This is a Graphical Representation of the Book of Revelation using the software MindMup (It was originally created with FreeMind Software / But unable to share it with it).

Click on the below Link to see the file of this amazing Graphic Work of the Book of Revelation.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1WlzvocUZcKbDRQTHdrTTRGSEE/view?usp=sharing

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The Assembly of Philadelphia

I. Geographical / Historical point of View:

  • G5359
  1. Φιλαδέλφεια (Philadelpheia) fil-ad-el’-fee-ah
    1. From Φιλάδέλφος Philadelphos (the same as G5361), a king of Pergamos; Philadelphia, a place in Asia Minor: – Philadelphia.
    2. City of Brotherly Love

Total KJV occurrences: 2

Sat in the Plateau in a river valley.  Located in the region of Lydia at the foot Mount Tmolus, twenty-four miles east of Sardis, and seventy-two from Smyrna.  An agricultural economy renowned for its vineyards.  Its coins bore the head of Bacchus and the figure of a Bacchante.  Bacchus was the main deity of the Romans (Bacchus – (classical mythology) god of wine; the equivalent of Dionysus).

This was the youngest of the cities acquired by Pergamos in 189 BC.  This city was used by the Romans as an outreach post for the “Greek Culture” due to the location in the area. In 17 AD was destroyed almost totally by an earthquake and the tremors were felt for years after the main event. The main population was composed of Jews, Christians and converted Heathens.  During the mid-1600 it was surrounded by the Islamist and Byzantine forces that were located in Turkey.  It wasn’t but until 20 years after that the city succumb to the forces by being deprived of all the basics for subsistence.

Of all the seven churches it had the longest duration of prosperity as a Christian city. It still exists as a Turkish town under the name of Allah Shehr, “City of Allah”; many historians and translators define this term as “City of god” implying that “Allah” is another name for the “Only Living GOD YHWH”, such implication and assumption are far from the truth.

One of the mosques is believed by the native Christians, to have been the gathering-place of the church addressed in Revelation. “One solitary pillar of high antiquity has been often noticed as reminding beholders of the words in Rev_3:12 : ‘Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.’”



II.  Inside the Text:



Rev 3:7 LITV

(7)  And to the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia, write: These things says the Holy One, the True One, the One having “the key of David,” “the One opening, and no one shuts; and shuts, and no one opens:” Isa. 22:22

In Revelation 3 verse 7 we start to see the letter to the assembly of the location in the city of Philadelphia.  The letter started by the Lord given the order to the angel who will be the messenger of the assembly, to be ready to bring forward the message or letter.  This subject was covered in the letter of Sardis with more in depth, so please refer to “The Assembly of Sardis”.

GOD continues by ordering to the prophet John the apostle to write what he is seeing and hearing during God’s dictation.

What we will bring our main attention to the titles chosen by GOD in this particular letter;

  1. The Holy One
  2. The True One
  3. The One having “the Key of David”
  4. The One opening
  5. The One no one shuts
  6. The One that shuts
  7. The One that no one opens

There is another Book in the Bible that makes reference to the above names and Titles chosen by God, that is located in Isa 22:22, Let’s read it;

  • Isa 22:22 LITV
    • (22) And the key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder, so that he opens, and no one shuts; and he shuts, and no one opens.

In the verse of the Book of Isaiah 22:22 the person who is declaring and describing the Titles is the Father GOD toward His Son Jesus Christ, but in the Book of revelation is Jesus Himself who is declaring such Titles and authority over them.  Of course, we know that there is only ONE GOD and He is a Trilogy, Father God “YHWH”, His Only Begotten SON Jesus Christ our Savior, and The Holy Spirit.

Also noticed how the Devil is trying to imitate and trying to “be like” God Himself in every and anyway since the beginning of time:

  • Isa 14:12-15 LITV
    • (12)Oh shining star, son of the morning, how you have fallen from the heavens! You weakening the nations, you are cut down to the ground.
    • (13)For you have said In your heart, I will go up to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit in the mount of meeting, in the sides of the north.
    • (14)I will rise over the heights of the clouds; I will be compared to the Most High.
    • (15)Yet you shall go down to Sheol, to the sides of the Pit.

The devil as default, is trying to copying GOD’s action on having his own city as God have the city of Jerusalem, in this case, it is renaming the city that represented the “Brotherly Love” and holding strong for many years against the Islamic invasion as Allah Shehr, “City of Allah.

Rev 3:8 LITV

(8)  I know your works. Behold, I have given a door being opened before you, and no one is able to shut it, for you have a little power and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name.

Verse eight in the same chapter three in the Book of Revelation show us how GOD in an immediate way declares to the assembly what He knows.  God does not go around the subject, nor confuses the assembly but instead it goes directly to the subject in question.  For all the believers one thing is for sure and that is, God is not a God of confusion;

  • 1Co_14:33 For God is not of confusion, but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints.
  • Jas_3:16 For where jealousy and contention are, there is confusion and every foul deed.

Continuing on our subject, we must ask ourselves concerning which “works” does God is referring too?

The word “work” is defined by the Strong dictionary as follows;

  • G2041
  • ἔργον / ergon / er’-gon
  • From ἔργω ergō (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: – deed, doing, labour, work.
  • Total KJV occurrences: 176

God knows the actions of compassion, the behavior, and doings of this particular assembly.  There is nothing that is hidden from the eyes of the Lord, remember.

God continues declaring how He gave a door open before the believer as if the believer had a choice to which he and only him (the believer / follower of the WAY) will be able to reach at any time he will like to get out of whichever place he is  in. we can see this in the following verses:

  • Isa_48:17 So says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.
  • Jer_10:23 O Jehovah, I know that his way does not belong to man; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
  • Mat_7:14 For narrow is the gate, and constricted is the way that leads away into life, and few are the ones finding it.
  • Luk_1:79 to appear to those sitting in darkness and in shadow of death, to direct our feet into the way of peace. 9:2
  • Joh_14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

This particular door which He and only Him can open and shuts it has to be seeing once before in human history.  During the flood in where the Lord God saved Noah and his family with him.

  • Gen 7:16 LITV

(16)  And those going in went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him. And Jehovah shut him within.

As you can see even though we as believers have the option to walk through the door open for us, there is only One that open and shuts the door, that is the Lord GOD.

In Rev 3:7 the lord continues saying that the assembly has “little power”, many might think this has to do with the power of the Holy Spirit among believers and it might be so.  I do have a different point of view, and this is the following;  The mentioning here of a “little power” is (in my personal interpretation) the degree and level of Faith you have when you act toward the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit is part of GOD Himself, but in order for anyone to have part of the kingdom of GOD, you must have Faith on the One that gives Himself on the Cross.  Read below:

  • Hab_2:4 Behold, the soul of him is puffed up and is not upright; but the just shall live by his faith.
  • Mar_4:40 And He said to them, Why are you so fearful? How do you not have faith?
  • Mar_11:22 And answering, Jesus said to them, Have faith of
  • Act_6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, was doing wonders and great signs among the people.
  • Rom_1:5 by whom we received grace and apostleship to obedience of faith among all the nations, for His name’s sake,
  • Rom_1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of in all the world.
  • Rom_3:28 Then we conclude a man to be justified by faith without works of Law.
  • Rom_4:20 and did not stagger by unbelief at the promise of God, but was empowered by faith, giving glory to God,
  • Rom_5:1 Then being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Also, the Lord continues saying that the assembly kept His Word. And have not used His Name in vain.

These two responsibilities are normally overlooked by the believer of the Lord and or in many instances it is also misunderstood.  We as believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we don’t belong to this world, but on the other hand, we are citizens of Heaven.  While we are here in this world, the believer must represent the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in an ambassadorship authority and responsibility state of mind.  When you are designated to be an ambassador of any given Country, you will be placed in a limited boundary area, normally a building and designated area for that building, that will represent the Country you are from.  the Laws abiding that particular small area is the Laws of your Country and not the one that is hosting you.  At the same time, you as an ambassador must behave in an ethical, moral, spiritual and for that matter in all and every way in a responsible and respectful manner toward the Host.  Otherwise, you will be asked to leave losing all power and authority, putting a shameful spot on your Country represented.

That is exactly what we, the believer of Jesus Christ are commanded to do as we are going through this world.  We don’t belong to this world but we are representing the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ to everyone that has contact with us in one way or other.  Read below:

Joh_8:23  And He said to them, You are from below; I am from above. You are from this world; I am not from this world.

Joh_18:36  Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have fought that I might not be delivered up to the Jews. But now My kingdom is not from here.

1Jn_4:3  And every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God; and this is the antichrist which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world.

Eph 3:15 KJV

(15)  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

2Co_4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Eph_6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Jas_2:5  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

Mat_24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Act_22:15  For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

Rom_8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rev 3:9 LITV

(9)  Behold, I give out of the synagogue of Satan those saying themselves to be Jews, and they are not, but they lie. Behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they shall know that I loved you.

In this verse 9 of Chapter 3 of Revelation is also in part related to what the Lord God said to the assembly of Smyrna (persecuted assembly) in chapter 2:9 (notice please, it is the same verse number different chapter), let’s read this verse:

Rev 2:9 LITV

(9)  I know your works, and the affliction, and the poverty; but you are rich. And I know the evil speaking of those saying themselves to be Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

Those that the Lord God is referring as “synagogue of Satan” they call themselves to be “Jews”, as if these individuals are boasting on saying they are Jews when they are not.  This most be for a special, particular and important reason.  It is my belief and understanding that by this synagogue of impostors calling themselves Jews without being so, is giving to them and their followers the appearance and boasting needed for them to be able to get the internal in-depths knowledge and understanding of the assembly, becoming spies among the Body of the assembly.  It is important to know that the devil does not have the Holy Spirit in him nor his followers, and for you to have the power of the Holy Spirit you must be given yourself to the Lord in the body, mind, and soul.  Without such power from above, you will not be able to understand the Word of the Gospel of Salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ.   The only way the enemy can understand the battle field from the other side is by infiltrating spies capable of diluting the knowledge from the believers that have such knowledge, bring that knowledge acquired, to their side, in order for the devil to be more prepared to confront and subjugate those with the Word of Truth.  In such way that even when the devil knows the Word “verbatim”, he is capable of distorting it but incapable of understanding it in the spiritual life.  Two examples of such power from the synagogue of Satan are:

  1. The moment the Lord Jesus was fastening (Read Mathew 4:1-11)
  2. The moment in where the serpent quotes the Word of GOD to the woman in the Garden but in a distorted way (Read Genesis 3)

This is a reason why the apostle Paul ask to the assembly to test ourselves:

  • 2Co_13:5Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Or do you not yourselves perceive that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are disapproved?
  • 1Th_5:21Test all things, hold fast the good.
  • 1Co_11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and let him drink of the cup;
  • 2Co_13:5  Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Or do you not yourselves perceive that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are disapproved?

