The Book of Revelation
The Seven Churches in
Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea
Warnings and Promises Given to the "Overcomers"
The Church in Ephesus
1 Unto the Angel of the Church [Congregation] of Ephesus write; These things says He [Jesus] that holds the seven Stars [Angels] in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks [the seven Church Congregations];
2 I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:
3 And [you] have borne, and have patience, and for My name's sake [you] have labored, and have not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of His place, except you repent.
6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes (A sect whose deeds were strongly condemned, similar with those who held the doctrine of Balaam), which I also hate.
7 He (all mankind) that has an ear, let him hear [understand] what the Spirit says unto the Churches [Congregations]; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
Warnings and Promises Given to the Overcomers
The relevance of these messages to all Christians throughout history becomes obvious with the closing that is given to each of the seven Churches: “He (all mankind) who has an ear, let him hear [understand] what the Spirit says to the churches.”
In a World of incessant distractions, with televisions, computers, phones, and countless other devices having our attention, the call of God is being drowned out. You have an ear. Do you hear the voice of God speaking to you? Be quiet. Be prayerful. Listen carefully. Pay close attention to the warnings and promises given to the Overcomers, since these instructions apply to each of us today!
What You Can Expect if You Are an Overcomer. You will be written in the Book of Life; be clothed in white raiment, receive a Crown of Life; have the name of God and the City of God; eat of the hidden manna and the Tree of Life in God's paradise; escape the Second Death; be a pillar in the Temple of God; sit with Christ in His Throne; have power and rule over the nations.
The Church in Smyrna
8 And unto the Angel of the Church [Congregation] in Smyrna write; These things says [Jesus] the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan.
The Church in Smyrna suffered greatly for their faith, but the Spirit encouraged them. God saw their suffering at the hands of phony Jews from "the synagogue of Satan."
10 Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a Crown of Life.
11 He (all mankind) that has an ear, let him hear [understand] what the Spirit says unto the Churches [Congregations]; He that overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.
The Church in Smyrna suffered vicious persecution from the local Jews. The assaults were literally demonic. But, this is also speaking to the church today, and the full meaning of verse ten above should become clear during the Tribulation. There is the possibility that the Tribulation Believers in Christ will be put in prison, and they may be given an actual ten day period in which to deny Christ or be put to death. But, whatever it may be, Jesus did say, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a Crown of Life.” Death takes one immediately into the presence of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are ... willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
The Church in Pergamum
12 And to the Angel of the Church [Congregation] in Pergamos [Pergamum in Turkey] write; These things says He [Jesus] which has the Sharp Sword with two edges [the Word of God];
13 I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is (There was a giant Altar to the pagan god Zeus in Pergamum): and you hold fast My name, and have not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells.
14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes (A sect whose deeds were strongly condemned, similar with those who held the doctrine of Balaam), which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I [Jesus] will come unto you quickly, and will fight against them with the Sword of My mouth [the Word of God].
17 He (all mankind) that has an ear, let him hear [understand] what the Spirit says unto the Churches [Congregations]; To him that overcomes 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 knows saving he that receives it.
Jesus is the “Bread of Life”, John 6:35. The hidden manna may be the revelation of God concerning His gathering a Bride for His Son, which has been hidden in His Word from the foundation of the world to be revealed in these last times.
An executive places their name-plate on their desk or on their door. At a formal banquet, name-cards identify the correct seat for each guest. In Heaven, God has engraved a white stone for the Overcomers, with a new name that was never before revealed. We can only speculate when we will receive it, but it may be at The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
The Church in Thyatira
18 And unto the Angel of the Church [Congregation] in Thyatira write; These things says the Son of God, who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass;
19 I know your works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first.
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffered [tolerated] that woman Jezebel, which calls 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 [unless] they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the Churches [Congregations] shall know that I am He which searches 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 you have already hold fast till I come.
26 And he (all mankind) that overcomes, and keeps 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.
The First-Fruit Overcomers, are the Manchild Company which comes from the Woman seen in Revelation 12:5: "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne." (The Rapture is seen in Chapter 4 and again in Chapter 12.)
28 And I will give him the Morning Star. [which is Jesus]
Revelation 22:16 “I Jesus ... am ... the bright and Morning Star.”
Jesus will be given to the Overcomers as their Bridegroom. They will be the Bride of Christ.
29 He (all mankind) that has an ear, let him hear [understand] what the Spirit says unto the Churches [Congregations].
The Church in Sardis
1 And unto the Angel of the Church [Congregation] in Sardis write; These things says He that has the Seven Spirits of God, and the seven Stars [Angels]; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and [but you] are dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.
Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches."
4 You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His Angels.
6 He (all mankind) that has an ear, let him hear [understand] what the Spirit says unto the Churches [Congregations].
Keep Your Garments
Revelation 3:18 “I counsel you to buy of me ... white raiment, that you may be clothed.”
Revelation 19:7-8 “The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of Saints.”
Revelation 16:15 “Blessed is he that ... keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
Isaiah 61:10 "He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness."
The Church in Philadelphia
7 And to the Angel of the Church [Congregation] in Philadelphia write; These things says He that is holy, He that is true, He that has the key of David, He that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;
8 I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
10 Because you have kept the word of My patience [My command to persevere], I also will keep you from the hour of temptation [the Tribulation], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, so that no man [can] take your Crown.
Receiving a Crown
In “Revelation 3:11” the Coming of Christ is related to those believers who are ready to receive Crowns. This verse shows that there is the real possibility that a person CAN also lose their Crown! There are Crowns mentioned in the Scriptures as rewards to be earned. These Crowns will be awarded to qualifying believers at the Judgment.
Every Believer Will Not Receive a Crown
Receiving a Crown has nothing to do with Salvation, it is a reward. One might lose their Crown and yet not lose their Salvation.
1 Corinthians 3:15 “If any man's work be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
12 Him that overcomes will I make a pillar (They will be given a permanent position of honor) in the temple of My God, and he [they] shall go no more out (This means that these people will be secure in the knowledge that they can never lose their permanent position of honor which has been given to them): and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the City of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which [will] come down out of Heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name. (They will be the Bride of Christ.)
13 He (all mankind) that has an ear, let him hear [understand] what the Spirit says unto the Churches [Congregations].
Most would agree that writing upon Saints the name of God, and the name of the City, New Jerusalem, and the name of the Lord, is a spiritual marking applied to the believer with the presence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
The Church in Laodicea
14 And unto the Angel of the Church [Congregation] of the Laodiceans write; These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would [wish] you were cold or hot.
16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.
17 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and I have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve (Study God’s Word), that you may see.
Gold Tried in the Fire
Jesus counsels the Laodiceans “to buy” a certain kind of “gold,” a “refined” gold of character that comes from the fires of testing. The true gold of character comes from Jesus. This is not a monetary transaction but a spiritual transaction. We all need true spiritual gold which will stand the test of the Bema Seat of Christ.
Isaiah 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD ... for He has clothed me with the Garments of Salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness."
Revelation 16:15 “Blessed is he that ... keeps his garments [of righteousness], lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
Anoint your Eyes with God's Word
The "Word of God" brings the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit which convinces of sin. We need the illumination of the Holy Spirit so we can see our spiritual condition accurately.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.
21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and have sit down with My Father in His throne.
22 He (all mankind) that has an ear, let him hear [understand] what the Spirit says unto the Churches [Congregations].
For clarification please read "Understanding the Book of Revelation"
before reading these Chapters.