Revelation 1 New King James Version (NKJV)
Introduction and Benediction
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Those who keep the word of God will be blessed. Every word of prophesy must be obeyed by the children of God. Those who hear the word of this prophesy and obey the words spoken through Christ to Paul will indeed be blessed.
Greeting the Seven Churches
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
Jesus is ruler over all things. He is head over all principalities and powers. He has supremacy over all things and has the keys of hades and death. All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus and all power belongs to Jesus. All things serve Him, and everything was created through Christ and for Christ. He is able to subdue all things to Himself and He is at the right hand of God where angels and authorities and all powers have been made subject to Him. He rules over all.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The blood of Jesus has set us free from sin and death. He has forgiven our sins and washed us white as snow. He deserves all the thanksgiving, glory, dominion and praise for His glorious salvation. We are redeemed Children of God and must rejoice always, because our names are written in heaven
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Jesus will come again and those who do not believe in him will bow before him. People great and small will mourn because of Him and his great power. He will no longer be that Jesus that people are free to mock, dishonor and disrespect. People will truly see Him in Him true form. For that reason, they will be filled with fear and regret.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Vision of the Son of Man
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.
But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
Jesus has the keys of hades and death. Death and the world of the death obey Him and stand in awe of Him. It is only humans who think that they are free to dishonor and disrespect Him. As the creator of all things, He has supremacy over all things and there is nothing in creation that is not subject to His power and control.Because Jesus has the key of hades and death, He is the one that we must respect.
It is great foolishness to fear demons yet not fear the one who commands all things. No demon can move and inch without God’s permission. It is left for us as humans to find out why God permits certain difficulties and pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us and tell us the way we need to respond during times of difficulty in order to enjoy complete liberty.
19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.
Revelation 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Loveless Church
2 “To the [a]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 lamp stands:
2 “I know your works, your labor, your[b]patience, and that you cannot [c]bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
The Lord definitely knows our works and the fruits that we bear through Him. A lot of people think that godly works do not matter as long as you have faith but that is false doctrine. It is only the word of God that is our teacher and the word of God does not teach that. This Scripture from the mouth of Jesus Himself is enough to dispel; any doubts you may have. Faith is important and works are important too. If you have good works but no faith or you are depending on an ungodly foundation which is not the blood of Jesus, you are not saved. Those good works won’t save you. However if you have faith in the blood of Jesus, you are expected to bear fruits and also have good works that manifest your faith.
The Lord definitely knows our works and the fruits that we bear through Him. A lot of people think that godly works do not matter as long as you have faith but that is false doctrine. It is only the word of God that is our teacher and the word of God does not teach that.
This Scripture from the mouth of Jesus Himself is enough to dispel; any doubts you may have. Faith is important and works are important too. If you have good works but no faith or you are depending on an ungodly foundation which is not the blood of Jesus, you are not saved. Those good works won’t save you. However if you have faith in the blood of Jesus, you are expected to bear fruits and also have good works that manifest your faith. It is very great deception for you to think that because you are saved by grace, you can go on abusing and insulting the grace of God by living and active unrepentant life of sin. To that effect, the Bible clearly warns us that judgement begins in the house of God!
Testing The Preachers These believers tested those who claim to be apostles and found them to be lairs. What about the Church of today? Do we test the apostles, teachers and prophets of today? A lot of so called believers do not. If you claim to be a believer and just go along with every falsehood and false preaching and teaching out there, your belief is very questionable. You are supposed to be a believer in the word of God. If you have thrown away the word of God to follow the doctrines of men, then you are not a true disciple of Christ. You are not a follower of Christ the word of God but a follower of men and you need to seriously repent.
3 and you have persevered and have patience and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
Patience, Perseverance and Labor These believers in Ephesus had persevered and exhibited the virtue of patience for the sake of Christ. They had also labored for Christ’s name and never became weary. What about us? Do we still think of Christianity as a platform for just blessings without any form of responsibility or accountability? The truth is that God will test our perseverance and patience. Job’s patience was tested, and he won. Some people will say, “Oh, that is the old testament and does not apply today. Some laws and methods of the old testament do not apply to the new testament believer but some basic precepts apply regardless of whether it’s the new testament or the old testament. Job’s faithfulness and example was quoted in
Indeed, we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5:11
Leaving Your First Love Believers sometimes leave their first love Christ, Christ – the Word Of God. Christ is the word of God and the glory of God. We sometimes tend to want the glory without abiding in the word – that is an impossible venture. If you want to experience the glory of God, experience the word of God in His fulness first. You have to completely yield to the voice of the Holy Spirit and the written word of God. When we leave our first love and refuse to walk in the word of God and the voice of the Holy Spirit, we will experience defeat.
Repentance and Judgement
Judgement comes from not walking in the ways of Christ. In this study, Christ told the Church in Ephesus, that they will be judged if they do not repent and turn back to their first love.
Hating Evil Deed
Christ was glad with the Church at Ephesus for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans the way He hated it. We need to hate what God hates if we claim to love God but this is most often not the case. We sometimes praise what God hates and what the world loves. God sees our hearts and He knows those that truly love Him y hating what He hates.
