Previous Section: Chapter One - Prologue

 

CHAPTER TWO - THE SEVEN CHURCHES, PART 1

Introduction

With the conclusion of the introductory matters of chapter one, John begins his presentation. The seven churches identified in Revelation 1:11 are specifically addressed. Each receives a description of its present condition with a necessary warning and a call to the overcomers to persevere. Of the seven churches, four demonstrate a spirit of compromise—Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Laodicea. The church at Sardis is dead and the churches at Smyrna and Philadelphia are presented as the faithful churches. Smyrna is the physically persecuted church and Philadelphia is the physically protected church.

With two thousand years separating the seven churches of Asia and the modern churches of the world, the question of relevance is critical. What is the relationship between the seven churches mentioned in Revelation and modern churches? Some commentators have tried to make the case that the seven churches of Revelation depict seven periods of church history. This view is woefully inadequate. First, there is no explicit scriptural support for this view. Second, the seven periods of church history must be subjectively determined, which undermines credibility and fosters date setting. Third, such an approach deprives the first century churches of any application for their time.

However, the messages, themselves, yield the necessary clues to answer the question of relevancy. For believers of all ages the issue is the same in connection with the Son of Man: forgiveness or judgment. The Lord instructs six of the seven churches that there are both immediate and long-term consequences to their deeds. The threat of immediate discipline for a lack of repentance is given to the churches of Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Laodicea. Equally, each church is also warned about the possible rewards and punishments to be experienced at the Lord’s coming (parousia). This indicates that the messages to the seven churches have both a "near" application and a "far" application--both a temporal and an eternal application. The fact that each message ends with the same trademark: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches," is compelling. That the term church is plural extends the message and application to the church universal. Believers in two thousand AD can claim the same promises and fear the same warnings.

Henry M. Morris, in his commentary, The Revelation Record, indicates that each church receives a message composed of seven parts: (1) salutation; (2) identification of Christ as sender; (3) assertion of knowledge; (4) comment and exhortation; (5) promise (or threatened) coming; (6) admonition to heed; and (7) promised blessing.

Revelation 2:1

(1) "To the angel of the (2) church in Ephesus write: The (3a) One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the (3b) One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:

1. Salutation = angel (supernatural being)

2. Church in Ephesus = written to the church in the city of Ephesus, not the city of Ephesus itself. This is a compromised church.

3. Identification of Christ as sender = sovereignty and intimacy
a. One who holds the seven stars in His right hand – refers back to Revelation 1:16 and 20. The right hand represents the position of power, authority, and safety. Jesus has sovereign oversight of His churches. He is able to command their obedience and to discipline them appropriately if they do not. Standing in the midst of the churches, the Lord can easily move them out of their place.
b. One who walks among the seven golden lampstands – refers back to Revelation 1:13 and 20. Jesus has an intimate relationship with His churches.
This is the Son of Man who has both the authority to forgive sins and judge sins. His word is final.

Revelation 2:2-4

(1) I know (2) your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them {to be} false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary. (3) But I have {this} against you, that you have left your first love.

1. Assertion of Knowledge = makes it clear that the Lord is intimately aware of the conduct of each church.

2. Comment = the Lord explains his perception of the church at Ephesus. Their hands have been busy with the work of the kingdom. Their heads are clear about doctrine. ("For my name’s sake" is a specific reason for persecution per Jesus’ instruction in the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24:9)

3. Criticism = While the Ephesians had hands and heads committed to the Lord, their hearts were far from Him.

Revelation 2:5-6

(1) Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am (2) coming to you, and (3) will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent. Yet, this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the (4) Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

1. Exhortation = the Lord exhorts the Ephesians to repent of their heartless commitment. Notice that a true heart commitment is evidenced by the quality of the work, not the works themselves.

2. Coming = this verb does not refer to the Parousia of Christ, but an immediate visitation of judgment from Christ. This coming is conditional. If they repent, He will not come in judgment. This is not the case as it relates to the Parousia of Christ.

