Jesus Cures All – Daily Message
February 17, 2021
Revelation – my humble translation and things to ponder
We will be spending the next 22 weeks studying Revelation – the book of hope. It was written by John near the end of his life after he received a vision from Christ. He recorded this for the benefit of the seven churches of Asia and for Christians throughout history.
Though most associate this book with only the end times, this is the only book in the Bible that promises a blessing to those who listen to its words and do what it says.
As always, I will be providing my humble translation and some things to ponder.
2 The Loveless Church
1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.
4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
The Persecuted Church
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:
9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’
The Compromising Church
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there, those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’
The Corrupt Church
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
25 But hold fast what you have till I come.
26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’— as I also have received from My Father;
28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
My Humble Translation:
In this chapter, Christ through John, addresses four different churches, beginning with the largest and longest established. In each, He praises them for their successes and tells them of their failures and how to correct them.
In the case of Ephesus, Christ had to remind them that simply being a large church doing works with a motive to benefit its members; but not based first in the love of God, would mean God’s abandonment, unless they repented. Christ then puts an emphasis on praising them for hating ‘the deeds’ of the Nicolaitans (note: not the Nicolaitans themselves).
In the case of Smyrna, Christ acknowledges that this church has been and continues to be going through tremendous persecution (not unlike so many missionaries since). Christ commends them for remaining faithful through all their suffering and reminds them that all suffering is the work of Satan, not God. Therefore, though they may lose their earthly life to persecution, like Jesus, they will earn an eternal life with God the Father.
In the case of Pergamos, Christ first identifies that this was the place of Satan’s throne and therefore an incredibly difficult place for Christians. He reminds this church that, although surrounded by many cults, they are not to compromise and fold into the Christian doctrine all the things of idols and sexual immorality.
In the case of Thyatira, Christ uses the name of Jezebel (the most evil woman in Jewish history) to identify a woman who was not only promoting immorality within this church, but also had refused to repent. Her teachings were corrupting the church. Christ does go on to offer support to those who keep the faith and reminds them of their eternal reward.
All new Christians enter their new life with great enthusiasm but with little knowledge. Most grow in their faith, through more knowledge of God’s Word but lose enthusiasm. Both are necessary to keep our love of God intense and untarnished.
We should accept and love all people but refuse to tolerate all evil. But what is evil? It is anything that is contrary to the teachings of the Bible – God’s Word.
Does God care about our churches? If the ‘church’ is the body of Christ, that is like asking ‘does God only care about certain parts of His own body’?
Yes, God cares about our churches but as you read above He also knows that our churches can become loveless, compromised or corrupt (much like our bodies can be riddled with cancer). These cancers must be cut out.
God also reminded us that some churches may experience great amounts of persecution and that it is in these times that those who remain faithful to Him through their suffering will have proven that their faith is genuine.
The bottom line is that the world is fraught with temptations, to which we all fall prey to at some time or another, but if we repent we have been offered salvation and eternal life.
One More Thought
Our Brokenness Cries for Mercy
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Psalm 51:1-2
Through God’s grace and our faith, anyone can have a total life change. This is not a change that is available by worldly standards, this is an eternal change by the mercy of God.
This is a change that is only made possible by Jesus Christ entering our lives. We need to thank and praise God, our merciful Father.
Wash us, cleanse us, and restore us, Lord. We are broken sinners with no hope outside of your mercy. In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
© Credits: Alan Dupuis & Rob Gardner – with All the Glory to God