Pastor Steven Anderson
Thank you so much for watching this extremely important series called “The Book of Revelation”. Please support this project by going to KJVRevelation.com and order your copy today. Make sure you share these videos with your family and friends. Repost, reupload them to your youtube channel. We encourage everyone to share, so people will know what they might face in the days to come. So sit back and watch part 2 of the book of Revelation. Now revelation chapter 2 beginning in verse number one, the Bible reads “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”, and then he begins to give the message to the church at Ephesus. Now if you remember at the end of chapter 1, Jesus Christ had told John that he had a message specifically for each of these 7 specific churches in Asia. And in chapters 2 and 3 we are going to get into those messages that are tailored to those churches.
Now the whole book of Revelation was sent to each of the 7 churches. It says in verse 2 “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. So in these first few verses, Jesus Christ has a lot of positive things, a lot of good things to say about the Church of Ephesus.
He talks about the fact that they are a very hard working church. He talks about their work and their labour. Their patience. And he says how they cannot bear them which are evil. And that they have tried them which say they are apostles and are not and hast found them liars. So here is a church that was good at recognising false doctrine. Good at recognising false prophets and false teachers who would creep in claiming to be apostles. They couldn’t bear with them that were evil. They took a stand against that which was wrong. And the Bible says that they had not fainted, they were a church that endured and continued in the faith. But look, it says in verse 4 something negative. “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou are 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.” So, the messages to these churches, often Jesus Christ has some good things to say about a church, and also some bad things to say. Here they are being commended for their hard work.
They are being commended for exposing false prophets and false teachers. But he says “you have lost your first love.” Now how are they going to get their first love back. He says “remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent and do the first works.” So notice, it’s possible for a church to get caught up in doing a lot of works, but it’s not the first works. It’s not the works that God wants them to be doing. You say “what does he mean by that? What is the first love? Or what are the first works?” Well, if you think about what the first works were.
When Jesus Christ instituted the church, and when he set up the church, what was the first thing he sent them out to do? You know, he sent them out to preach the gospel to every creature. Jesus Christ himself said that he was come to seek and to save that which was lost. And if you remember, he sent out his apostles two by two to go everywhere preaching the gospel. And then also in Acts chapter 1, when we see Jesus Christ ascend up to heaven, the last thing he told them to do before he ascended up to heaven, was to be witnesses unto him, both in Jerusalem and all Judaea and Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. At the end of the book of Mathew, at the end of the book of Mark, Luke, John…They’re always being given this commission to go out and to preach the gospel to every creature. That was supposed to be the main goal, and the main purpose of the church, to go out and reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To preach the gospel to every creature and to win souls. And it is possible for churches to get so busy doing a lot of other works, that they forget their first love, the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of people that compels us to go out and win the lost, and to go out and reach people with the gospel. Now, notice. The way to get your first love back is to do the first works. And by doing the first works, you will get the first love. You see, when you are out knocking doors, preaching the gospel to every creature… When you are out winning souls to Jesus Christ out in the highways and hedges. You know, that is going to put a lot of love in your heart. You know, when you get out there, and you’ve got your Bible, and you’re giving the gospel to somebody is not saved, you know what? That’s when you will understand what love for the lost is.
But, all that to say this. This particular church at Ephesus, no longer exists anymore. This church that was good in a lot of areas, but they had lost their first love. That church no longer exists. You couldn’t go attend that church today. You say “well, then that means that this scripture is not applicable.” Well no, because obviously we could apply this today to any church, couldn’t we? You see, there could be a church today that’s a lot like the church at Ephesus, that’s lost their first love. Now as we see these messages to the 7 churches. They had good things, and in many cases they had bad things said about them. But we can apply those things to us and say “wait a minute, if he didn’t want the church at Ephesus to lose their first love, he doesn’t wasn’t us to lose our first love.” Later on he is giving a talk about the church at Thyatira that had fornication present in that church.
Well, obviously we can look at that, and see Jesus Christ’s reaction and anger toward fornication, and realise that God is just as angry today about fornication in a church. Or later on when he talks about a church that is being persecuted and going through great tribulation and trials. We can apply that to our church when we’re going through great tribulations or trials. You see any church can go through phases in its life, where it’s like the church at Ephesus, or where it’s like the church at Smyrna, or where it’s like the church at Pergamos.