Those who overcome are those who will experience glory on earth. They will become vessels of honor and rule with Christ. They will be kings and princes here on earth. If you truly want to rule with Christ, you need to overcome the flesh, the world and the devil.
6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, 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 from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
The Persecuted Church
8 “And to the [d]angel of the church in Smyrna write,
‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a [e]synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’
Jesus Is Alive
Jesus was dead but He is alive forevermore. He is the first and last and no one can compare to Him. Some people still carry crucifixes where they say that Jesus is nailed to the cross. Jesus is no longer on the cross. The dead lifeless image of a man nailed to the cross is not Jesus the glory of God but human beings that have been sacrificed and turned into little idols, gods, and goddesses.
On that crucifix they built, they nailed the word of God and the glory of God and substituted it for idols and human glory. They reject the word of God and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. They also reject the glory of God and are enjoying the benefits of human sacrifice.
He Knows Our Works, Tribulations and Poverty
Jesus knows our works, Tribulations and poverty. Every suffering and poverty we pass through for His name’s sake and the gospel is known to Him. Sometime, Satan can subject us to severe tribulations and persecutions just because we love Christ. If you are passing through persecution, God knows and he cares – He will reward you if you remain faithful.
Those who said they were Jews but who were indeed members of the synagogue of Satan are just like the false believers of today. They claim to be Christians but are idol worshippers or Satan and death worshippers.
Do not fear Persecutions
Christ instructs us not to fear the enemy or persecutions. It is not easy but that is the mindset of a victorious warrior. Fear will limit and obstruct progress. Fear is an enemy of faithfulness to god and must be vigorously rejected.
Prison for Christ
Sometimes, Satan throws us into spiritual prison just because of Christ. If we find ourselves in such prison or dark holes, we must persevere and not give up our faith. Prisons are sure to come because Christ said so, but our response matters a lot. We must not give up.
Crown of life
We will be crowned with glory, power and great grace if we persevere and are victorious. This crown is the most impotent thing that can happen to any human being. It means being a son of God in the real and actual sense of sonship. A true so is not a defeated son, but a son that manifests the glory of God.
The Compromising Church
12 “And to the [f]angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, [g]which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
You Did Deny My Name
Holding fast to Christs name during persecutions and trials is one quality that will differentiate us from mediocre Christians. Love is not just talk, talk, talk. Love for God is a practical real thing that is visible and tangible. Sometimes, believers can lose faith, turn back or even deny the name of Christ! They deny the faith.
The compromising Church at Pergamos was acknowledged for not denying Christ and the faith. God is constantly looking at us and eagerly desires that we do not deny the faith. Someone was killed as a martyr in that Church, yet they did not deny the faith. Some us have not yet witnessed someone we know and love being murdered just because he believes in Christ yet, we constantly grumble and begin to walk backwards in our faith instead of forward.
Some Things Against You
Christ listed the things that He has against the Church at Pergamos.
- Food Sacrificed to Idols
- Sexual Immorality
- Holding Doctrines That He hates
Those who love God will constantly search the Scriptures like the Berean Christians to make sure that they are not going astray in doctrine. If you do not do that, you do not love God or Christ. I know so many people who claim to love God but refuse to walk by the Scriptures.
He is the word and the glory. Meaning He is the word and the power, the word and the mercy, the word and the blessings etc. In summary, He is the word and the benefits. Benefit has to do with all the benefits, blessings, good things and blessings of life. A true Christian will seek total dedication and obedience to the word of God while a pagan seeks all the good things and blessings of life without seeking the word of God to obey Him.
That is the reason that man has failed and still keeps failing. Heaven and earth will pass away but no word from the mouth of God will pass away. Man must not live by bread alone but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.
What the Spirit Says
The Holy Spirit is constantly speaking to us. He speaks about things in the Bible and things that are not in the Bible that have to do with our personal lives or the world at large. God has given all of us spiritual ears but not everyone’s ear works properly. Some people are completely deaf, while some people are partially deaf. There are those that have ears that are function correctly and hear what the Spirit says. If those who hear what the Spirit says walk in the Spirit and not contrary to the instructions and the directions of the Holy Spirit, they will become victorious over the flesh, the world and the Devil.
Those Who Overcome
Over-comers constantly strive to obey the word of God at all cost. They persevere regardless of difficulties and challenges of life. The hardest thing in life is to overcome the flesh, the devil and the world. The Bible tells us that what is impossible with God is possible with man.
Part of overcoming also has to do with taming the tongue and the Bible tells us that no man has ever been able to tame the tongue. With the grace of God we can overcome and when we overcome we will know that it is God that tamed us and our tongues. The glory goes to God because no man has ever been able to tame the flesh and overcome apart from God’s grace.
When we finally yield to the Holy Spirit and the grace of God and overcome, we will become victorious. That is when we will become kings on earth and rule with Christ.
A New Name
The Lord promised to give us new names when we overcome. Isn’t that just so wonderful. Imagine having a new spiritual name give to you specifically by God!
This name is reserved for the over-comers and should be truly desired.
17 “He 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 to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’