The turning from and opposing of one’s former religion.
Having to do with the 12 apostles or their teachings. This term is also sometimes used in Catholic circles as a synonym for “papal,” as the Pope is seen as the successor to the Apostles.
A person or group that does not acknowledge a particular religion, most often Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. In the Old Testament “heathen” referred to anyone who did not follow and worship the God of Israel.
Primarily used in religious circles to describe a person or doctrine that disagrees with that religion.
Having to do with the Pope or the Roman Catholic Church.
A Jewish house of assembly, prayer, and study.
Revelation 2 Commentary
Summary: Read Revelation 2 KJV along with a helpful commentary.

Revelation 2 KJV


1Unto 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;

2:1 These seven messages written for specific congregations in the early Christian Church are prophecies of what God’s people would face during the following centuries of history. Each message to the churches includes an address, commendation, reproof, and promise.

Ephesus: The Apostolic Church, AD 31-100. Ephesus means desirable. It was located on the Aegean Sea, had a beautiful harbor and was situated on the main highway for the region. It also held one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the temple to Diana (Artemis), pagan goddess of fertility.

Prophetically, Ephesus represents the early Christian church, the time period from the formation of the church in AD 31 to about AD 100 when all the firsthand witnesses to Christ’s life and work had passed on. The period of the Apostolic Church was nearly over when Revelation was written.

2I 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:

3And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

2:2-3 Commendation: The Apostolic Church was a pure church that would not tolerate heresy. Its labors had brought the Gospel to the then-known world.

4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.


5Remember 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.

2:4-5 Reproof: Sadly, the early Christian church lost its ardent first love and excitement for Jesus. He was calling them back to that first-love experience, to repentance and reformation. Without a burning love for Christ in our hearts our religion is useless.

6But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

1:6 The Nicolaitanes claimed to be Christian but taught that obedience to God’s law was unnecessary. The Bible teaches that the saved shows evidence of salvation by living a changed life in harmony with God’s law and character. 1 John 5:3.

7He 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.

2:7 Promise: Through Jesus, all may be overcomers and have eternal life. Christ’s power in the life provides victory over sin and gives us holiness of character.

8And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

2:8 Smyrna: The Persecuted Church, Early 100s-Early 300s. Smyrna was located on the Aegean Sea about 40 miles north of Ephesus. It was an important center of trade with a good harbor. Its name means sweet smelling.

Prophetically, Smyrna stretches from the early 100s to the early 300s. Throughout this time the church experienced tremendous growth while enduring severe persecution. This period effectively ended in AD 313 with the Edict of Milan when the Roman Emperor Constantine proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire.

9I 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.

10Fear 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.

2:9-10 Commendation: They are known for good works, poverty and tribulation. During these two centuries the pagan Roman Empire periodically tried to destroy the Christian church. The worst persecution was during a span of ten years (AD 303-313) under the Roman emperor, Diocletian, indicated in verse 10 as “tribulation ten days.”

11He 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.

2:11 Reproof: There is no reproof for those in Smyrna. Jesus knew their works of faith under trial.

Promise: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” These Christians would rather die than deny their Lord Jesus. The second death is described in Revelation 20:11-15.

12And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

13I 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.

2:12-13 Pergamos: The Church of Compromise, Early 300s-Mid 500s. Pergamos means height or elevation. It was located on a high mountain. The capital of the Roman province of Asia, it was a sophisticated city, a famous cultural center with a tremendous library and several pagan temples.

Prophetically, Pergamos represents the period from the early 300s to the mid-500s when the last major obstacle hindering the power of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome was removed. It was during this time that the church became strongly linked with the state. The bishop of Rome was made head of all the churches. The pomp, splendor, corruption and absolute authority wielded by the pope’s “seat” during this period could rightly be called “Satan’s seat.”

Commendation: During this time the Christian Church which had held fast to the truth in the midst of persecution began to compromise its principles because of its worldly success, the praise of men and its newfound political power. Yet there were many who held fast to their faith and opposed this corruption of Christianity.

14But 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.

15So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

2:14-15 Reproof: In the Old Testament “Balaam” sought to destroy Israel by tempting them to join the Moabites in fornication and idol worship. Numbers 22-25. Here Satan sought to destroy the Church by inducing its leaders to mingle paganism with Christianity and to use the state to enforce those compromises. By doing so, the Church committed spiritual “fornication.” Ezekiel 23:3.

16Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against thee with the sword of my mouth.

2:16 As the centuries progressed and the church did not repent, the Lord sent reformers with cutting Bible truths—the two-edged sword (Hosea 6:5) that exposed the false teachings and errors being taught in the fallen church.

17He 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.

2:17 Promise: In ancient times, a white stone was used in court to symbolize innocence and purity while a black one symbolized guilt. Jesus promised that the overcomers, those who are faithful to Him, will never be condemned but will instead be given a white stone inscribed with a new name, a pure name that signifies their close personal relationship with Him. Romans 8:1.

18And 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;

2:18 Thyatira: Church of the dark or Middle Ages, Mid 500s-Early 1500s. Thyatira means “odor of affliction.” The city was inland on the river Lycus at a fork where two branches of the river came together, and was famous for its bright purple dye (A color known today as Turkish Red), which was the color used for royalty. It was here that Lydia bought her dyes. Acts 16:11-15.

Prophetically, Thyatira represents the period dominated by the Roman Catholic Church from the mid-500s to the early 1500s. During this time the Catholic (meaning main or universal) Church system accepted so many pagan practices that the truths of God’s Word were forgotten. The Bible was banned, and all who refused to acknowledge the supremacy of the Papal Church were persecuted. Many faithful Christians were put to death as “heretics,” causing great numbers of God’s people to flee into the wilderness. This was the darkest period yet for God’s people, as the corrupted church enforced its domination and tried to destroy the faithful remnant.

19I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

2:19 Commendation: This church is praised for its works, charity, service and faith.

20Notwithstanding 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.

21And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23And 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.

2:20-23 Reproof: Jezebel was a heathen princess that Ahab, king of Israel, married. She spread the most vile idol worship throughout Israel and slew God’s prophets. 1 Kings 16:29-22:24. Similarly, the church of the Dark Ages adopted many pagan beliefs and practices and murdered those who dared to oppose her authority.

24But 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.

25But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

26And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27And 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.

28And I will give him the morning star.

29He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

2:24-29 Promise: Even during the periods of darkest apostasy God has always had His faithful few. There were many Christians during the Dark Ages, like the Waldenses hidden in the mountains of northern Italy, who suffered torture and death rather than compromise the truth. To those who do not partake in apostasy Christ says, “Hold fast,” “I will put upon you none other burden.” Many of the devoted Christians in Thyatira understood only a limited amount of truth, yet Christ promised to give them Himself, forever, and make them co-rulers if they would life up to all the light they had been given. God only judges us by what we know or have the opportunity to know. Acts 17:30.


Ahead to Revelation 3

This commentary is adapted from Amazing Prophecies, © 2010 Family Heritage Books.

Disclaimer: This article is provided by a third-party source. Providing a third-party article on amazingdiscoveries.org indicates that we stand behind the content of that particular article, but it is not an endorsement by Amazing Discoveries of the author's opinion, lifestyle or work published elsewhere.
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