These are basically pattern churches. Where we can look at the things that were said unto them and apply them unto our own churches today. Now a lot of people teach that these 7 literal churches were actually “ages”, or periods of time. I have heard it said this way “well, you know, right after the time of Christ, was the Ephesus church age. Then we get into the Smyrna church age. Then we get into the Pergamos church age.” And then of course, everybody always says “we’re living in the Laodicean church age”, which is the last of the 7 churches that’s addressed. And if you remember the problem with the church at Laodicea, was they were lukewarm, they were neither cold nor hot. And they say “well if you look around today at believers, they’re very luke warm, they’re neither cold nor hot, because we’re living in the Laodicean church age.” Now, I don’t believe that for one second. And there are a few reasons why.
First of all, I do not believe in the doctrine of what is called “the universal church”. This teaching that says “all believers in the whole world make up what’s known as the church”. If you study what the word church means in the Bible, it means congregation, or assembly, or a group of people. So if the word church means a congregation… You say “prove that the word means congregation!” Okay. Well in Hebrew chapter 2, it says in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. Well that’s a quote from psalm 22:22, when he said in the midst of the congregation will I sing praise unto thee. When he quotes it in the NT it becomes “in the midst of the church.” So you can see that whenever he quotes a verse in the OT that uses congregation, in the NT he uses the word church.
Why? Because the church is a congregation. And so people are congregated, that’s what a church is, and assembly of believers. Now let me ask you this. Am I congregated or assembled with all believers in the world, with everyone who is saved? Absolutely not. Now when we get to heaven we will be. When we are caught up together with Christ in the clouds we will be assembled with all believers. But at this time all believers are not assembled. But we do have local assemblies don’t we? The church at Ephesus, the church at Smyrna, the church at Pergamos, you know, the church at Tempe, the church in Sacramento, the church in Dallas, Fort Worth.
It doesn’t matter where, whether it’s in Miami Florida, or whether it’s in New York City. These are assemblies of believers. They are churches, plural. And Jesus Christ is the head of the church. Meaning that he ought to be the head of every church. Each church has Jesus Christ as its head, if it is a scriptural church. So when we talk about “you know, the Laodicean church, is this…” And they try to lump all Christianity today as “the Laodicean church age.” That’s not true because there are a lot of churches out there that are like Laodicea.
But let me tell you something. Not every church is like Laodicea, and not every church has to be lukewarm, and not every church has to discuss Jesus Christ to the point where he would spit them out of his mouth, as he said about the Laodicean church. Look, churches can go through a phase where they are lukewarm, maybe the church down the street might be lukewarm, but every church isn’t lukewarm. And you know oftentimes, it’s just an excuse for being lukewarm.
“Well, we ARE living in the Laodicean church age, so no wonder nobody in our church does any soul winning. No wonder nobody in our church is not excited.” No. We need to get excited! And maybe people aren’t excited, because the pastor is not excited. And the preacher is not getting them excited, he is NOT preaching the word of God like he is supposed to, he is NOT filled with the spirit, they’re not filled with the spirit! It has nothing to do with the age that we are living in! It has to do with the fact that we need to read Revelation 3, and understand what we need to change in order to not be lukewarm.
And when we look at Ephesians, we need to see hey, we don’t want to lose our first love. Let’s get out and do the first works. Let’s get out there and go soul winning, and let’s go out and preach the gospel to every creature, so that our love can burn bright, and not as the Bible says in Mathew 24, that our iniquity would abound, that would cause our love to grow cold. And we would lose our first love. And so I want you to be very clear on this. These are literal physical churches that had various problems. And they also had various strengths. And we’re not talking about “church ages” or “periods of time”. That is a man made false doctrine that’s not Biblical.