The devil is the father of all deceivers, capable of transforming himself into an angel of light:

  • 2Co_11:14And did not Satan marvelously transform himself into an angel of light?

Notice how the Lord Himself is indicating to the assembly that He will make them (those of the synagogue of Satan) come and bow down to the feet of the assembly and they will know how deep is the love of Christ for the Body of Christ call the Church.

Rev 3:10 LITV

(10)  Because you kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep you out of the hour of trial which is going to come on all the habitable world in order to try those dwelling on the earth.

If we continue with the same theme in mind, we will understand better the meaning of this verse, that is the Lord God will reward us with the “rapture of the Church” (Greek verb is harpazō (ἁρπάζω)) if and only if “we” as the assembly will keep the Word of GOD encouraging, instructing and teaching each other until the end, but with the Word of Truth.

It is very interesting to notice that in the above verse (Rev 3:10), The Lord God made a very specific mention of what is known by the Body of Christ as the “Great Tribulation” but the term He used is “The Hour of Trial”.  This assembly “will not” go through such event.  This is not a normal trial period in human history, this is a very specific trial time in which humanity (dwellers on the Earth = those belong to Earth = those without the Seal of the Holy Spirit) will go through.

Rev 3:11 LITV

(11)  Behold, I am coming quickly. Hold what you have that no one take your crown.

Once again the Lord God is advising the assembly that He is coming by surprise.  There is no doubt on the side of the believer that such event is expected to happen anytime.  We as the Body of Christ should not be caught up by surprise as is stated, as long as we keep the Word of the Lord as our main source of information, instruction and education keeping us alert.  It does also advise us to hold what we have as if there was a strong wind or some kind of strong sudden move or reaction, opposite to our direction and moving against us, trying to trow us away and breaking us apart.

 

 

The term “crown” used here is defined as follows, in the strong numbers:

  • G4735
  • Στέφανος = (stephanos) stef’-an-os
    • From an apparently primary “stepho” (to twine or wreathe); a chaplet (as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; but more conspicuous and elaborate than the simple fillet, G1238), literally or figuratively: – crown.
    • Total KJV occurrences: 18

Rev 3:12 LITV

(12)  The one overcoming, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall not go out anymore. And I will write the name of My God on him, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem which comes down out of Heaven from My God, and My new name.

On verse 12, the Lord continues on his message to the assembly by giving to the one overcoming a few rewards:

The term Overcomer in the Dictionary is define as follows:

  1. succeeds in dealing with (a problem or difficulty).

synonyms:                      get the better of, prevail over, control, get/bring under control, master, conquer, defeat, beat; More

  1. defeat (an opponent); prevail.

synonyms:                      defeat, beat, conquer, trounce, thrash, rout, vanquish, overwhelm, overpower, get the better of, triumph over, prevail over, win over/against, outdo, outclass, worst, crush; More

  1. (of an emotion) overpower or overwhelm.

synonyms:             overwhelmed, emotional, moved, affected, speechless

The Lord continue indicating that He (The Lord) will make the overcomer a pilar in the temple of “…My GOD…”.

It is interesting how the Lord Himself demonstrates respect and to venerate the Only Living GOD “YHWH”; even when He Himself is God Himself.  The Lord also makes mention of making the overcomer a pillar in the Temple of GOD.  As you remember and based on historical data, this particular city was devastated by many tremors and put to the ground, what was standing for future generations was exactly a residual of a pilar from the temple of the city.  By the Lord making the overcomer the pilar of such temple of GOD, that verifies what the Word of God had said all alone in respect to us as a member of the Body of Christ, and that is that we are the Temple of the Lord:

  • 2Co_6:16And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are a temple of the living God, even as God said, “I will” dwell in them and “walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 26:12; Ezek. 37:27

The Lord continues and expressed how He will write:

  1. the name of GOD “YHWH”
  2. the name of Jerusalem, the city of GOD
    1. You must remember in the history of this particular assembly the name was changed by the “Islamist” after it was conquered, and GOD will correct such heresy and make it as it should be for ever and ever lasting.
  3. “New Name of the SON of GOD”

in the overcomer; this alone is a significant point, because;

  1. You are sanctified, holy, separated, dedicated, claim, sacred, purified
  2. You have been given the “Seal of Approval by the Holy Spirit of GOD”
  3. You will not be “LOST”

Rev 3:13 LITV

(13)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.Seven Assemblies Map

Once again the Lord God is making clear that this letter is not only for one and only one assembly but for “ALL” of those that are part of the Body of Christ.

We all must listen and be prepared because “Time is NEAR”.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

The Assembly in Sardis

Geographical Location / Historical Background:

The Acropolis

Known biblically as the home of the church that received the fifth of letters to the seven churches in Revelation, Sardis was the capital of the Lydian empire and one of the greatest cities of the ancient world.  Here is where the greeks develop the legend of “King Midas and his Golden Touch”.

Located on the banks of the Pactolus River, Sardis was 60 miles inland from Ephesus and Smyrna. The city was home to the famous bishop Melito in the 2nd century.

The city was of very ancient origin. Herodotus (i., 84) gives the account of its siege and capture by Cyrus, and of its previous fortification by an old king, Meles. It was ruled by a series of able princes, the last of whom was Croesus, celebrated for his wealth and his misfortunes. In the earlier part of his reign, he extended his dominion over the whole of Asia Minor, with the exception of Lycia and Cilicia. The Lydian rule was terminated by the conquest of Cyrus. From the Persians, it passed into the hands of Alexander the Great, after which, for the next three hundred years, its fortunes are obscure. In b.c. 214 it was taken and sacked by Antiochus the Great after a siege of two years. The kings of Pergamus next succeeded to the dominion, and from them, it passed into the hands of the Romans.

In the time of Tiberius, it was desolated by an earthquake, together with eleven or twelve other important cities of Asia, and the calamity was increased by a pestilence.

Sardis was in very early times an important commercial city. It was a city intersected by five different important roads that lead to a great commercial, political, social, and economic growth.  Pliny says that the art of dyeing wool was invented there, and it was the entrepôt of the dyed woolen manufactures, carpets, etc., the raw material for which was furnished by the flocks of Phrygia. It was also the place where the metal electrum was procured. Gold was found in the bed of the Pactolus. Silver and gold coins are said to have been first made there, and it was at one time known as a slave-mart. The impure worship of the goddess Cybele was celebrated there, and the massive ruins of her temple are still to be seen. The city is now a heap of ruins. In 1850 no human being found a dwelling there.

Inside the Text:

(Rev 3:1 LITV)  And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis, write: These things says the One having the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have the name that you live, and are dead.

As we had seen before on other assemblies, the Lord GOD called the angel assigned to the delivery of this particular letter for this particular assembly.  This is very important because it tells us that God has angels with specifics jobs to whom he trusts the most intricate jobs.  In antiquity, message was sent using specific messengers, and not everyone could be a messenger, due to many reasons;

  • The particular messenger needed to present specifics characteristics for the job, such as:
    • Honor/Trust
      • The messenger was trusted with the important task of delivering a message in a timely manner without hesitation and or distraction, without any alteration of the message entrusted to him. In many occasions the message was memorized by the messenger due to the importance of such task, many of these messengers were captured and tortured to give away the message of the main source.  Many times the message was contained in a document seal by the authority that issued such message, such seal was made of wax or another type of substance with the caption of the authority ring in question.  If this particular seal was broken before it got to the source the message will be counted as avoid message and could cost the messager’s life.
    • Speed
      • Many of the messages were time sensitive, whether it was because the time of war, agreements among kingdoms, events, dates and so on. The messenger was forced to battle with many outside forces such as the weather, thieves, transportation issues, geographical and or terrain challenges, sickness and much
    • Security
      • The messenger was capable of being entrusted with the important task of delivering the message to the person(s) destined to receive it and no one else.
    • Tracking
      • A good messenger was capable of traveling light without instruments and capable of having extensive knowledge of the known terrain, stars, and navigational marine waters if applicable to delivering the message to its destination and be back to the original source.
    • Extremely good physical and emotional endurance

In the verse, we can observe how the Lord GOD as clear as He is, make a pause in the sentence and indicates the command to John the Apostle to write what will be dictated to him.  Why am I very specific at this particular point?  Thi is because normally and in many occasions I had heard many clergies, pastors, and others saying that this is in reference to the Pastor of the assembly when in fact the Lord God is not doing so, but instead calling the angel (messenger) that will be taking the letter to the assembly without any hesitation.  I am not taking away any power to the leaders of the assemblies, but if you well know, the Lord Jesus Himself said that there is no one higher than any other in the Body of Christ and as a result of this I am discarding such possibility.  But this is not a point to dedicate too much time to it because, whether is and angel  (messenger) or the leader of the assembly or whoever it is, the important point is that the message must be delivered.

The Apostle John continues writing what is presented to him in the vision, …” These things says the One having the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars”…

It is very important to notice how the Lord God uses these descriptive views for His presentation to the assembly as if they will know in an instant who He (The Almighty) is.  This particular name it has been seeing before and if you read the Old Testament you must be familiar with it, read below, please;

(Isa 11:1 LITV)  And a Shoot goes out from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch will bear fruit out of his roots.

(Isa 11:2 LITV)  And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on Him; He will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.

On the above passage, you can see how the how the Lord is described by the Holy Spirit.  There is something very important pay attention on the above descriptive passage of the Lord God, and that is that these “spirits” are what is known as the “Seven Manifestation of the Holy Spirit”.  This is due to the fact that the Holy Spirit was not among the human but until the Lord Jesus was taking to the Right Hand of GOD.

(Act 1:8 LITV)  but you will receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you, and you will be witnesses of Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

(Act 1:9 LITV)  And saying these things, as they looked on, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him from their sight.

There are seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit to be known on the verse of Isaiah 11:2 and those are as follow:

  1. Spirit of Jehova
  2. Spirit of Wisdom
  3. Spirit of Understanding
  4. Spirit of Counsel
  5. Spirit of Power
  6. Spirit of Knowledge
  7. Spirit of Fear Jehova

The phrase is also located in the below verse;

Rev_3:1  And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis, write: These things says the One having the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have the name that you live, and are dead.

Rev_4:5  And out of the throne come forth lightnings and thunders and voices. And seven lamps of fire are burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;

Rev_5:6  And I saw, and behold, in the midst of the throne, and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, was a Lamb standing, as having been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, having been sent out into all the earth.

Another important point to notice is that the number seven is thought to be a divine number, but there is no such a thing, for example:

  1. Rev 13:1
    1. Beast of the Sea with seven heads
  2. Rev 12:3 ; 17:3 ; 17:7
    1. Red Dragon with Seven Heads and Seven Diadems
  3. Rev 17:10
    1. Seven Kings
  4. Rev 17:9
    1. Seven Mountains

The descriptive name of the Seven Stars could be found also in Revelation 1:16; Rev 1:20; Rev 2:11.  The number seven is the number of perfection or completion.