3. Remove your lampstand = two entities are identified in the Revelation as lampstands: all the churches in a particular city and the two witnesses of Revelation 11. It is only to the church at Ephesus that the Lord promises to remove their lampstand if they do not repent. To remove the lampstand indicates loss of position. As the first church listed because of its love, they stand to lose position among the churches, a judgment to be sure in keeping with their position of honor.

4. Nicolaitans = comes from the combined Greek words nika (he conquers) and loan (people). The nature and importance of this group will be highlighted in Revelation 2:14.

Revelation 2:7

(1) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (2) To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the (3) tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.

1. Admonition = all seven churches receive this concluding admonition, which Aune indicates can have two nuances: (1) what is said has a deeper, hidden meaning or (2) the hearer must obey what is given. Both nuances are intended. The inclusion of "the churches" demands a near/far application.
The Lord Jesus is reported to have used a similar statement by Matthew, Mark and Luke (Mark 4:9, 23; Matthew 11:15, 13:9, 43; Luke 8:8, 14:35). In each case, the saying is a queue to look deeper into the Lord’s words. The "simple sense" is the basic story. The intended significance is the spiritual truth beneath the basic story.

2. Overcomes = this Greek verb nikan (from which we get our English word nike which means to conquer).

Nikan can refer in a metaphorical sense to either an athletic contest or military battle.

One can be an overcomer in two ways in the New Testament: (1) salvific and (2) sanctification. The difference is one of conditionality. John states in I John 5:4-5, "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" This is clearly salvific in nature. Our salvation is not conditional. 1 John 5:1 indicates that to be born of God, one must believe. Belief is not mere intellectual assent, but life transforming commitment to Jesus Christ. The result is eternal life.

However, the overcomer in Revelation is vastly different. The overcomer in Revelation is one who perseveres to the end. He remains faithful under difficult circumstances. "The overcomer is the individual Christian who enjoys special benefits in eternity for refusing to give up his faith in spite of persecution during life on earth." (J.C. Dillow, The Reign of the Servant Kings, 481) Revelation lists thirteen rewards for the overcomer:

(1) Authority over nations (2:26)
(2) Name not erased from book of life (3:5)
(3) Inherits the earth (21:7)
(4) New name on a white stone (2:17)
(5) Eat of hidden manna (2:17)
(6) Pillar in temple (3:12)
(7) Sits on Christ’s throne (3:21)
(8) Tree of life (2:7)
(9) Not hurt by second death (2:11)
(10) Morning star (2:28)
(11) White Garments (3:5)
(12) Name of God, city, and Christ written on him (3:12)
(13) Name confessed before the Father and His angels (3:5)

The rewards and the warnings make no sense unless some believers will not receive them because of their unfaithfulness. Why warn a person about something he cannot lose? We can debate what is lost, but there is no debate that something is lost with grave consequences to follow (See I Cor. 3:16 and I John 2:28).

Those individuals in the seven churches who are not overcomers are promised:

(1) War with the sword from the Lord’s month (2:16)
(2) To be thrown into the great tribulation (2:22)
(3) Children killed with the pestilence (2:23)
(4) To receive according to their deeds (2:23)
(5) Come like a thief (3:3)
(6) Spit out of the Lord’s mouth (3:16)
(7) Reproof and discipline (3:19)

True believers do not have to persevere to win salvation, nor must they be faithful to keep it. Any conditionality automatically removes the issue from a consideration of salvation to the issue of sanctification and rewards. The overcomer in Revelation can lose his reward. It is not eternal. To compromise in the face of physical danger will have severe consequences during the persecution by Antichrist and when one stands before the Lord in judgment.

The apostle Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:10, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." Paul indicates a "pay back" for the "bad" done in the body. What the "pay back" is for bad deeds is not indicated, but there is a "pay back."

3. Tree of life = first stated promise to the overcomers. The tree of life is first mentioned in Genesis 3:22. This tree stood in the Garden of Eden. This tree was not forbidden to Adam and Eve. Whether they ate from it before the fall is not certain. Only after their sin does God forbid their eating from it. If Adam and Eve had eaten from "the tree of life," they would have removed the curse of death—immortality. That the faithful, who already are immortal, will be able to eat from this tree indicates that immortality is not the benefit the righteous will derive from this tree.

Revelation 2:8

"And to the (1) angel of the church in (2) Smyrna write: (3) The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:

1. Salutation = Angel (supernatural being)

2. Smyrna = the physically persecuted church

3. Identification of Christ as Sender = The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life is a fit description of the Lord. It refers to Revelation 1:18. This is a very appropriate description of the Lord for this church. As the Sovereign of time and One who has experienced death, the Lord’s description is an encouragement to the Smyrnaeans. As the persecuted church, the Symrnaeans may face death, but the Lord will raise them as He Himself was raised.

Revelation 2:9

(1) 'I know your (2) tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

1. Assertion of Knowledge = the Sovereign of time knows all things.

2. Comment = tribulation is used to describe John's situation in Revelation 1:9. It is used throughout the N.T. to describe the difficulties of believers at the hand of the wicked.

Revelation 2:10

(1) 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. (2) Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

1. Exhortation = Do not fear indicates specific events, which the Smyrnaeans were not to be afraid of. The imprisonment is intended to test them. The Smyrnaeans also have to look forward to ten days of tribulation.

2. Promise = "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." Physical death results in eternal resurrected life. James 1:12 indicates that the "crown of life" is God’s payment for persevering through suffering.

Revelation 2:11

(1) 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (2) He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second (3) death.'

1. Admonition and Heed = same as above.

2. Promised Blessing = the second stated promise of blessing to the overcomer. Shall not be hurt carries the idea to harm unjustly. For the overcomer, the second death would be an unjust hurt.

3. The second death is defined in Revelation 20:14 as the lake of fire. Death in its essence is a separation. If the lake of fire is the second death and the lake of fire is the home of the wicked then the second death must be the spiritual separation of the wicked from the presence of God. The first death occurred in connection with the sin of Adam. The second death will occur in connection with the judgment of the second Adam. Question: why warn believers about something, which is not a possibility? Stated another way: will unfaithful believers be hurt by the second death? It makes no sense to warn a person about something that cannot hurt them unless it really can hurt them. As is the case in other places, Scripture does not tell us what the exact consequences are for those who are unfaithful. We are not told how the second death will effect the unfaithful. The fact that it will have some effect is warning enough to be faithful.

Revelation 2:12

"And to the angel of the church in (1) Pergamum write: (2) The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:

1. Pergamum = a church of compromise

2. Identification of Christ as Sender = refers back to Revelation 1:16. This "sharp two-edged sword" comes from the mouth of the Lord. The "sharp two-edged sword" is an instrument of war as seen in Revelation 2:16 and 19:15, 21. The "sharp two-edged sword" is not literal. The "sharp two-edged sword" is a figure of speech—metonymy of cause for effect. The spoken words of the Lord have the same effect that a "sharp two-edged sword" has. The result is the same—physical death.

Revelation 2:13

(1) 'I know (2) where you dwell, where (3) Satan's throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith, even in the days of (4) Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

1. Assertion of Knowledge = same as above.

2. Comment =
a. You live in a very difficult place.
b. You hold fast My name.
c. You did not deny My faith even in the face of the treat of death.

3. Satan’s throne = is mentioned in Revelation 13:2 and 16:10. Throne is used throughout the New Testament to depict the place of official seat or chair of state. Matthew 5:34 states, "But I [Jesus] say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God…." Heaven is the official seat or chair of state for God Almighty. Why Pergamum is chosen as Satan’s official seat is not indicated. However, this is where Satan lives.