It doesn’t match up with the reality of the Bible. Now, although these churches were literal churches that no longer exist today, we can apply the principles that he gave to them, unto ourselves and unto churches in the day that we live. Not only that, there are certain things that are spoken to these churches that are symbolic. And they have underlying meaning. So basically there is a surface meaning, of the literal interpretation of what he was saying specifically to that church at Ephesus. But then often there are also underlying more symbolic meanings under the surface, and we will get into that in a moment. But look if you would at verse number 7. “He that hath an ear”, this is the last thing that he says to the church at Ephesus. “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.” Now what does it mean, “To him that overcometh”? This is a phrase that you are going to see over and over again. He says it to every one of these seven churches. He says “to him that overcometh, to him that ovvercometh, to him that overcometh.” Well, let’s look up what the Bible teaches about the subject of overcoming, because it is a word that is not often used in the Bible. It’s only used a few times.
Go back to 1st John chapter 5, just a few pages to the left in your bible. And let me show you what the Bible is talking about when it says “overcometh”. Look at 1st John chapter 5, verse 4. The Bible says “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Watch this. “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” So right there the Bible says that if we’re born of God, we overcome the world. So overcoming the world is being born of God, or born again. It’s being saved. And he says “who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the son of God.” So the one who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s the one who is again.
That’s the one who overcomes the world. Have you got that there in 1st John 5? Now, go to Revelation 21, let me show you how consistent this is. Because the concept of “overcoming” is mentioned in 1st John 5, we see it a lot in Revelation 2 and 3, but then it pops up again in Revelation 21. Look at verse number 7. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” So according to this verse, overcoming makes you a son of God. In 1st John 5, overcoming meant you were born of God. See how it’s the same thing? And how do we overcome? He said “who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” That’s salvation.
And when the Bible talks about overcoming, it is talking about salvation. It is really clear when you look at the next verse 8 there in Revelation 21. “But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable, and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death. So there is those who overcome, that is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then there are those who are cast into the lake of fire. He lists all those sins there that wind you up in the lake of fire, but let me tell you something. You probably haven’t done all the things on the list, neither have I. But I guarantee you; you have done something on that list. Fearful. Unbelieving. ALL liars. There is not a person on this earth that has never lied before. And even lying will wind you up in hell. But thanks be to God, if we believe on Jesus Christ, all of our sins are washed away, we’re washed from our sins in his own blood as it says in Revelation 1.
So let’s go back to chapter 2, now that we laid down the concept of overcoming. So we saw that the church of Ephesus, their problem was that they had lost their first love. And the reason that they had lost their first love, was that they weren’t doing the first works. They were spinning their wheels, they were doing a lot of work, but it wasn’t the first works, it wasn’t what Jesus wanted them to do. And he warns them to get that right. And he said “to him that overcometh”, he said “will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Again, this has to do with salvation, because if you remember back in the garden, Adam and Eve, they ate of the tree of life. And after they had sinned by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they were cast out of the Garden of Eden.
And the reason why they were cast out is that God said that if they were not cast out, they would eat of the tree of life and live forever. So they were cast out, so they would not eat of the tree of life and live forever. Because the tree of life is associated with eternal life. And if you study the Bible, especially in Revelation 22 we see that in the new heaven and the new earth there in the description, he talks about a river of the water of life, and he says on either side of the river was there the tree of life. So basically multiple trees of life growing there, and he says that basically we will eat of the fruit thereof, we will live forever, we will have eternal life.
So that fits in perfectly with the fact that when it says that “he that overcometh”, it’s referring to those that are saved. Because they are going to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Study the word paradise. It’s talking about heaven. 2nd Corinthians 12 is a great example, where he says he was caught up into paradise, and he follows it up by saying he was caught up into the 3rd heaven. He uses “the 3rd heaven” and “paradise” interchangeably, because of the fact that paradise is heaven. You say, “Why is it the 3rd heaven?” Because there are basically 3 heavens. There is the heaven, what we call the sky, we call that the heaven, and then we call the universe, when we look at all the stars and so forth, the Bible calls that “the heaven”, and then the place where God lives is called heaven, that’s the 3rd heaven.
And that’s a whole other sermon in itself, the 3 heavens. Look at verse 8, it says “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, these things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive.” Of course, Jesus Christ speaking there. He says in verse 9, “I know thy works, and tribulation and poverty, but thou are rich.” So here is a church that is a hard working church, but they’re going through some trials and tribulations. He says they have poverty. But look what he says there in parentheses, “but thou art rich”. See, physically, they were poor, they didn’t have any money on this earth, but, they were rich in good works. And look what he says next, “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 10 days, be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” So, he talks about the fact that they are going through tribulation, and he said that they were suffering and they should not fear the things that they are suffering.