The Lord God continues in the verse assuring the assembly of Sardis that HE (Lord God) knows the work of the assembly.  But do you know what kind of work is God referring to?

G2041

ἔργον   (ergon )er’-gon

From ἔργω ergō (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: – deed, doing, labour, work.

Total KJV occurrences: 176

Read the below verses on how it is used in some parts of the scripture;

Exo_23:24  You shall not bow down to their gods, and you shall not serve them. And you shall not do according to their works. But tearing you shall tear them down, and smashing you shall smash their pillars.

Num_8:24  This is that which pertains to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward he shall go in to do the service and the works of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Num_16:28  And Moses said, By this you shall know that Jehovah has sent me to do all these works, and that not from my own heart.

1Ch_16:9  Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; tell of all His marvelous works.

Psa_33:15  He forms the heart; He understands all their works.

Jer_25:6  And do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no harm.

Amo_8:7  Jehovah has sworn by the Pride of Jacob, Surely I will not ever forget all their works.

Mat_11:2  But hearing in the prison of the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples,

We can conclude by this review that GOD is referring here to the term “works” is to their actions and their devotion to the Creator of all things.  We as Christians can’t serve two Masters.

Mat_4:10  Then Jesus said to him, Go, Satan! For it has been written: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve Him only.” Deut. 6:13

Mat_6:24  No one is able to serve two lords; for either he will hate the one, and he will love the other; or he will cleave to the one, and he will despise the other. You are not able to serve God and wealth.

The assembly of Sardis was found deficient on her “works” for the Lord, and if we substitute that word for the following words; “Life devoted to the Lord” noticed how the verse will make more sense to you, but why this word and not another word?  You might ask, well that is because if you are a believer in Christ and of course a “Follower of the WAY”, you must understand that Jesus Christ died for us all on the Cross and His Blood covers all our sins.  None, and I mean no one under the grace is save by their works nor by their actions or neither any other reason other than the total devotional life to the Lord Jesus Christ, read below:

(Rom 8:5 LITV)  For the ones that are according to flesh mind the things of the flesh. And the ones according to Spirit mind the things of the Spirit.

(Rom 8:6 LITV)  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;

(Rom 8:7 LITV)  because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards God; for it is not being subjected to the Law of God, for neither can it be.

(Rom 8:8 LITV)  And those being in the flesh are not able to please God.

(Rom 8:9 LITV)  But you are not in flesh, but in Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, this one is not His.

(Rom 8:10 LITV)  But if Christ is in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

(Rom 8:11 LITV)  But if the Spirit of the One having raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One having raised the Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies live through the indwelling of His Spirit in you.

(Rom 8:12 LITV)  So, then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to flesh,

(Rom 8:13 LITV)  for if you live according to flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live.

(Rom 8:14 LITV)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

You must remember that this letter was directed to the believers under the “Grace” and not to the Jews under the “LAW”.

(Pro 3:5 LITV)  Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding.

(Pro 3:6 LITV)  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

(Pro 3:7 LITV)  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Jehovah and depart from evil.

(Pro 3:8 LITV)  Healing shall be to your navel and marrow to your bones.

(Pro 3:9 LITV)  Honor Jehovah with your substance, and with the firstfruits of all your increase,

And again, only by “Faith” we can see God and obtain “Grace” for Salvation trough our Lord Jesus Christ:

Tit_3:7  that being justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Heb_10:29  how much worse punishment do you think will be thought worthy to receive, the one trampling the Son of God, and having counted common the blood of the covenant in which he was sanctified, and having insulted the Spirit of Grace?

2Co_6:1  But working together, we also call on you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

2Co_8:1  But, brothers, we make known to you the grace of God which has been given among the assemblies of Macedonia,

(Rev 3:1 LITV)  And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis, write: These things says the One having the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have the name that you live, and are dead.

The Lord in His letter to the assembly declare how the name of the assembly brings the message of life, but on the other hand, she is dead.  That is a real painful declaration of truth.  It is like if this particular assembly doesn’t know her own reality.  Appear to be as if the assembly has a different idea of what really is in the eyes of the Lord.

Let’s see this from the perspective of the historical view:

This is an assembly that is identified as a mediocre or complacency in the eyes of the Lord.  If the past assembly (the assembly of Thyatira) was identified as an assembly that allowed false teachings and doctrines, in this case, is even worst.  That is, of course, assuming that one sin is worst than other when in reality sin is sin no matter how big or small could be, and the result is to be dead in front of the eyes of the Lord God, that is unless you repent through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

If we plot a timeline from beginning to this time (time in where this assembly of Sardis is present in history) that will show that Sardis correspond (based on my research and personal opinion) to the “Reformation Period” and the one before this one (assembly of Thyatira) corresponded to the development, influence and merging of the Christian Faith with the Pagan traditions of the Roman Catholic church.

During the period of the Reformation, there were many great things brought to light and in favor of the Christian Faith but at the same time, many other things did not touch and in many instances were totally ignored.  For a review of history, in particular, the “Reformation Period”, click on the link below to view the Reformation in a nutshell.

(Click in this link if you like to have a crash course of the Reformation in a nutshell. This video was created by a third party and is intended for general public view.)

In the verse, the Lord Jesus tell the assembly that is has a name that lives but is dead. This particular phrase in the verse makes very clear how this particular assembly is directly linked to the “Reformation”, it is a name of living and coming in a profound action of life but the Lord make very clear that instead it is dead.  This is a very notorious point in particular if you know your history.  The reformation made a great job clarifying and delivering the point of Salvation by Faith and not through works, but many other important points were either ignored, forgotten or even thrown to the past.

We must remember that all men hearts are incurable of sins and that the only way the men could be saved is through the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.

Jer 17:9 LITV

(9)  The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is incurable; who can know it?

Mat 7:20-23 LITV

(20)  Then surely from their fruits you shall know them.

(21)  Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven.

(22)  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power?

(23)  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; “depart from Me, those working lawlessness!” Psa. 6:8

Rev 3:2 LITV

(2)  Be watching, and establish the things left, which are about to die. For I have not found your works being fulfilled before God.

The Lord continue and advised to the assembly to be watchful and diligent and to establish the things left, which are about to die because the Lord had not found the service offered to God from the assembly to be fulfilling as it should be.  Remember that the “Reformation” did many things good and woke the mind of the regular men to question many things that before were in the hands of just a few clerics.  At the same time, it did not put an end to the false doctrines, heresy pagan culture infiltration to the church and so on.

Rev 3:3 LITV

(3)  Then remember how you received and heard, and keep, and repent. If, then, you do not watch, I will come upon you like a thief and you will not at all know what hour I come upon you.

Lord God bring to the memory of the assembly how she received and heard, and keep, and repent.  Let’s take a look at these particular order of points in this sentence.

  • Received:

Rom 3:9-24 LITV

(9)  What then? Do we excel? Not at all! For we have charged both Jews and Greeks before, all with being under sin;

(10)  according as it has been written, “There is not a righteous one, not even one!”

(11)  “There is not one understanding; there is not one seeking God.”

(12)  All turned away, they became worthless together, not one is doing goodness, not so much as one!” LXX-Psa. 13:1-3

(13)  “Their throat is a tomb being opened;” “they used deceit with their tongues; the poison of asps is under their lips;

(14)  whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.

(15)  Their feet are swift to shed blood;

(16)  ruin and misery are in their way;

(17)  and they did not know a way of peace;

(18)  there is no fear of God before their eyes.” LXX-Psa. 5:10; 139:4; 9:28; Isa. 59:7, 8; Psa. 35:2; MT-Psa. 14:1-3; 5:9; 140:3; 10:7; Isa. 59:7, 8; Psa. 36:1

(19)  But we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those within the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world be under judgment to God.

(20)  Because by works of Law not one of all flesh will be justified before Him, for through Law is full knowledge of sin. Psa. 143:2

(21)  But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

(22)  even the righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ toward all and upon all those believing; for there is no difference,

(23)  for all sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(24)  being justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus,

  • Heard

Rom 10:16-21 LITV

(16)  But not all obeyed the gospel, for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” Isa. 53:1

(17)  Then faith is of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God.

(18)  But I say, Did they not hear? Yes, rather, “into all the earth their voice went out, and to the ends of the world their words.” LXX-Psa. 18:5; MT-Psa. 19:4

(19)  But I say, Did not Israel know? First, Moses says, “I will provoke you to jealousy by a non-nation, by an unwise nation I will anger you.” Deut. 32:21

(20)  But Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those not seeking Me; I became known to those not inquiring after Me.” Isa. 65:1

(21)  But to Israel He says, “All the day I stretched out My hands to a disobeying and contradicting people.” Isa. 65:2

  • Keep

Rom 11:17-25 LITV

(17)  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree were grafted in among them, and became a sharer of the root and the fatness of the olive tree,

(18)  do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, it is not you that bears the root, but the root bears you.

(19)  You will say then, The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.

(20)  Well! For unbelief they were broken off. And you stand by faith. Do not be highminded, but fear.

(21)  For if God did not spare the natural branches, fear that it may be He will not spare you either.

(22)  Behold, then, the kindness and severity of God: On those having fallen, severity. But on you, kindness, if you continue in the kindness. Otherwise, you will also be cut off.

(23)  And those also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in. For God is able to graft them in again.

(24)  For if you were cut out of the natural wild olive tree, and against nature were grafted into a good olive tree, how much more these being according to nature will be grafted into their own olive tree?

(25)  For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be wise within yourselves, that hardness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the nations comes in;

  • Repent

Joh 3:14-21 LITV

(14)  And even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

(15)  that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(16)  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(17)  For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

(18)  The one believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God.

(19)  And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness more than the Light, for their works were evil.

(20)  For everyone practicing wickedness hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, that his works may not be exposed.

(21)  But the one doing the truth comes to the Light, that his works may be revealed, that they exist, having been worked in God.

In verse 3 there is also a conditional clue to the assembly;

…”If, then, you do not watch,”…

In the plan of salvation, there is since the beginning of time a “Free Will” in where no one is obligated to accept it but only if they feel to render their total desire of submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.  As you know for every decision there is also consequences that we carry with it, lone term or for the short term, but they are part of every one of our decision making in life.  Ther is no exception here if you desire not to watch.  What is watching?  And how do you watch? What tool do you use to watch?