4. Antipas = the first martyr mentioned in Revelation.

Revelation 2:14-15

(1) 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold (2) the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, (3) to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit {acts of} immorality. (4) 'Thus you also have some who in the same way hold (5) the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

1. Criticism = Matthew 5:23 indicates that "to have something against another" prevents God’s acceptance of one’s gifts.

2. The teaching of Balaam = mentioned also in Jude 11 and 2 Peter 2:15. Both Jude and Peter indicate that the motive of Balaam’s actions was money. However, Revelation 2:14 refers to Balaam’s activities: (1) to cast a stumbling block;

3. (2) to eat meat sacrificed to an idol as an act of worship; and (3) to commit sexual immorality. After God prevented Balaam from cursing Israel at Balak’s request, Balaam taught Balak the secret to Israel’s destruction—compromise. Numbers 25:1-2 states that Israel played the harlot with the daughters of Moab, along with going to their sacrificial services, eating and worshiping the Moabite god, Baal. Because of Israel’s sin, God instructed Moses to kill the leaders of the people. Twenty-four thousand individuals died. Thus, Balak got his wish. He did as Balaam instructed. It is in Numbers 31:16 that we later discover that Balaam taught Balak this strategy.

4. Thus = also = in the same way = a direct comparison is intended. The teachings of Balaam are the same as the teachings of the Nicolaitans.

5. The teaching of the Nicolaitans = unlike the Ephesians who hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, some in Pergamum tolerated their teaching. Balaam/Nicolaitans taught people to compromise with the religious culture around them. This is the reason God hates the teaching of the Nicolaitans. It specifically breaks the first commandment of Moses.

Revelation 2:16

(1) 'Repent therefore; or else I am (2) coming to you quickly, and (3) I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.

1. Exhortation = repent

2. Coming to you quickly = occurs five times in Revelation (2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 12 and 20). Revelation 22:7, 12 and 20 refers to the Lord’s parousia. Describes how the Lord will come—quickly. Revelation 2:16 and 3:11 refer to an immediate judgment before the Lord’s parousia.

3. War… sword of My mouth = is a metonymy of cause for effect. This is a promise of physical death if repentance does not occur.

Revelation 2:17

(1) 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (2) To him who overcomes, to him I will give {some} of the (3a) hidden manna, and I will give him a (3b) white stone, and a (3c) new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.'

1. Admonition and Heed = same as above.

2. Promised Blessing = See nike discussion above.

3. The overcomer will receive three things:
a. Hidden manna = manna refers to the miraculous feeding of Israel in the wilderness detailed in Exodus 16:4-36. Manna is identified as "bread from heaven" in John 6:31-33. The "hidden manna" refers to Exodus 16:31-33 where a jar of manna was placed in the ark for the following generations to remember God’s provision throughout the wilderness wanderings. Unlike the manna of the Israelites that spoiled after one day, the manna in the ark never spoiled even after hundreds of years. This figure of speech indicates that the victorious bond-servants will be given the "manna" that lasts forever.
b. A white stone = possibly a special vote
c. A new name = as was the habit of the Lord to give his followers a new name, the overcomers are promised new names. Names, which will reflect the victory achieved by perseverance in the face of persecution. As Saul became Paul and Simon became Cephas (Peter), all overcomers will receive a new name fitting their faithful lifestyle on earth.

Revelation 2:18

(1) "And to the angel of the church in (2) Thyatira write: (3) The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

1. Salutation

2. Thyatira = a church of compromise

3. Identification of Christ as Sender = the title "The Son of God" occurs 46 times in the New Testament. It occurs only once in the book of Revelation. This lone exception is unique. This is the only example of the title used with a transitive verb. Instead a description, Jesus is speaking as "The Son of God." What is it about the church at Thyatira that demands such a unique testimony? It receives the longest message. It is probably the most difficult to understand and perhaps the most unimportant of the seven cities. Any doubt about the identity of the person speaking in Revelation 1:12-16 is dispelled at this point, particularly in light of the subsequent phrases that repeat Revelation 1:14b and 15a.