He says “you are going to be cast into prison, be faithful unto death”. He is talking about people being killed for the cause of Christ, going into prison for the cause of Christ. And in the midst of this, he throws in this statement, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Now what is that statement doing in the midst of a discussion about tribulation, persecution, prison, martyrdom. Why bring up the synagogue of Satan? Why bring up these people that say they are Jews and are not, but do lie? Well it’s very easy to understand once you identify who the synagogue of Satan is.
Go to Romans chapter 2 if you would. Romans chapter 2. Now, I have heard a lot of preaching that discussed the synagogue of Satan and… I personally have never heard any preacher that I listened to properly identify the synagogue of Satan. And it always boggled my mind, because to me it is very obvious when you just read this passage and just take it for what it says who the synagogue of Satan are. First of all, they are someone who says they are a Jew. Now, doesn’t that eliminate a lot of people right away? I mean, does everybody that you know say that they are a Jew? Does every religion that is on this planet claim to be Jews, and say “we are Jews! I am a Jew!” No.
Whoever the synagogue are, they are people who say that they are Jews. But are they Jews? No they’re not. Now the other thing that you should notice is that this group is called “the synagogue of Satan”. Does every religion have synagogues? Does every person go to a synagogue? Or is every person a member of a synagogue? No. But if we look at this it is very obvious when we think about the fact that there is a group of people in this world who DO go to a synagogue, who DO have a synagogue, and who say that they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
And that is people who follow the religion of Judaism. Now you say “Waaaaaaiiiit a minute pastor Anderson. There’s no way they are the synagogue of Satan. Because they are saying they are Jews, and they really ARE Jews, can’t you see that they are Jews pastor Anderson? You know, these people that go to the synagogue and that practice Judaism? Can’t you tell by the black hat that they are wearing? Can’t you tell by the way that they dress, and maybe the little hat that they have on the back of their head? Can’t you see the kosher meal being ordered on the airplane and know that these are Jews Pastor Anderson??” But hold on a second. Are they really Jews? These that go to a Jewish synagogue, these that practice the religion of Judaism? Well, look down at your Bible. The Bible says in Romans 2:28, “For he is NOT a Jew, which is one outwardly.” So could it be that there are some that we look at outwardly and we say “hey! There’s a Jew! Yep, that’s a Jew” and really they are not a Jew? He says “For he is not a Jew which one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh.
But he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.” So let me ask you something. Do you think that the guy that Paul is talking about in Romans 2, who he says “well he is NOT A JEW which is one outwardly”, do you think that guy goes around saying that he is a Jew? I bet you he does, of course he does. But Paul says, “Nope, he’s not a Jew. He says he is one, but he is not.” I will prove it to you further. Look at Philippians 3. Keep in mind, Philippi is a city of Macedonia. Paul is writing unto the gentiles in Philippians 3. And look what he says in verse 3. “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice”, listen to this “IN CHRIST JESUS, and have no confidence in the flesh.” SO according to that, who is the true circumcision? Those who rejoice in Christ Jesus. Let me ask you this. Does the Jewish synagogue, or the religion of Judaism rejoice in Christ Jesus? What does Christ mean? Christ means messiah.
Does Judaism teach that Jesus is the Messiah? No, Judaism does not teach that Jesus is the Messiah. They don’t rejoice in Christ Jesus, and let me tell you something. THEY’RE NOT THE CIRCUMCISION. You say, “Well they are physically circumcised.” That means nothing in the sight of God. God says that the true circumcision that matters today in the New Testament is the circumcision of the heart and of the spirit. And it’s those who rejoice in Christ Jesus that are the circumcision.
He said he is NOT A JEW which is one outwardly; he IS A JEW which is one INWARDLY. CIRCUMCISION IS NOT THAT OUTWARD CIRCUMCISION OF THE FLESH! It’s of the heart and the spirit. And so those who practice the religion of Judaism, they say they are Jews but they are not Jews, because they are not inwardly a Jew. They are not circumcised in the heart. They don’t rejoice in Christ Jesus.