  • What is the meaning of “watching” ?
    • This is the action on becoming vigilant before, during and after a declaration of war
      • Exo_10:10 And he said to them, May Jehovah be so with you, as I send you away, and your little ones. Watch! For evil is before your face!
      • Deu_4:15 Therefore you shall carefully watch over your souls, for you have not seen any likeness in the day Jehovah spoke to you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire,
      • Mat 25:13 LITV
      • (13) Therefore, watch, for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man comes.
  • How do you watch?
    • You do so by reading the WORD of GOD, by Prayer, and total submission to the Lord’s Will
      • 1Th_5:6 So then, we should not sleep, as the rest also do, but we should watch and be sober.
      • Heb_13:17 Yield to those taking the lead of you, and submit, for they watch for your souls, giving an account, that they may do this with joy, and not with grieving; for this would be unprofitable to
      • Rom 10:16-17 LITV
      • (16) But not all obeyed the gospel, for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 53:1
      • (17) Then faith is of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God.
      • 2Ch_19:6 and said to the judges, Watch what you are doing, for you shall not judge for man, but for Jehovah, and He is with you in the matter of judgment;
      • Neh_4:9 But we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
      • Mat_16:6 And Jesus said to them, Watch and take heed from the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
      • Mat_24:42 Watch, then, for you do not know in what hour your Lord comes.
  • What tool do you use to watch?
    • Prayers
    • Word of GOD
    • Assuming a Total Submission to the Lord’s Will

There is parable in the Book of Mathew chapter 25 (The Ten Virgins) that will help you to understand this passage in a better way and should be used to study this assembly with a more clear view.  And as a matter of fact the next phrase in verse 3 of this assembly is used almost in a literate way, let’s see;

Rev 3:3 LITV

  • (3) Then remember how you received and heard, and keep, and repent. If, then, you do not watch, I will come upon you like a thief and you will not at all know what hour I come upon you.

Mat 25:13 LITV

  • (13) Therefore, watch, for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man comes.

Rev 3:4 LITV

  • (4)  You also have a few names in Sardis which did not defile their robes, and they shall walk with Me in white because they are worthy.

Here the Lord indicates that there are “few names in Sardis”that have done what is right under the same circumstances.  Let’s say that those that are of the Sardis assembly have gone throughout the same difficulties and calamities, then the question remain; why are there some of those members that have not defile their garments, are they stronger? Are they better? Are they tested under different standards? Do they have a better tool to deal with the aggression?  What make them not to defile their garments?  The answers to all of those questions are NO!  They were from the same assembly, they had the same tools to defend themselves, they were at the same level and capacity (at least it is implied) but based on the Word of GOD the difference is that those that were incapable to defile their garments were not just watchful but also diligent in every way possible.

Applying this to history, while the “Reformation”, there some of those labels, denominations or even names if you want to call them so, that were trying their hardest not to fall again under the merging with pagan customs nor with their own interpretation of the Word of GOD, but instead kept themselves above the level of the others.

Notice the clear reward given to them that does not defile their ropes; …“they shall walk with Me in white because they are worthy”…

Those will be walking with the Lord in white just because they (the ones that do not defile their ropes/they maintained their ropes in white waiting for the Master) were worthy of such reward, read the below references:

Mat_7:21  Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven.

Mat_7:22  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power?

Mat_25:11  And afterward, the rest of the virgins also came, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Luk_6:46  And why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?

Luk_13:25  From the time the Master of the house shall have risen up, and He shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. And answering, He will say to you, I do not know you, from where you are.

Rev 3:5 LITV

(5)  The one overcoming, this one shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not at all blot his name out of the Book of Life; and I will acknowledge his name before My Father, and before His angels.

 

The next verse is about the “overcoming” and what he/she reward will receive once the task has being fulfilled.  It is clear that such reward is exactly what the ones referred as “few names in Sardis” were given.  There is also a very important statement from the Lord about the ones that will continue the battle without defiling their garments and that is that HE will not blot his (the ones not defiling their garments) name out of the Book of Life.

Psa_69:28  Blot them out from the Book of Life; yea, let them not be written with the righteous.

Rev_20:12 And I saw the dead, the small and the great, standing before God. And books were opened. And another Book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works.

Rev_20:15  And if anyone was not found having been written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Rev_21:27  And all profaning may not at all enter into it, or any making an abomination or a lie; but only the ones having been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.

Rev_22:19  And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and of the things having been written in this Book.

It does also say that the Lord Jesus Himself will acknowledge him in front of His Father (God Creator/YHWH) and in front of His angels.  This will make it official and public among all Creation that that person saved by the Blood of Jesus on the Cross and did not defile his garment is part of the Kingdom of Heaven.  This is a promise that since the beginning of time was made through Jesus our Lord, read below;

Luk_12:9  But he that denies me before man shall be denied before the angels of God.

1Ti_5:8  But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Tit_2:12  instructing us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly and righteously and godly in the present age,

Rev_3:8  I know your works. Behold, I have given a door being opened before you, and no one is able to shut it, for you have a little power and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name.

Rev 3:6 LITV

(6)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

This last verse for this assembly is directed to everyone, those that have an ear, to hear;

shama: to hear

Original Word: שָׁמַע
Part of Speech: verb feminine; verb masculine
Transliteration: shama
Phonetic Spelling: (shaw-mah’)
Short Definition: heard

G191

ἀκούω; akouō (ak-oo’-o)

A primary verb; to hear (in various senses): – give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear (-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand.

Total KJV occurrences: 437

This particular verb / word means to obey / to listen attentively / keep on listening / listening obediently.

What the Spirit (this is the Holy Spirit of GOD) says to the assemblies (assemblies is a plural word/indicative that this command is for all the assemblies in the writing)

Finally, I must ask you to be diligent and watchful at all times in Prayer and knowledge of the Word of GOD for whenever the moment of battle you will be empowered with all the Armour of GOD and you will not defile your garments.

Share this Blog and continue to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and Lord.

(Click on this link to watch this video by Chuck Missler in regard to the Assembly of Sardis.)

GOD Bless You All!  The Lord Jesus is Coming Soon!

Below are coupled images of Sardis the actual location and possible overview.

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The Assembly of Thyatira

Historical and Geographical Background:

Situated on the confines of Mysia and Ionia. According to Pliny it was known in earlier times as Pelopia and Euhippia.  The city was known as “Pelopia” (Greek language: Πελοπία), but it was named Thyateira (Θυάτειρα) by king Seleucus I Nicator in 290 BC. He was at war with Lysimachus when he learned that his wife had given birth to a daughter. Its prosperity received a new impulse under the Roman Emperor Vespasian. The city contained a number of corporate guilds, as potters, tanners, weavers, robe-makers, and dyers. It was from Thyatira that Lydia the purple-seller of Philippi came, Paul’s first European convert, (Read the following;

Act_16:14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira, one reverencing God, listened, whose heart the Lord opened thoroughly to pay attention to the things being spoken by Paul.

Act_16:40  And going out from the prison, they went into the house of Lydia. And seeing the brothers, they exhorted them, and went out.).

The numerous streams of the adjacent country were full of leeches. The principal deity of the city was Apollo, worshipped as the Sun-God under the surname Tyrimnas. A shrine outside the walls was dedicated to Sambatha, a sibyl. The place was never of paramount political importance.

 

colossae Patmos Island
Illustrated Map of the Patmos Island and the Seven Assemblies.

Map of the Asia Minor area with location of Thyatira

Religious Background:

Nicator named it “Thyatira” (Greek, “thygater”, for daughter) on being informed that a daughter had been born to him.  Thyateira (also Thyatira) was the name of the modern Turkish city of Akhisar (“white castle”). The name comes from Koine Greek “Θυάτειρα” (Thuateira). The Turkish equivalent of Thyateira is Tepe Mezarlığı, meaning hill graveyard.

This city became well known for the center for trade guilds.  Memberships were compulsory and also essentials for the privileged and purpose of trading.  Corporate bodies, well organized must add, providing few benefits and taking actions in their interests.  Each guild was under the patronage of a pagan deity, to whom were paid proceedings, feast and in other meaningful manner every year to that particular pagan deity.  The believer must be a participant of the pagan activity which also had an essential appeal to the flesh.  This was very difficult to the new believer in Christ because there is only One God and Savior, Jesus Christ the Only Lord and Way.

In 1922, the Patriarch of Constantinople appointed an Exarch for Western and Central Europe with the title Archbishop of Thyateira. The current Archbishop of Thyateira (since 1988) is Gregorios Theocharous. The Archbishop of Thyateira resides in London and has pastoral responsibility for the Greek Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom.  The see of Thyatira is also included, without archiepiscopal rank, in the Catholic Church’s list of titular sees.

This particular assembly represent the medieval papacy (600 A.D. to 1500 A.D.).  Among all the seven assemblies, this particular one was the least of them in a geographical area (size of the city was the smallest among the seven assemblies) but the longest of the letters dictated by the Lord to John.

The Assembly:

Let’s start with the Bible Study of this particular assembly.

Rev 2:18

(18)  And to the angel of the assembly in Thyatira, write: These things says the Son of God, the One having His eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet like burnished brass:

In the previous verse please notice once again, as in the past messages send by the Lord to the other assemblies that he called his angel that have the specific task of the delivery of this message or letter.  As always this is very important because the Lord is confining this important task to someone that He can trust and knows will not let Him down during the process of the delivery of the letter.  There a few remarkable moments described by the Bible in where some of the messengers of the Lord had been intercepted by the devil and it has been trying in a delivery manner by the devil, to interfered and intercept such message, to either stop totally the delivery or delay until the very last minute such delivery. It is why the Lord name specifically angels for the delivery of messages.  Here is an example of this event;

Dan 10:12-13

(12)  And he said to me, Do not fear, Daniel. For from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. And I have come because of your words.

(13)  But the king of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty one days. But, lo, Michael, one of the first rulers, came to help me. And I stayed there with the kings of Persia.

In the same command voice the Lord said… “, write”…  This particular command was designated to John, whose is used by the Lord as a scribed for the message.

The Lord God continues His dictation to John by saying the following;…” These things says the Son of God, the One having His eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet like burnished brass:”, and the first thing you must noticed is the pluralistic term God uses at the beginning of the message in relation to the different subjects He wants us to know. Right after the Lord is described as (the below charts are based on the LITV Bible (Literal Translation of the Bible) (you will find this translation on http://www.e-Sword.net this is a trusted and completely free of charge software)):

The Son of GOD

36 verses found, 37 matches

Matthew 5 verses found 5 matches
Mark 2 verses found 2 matches
Luke 4 verses found 4 matches
John 7 verses found 7 matches
Acts 2 verses found 2 matches
Romans 1 verse found 1 match
2 Corinthians 1 verse found 1 match
Galatians 1 verse found 1 match
Ephesians 1 verse found 1 match
Hebrews 4 verses found 4 matches
1 John 7 verses found 8 matches
Revelation 1 verse found 1 match

the One having His eyes as a flame of fire

1 verse found, 1 match

Revelation 1 verse found 1 match

His feet like burnished brass

2 verses found, 2 matches

Revelation 2 verses found 2 matches

 

These are all attributes that only you can find them under the New Testament.

(Rev 2:19)  I know your works, and the love, and the ministry, and the faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last being more than the first.

In the above verse the Lord started by indicating the positive points of the assembly of Thyatira.  Keep in mind that the Lord always see us for what we are and how we are.

