Revelation 2:8


I Know Thy Works”


Revelation 2:8-10, “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 thing 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.

Smyrna is often called the persecuted Church because the key characteristic mentioned here is persecution. In reality all churches face some persecution; the servant is not greater than his master. But Smyrna certainly faced the ultimate persecution prison and martyrdom.

Fear none of those thing which thou shalt suffer.” It is easy to fear in the face of persecution and death unless you remember the promise of eternal life in Christ.  Because of the fear of persecution there are many who do not turn to Christ for salvation. Because of the fear of persecution there are many who turn back from following Jesus.

I peter 4:12-13 says,  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as thou some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Nothing negative is said about the church of Smyrna that is because the fiery trials burn away the dross. There is one great promise of God’s which will carry you through the fear of persecution and the fear of death and that is the promise of eternal life. “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Revelation 2:12-13 says, “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 it: 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.

The church of Pergamos faced persecution and remained faithful to the name of Jesus Christ. They did a great work. It is a great work to remain faithful to the name of Jesus Christ when others deny and turn back because of persecution. Such suffering is not in vain but surely results in lost people coming to believe in the truth of the gospel of eternal life.

Revelation 2:14-15 says, “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 stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat thing sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

The church of Pergamos made a great mistake though, a mistake which many churches today make, the allowed false teachings into their church. The false teachings which crept into the church of Pergamos resulted in them becoming sexually immoral and in them being dominated and controlled.

The false prophet Balaam is mentioned here. He was someone who was motivated by money. The love of money and sexual immorality are often found closely connected.

Revelation 2:16-17 says, “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.”

“Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly.” The sooner you repent of sins the better. Sin is destructive and you never know for sure just what consequences you will reap from the sin that you sow. In addition to this we know that God will not long tolerate a Christian to be unrepentant and living in sin because God is a jealous God that is why He said repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly.

When it come to sin and repentance of sin a good verse to remember is 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Revelation 2:18-19, “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 they works; and the last to be more than the first.

Concerning the church of Thyatira their last works were more than their first. This means the amount of work that they accomplished for Christ has increased. This is how the Christian life should be. As you progress you should become more capable of accomplishing the work of God.

Of course the work of God is not measured by the world’s standard of success because God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. What may seem like a failure in the worlds eyes might actually be a great success because it is not about education or money or material things but it is about faith in Jesus Christ.

Revelation 2:20-23 says, “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.

How easily it seems that false teachings and false religious worship creep into a church.  The church of Pergamos had a problem and so too did the church of Thyatira. A lot could be said about the reasons why this happens but these verses do not focus on that they focus the consequences of becoming involved in false religion, “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.” False religion only gives an empty promise. The false religions of the world do not bring happiness or fulfillment or eternal life they only enslave people. People who become involved in false religion find great tribulation.

These same words used here and translated, ‘great tribulation’ are used in Matthew 24:21 by Christ to refer to the great tribulation. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

One reason there will be great tribulation in the end times is because there will be great false religion and great tribulation is a God given consequence of becoming a part of false religion. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.”

Revelation 2:24-29 says, “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatria, 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 hat an ear, let Him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churchs.

There are great rewards that await those whom stay true to the teachings of God’s word. One of those great rewards is, “power over the nations.” This proves that it is not necessary wrong to desire power if you use that power to serve the LORD Jesus Christ. Of course there are many other rewards that will be given too because God is a giver.

In this world it is most often evil men who gain power because they lie and steal and murder and do every evil imaginable to gain and keep their power. Their power is only temporary however because this life is temporary. One day the tables will be turned around when Jesus returns.

If you have never trusted in the LORD Jesus Christ then do so today repent of your fornication and your false religion and come to Jesus for forgiveness of your sins and eternal life.

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Copyright; 2015 by Bruce Creech
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