And by the way, he said “and have no confidence in the flesh.” They’re trusting in the flesh today to save them. They are trusting in works today to save them. They don’t trust in the faith of Jesus Christ to save them. Now, look at 1st John 2. You say, “Pastor Anderson, you are not meaning to say that they are the synagogue of Satan? Where does Satan come into play?” Well look at 1st John chapter 2 verse 18. The Bible says “little children it is the last time. And as ye have heard that antichrist shall come”, now is that singular or plural? Singular. “As ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists whereby we know that it is the last time.” So there is one guy singular that is called “the Antichrist” that is coming.
But there are also many antichrists, plural. Whereby we know that it is the last time. Let’s get a little insight into who these antichrists are. Look at verse 22. “Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” So the Bible says that someone who is an antichrist is someone who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Now, in order to deny that Jesus is the Christ, you have to believe that there is a Christ, but that it’s not Jesus.
Because if you are going to deny that Jesus is the Christ, that means that you believe that there is a Christ, but that you believe it’s not Jesus. Well, what religion out there teaches that there is a Messiah- because remember, Christ means Messiah. In John 1 it says “we have found the Messiah, which is to say being interpreted the Christ.” What religion out there teaches that there is a Messiah coming but that it is not Jesus? Judaism. They teach that Jesus was not the Messiah. And so the Jews today are antichrist. And you say “oh, you’re racist, you’re anti-Semitic.” No, I’m not talking about a nationality my friend.
I’m not talking about a race. There are people that are of the lineage of the tribe of Judah, you know that come from the land of Israel today that believe on Jesus Christ. They’re saved. They are God’s people. But when I am talking about the Jews being the synagogue of Satan, I am talking about just that. THE SYNAGOGUE of Satan.
Is a synagogue a race? Or is a synagogue (part of) a religion? A synagogue is (part of) a religion. And so when he says “the synagogue of Satan”, we’re not talking about people that are racially Jews, quote unquote, we are talking about people who follow a religion that teaches another Messiah that is not the Lord Jesus Christ. That is an antichrist religion. Those who deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Bible… Look, I’ll just read it again for you. It’s so clear. “WHO IS A LIAR, BUT HE THAT DENIETH THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST? HE IS ANTICHRIST.” That’s saying anyone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the son. You say “well, the Jews, they worship the same God we do, they just don’t believe in Jesus, but they do worship the same God.” Well look what it says in verse 23. “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.
But he that acknowledgeth the Son HATH the Father also.” So according to this, they don’t have the Father. You say “No, they have the Father; they just don’t have the Son. They understand and believe in God the Father; they just don’t have the Son.” No, no, no. If you don’t have the Son, you don’t have the Father. If you don’t believe in Jesus Christ, you don’t believe in God the Father. They believe in another God, that is not God the Father from the Holy Bible. Because it is impossible to believe on, the… That’s why Jesus said “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he spake of me.” That proves that those who follow the religion of Judaism don’t even believe Moses. You say “well, they believe the first 5 books of the Bible.” According to Jesus they don’t believe any of the Bible. Because if they believed any of it, they’d believe on Jesus. If they had the Father, they would have the son. If they believed in Moses, they would believe in the NT.
You see, they just flat out don’t believe the Bible, because they are part of a religion which according to the Bible is an antichrist religion. You say “well, Judaism is pretty close.” And some people will even say this… “Judeo-Christian religion.” No. How about just “Christian” religion? Because Judaism has nothing to do with Christianity, it is a false religion. It is an antichrist religion. And I have got news for you. The Bible has got a name for it. “The synagogue of Satan”. And the reason I make such a big deal about that- and let’s go to one more place, 1st Thessalonians 2.
Because a lot of people today have bought into this philosophy, sometimes it is known as Zionism. And sometimes it is known as Dispensationalism. But basically this doctrine that teaches that the Jews are God’s chosen people. I’m sure you have all probably heard that before. You say “well the JEWS, they’re God’s chosen people”. Now, we’re talking about people that don’t even believe in Jesus. We’re talking that people that believe in another Messiah, another Christ, they are ANTICHRIST. The Bible calls them the synagogue of Satan. And they say these Jews that don’t even believe in Jesus, they say “those are God’s chosen people”. Just by virtue of their ethnicity. They just are automatically God’s chosen people. And here is what they say, “if you bless them, God will bless you.