The first He mentioned is that the Lord knows her “works”, but also noticed how in this particular translation the last word is also the one that is at the beginning of this assembly positives points.  There is a big difference among the two, and that is that the first one is about their labor in the field of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. Toil
    1. (Verb) work extremely hard or incessantly.

“We toiled away”

  • (Synonyms) work hard, labor, exert oneself, slave (away), grind away, strive, work one’s fingers to the bone, put one’s nose to the grindstone.
  • (Noun) exhausting physical labor.

“a life of toil”

  • (Synonyms) hard work, labor, exertion, slaving, drudgery, effort, industry, ‘blood, sweat, and tears.

G2041  (ἔργον / ergon)

er’-gon

From ἔργω ergō (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: – deed, doing, labour, work.

Total KJV occurrences: 176

And the second one is in regard to the “deeds” of the assembly, this is very noticeable when the Lord indicated that “…the last being more than the first…”.  All of these attributes are connected to the “fruits of the Spirit”;

Gal_5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,

Eph_5:9  For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,

  • Love
    1. G26 ἀγάπη / agapē

ag-ah’-pay

From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: – (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

Total KJV occurrences: 116

  • Ministry
    1. G1248 διακονία / diakonia

dee-ak-on-ee’-ah

From G1249; attendance (as a servant, etc.); figuratively (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher, or technically of the diaconate): – (ad-) minister (-ing, -tration, -try), office, relief, service (-ing).

Total KJV occurrences: 34

  • Faith
    1. G4102 πίστις / pistis

pis’-tis

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

Total KJV occurrences: 244

  • Patience
    1. G5281 ὑπομονή / hupomonē

hoop-om-on-ay’

From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

Total KJV occurrences: 32

  • Works ( this particular used of this word at the end of the attributes of this assembly are more like “Deeds”).

In all these attributable gifts given by the Lord to this assembly, they were working in conjunction, none of them bigger than the other, until…

Thyatira Positive Elements (Click on this link to see the Graphic on the Positive Elements of Thyatira assembly)

(Rev 2:20 LITV)  But I have a few things against you, that you allow the woman Jezebel to teach, she saying herself to be a prophetess, and to cause My slaves to go astray, and to commit fornication, and to eat idol sacrifices.

Now here is the only point that this particular assembly neglected:

Enabling outside sources to infiltrate into the cell of the Body of Christ (please notice that I am indicating this as a “cell of the Body of Christ” and not the “Body of Christ”) and not stopping such actions.  As a result of enabling this outside intervention of this woman, a chaos was created and the gears of the Gospel were not turning properly if so.  Some of the consequences of this inadvertent event are:

    1. Belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.

“Huss was burned for heresy”

  1. Synonyms: dissension, dissent, nonconformity, heterodoxy, unorthodoxy, apostasy, blasphemy, freethinking; agnosticism, atheism, nonbelief; idolatry, paganism

“an age in which scientists were often accused of heresy”

  1. Opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted.
  • Implosion of the cell of the Body of Christ
  • Distrust
  • Ignorance purposely or inadvertently of the Word of God
    1. Unavailability of the Holy Spirit for the understanding the Word of God (Holy Bible)
  • Spiritual fornication which is one of the most difficult sins to be recognized by the human mind when is out of the influence of the Holy spirit
  • Co-participating with the idol sacrifices
  • Many more

Let’s have a review of who was “Jezebel”:

There is a total of 20 verses with 23 matches of her name in the Holy Bible, indicating to us how important is to understand the When, Why and How of Jezebel.

1st King16:31 talks about how this particular woman became part of the history of Israel (Northern Kingdom).  Ahab (Omri’s son (Omri was the king that the people of the Northern Kingdom considered to be the founder of such, even though there were kings before him)) after becoming the king of Israel married a “Sidonian Princess” with the name of “Jezebel” and by doing so, Ahab offers his loyalty and worshiping to their deity “Baal”.

The queen Jezebel wanting to keep her religious believe among the people of Israel, demanded to replace all in the high places of the kingdom the altars from the ones dedicated to “YHWH” and in place of them to put the ones belong to Ba’al and was dedicated to eradicating the worshiping to “YHWH” in the land of Israel by also killing the prophets of GOD, read 1st King 18:4, 1st King 18:13.  It is amazing to me, the kind of demonic spirit this woman was posses with that Elijah (the prophet of GOD) was not afraid of confronting the false prophets from Ba’al, nor the army but with a single treat from this woman Elijah escaped trembling and hiding in a cave, read 1st King 19:2.

During this time, there was a farmer with a small but beautiful vineyard, his name was Naboth and who was a man of God.  The Ahab desired Naboth vineyard but unable to acquire it, his wife Jezebel promised to him (Ahab) to get the vineyard as a present for him.  Utilizing many non-legal and non-truthful ways had the people of Israel stoning Naboth and as a result of the death of him the property passed to Ahab’s hands, read 1st King 21:5 – 1st King 21:15.

It was not until GOD Himself demanded from His prophet Elijah to hit the road and to understand that He had many more of His prophets to do the task if it was necessary, to talk to the king Ahab.  In conclusion, Jezebel was push out of the window of her palace and ate by the dogs, read 1st King 21:23, 2nd King 9:10 – 2nd King 9:37.

Background on the City of Zidon (Sidon) and their deity Ba’al:

The city flourished as part of a loose confederacy of city-states spread along the coast of the land of Canaan. Although they shared “a common linguistic, cultural, and religious inheritance, the region was very rarely politically united, with each city operating as a sovereign state ruled over by a king or local dynast” (Miles, 26). This brought Sidon into competition with the other states of Phoenicia for trade and, especially, with the city of Tyre. In the 10th century BCE, the balance of power shifted to Tyre primarily due to the leadership of that city’s kings, Abibaal and, after him, his son Hiram. Tyre forged trade agreements with the newly minted kingdom of Israel-Judah and her king David. This agreement made Tyre wealthy and Sidon, trying to compete, entered into their own pacts with the kingdom of Israel including the marriage of the Sidonian princess Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, to King Ahab of Israel (a story famous from the Bible). Jezebel’s insistence on maintaining her own religion and personal identity was an affront to a number of Ahab’s subjects and, most notably, the prophet Elijah who denounced her. Jezebel and Ahab’s rule was ended by a coup by the general Jehu and, with it, Sidonian trade agreements with Israel.

The Purple dye is what gave the Phoenicians their name from the Greeks, Phoinkes, and meaning `the purple people’ and although it would come to be commonly associated with the city of Tyre, its manufacture was originally at Sidon.

baal1
Ba’al was a Phoenician deity that among other powers attributed to him were being judge of the gods, the lord of the wind and weather, controller of the rain, storm, thunder and lighting.  It was also attributed to him the renewal of the vegetation every year.

There are a few things in common with this particular assembly and Jezebel:

  1. They were knowledgeable of the purple dye process /trade
  2. They were not unaware nor ignorant of the Word of GOD
  3. They were given the gift of repentance for them to take the step forward and recognize their sinning life
  4. Jezebel was brought to be part of the People of GOD / Thyatira were a cell of the Body of Christ
  5. The Chaldean priest who interpreted the esoteric doctrines of the Babylonians mysteries was called “Peter”, The Catholic church foundation of their principles is that their founder was the apostle “Peter” (by no means I am implying that the apostle Peter is not an apostle of the Lord Jesus, but in the other hand is one of the most important apostle for the Body of Christ).
  6. The insignia wore by the Babylonian priest above mentioned had two keys; one for the deity Janus and the other for Cybele. The Catholic Church have both symbols on the arms of the Papal garment symbolizing spiritual authority.
  7. The danger to Thyatira assembly came not by the persecution from the gentile world nor by the animosity of the Jewish attitudes, but instead came from within and so the same for the people of the kingdom of Israel when they brought such Jezebel to their lives.
  8. Jezebel acquired by “inquisition” Naboth’s vineyard and during the medieval the Catholic Church did so including the “Dark Ages” period.

(Rev 2:21 LITV)  And I gave time to her that she might repent of her fornication. And she did not repent.

(Rev 2:22 LITV)  Behold, I am throwing her into a bed, and into great affliction those committing adultery with her, unless they repent of their works.

The same way God offered to Jezebel the opportunity to repent, so He is doing with the members of the cell of the Body of Christ from the Assembly of Thyatira.

Joh 3:14-18 LITV

(14)  And even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

(15)  that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(16)  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(17)  For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

(18)  The one believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Notice how the Lord indicate, He will throw Jezebel “into a bed”, this particular expression is an expression of pain and immobilization, as if she will be a “disable/handicap” woman.  If you remember the Jezebel in the narrative from the Book of Kings was thrown from the castle window and the dogs ate her to the point of no recognition, but of course that was her physical body.  There is a second death and that is where the subject has no choice in the matter and no more opportunities are offer.

The Lord continue saying how He will put into “Great Affliction” those committing adultery with her.

Please notice how the Lord is using the verb “committing”, as an indicative of a continual and present action of the verb, indicative that those are the ones not repenting for their actions as Jezebel did.

The other important point to observe here is the point of the terms “”Great Affliction” = “Great Tribulation”:

  1. Great = G3173 μέγας – megas
    1. meg’-as
      1. Including the prolonged forms, femine μεγάλη megalē, plural μέγάλοι megaloi, etc.; compare also G3176, G3187], big (literally or figuratively, in a very wide application): – (+ fear) exceedingly, great (-est), high, large, loud, mighty, + (be) sore (afraid), strong, X to years.
      2. Total KJV occurrences: 195
    2. Affliction = G2347 θλίψις – thlipsis
      1. thlip’-sis
        1. From G2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): – afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.
        2. Total KJV occurrences: 45

This particular term is not used but only for the moment in where the biggest event in human history will take place other than the “Coming of the Lord” of course.  This cannot be confuse with a tribulation, nor with a difficulties, nor for that matter with problems, under no circumstances should be so, but understand this is what is called in the Bible “The Great Tribulation”.  Unless of course they will repent of their actions, then and only then they will not go thru such event.

Rev 2:23 LITV

(23)  And I will kill her children with death; and all the assemblies will know that I am the One searching the inner parts and hearts. And I will give to each of you according to your works.

The Lord make very clear that the punishment for her children will be death, such sin cannot have any root left, must be taken completely out of the heart of the Body of Christ.  Look the way the Lord indicate how “all the assemblies”, as a plural noun, expressing that this will apply not just to the Thyatira assembly, which is this letter send to but to the rest of the assemblies.

Many times over, this part of the verse is interpreted as if we are save by works, which based on the Bible we are save by Grace, but the Lord and the Word of God doesn’t contradict itself at all.  This is because the Lord is talking here as if the Grace is no longer in action on earth, but under the “Great Tribulation” process in where your actions will take you out to the throne of God after being decapitated and in Heaven, wash out by the “Blood of the Lamb”:

Rev 7:14 LITV

(14)  And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are those coming out of the great tribulation; and they washed their robes and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb.