Revelation 2:19

(1) 'I know your (2) deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.

1. Assertion of knowledge = same as above.

2. Comments = the deeds of the Thyatirans are described by four nouns:
a. Love = mental attitude.
b. Faith = dependability or faithfulness.
c. Service = attending someone for the purpose of performing a task.
d. Perseverance = the correct way to respond to suffering by the overcomer.

Revelation 2:20-23

(1) 'But I have {this} against you, (2) that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, (2a) who calls herself a prophetess, and (2b) she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit {acts of} immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. (2c) 'And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality. (3a) 'Behold, I will cast her upon a bed {of sickness}, and (3b) those who commit adultery with her into (3c) great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. (3d) 'And I will kill her children with pestilence; and (4) all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

1. Criticism of the Unfaithful in Thyratia = but indicates strong contrast with what precedes.

2. The indictment = "You tolerate the woman Jezebel…" The Lord states that the Thyatirans "tolerate the woman Jezebel." Revelation 2:24 indicates that some in Thyatira "do not hold to this teaching." This suggests that the meaning of "tolerate" in verse 20 is that some have actually adopted the teachings of this woman. This woman is the personification of a woman who lived in Israel eight hundred years earlier. The name Jezebel is picked up from 1 Kings 16:31. An evil woman who influenced King Ahab of Israel to worship the Canaanite gods. If not the most wicked, Ahab was certainly among the worst kings of the ten northern tribes. His wife died the worst death of any person among the kings of Israel—eaten by dogs. She was despicable. It was in no way a compliment to be called Jezebel. The Lord's choice of the name suggests the level of hate He has for this woman.

2a. Who calls herself a prophetess = she has no authorization from God at all. She is self-appointed.

2b. She teaches and leads my bond-servants astray = what she teaches is not directly stated. However, the impact of her teachings can be seen in the conduct of the bond-servants. That the bond-servants are true followers of Christ can be inferred because "The Son of God" calls them "bond-servants." She teaches the bond-servants to commit fornication (illicit sexual activity) and "to eat things sacrificed to idols" as an act of worship. Paul taught the Corinthians that in and of itself eating meat sacrificed to an idol was not wrong (1 Cor. 8). However, to eat as an act of worship is inherently wrong. To eat with the mindset that the idol is a true god is wrong.

2c. I gave her time to repent = indicates that this problem had existed for some time. The Lord requested repentance. How the Lord communicated the need for change in the life of this woman is not indicated. The meaning of "to repent" is indicated in the statement, "she does not want to repent of her immorality." To repent means to turn away from. This woman flatly refuses to change her conduct.

3. Threat = the willful refusal to turn away from cultural compromise results in direct action from the Lord.

3a. Behold, I will cast her upon a bed [of sickness] = indicates that this event will happen in the immediate future. To cast upon a bed is a figure of speech. The verb ballo is used in the New Testament to refer to someone sick in bed. Matthew 8:6 and Mark 7:30 support this conclusion. The Bible is replete with examples of individuals thrown down with sickness because of sin. What sickness is not indicated, however, the degree of sickness is parallel to the punishment indicated for those who follow Jezebel’s teachings.

3b. And [I will cast] those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation = indicates a punishment for those who have joined in with Jezebel’s cultural compromise. Adultery can be either literal or figurative. It should be understood as the literal breaking of the marriage vows. There is nothing in the text to indicate that married individuals were not participating in Jezebel’s activities. Just as they were physically eating meat offered to idols, they were engaging in illicit sexual activity. The penalty for this conduct is "great tribulation."

3c. Great tribulation = is used again in Revelation 7:14 with the definite article. Matthew 24:21 records the Lord’s prediction of a future time of "great tribulation." In Matthew 24, the Lord indicates that He will return after a "great tribulation." Revelation 2:22 indicates that unfaithful bond-servants will be cast into a "great tribulation." Revelation 7:14 posits that an incalculable host suddenly appears in heaven who come out from the midst of "the great tribulation." That members of the church at Thyatira will be cast into "a great tribulation" demands the presence of the church of Thyatira on earth during "a great tribulation." This effectively places this punishment outside the eschatological "great tribulation" connected with Daniel’s Seventieth Week. However, the fact that unfaithful members of the church at Thyatira could suffer "a great tribulation" certainly leaves room for the church to suffer "the great tribulation."

3d. And I will kill her children with pestilence = a case can be made for either physical or spiritual children. The outcome is the same—death. Pestilence is spoken of as the method of judgment. This event is specifically indicated to be authorized by the Lamb who is "The Son of God."

4. All the churches will know = this indicates that all churches will be aware of what is going to happen to each other. Each church is promised to be dealt with according to their deeds. Thus, every church will be able to determine the nature of every other church’s obedience or disobedience. A church will either be persecuted for righteousness (Smyrna), protected for faithfulness (Philadelphia), or killed for compromise (Sardis, Laodicea, Thyatira, Ephesus or Pergamun).

Revelation 2:24

'But I say to you, (1) the rest who are in Thyatira, (2) who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, (3) as they call them--I place no other burden on you.

1. Commendation of the Faithful = "the rest who are in Thyatira," this is one of the places in Revelation 2-3 where the angel of the church is no longer addressed, but a specific group within the church receive direct address. These are clearly individuals who have nothing to do with Jezebel.

2. Who do not hold this teaching = this group has completely stayed away form this teaching.

3. The deep things of Satan, as they call them = taken at face value means that Jezebel and her children had association with Satan personally. The church at Smyrna faced a "synagogue of Satan," the church at Pergamum lived "where Satan’s throne is," and the church at Thyatira fought against "the deep things of Satan." The level of satanic involvement in the church should not be underestimated.

Revelation 2:25

(1) 'Nevertheless what you have, hold fast (2) until I come.

1. Exhortation = while the Lord does not want to add another burden to his faithful bond-servants in Thyatira, they must "hold fast." The issue is urgency. Be all the more tenacious to not yield to the compromise that surrounds them, is the sense here.

2. Until I come = is a clear reference to the last days, since Christ hadn’t come by the time Revelation was written, generally accepted to be approximately AD 90-95. (Revelation 2:5; 2:10; 2:16-17; here; 3:3 and 3:11) This represents the far application of Revelation 2-3.

Revelation 2:26-29

(1) 'And he who overcomes, and (2) he who keeps My deeds until the end, (2a) to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received {authority} from My Father; (2b) and I will give him the morning star. 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

1. Promise = unlike previously stated, here the overcomer is clearly defined.

2. He who keeps My deeds until the end = defines the overcomer. One does not normally speak of "keeping" or "obeying" deeds or works. Tareo can mean to obey, but it also can mean to guard, which is the better sense here. He who guards My works is the literal sense of the phrase. The particular works of Christ are those which establish and maintain local churches. Until the end refers to the parousia of Christ, which is mentioned in verse 25.

2a. I will give authority over the nations = is the first reward given to those who guard the works of the Lord (the overcomer). This phrase and the subsequent ideas are modeled after Psalm 2:8-9. Christ is giving His authority to His bond-servants who are overcomers over the nations. The nations (tov ethnon) should be translated "the Gentiles." The overcomers will rule (exercise the Lord’s sovereignty) over the Gentile nations. Jesus promised the apostles rulership over the twelve tribes of Israel," (Matt. 19:28). King David is promised a resurrection from the dead to rule over Israel and Judah, (Jeremiah 30:9).

2b. I will give him the morning star = since there is only one morning star, but all overcomers are promised it, we know this is a figure of speech. The Lord’s point here is this: He will grant great honor.

 

Next Section: Chapter Three - The Seven Churches, Part 2

 


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