And if you curse them, God will curse you.” That’s not what the Bible teaches. That promise was made unto Abraham and to his seed. That seed was Christ. He said if you are in Christ you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Read Galatians 3 my friend, it’s crystal clear. But look at this. Tell me if this sounds like the Jews who do not believe in Christ are under God’s blessing. 1st Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 14. “But ye brethren became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus, for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us.” So we are talking about the Jews that “killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us, and they PLEASE NOT GOD, and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway”, WATCH THIS, “for the WRATH is come upon them to the uttermost.” So according to this, God’s wrath is on the Jews.
Not his blessing. Why does that surprise you, when the Bible says “he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”? Didn’t God tell us that the wrath of God abided on those who don’t believe on His Son, Jesus Christ? If Judaism does not believe on the Son, His wrath is on them, not His blessing. And so this doctrine that says “they are God’s chosen people, they are under His blessing, they are the elect of God”, that is just a false doctrine, plain and simple. I mean the Bible just does simply not teach that. Now go back if you would to revelation 2 with that in mind.
Now what did we just read in 1st Thessalonians 2 that the Jews were guilty of? Well, killing Jesus, killing the prophets, and persecuting the apostles of Jesus Christ. Read the book of Acts. And in the book of Acts, the early believers are always being persecuted aren’t they? They are constantly being thrown in prison. They are constantly under attack. And notice, who is always the one doing the persecuting? Every time, it is always the Jews. I mean, look. In Acts, you won’t find the Romans persecuting Christians. I am not saying it didn’t happen later. I am saying in Bible times, in the book of Acts, the one group that is always the one persecuting the Christians is the Jews. Now doesn’t that make perfect sense with what he says here in Revelation 2 when he says “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer”, verse 10, “behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall have tribulation 10 days.
Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” So isn’t it interesting? Right after he says “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan”, he starts talking about how they are going to be thrown in prison and killed. Why? Because he is referring to persecution that is going to come at the hand of the Jews. Because that’s who was persecuting the Christians at that time. And so it makes perfect sense. So when the Bible talks about the synagogue of Satan, he is referring to the fact that the Jews are the synagogue of Satan. They are the only religion with synagogues! They are the only ones who are going around saying they are Jews! And the Bible says if they don’t rejoice in Christ Jesus, they’re not the circumcision. If they’re not a Jew inwardly, they’re not really a Jew in God’s eyes.
They don’t believe in Christ. Remember when they tried to tell Jesus in John chapter 8, “Abraham is our father!” And Jesus said “if Abraham were your father, you would do the works of Abraham.” He turned around and said “you are of your father the devil.” Okay? And so we can see how they can be easily called the synagogue of Satan, because the Pharisees and the Sadducees, which is basically the same as Judaism today- a false works based religion that claims to be based on the OT, but rejects Jesus Christ. That’s the Pharisees. That’s the Jews. He told them “you are of your father the Devil.” The Bible calls them the synagogue of Satan. It makes perfect sense. Now, the reason I went into so much detail on that, is because we are talking about the book of Revelation, we are talking about end times Bible prophecy, and a lot of people will say this, they say “well the tribulation is all about the Jews.” And you will try to show them scriptures about Christians going through tribulation.
Or you try to show them that the rapture comes after the tribulation, according to Mathew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, according to the Book of Revelation itself, when you see the rapture take place. And they say “no, no, no Pastor Anderson. The church or Christians”, they say “has nothing to do with the tribulation because” they say “the tribulation is ALL ABOUT the Jews. The tribulation has nothing to do with Christians or the church or church age saints”- I am just using the terms they use… And they say it’s all about the Jews.
I’m sure you have heard people say that before. But here is the funny thing about that. You know if you look at the book of Revelation, the only time the book of Revelation ever mentions the Jews, using that word, “the Jews”, okay, or just “Jews”, or “Jew”… The only time it uses the word “Jew” is chapters 2 and 3 when it calls them the synagogue of Satan. (Laughs). That’s the only time. So if “the tribulation is all about the Jews”, wouldn’t you expect it to keep mentioning “the Jews, the Jews, the Jews, the Jews…” But the only time it mentions them, is when it says they are the synagogue of Satan, in chapters 2 and 3.