This is because there is no one that will go to the Father but Thru Him (Jesus Christ our Lord):

Joh 14:6 LITV

(6)  Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Rev 2:24-25 LITV

(24)  But I say to you and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this teaching, and who did not know the deep things of Satan, as they say: I am not casting another burden on you;

(25)  but what you have, hold until I shall come.

Observe how the Lord is making clear that this is for everyone that is reading this letter and not only to the assembly of Thyatira, the Lord says “…But I say to you and to the rest of Thyatira…”.  Indication that it is directed to the reader of this letter whether he is from the assembly of Thyatira or not and including Thyatira members.

Also and in a clear form the Lord indicates that those that are not mixed or infected with the teachings or doctrine of Jezebel and those that did not know the deep things of Satan are going to pass thru such burden.  In contrast with the deep things of God, of which we are call to pursue them and ask for them in prayer to receive them through the Holy Spirit on knowledge, wisdom and understand of the Word of God.  Read below:

1Co 2:10-15 LITV

(10)  But God revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

(11)  For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of a man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God.

(12)  But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.

(13)  Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in Words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.

(14)  But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

(15)  But the spiritual one discerns all things, but he is discerned by no one.

Rev 2:26-27 LITV

(26)  And the one overcoming, and the one keeping My works until the end, “I will give to him authority over the nations,”

(27)  and “He will shepherd them with an iron staff” (they are “broken to pieces like clay vessels”), as I also have received from My Father. Psa. 2:8, 9

On verses 26 and 27, is the promise to the overcoming, but in this particular case, the overcomer must also keep the works of God until the end, but if you remember at the beginning of the letter there are two ways in where this term is expressed:

  • Toil
    • This is in where the member of the Body of Christ must work in every level to start the fields of the Gospel of the Lord. In where, as in human terms we say, blood, sweat and tears are brought to the field hoping the labor will be enough and that the seed of the Gospel is in a good grounds for it to grow and sustained the storms.
  • Deeds
    • Our main job as a members of the Body of Christ is to live a life in Christ like behavior by feeding the hungry, protecting the homeless and the widow, promoting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, Discipleship others and in prayer and supplication to ask the Lord for the Body of Christ and Israel protection waiting patiently for the Coming of the Lord.

The Lord says He will give to those that do as He ask, authority over the nations to the point of shepherd them with an iron staff.  That is an incredible authority, like no one ever will have, supervised by the Lord Jesus our Savior.  Look in the parenthesis of the verse on how the Lord says that these nations are broken to pieces like clay vessels and that reminds me the vision that the prophet Daniel had of the statue in different metals, where the feet were a mix of Clay and Iron (please referred to my earlier Bible Study in this web in regard to the Book of Daniel).

Also if you read Psalm 2, which is in where it is a reference of the above verse, please notice that there are three speakers in that Psalm (Please read Psalm 2).

Rev 2:28-29 LITV

(28)  And I will give to him the Morning Star.

(29)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

But that is not all that the Lord is given away, there is more, much more.

He is giving “the Morning Star”, I tell you that we already have the Morning Star which is Jesus Christ our Lord.  Of course the Lord closes the Letter with the advice to everyone that either are listening or reading these letters (not just the Thyatira letter) not just to read them, but to hear them and put them into practice.

God Bless You !

The Assembly of Pergamos

The Assembly of Pergamos

 

Historical Background:

 

Pergamon /ˈpɜrɡəmən/ or /ˈpɜrɡəmɒn/ or Pergamum /ˈpɜrɡəməm/ (Ancient Greek: τὸ Πέργαμον, to Pergamon, or ἡ Πέργαμος, hē Pergamos) was an ancient Greek city in Aeolis, currently located 26 kilometres (16 mi) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus (modern-day Bakırçay). Today, the main sites of ancient Pergamon are to the north and west of the modern city of Bergama in Turkey.

Some ancient authors regarded it as a colony of the Arcadians, but the various origin stories all belong to legend. The Greek historians reconstructed a complete history for it due to confusion with the distant Teuthrania.  It became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC.  Pergamon is cited in the Book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.

Map of Asia Manor  by 188 BC

(Map of the city of Pergamum and also the Kingdom of Pergamum after the treaty of Apamea in 188 B.C.)

Pergamum_acropolis_model

(Model of the Acropolis of Pergamos / Museum of Berlin)

During 399 B.C. the city of Pergamos was recapture by the Syrian and it was of no importance on the antiquity until 301 B.C. when it became the capital of the new kingdom of Pergamon, founded in 281 B.C by Philetaerus and giving a beginning to the Attalid dynasty.

The Attalids became some of the most loyal supporters of Rome in the Hellenistic world. Under Attalus I (241–197 BC), they allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon, during the first and second Macedonian Wars, and again under Eumenes II (197–158 BC), against Perseus of Macedon, during the Third Macedonian War. For their support against the Seleucids, the Attalids were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor.

The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity. Many documents survive showing how the Attalids supported the growth of towns by sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence. They sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi, Delos, and Athens. They defeated the invading Celts. They remodeled the Acropolis of Pergamon after the Acropolis in Athens. When Attalus III (138–133 BC) died without an heir in 133 BC, he bequeathed the whole of Pergamon to Rome in order to prevent a civil war.

Pergamon was briefly the capital of the Roman province of Asia, before the capital was transferred to Ephesus.

After a slow decline, the city was favored by several imperial initiatives under Hadrian (117 – 138). It was granted the title of metropolis and as a result of this an ambitious building program was carried out: massive temples, a stadium, a theatre, a huge forum and an amphitheater were constructed. In addition, at the city limits the shrine to Asclepius (the god of healing) was expanded into a lavish spa. This sanctuary grew in fame and was considered one of the most famous therapeutic and healing centers of the Roman world. Galen, after Hippocrates the most famous physician of antiquity, was born at Pergamon and received his early training at the Asclepeion.

Pergamon reached the height of its greatness under Roman Imperial rule and was home to about 200,000 inhabitants.  The Library of Pergamon was renowned, and second only to the Library of Alexandria, although not approaching Alexandria in scholarship.  The city was an early seat of Christianity and was granted a bishopric by the second century.  During the Third Century was badly damaged by an earthquake and ransacked by the “Goths” after.

FYI Important Background on Pergamos

It is also known as “the city of the serpent”, and for its greatness in the religious influence of that time in history.

Asclepius
Asclepius

(Asclepius with his serpent-entwined staff / Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus).

This particular assembly is well known for the influence in medicine and what is known today as Phycology.

The link below will give you access to a brief but incredible video by 700 Club, just click in the link:

http://www1.cbn.com/700club/seat-satan-ancient-pergamum

 

Mercury and Merchant approach vs Asclepius and the naked Graces
Mercury and a merchant disapproving Asclepius and the naked Graces (Meritrine, Hygeia and Panacea)

Mercury (Hermes) & merchant approach disapproving Asclepius (Physician) and the naked Graces (Meditrine, Hygeia and Panacea)

The first temple of this cult was erected in Pergamos in 27 B.C.  Aesculapius was identical to Phaethon (Nimrod = founder of the original Babylonian religion, eventually developing the worship of his widow Semiramis and his posthumous son (the Ashtoreth and Tammuz of Phoenicia, Isis and Horus of Egypt, Aphrodite and Eros of Greece, Venus and Cupid of Rome))

When Cyrus conquered Babylon, they found a new center at Pergamos and that king became “Pontifex Maximus”, highest priest of the pagan system.  When Rome took power over Pergamos the cult was assimilated and very well transferred to Rome by Pergamos.  One of the most clear influence on such cult in Rome is the fact that the Caesar was appointed “highest priest” and ultimately in 378 A.D. of Damasus, the Bishop of Rome with the complete and permanent absorption of “Babylonianism” into the Roman Church (this could possibly be seeing reflected with Thyatira).

During the year 312 A.D. Constantine set out to defeat the forces of Maxentius, empire rival.  His father prospered when he prayed to the God of the Christians, Constantine resorted to the same actions.  It is said the next morning he saw a shining cross in the sky with an inscription above it that read: “in hoc signo vinces” (In this sign thou shall conquer”, marked all the shields of his army with the mark, and after a bloody battle defeated Maxentius and immediately after declared his conversion to Christianity.  Constantine assumed headship of the church, repealed the persecution with the “edicts of Diocletian” advancing Christianity to high office in the state.  Pagan temples were converted to Christians churches; heathen festivals and customs were converted in to Christians ones; pagan priest slipped into office as Christians priests and so on.

Exposition of Revelation 2: 12-17

(Rev 2:12)  And to the angel of the assembly in Pergamos, write: These things says the One having the sharp, two-edged sword:

Once again in Revelation 2: 12 the Lord is dictating to the apostle the letter that the angel (messenger) is going to take to Pergamos.  There is only one angel that will be given the task and responsibility of this letter, not only because it is trusted by the Lord Almighty to accomplish such action, but more so because the angel’s personal relationship with the assembly.

Meaning of the name “Pergamos”;  it is a compound word:

  • Per” = pervert, perturbation, mixed, objectionable
  • gamos” = marriage

When the Lord described Himself as the “…the One having the sharp, two-edged sword…”, He is without a doubt that He is the Highest Authority in Command, Highest Priest and no one else is (Read Book of John 1: 1-4).

(Rev 2:13)  I know your works, and where you dwell, where the throne of Satan is. And you hold My name, and did not deny My Faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful witness; who was killed alongside you, where Satan dwells.

In this verse the Lord started to describe the attributes of this assembly:

  1. Know your works (this particular assembly is not lazy)
  2. Knows the place where the assembly dwell, where the throne of Satan is (the Lord is indicating here that even though the assembly is dwelling under the same location as where the throne of Satan is, they (the assembly) is not part of Satan.
    1. We, as the assembly of the Lord, are called to be among the ones that lives in this world but not been part of the world.
      1. Joh_14:17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He abides with you and shall be in you.

There is always a truth about this assembly related to the action of dwelling in the place where Satan’s throne is, and that is the fact that a throne is a chair located in the center of a room to make comfortable the person more respected and which is not use by any other member of the room but the person destine for.  Understanding this, we can come to the conclusion that this assembly, even though did the works and dwelled where it was commanded to, more so hold the Name of the Lord (the assembly was of the family belong to the Lord, so they claim:    (Eph 3:14)  For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,(Eph 3:15)  of whom every family in Heaven and on earth is named,).  It is evident that even when they hold and called themselves members of the family of the Lord, this assembly did not gave the Lord the recognition He deserved and in His place the throne was occupied by Satan.

It is also very interesting that is mentioned that this particular assembly never denied “His Faith” (it is spelled in capital letters, indicative of the Lord’s Faith and not the assembly’s faith, in accordance with the Strong words this particular term of faith is:

G4102

πίστις

pistis

pis’-tis

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

Total KJV occurrences: 244

In other words, they knew the Word, did the works, dwelled among the place we had been called to dwelled, hold the name of the Lord (members of the Family), and also never denied the Lord’s Faith or His Gospel. They, Pergamos, were so confused on their own well-being and totally out of their track in the real Gospel that they couldn’t distinguished between what was right and what was not.

