- Smyrna – Things Jesus liked – Rev. 2:9 – 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. Interestingly enough Jesus never stated that He had anything against this church. However, Jesus Christ issued this warning in Revelation 2:10 which states: 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.
To the church of Smyrna, Jesus said He knows their works and tribulation, and poverty. Jesus never stated that He did not like their works as He did for the church of Ephesus. Jesus said that He knows the blasphemy of them which claim they are Jews but are not, and that they are the synagogue of Satan. My belief starts here → If you look all over the world there are groups who claim that they are Jews, and they may very well be, but there is not 100% proof that they are. Only Jesus Christ knows if what they say is true in regards to their lineage. Here is one such group. Some of these people may actually have Jewish lineage, but I cannot with 100% certainty claim that this is fact. This is just one group, but there are others ← my belief stops here. Jesus did issue a warning to the church of Smyrna. Jesus said that the devil will cast some of you from the church of Smyrna into prison to be tried in the court of law. The people of the church of Smyrna will experience tribulation for a period of ten days. Jesus said, be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. This would mean that the people who are thrown in prison are going to have two choices: a) deny the testimony of Christ and live but later die the second death or b) be faithful unto death. It seems from these prophetic words that some of the people of the church of Smyrna will be executed for their testimony of Jesus Christ. On to church number three which is the church of Pergamos.
- Pergamos – Things Jesus liked – Rev. 2:13 – 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. Things Jesus did not like – Revelation 2:14-15 – 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.
To the church of Pergamos, Jesus said that I like the fact that you hold fast to my name even though you work out of a place where Satan’s seat is. Meaning a place where Satan’s power/influence is strongest. Jesus also liked the fact that the church of Pergamos kept their faith in Christ even amongst the persecution of Antipas. The people of the church of Pergamos did not abandon their faith in midst of the persecution of Christians. They held on to what they believe and they did not waver. They did not give in. There was a couple of things that Jesus did not like about the church of Pergamos. First, Jesus did not like the fact that some people of this church held to the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast stumblingblock before the children of Israel. The stumblingblock was to curse what God said not to curse and to make people believe that what is wrong is right. When in actuality it is very wrong. The other issue was eating food that was sacrificed to idols. Such as eating halal food, where the animal is slaughtered while the slaughterer utters the word bismillah, which means in the name of Allah. Lastly some of the people in the church of Pergamos were committing fornication. We know, as Christians that fornication is a sin and Christ is against this. My belief starts here → I believe that Christ was speaking about both actual physical fornication and spiritual fornication. The spiritual fornication was the mixing of paganism into Christianity, meaning that this “union” should not have happened, it is wrong, and it is sin. This “union” was rotting the teachings and doctrine of Jesus Christ ← my belief stops here. Now, the story of Balaam and Balac or Balak is found in Numbers chapter 22 to chapter 25 if you would like to read it. Essentially Balaam was a false prophet and a magician. He knew how to please God with sacrifices, but his power was not from God but from the devil. Second, Jesus did not like that the church of Pergamos was holding on to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Again, the Nicolaitans went against the testimony/teachings of Jesus Christ. They brought their pagan traditions in and mixed it with Christ’s teachings to the point that the testimony/teachings of Jesus Christ became heretical because of the Nicolaitans. All is not lost Jesus states in Revelation 2:16 and it reads: Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Jesus simply says the church of Pergamos must repent and not do what they have been doing, and He will forgive them. I will discuss church number four which is Thyatira in my next post titled Revelation Chapter 2 Part (C). Stay tuned, and as always you can follow me on twitter: