feasts that included sacred prostitution (Num. 25). This would render them unfaithful to God and consequently subject to His discipline.

Some believers in Pergamos thought it was permissible to participate in pagan feasts and the sexual immorality that accompanied them.

The Nicolaitans regarded these sins as acceptable under the pretense of Christian liberty (v 6).

2:17 Hidden manna is an allusion to the bread of heaven (or the bread of the angels), the bread of the Almighty (Ex 16:4; Ps 78:24,25; John 6:31-35, 48-51). To eat it is to partake of the Messianic banquet in the Kingdom (Luke 22:28-30), the Eucharist of the age to come. In sharp contrast to communion with the pagan cult, it restores our original communion with God. The white stones upon which a new name is inscribed indicates a new identity with Christ. Unlike pagan amulets inscribed with mysterious formulae, the new name of Christ is received by His faithful at thaei baptismal rebirth.
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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18"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: 'The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
19 "'I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'


Meaning of Thyatira: Θυάτειρα Thuateira Of uncertain derivation; a colony of Macedonia Greeks, situated between Sardis and Pergamos on the river Lycus; its inhabitants gained their living by traffic and the art of dyeing in purple. Church tradition indicates that Thyatira may also mean “odor of affliction”.

Thyatira was an important center of the wool trade. A guild of wool workers is mentioned in an inscription, and others name several dyers and fullers in and around Thyatira, as well as the neighboring cities of Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colossae

2:22,23 Those who commit adultery are those who accept the teaching of the false prophetess; her children are her followers.

2:28 The morning star is Christ himself (Rev 22:16). He is the daysprin from on high (Luke 1:78; 2Pet 1:19), the true Light which enlightens all who come into the world (John 1:9). The phrase may also refer to eternal life and a share in the reign of Christ.


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