This assembly allowed the satanic forces to influence them so strongly, to a point in were a faithful witness of the Gospel of the Lord was sacrifice to the idols and they didn’t raise their voices against such actions.  How a believer raise his/her voice? You may ask.  The answer is, by Prayers, Supplications, Fasting, and Studying the Word of Truth.

When any or all of those elements are placed in a subordination level to allow the public non believer to dictate and mandate our course of action, we as believers becomes co-participators of such actions.  The verse end by the Lord emphasizing such actions were taking place in “Satan’s dwelling place”.  This is very important because it tells us how they (Pergamos) allowed themselves to be influenced by the outside forces even when they had all the elements in their favor.

(Rev 2:14)  But I have a few things against you, that you have there those holding the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling-block before the sons of Israel, to eat idol sacrifices, and to commit fornication.

(Rev 2:15)  So you also have those holding the teaching of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

On verses 14 through 15 the Lord is indicating to the assembly their negative points, let’s put them in a sequence manner:

  1. This assembly allowed …those holding the teachings of Balaam…
    1. To throw a stumbling block against the sons of Israel
      1. Read Numbers 22: 1-41
    2. To eat idol sacrifices
      1. Read Numbers 22: 40
    3. To commit fornication
      1. Read Numbers 22: 41
    4. Pergamos also allowed …those holding the teaching of the Nicolatians…
      1. What is the teachings of the Nicolatians that God Himself hate so much?
        1. Nicolaitans
        2. Nicola’itans (followers of Nicolas). A sect mentioned in Rev_2:6; Rev_2:15, whose deeds were strongly condemned. They may have been identical, with those who held the doctrine of Balaam. They seem to have held that, it was lawful to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication, in opposition to the decree of the Church rendered in Act_15:20; Act_15:29. The teachers of the Church branded them with a name, which expressed their true character. The men who did and taught such things were followers of Balaam. 2Pe_2:15; Jud_1:11. They, like the false prophet of Pethor, united brave words with evil deeds.
  • In a time of persecution, when the eating or not eating of things sacrificed to idols was, more than ever, a crucial test of faithfulness, they persuaded men, more than ever, that was a thing indifferent. Rev_2:13-14. This was bad enough, but there was a yet worse evil. Mingling themselves in the orgies of idolatrous feasts, they brought the impurities of those feasts into the meetings of the Christian Church.
  1. And all this was done, it must be remembered, not simply as an indulgence of appetite, but as a part of a system, supported by a “doctrine,” accompanied by the boast of a prophetic illumination, 2Pe_2:1. It confirms the view, which has been taken of their character to find that stress is laid, in the first instance on the “deeds” of the Nicolaitans. To hate those deeds is a sign of life in a Church, that otherwise is weak and faithless. Rev_2:6 To tolerate them is well-nigh to forfeit the glory of having been faithful under persecution. Rev_2:14-15.

(Rev 2:16)  Repent! But if not, I will come to you quickly, and I will make war with them by the sword of My mouth.

Here int verse 16 the Lord advised to the assembly of their only possible option to take, that is to “Repent”, otherwise (if the assembly does not repent) The Lord will come quickly.  The phrase “…come to you quickly…” means the following:

G5035

ταχύ

tachu

takh-oo’

Neuter singular of G5036 (as adverb); shortly, that is, without delay, soon, or (by surprise) suddenly, or (by implication of ease) readily: – lightly, quickly.

Total KJV occurrences: 12

Read please the following:

(2Pe 3:9)  The Lord of the promise is not slow, as some deem slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not having purposed any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

(2Pe 3:10)  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up.

(Rev 2:17)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To the one overcoming, I will give him to eat from the hidden manna. And I will give to him a white stone, and on the stone a new name having been written, which no one knows except the one receiving it.

In verse 17 there is a once again a personal implication and application of the assembly for everyone that is part of the assembly of the Lord. We are commanded to make our voices heard and our Prayers brought to the Throne of the Lord on behave of the Gospel of Truth.  We must work diligently to prepare ourselves to the battle, wearing the all armor of God as is described by the apostle Paul (read below):

Eph_6:11  Put on all the armor of God, for you to be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil,

Eph_6:13  Because of this, take up all of the armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand.

It does follows the verse by indicating the promise to overcomer, which is in this assembly the following:

  1. Will eat of the hidden manna
  2. Will receive a white stone
    1. Encrypted with a new name
      1. Known only by the one receiving the stone

Thank you for reading and I hop/e in the Lord this will be of great help to your spiritual life.  God Bless You All.

If you like to download e-Sword for your Bible Studies here is the link (it is totally FREE)   www.esword.net/downloads.html

The Assembly of Smyrna / Second Letter to the Assemblies (Book of Revelation)

Background and History:      Smyrna

Smyrna is known today as “Izmir”, located in Turkey and as a major city with a population of approximately 300,000 habitants.  It has an excellent harbor, import/export few items such as tobacco, grapes, cotton, figs, olive oil and other.

The original city was destroyed about B.C. 627, and was deserted and in ruins for four hundred years. Alexander the Great contemplated its restoration, and his design was carried out after his death. The new city was built a short distance south of the ancient one, and became the finest in Asia Minor, being known as the glory of Asia. It was one of the cities which claimed the honor of being Homer’s birthplace. A splendid temple was erected by the Smyrnaeans to his memory, and a cave in the neighborhood of the city was shown where he was said to have composed his poems. Smyrna’s fine harbor made it a commercial center; but it was also distinguished for its schools of rhetoric and philosophy. Polycarp was the first bishop of its church, which suffered much from persecution, and he was said to have suffered martyrdom in the stadium of the city, A.D. 166. It is argued with some plausibility that Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna at the time of the composition of Revelation, and was the person addressed here. This question, however, is bound up with that of the date of composition (see Trench, “Epistles to the Seven Churches”). The city was a seat of the worship of Cybele the Mother of the gods, and of Dionysus or Bacchus.

Alyattes, the king of “Lydia”, successfully conquered it, putting an end to a history of two and one-half millennia.  Alexander the Great, during the fourth century, put in charge one of his four generals to build in its place the most beautiful, well build and planned city in Ionia.  The result was known as the “Flower of Ionia”.   27 B.C. Smyrna went under the Romans control and which became a great allied to the Romans during the Syrian/Mithridatic wars.  From 27 B.C. to 324 A.D it was a powerful city with great material prosperity.  From the years 178 A.D. throughout 180 A.D. suffered many seismic disturbances but always rebound from it.

Today, Smyrna (Izmir), is known as “The Paris of the Levant”.  The richly embellishment of the temples and splendid buildings, in a perfect symmetry of those encircling “Mount Pagos” resulted in the title “the crown of Smyrna”.

Please Click on this link to be able to see a Map of what is today "Izmir" also known as Smyrna during Bible Times.
Please Click on this link to be able to see a Map of what is today “Izmir” also known as Smyrna during Bible Times.

Religion

There is a legend that surround the origins of this great empire, and which it also has to do with their polytheistic believes.  Never the less, the beginning of the Roman religious believes were “animistic” in character.  Their believe were, everything that was around them and that inhabited the Earth had its own spirit or numen. They truly believe, they were watched over by their ancestors’ spirits called “genius” (for male) and “juno” (for female).

Early in their history due to the Sabine influence, the romans had as prominent gods the following:

  • Mars
    1. The god of war
      1. Vital role in the beginning of the Roman history.
        • In accordance with the legend of the foundation of Rome, he was the father of Romulus and Remus.
  • Quirinus
    1. The god who watched over the people and government of Rome was the deified Romulus.
  • Jupiter
    1. The leader of the gods

All the three gods were worshiped at the temple on the Capitoline Hill, which they were known as the Capitoline Triad.  This Sabine influence did not replace the former believe but instead, they were added to their worship.

Later on the Monarchy period, the Etruscan influence was such, that the Capitoline triad underwent a transformation:

  • Jupiter still at the pinnacle of their religion.
  • Mars was replaced with Juno
    1. Juno became the wife of Jupiter
  • Quirinus was replaced with Minerva
    1. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter and Juno
      1. goddess of wisdom

Once the Greeks were settled on the South of the Italian peninsula, also influence their religious believes.  These last influenced the Romans by giving to the Romans the power to create their mythology, and as a result, an eloquent and pictographic gamma of characters of Roman gods were borrowed from the Greek gods.

Examples of such are:

Roman gods                                      Greek gods

  • Jupiter                                          Zeus
  • Mars                                             Ares
  • Minerva                                        Athena
  • Apollo                                           Apollo

This particular process on any culture in were the influence is operating this way is called “syncretism”, a distinctive nature displayed by the Romans gods vs the counterparts was the fact that they displayed a frugal nature.  The believer’s faith was guided by a college of “pontiffs” (an assembly of the highest ranking priest in the Ancient Roman/does this sound familiar?).  The highest among them was “pontifex maximus”, position hold by patricians until the third century B.C. a plebian Roman could hold such position.  Also even though this position was a highly wholly spiritual function, there was later on politicized. A great example of this was Julius Caesar, whose was the pontifex maximus during the first Triumvirate.

Each god had their own temple, priest or flamines.  While the college was task with the affairs of the gods, the flamines represented their particular deity.  The most important priest represented the Capitoline Triad, there was an exception to the rule and that was the priestesses to Vesta, goddess of the hearth, all were men. The Vestal Virgins (as they were known) priestesses were ordered to remain celibate for the entire thirty years of service and their task was to keep the sacred fire of Vesta burning in the temple. Many privileges were given to them, among some, privilege to own properties, to vote, no longer under the control of their parents, highly regarded and a reason why many patrician families wished their daughters to be given the position.  The title of Vestal Virgins were appointed by the pontifex maximus by a drawing lots.  Some of the downsides of the Vestal Virgins were for example that if the priestess fail to remain celibate for any period of the thirty years of service the punishment was to be buried alive.

During the beginning of the Empire, the emperor were deified after death, but it was not until Julius Caesar that the emperor was deified during their terms and after him many others will follow, there were couple exceptions; Caligula and Nero.

Worship of the imperial cult became a commonplace and even many of the emperors believed to be themselves “gods”.  Commodus, for example, believed to be Hercules himself, Diocletian found affinity with Jupiter.  Never the less, the one who made himself to be placed in a statue in the Jewish temples around the Roman Empire was Caligula.

Christianity started as a marginal and persecuted sect, but ended up the official state religion.  As the Christians grew in number and with the ability to influence the Emperor Constantine, convinced by the Christian teachings, Constantine marched into a battle with the banner of Christ, and with heavy odds against him and his army, won the battle and attributed to Christ the victory calling it a divine intervention.