So don’t ever let anybody tell you the tribulation is all about the Jews. That’s a false doctrine. You know it’s funny. This has nothing to do with the sermon, but, Joseph Smith, who knows who Joseph Smith is? The founder of the false religion “Mormonism”, latter day Satan, I mean, I’m sorry, latter day saints. This guy Joseph Smith who founded this false religion of Mormonism, he founded Mormonism in the year 1830, and in 1830 after he had written the false Bible known as the Book of Mormon which was supposedly “another testimony of Jesus Christ”, which is, you know… That’s another sermon to explain all that. But, when he wrote the book of Mormon when he was done, he started his own changes to the Bible. And his own translation of the Bible where he just changed things. And in Mathew 24, where it said “then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be”, you know what Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism changed it to? He changed it to “then shall be great tribulation, upon THE JEWS.” So he added those three words, “upon the Jews”.
So you see Satan’s lie is that “oh the tribulation, that’s all about the Jews, that’s all about God’s chosen people, the Jews.” Yeah, I’m sure Satan would love to call his synagogue God’s chosen people. But they’re not. They are his people, okay? And so again. Go ahead and call me a racist. It had nothing to do with race, it’s a religion, but people are going to call me that anyway, so whatever. I am going to preach the truth and let the chips fall where they may. If you don’t like it then well, sorry. But anyway, let’s move on from that. We know who the synagogue of Satan is, it’s pretty clear. Now in verse 10, and look… These are literal events that took place at that time.
This church literally had people, listen to me now. The church at Smyrna literally had people that were put into prison, weren’t they. And the church at Smyrna literally had people who had to decide they were going to be faithful to death. I mean these are real events that took place thousands of years ago. But they also have a symbolic meaning. You see the Bible is trying to drive in with us, first in chapter one when John said he was going through chapter one, in verse 9, now in chapter 2, twice he talks about a Godly church, a righteous church going through tribulation. He is laying down a principle of God’s people going through tribulation. Not like Joseph Smith, the perverted founder of Mormonism, who said “the tribulation is all about the Jews. Tribulation upon the Jews” in his book the Pearl of Great Price. No. We are talking about the biblical doctrine talks about God’s people going through tribulation. The church at Smyrna going through tribulation.
The apostle John going through tribulation. So that principle is being laid down here. In fact, the word tribulation is only used 5 times in the book of Revelation and all 5 are talking about God’s people going through it. We have already looked at 3. John in chapter 1. Church in Smyrna twice, that’s 3 times now we have seen God’s people going through tribulation in the book of Revelation. But not only that there is an interesting statement made part way through verse 10. It says “ye shall have tribulation 10 DAYS”. Now he gives a specific length of time. Now, I believe of course that we should always go with the literal interpretation of God’s Word first. And so the literal interpretation of this verse, is that the church at Smyrna, literally went through a 10 day period of tribulation. They went through 10 days of severe persecution, or you know, being thrown into prison, you know, maybe being killed.
Obviously “yea and all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”, we are always going to go through hard times. But, for some reason, this church at Smyrna went through 10 days of very serious tribulation. But not only that, there is a deeper symbolic meaning. You see, everything in the Bible is there for a reason. Nothing in the Bible is coincidental, incidental, or accidental. And there is actually a very significant meaning to that period of time, 10 days in regard to the tribulation of God’s people. Go back to Leviticus chapter 23.
Now you may be surprised saying “man, why would we turn back to Leviticus? Talking about Bible prophecy and we are going to Leviticus?” You know, and that should be a lesson that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine. And you know it is amazing. One thing that I have noticed as I have studied the second coming of Christ, and as I have studied the book of Revelation and Bible prophecy… is that literally there are passages in virtually every book in the Bible that deal with end times Bible prophecy, and that deal with the second coming of Christ.
I mean even in Genesis. There are a lot of- I mean look, Noah, Lot… These are both illustrations of His second coming, and illustrations of end times Bible prophecy. But, even the book of Leviticus actually teaches on end times Bible prophecy, whether you knew that or not. Now, Leviticus chapter 23 is an interesting chapter. It goes through the feasts of the Lord, and bear with me here, because I am going to explain something.
