Revelation 2
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
And I will give him the morning star.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Revelation
Book: Revelation
Chapter: 2

Epistles to the churches in Asia, with warnings and
encouragements, To the Church at Ephesus; (1-7) at Smyrna;
(8-11) at Pergamos; (12-17) and at Thyatira. (18-29)

1-7 These churches were in such different states as to purity
of doctrine and the power of Godliness, that the words of Christ
to them will always suit the cases of other churches, and
professors. Christ knows and observes their state; though in
Heaven, yet he walks in the midst of his churches On Earth,
observing what is wrong in them, and what they want. The Church
of Ephesus is commended for diligence in duty. Christ keeps an
account of every Hour's work his servants do for him, and their
labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. But it is not enough
that we are diligent; there must be bearing patience, and there
must be waiting patience. And though we must show all Meekness
to all men, yet we must show just zeal against their sins. The
Sin Christ charged this Church with, is, not the having left and
forsaken the object of Love, but having lost the fervent degree
of it that at first appeared. Christ is displeased with his
people, when he sees them grow remiss and cold toward him.
Surely this mention in Scripture, of Christians forsaking their
first Love, reproves those who speak of it with carelessness,
and thus try to excuse indifference and sloth in themselves and
others; our Saviour considers this indifference as sinful. They
must repent: they must be grieved and ashamed for their sinful
declining, and humbly confess it in the sight of God. They must
endeavour to recover their first zeal, tenderness, and
seriousness, and must pray as earnestly, and watch as
diligently, as when they first set out in the ways of God. If
the presence of Christ's Grace and Spirit is slighted, we may
expect the presence of his displeasure. Encouraging mention is
made of what was good among them. Indifference as to Truth and
error, good and evil, may be called Charity and Meekness, but it
is not So; and it is displeasing to Christ. The Christian Life
is a warfare against Sin, Satan, the world, and the Flesh. We
must never yield to our spiritual enemies, and then we shall
have a glorious triumph and reward. All who persevere, shall
derive from Christ, as the Tree of Life, Perfection and
confirmation in Holiness and happiness, not in the earthly
Paradise, but in the heavenly. This is a figurative expression,
taken from the account of the garden of Eden, denoting the pure,
satisfactory, and eternal joys of Heaven; and the looking
forward to them in this world, By Faith, Communion with Christ,
and the consolations of the Holy Spirit. Believers, take your
wrestling Life here, and expect and look for a quiet Life
hereafter; but not till then: the Word of God never promises
quietness and complete Freedom from conflict here.

8-11 Our Lord Jesus is the First, for By him were all things
made; he was before all things, with God, and is God himself. He
is the Last, for he will be the Judge of all. As this First and
Last, who was dead and is alive, is the believer's Brother and
Friend, he must be rich in the deepest poverty, honourable
amidst the lowest abasement, and happy under the heaviest
Tribulation, like the Church of Smyrna. Many who are rich as to
this world, are Poor as to the next; and some who are Poor
outwardly, are inwardly rich; rich in Faith, in good Works, rich
in privileges, rich in Gifts, rich in Hope. Where there is
spiritual plenty, outward poverty may be Well borne; and when
God's people are made Poor as to this Life, for the sake of
Christ and a good Conscience, he makes all up to them in
spiritual riches. Christ arms against coming troubles. Fear none
of these things; not only forbid slavish fear, but subdue it,
furnishing the soul with strength and courage. It should be to
try them, not to destroy them. Observe, the sureness of the
reward; "I will give thee:" they shall have the reward from
Christ's own Hand. Also, how suitable it is; "a Crown of Life:"
the Life worn out in his service, or laid down in his cause,
shall be rewarded with a much better Life, which shall be
eternal. The second Death is unspeakably worse than the first
Death, both in the agonies of it, and as it is Eternal Death: it
is indeed awful to die, and to be always dying. If a Man is kept
from the second Death and wrath to come, he may patiently endure
whatever he meets with in this world.

12-17 The Word of God is a Sword, able to slay both Sin and
sinners. It turns and cuts every way; but the believer need not
fear this Sword; yet this confidence cannot be supported without
steady obedience. As our Lord notices all the advantages and
opportunities we have for duty in the places where we Dwell, So
he notices our temptations and discouragements from the same
causes. In a situation of trials, the Church of Pergamos had not
denied the Faith, either By open apostasy, or By giving way So
as to avoid the Cross. Christ commends their stedfastness, but
reproves their sinful failures. A wrong view of Gospel doctrine
and Christian liberty, was a root of bitterness from which evil
practices grew. Repentance is the duty of churches and bodies of
men, as Well as of particular persons; those who Sin together,
should repent together. Here is the promise of favour to those
that overcome. The influences and comforts of the Spirit of
Christ, come down from Heaven into the soul, for its support.
This is hidden from the Rest of the world. The new name is the
name of Adoption; when the Holy Spirit shows his own work in the
believer's soul, this new name and its real import are
understood By him.

18-29 Even when the Lord knows the Works of his people to be
wrought in Love, Faith, zeal, and patience; yet if his eyes,
which are as a Flame of Fire, observe them committing or
allowing what is evil, he will rebuke, correct, or punish them.
Here is praise of the ministry and people of Thyatira, By One
who knew the principles from which they acted. They grew wiser
and better. All Christians should earnestly desire that their
last Works may be their best Works. Yet this Church connived at
some wicked seducers. God is known By the judgments he executes;
and By this upon seducers, he shows his certain knowledge of the
hearts of men, of their principles, designs, frame, and temper.
Encouragement is given to those who kept themselves pure and
undefiled. It is dangerous to despise the Mystery of God, and as
dangerous to receive the mysteries of Satan. Let us beware of
the depths of Satan, of which those who know the least are the
most happy. How tender Christ is of his Faithful servants! He
lays nothing upon his servants but what is for their good. There
is promise of an ample reward to the persevering, victorious
believer; also knowledge and Wisdom, suitable to their power and
dominion. Christ brings Day with him into the soul, the Light of
Grace and of Glory, in the presence and enjoyment of him their
Lord and Saviour. After every victory let us follow up our
advantage against the enemy, that we may overcome and keep the
Works of Christ to the End.

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