Immediately after his victory, Constantine passed the “Edict of Milan”, professing tolerance toward Christians and their believes.  He ended baptized and the majority of his successors were Christians.  Julian was an exception to that rule, trying to reinstate the traditional Roman gods, but with no much result.  It was not but until 380 A.D. that Christianity became the State Religion.

During the month of December (December Saturnalia), on what is known as the “Via Sacra” (Sacred Way), passage that runs from the Coliseum, the Capitoline Hill (Capitoline Triad Temple Location) and Temple of Jupiter, marches and religious festivals took place.

Up to now is a brief view of the religious practices of the Roman Empire during the first, second and portion of the third centuries.

Let’s start with the Biblical passage for our delight, which is located in the 2nd Chapter of the Book of Revelation verses 8-11. Keep in mind I am using the Literate Translation which you will be able to find by downloading e-Sword program ( www.e-Sword.org ) which is a great tool for Bible Studies and is totally free of charge.

(Rev 2:8)  And to the angel of the assembly of Smyrna, write: These things says the First and the Last, Who became dead, and lived:

Once again we can see how the Lord Jesus Christ appointed the angel to take the message to the assembly of Smyrna. This is indicative that there is always a particular messenger for the plan of God in our lives.  This particular messenger knows the target in question and understand the all details regarding the assembly of Smyrna.

“These things says the First and the Last”…  Please pay attention to the way the Lord uses the first word in the sentences, which is in a plural manner.   It is indicating to us, the multiple things the Lord sees in our lives that many times we have no idea of them.  Immediately after it is brought up one of the names that our Lord is known by: and these can be read in four more locations in the Bible:

  1. Isa 41:4
  2. Rev 1:11
  3. Rev 1:17
  4. Rev 2:8
  5. Rev 22:13

It is not until the Book of revelation that this particular Name of God is used in Capital Letters (this could be observed if you use the LIT Translation vs the KJV).

Another portion that is curious to observe in the verse the use of …”Who became dead, and lived:”…  By using this particular name, God Himself becomes a witness of His selfish act in the Cross for all mankind.

As you continue reading this passage, you can’t stop noticing the theme of “death” in the letter.

As you know the word “Smyrna” means “Myrrh” which is a spice used to either preserve the bodies after death and as an aromatic spice, which is what normally we know about it.  Never the less, there is a passage in  Genesis 37:25 that mention specifically this spice and is in relation to the narrative of Joseph son of Jacob.

Also in Exodus 30:23 it is mentioned to be included as part of the group of species and other ointments to be use for the anointing of the tabernacle, the ark of the testimony, the table and vessels, the altar of incense and the altar of burnt offering with vessels, the laver and his foot, also Aaron and his sons. Such anointed group of spices and oils was going to be presented to the children of Israel as a holy anointing oil throughout the generations.

In Esther 2:12 you can see the use of Myrrh in the anointing of the royal queen before to be presented to the king.

Myrrh is also found in the Bible as one of the three gifts the wise men presented to the Christ Child, according to the gospel of Matthew. According to the gospel of Mark, Jesus was offered wine and myrrh before the crucifixion.

In Isaiah 60:6 expressed the Word of God that will be given presents to the Lord Jesus during the millennium but among the gifts presented to Him one will be out of the equation, and that is “myrrh”.  Myrrh was representative of the pain and suffering of our Lord as a human on this earth, but that will be all behind Him once He entered the millennium and after.

(Rev 2:9)  I know your works, and the affliction, and the poverty; but you are rich. And I know the evil speaking of those saying themselves to be Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

The Lord in verse 9 started to give the commendations of the assembly of Smyrna.  The Lord started by saying to the assembly:

  1. I know your works
  2. I know your affliction
    1. G2347
    2. θλίψις
    3. thlipsis
    4. thlip’-sis
      1. From G2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): – afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.
    5. Total KJV occurrences: 45
    6. Notice how this word is used to denote one of the qualities of the spice of myrrh which is to be pressure in order for the spice to be effective in its natural way.
  3. I know your poverty
    1. G4432
    2. πτωχεία
    3. ptōcheia
    4. pto-khi’-ah
    5. From G4433; beggary, that is, indigence (literally or figuratively): – poverty. This is used when there is nothing at all available, there is nothing you can reach for. Extreme poor.
    6. Total KJV occurrences: 3
      1. But you are rich
      2. Is this not knowing of your worth by choice or by ignorance on the part of the assembly? Does the assembly knows they are rich but choose to be poor or do they think they are really poor?
  • (2Co 8:9) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich, He became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich by the poverty of that One.
  1. I know the “evil speaking” of those saying themselves to be Jews
    1. G988
    2. βλασφημία
    3. blasphēmia
    4. blas-fay-me’-ah
    5. From G989; vilification (especially against God): – blasphemy, evil speaking, railing.
    6. Total KJV occurrences: 19
      1. They Are Not
      2. They are synagogue of Satan.
        1. As I have read this particular section of the verse, my head started spinning in questions about why is this said here by the Lord? There is also an important point that we must remember, the Lord was very straight and clear to the adversary and his followers, and He never deviated.
        2. If we read John chapter 8, we will noticed the level of tension that existed among Jesus and the so called “religious leaders of the Jews”, in particular in verse 18 and 19.
        3. In John 8:19 the religious leaders asked the Lord … (Joh 8:19) Then they said to Him, Where is your father? Jesus answered, You neither know Me, nor My Father. If you had known Me, then you also would have known My Father.
          1. In the above phrase in Bold/Italic/Underline format they were trying to tell Jesus that He (Jesus) was a “Bastard” (this is what is known today as a sarcasm). The below verses demonstrate how intense was the tension, and when you read these verse read it as if you were a Jew…
        4. (Joh 8:39) They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father (here is the second time in this chapter they said to Jesus in an indirect way that He was a “Fatherless Child” (Bastard)). Jesus said to them, If you were children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham.
        5. (Joh 8:40) But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has spoken the truth to you, which I heard alongside of Abraham did not do this.
        6. (Joh 8:41) You do the works of your father. They said to Him, We were not born of fornication; we have one father, God (This is the third time in this chapter they indicated to the Lord that “He” (Our Lord Jesus) was a “Bastard”).
        7. (Joh 8:42) Then Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I went forth and have come from God. For I have not come from Myself, but that One sent Me.
        8. (Joh 8:43) Why do you not know My speech? It is because you are not able to hear My Word.
        9. (Joh 8:44) You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you desire to do. That one was a murderer from the beginning, and he has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, because he is a liar, and the father of it.

(Rev 2:10)  Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw you into prison, so that you may be tried; and you will have affliction ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

We as Christians know that it is very difficult to be a “Follower of the Way” (as we used to be known before the term Christians came about).  We must pray for those that persecute us, forgive those that torment us and bless those that curse us, right?  Of course we must.  But there is also a reminder from the Lord that no matter what we will go thru in life, He will never leave us nor forsake us.

1Ki_8:57  Jehovah our God is with us as He has been with our fathers; He shall not forsake us or leave us,

Also in this particular verse there is an important part that many believers omit as they read this passage, that is the reality of a an accuser that is always ready to point his fingers at us just to make our lives a “living hell”, he is called the devil.  This part on this particular verse can’t and most not be confused with the part of the “Great Tribulation”, this part of the  verse is what we will see on a daily basis just for been part of the “Special Elite Unit” called “Christians” or “Follower of the Way”.  One way or another, there is no doubt that the Lord never leaves us nor forsake us, read below:

Heb_13:5  Set your way of life without money-loving, being satisfied with present things; for He has said, “Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you,” never! Deut. 31:6

Another part on this verse that strike me is the fact that the Lord advised of ten days of afflictions. These ten days put me to think, why the Lord mentioned those ten days in a specific manner?  If we go back in history, we will be able to notice that between the End of the First Century and all away to the end of the Second Century there were a total of ten Roman Emperors. Let see them one by one in a list:

Name Succession Reign / AD Time in Office
Trajan Caesar Marcvs Vlpivs Nerva Traianvs Avgvstvs Adopted and Heir of Nerva Jan/98 – Aug/117 19 yrs 7 mths
Hadrian Caesar Pvblivs Aelivs Traianvs Hadrianvs Avgvstvs Adopted and Heir of Trajan Aug/117 – Jul/138 21 yrs
Antoninus Pius Caesar Titvs Aelivs Hadrianvs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Pivs Adopted and Heir of Hadrian Jul/138 – Mar/161 22yrs 7 mths
Marcus Aurelius Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Adopted son/son-in-law and Heir of Antoninus Pius and

Co-Emperor with Lucius Verus until 169

Mar/161 – Mar/180 19 yrs
Lucius Verus Caesar Lvcivs Avrelivs Vervs Avgvstvs Adopted son Heir of Antoninus Pius and son-in-lawof Marcus Aurelius; Co-Emperor with Marcus Aurelius until his death Mar/161 – Mar/169 8 yrs
Commodus Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Commodvs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Natural son of Marcus Aurelius; Co-Emperor from 177 ?/177 – Dec/192 15 yrs
Pertinax Caesar Pvblivs Helvivs Pertinax Avgvstvs Proclaimed by the Praetorian Guard Jan/193 – Mar/193 3 mths
Didius Julianus Caesar Marcvs Didivs Severvs Ivlianvs Avgvstvs Won auction by the Praetorian Guard for the position of Emperor Mar/193 – Jun/193 2 mths – 4 days

(65 Days)

Septimius Severus Caesar Lvcivs Septimivs Severvs Pertinax Avgvstvs Seized power with the Support of the Pannonian Legions Apr/193 – Feb/211 17 yrs 10 mths
Caracalla Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Severvs Antoninvs Pivs Avgvstvs Son of Septimius Severus; Co-Emperor with Severus from 198; with Severus and Geta from 209 until Feb 211; Co-Emperor with Geta until Dec 211 ?/198 – Apr/217 19 yrs

Emperors Timeline 2nd Century (Click on this link to see a timeline of the Second Century Roman Emperors).

(Rev 2:11)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. The one overcoming will not at all be hurt by the second death.

As it was with the first assembly, the Lord tells us to pay attention to this message of this assembly, because it is not particular to them but to all of the believers in Christ.  Also it important to say that the affirmation of the Lord by explicitly saying this message is through the Holy Spirit, this is visible because the word “Spirit” is in Capital letter “S” indicative of the Third Person of the Trinity of God.

The last but not the least point to talk about is how the Lord indicates to the one overcoming this particular time will not be hurt by the second death and you might ask; what is the second death?  The Bible gives us the answer and here it is:

Rev_20:6  Blessed and holy is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

Rev_20:14  And death and hell were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.

Rev_21:8  But for the cowardly and unbelieving, and those having become foul, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the lying ones, their part will be in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Remember always to Pray to the Lord before and after of your Bible Study for His guidance, knowledge, wisdom and understanding on the Word and God Bless You.

This is a Timeline of Major Events during the First Century in relation to the Church of Christ.

Please Click on the below link to see the Timeline in a PDF File.

Church First Century Events PDF View