Remember, I want to explain to you why he told the church at Smyrna they would have tribulation 10 days. Yes I believe in a literal application there. But there is also a symbolic meaning with those 10 days. Now in Leviticus 23, I am going to explain why… The feasts of the Lord are laid out. You see, the children of Israel were commanded to celebrate certain feast days throughout the year. Now, these feast days can be pretty much grouped into the “spring” feasts, and the “fall” feasts, so the harvest feasts. So when you are looking at Leviticus chapter 23 there, you will see some feasts taking place in the first month. Now first of all I want you to understand that the calendar that the Hebrews use was a little different to our calendar today in the sense that we start our calendar in January. Pretty much in the dead of winter, that’s when we say that our year begins. Well, most calendars throughout history have started in the spring. You can notice even with our current calendar, that the numbering of the calendar is a little off.
For example, the month that we call “October”, when you see “octo”, what number do you think of when you see “octo”? Eight, right, like an octopus. So, October, is that the eighth month? No, it’s the 10th month isn’t it? And when you see “November”, that’s similar to, for example the Spanish word for 9, “nueve”. Or “Dies (dee-ess)” is the Spanish word for 10. December, “dies”. Okay, why? Because December used to be tenth month, November used to be the ninth month, October used to be the eight month.
Basically, our month of March is close to what used to be considered the first month. So the year used to start in the spring, okay, and that would be around March. So when we see in chapter 23, when he talks about these feasts in the first month, these are springtime feasts. And I’m going to skip through for sake of time, I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the spring feasts, but we have the Passover, the feast of unleavened bread, the firstfruits, okay? Then, you number 50 days, and you have what is called the “day of Pentecost”, or the feast of weeks.
Then, you have the fall feasts, in the seventh month of the year. So basically the 7th month of the year would b similar to around the time of September, October, right? Because remember, we are a couple of months off on our reckoning. So, in the book of Leviticus, you have these 7 feast days. You have got the three right at the beginning, which are the Passover, unleavened bread and the first fruits, then you have the Pentecost, then you have the fall feasts, which are “the blowing of the trumpets” is the first one, “the day of atonement” is the second one, and the “feast of tabernacles” is the next one.
Now, you say “what’s the significance?” Well, here is what’s interesting. Jesus Christ fulfilled all of the springtime feasts the first time he came into the world. Jesus Christ WAS the Passover wasn’t he? He was the Passover lamb, which taketh away the sins of the world. Jesus Christ also fulfilled the feast of unleavened bread. He was the bread of life, he was the unleavened bread, he broke unleavened bread with his disciples. Then the Bible teaches that Jesus was the firstfruits of the resurrection. So he fulfilled the feast of the firstfruits by rising from the dead. And what’s amazing, is that he fulfilled these feasts EXACTLY. Because he was literally killed on the 14th day of the first month. Study your Bible.
And he literally rose again on the day that was the feast of the first fruits. So he fulfilled these feasts with his first coming, then of course, the feast of weeks, or the day of Pentecost was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Now, the fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled. The Bible teaches in Mathew 13, it says the Harvest is the end of the world. And it uses the symbolism of a harvest for the end of the world.
So basically the fall feasts, so the harvest feasts, so the autumn feasts, are going to be fulfilled at what the Bible calls the end of the world. Which, the Bible, when it talks about Jesus Christ coming in the clouds with great power and glory in Mathew 24, you know the Bible refers to that as the end of the world. At the beginning of Mathew 24, Mark 13 etc. So, Jesus Christ fulfilled all the spring feasts at his first coming, he is going to fulfill all the harvest feasts at his second coming, or the end of the world.
Now, how is he going to fulfill these feasts? Well, let’s look at what these fall feasts are. Look down if you would at verse 24 in Leviticus 23 there. “Speak unto the children of Israel saying, in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath. A memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein, but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, also on the TENTH day of the seventh month, there shall be a day of atonement. It shall be an holy convocation unto you; ye shall afflict your souls.” So he starts to lay out the first two of the fall feasts. He said on the first day of the seventh month, is the blowing of the trumpets. On the tenth day of the seventh month, is the day of atonement.
Then a little further down he talks about the fifteenth day of the seventh month being the feast of tabernacles. So we have 3 feasts that Jesus is going to fulfill on his second coming. How is he going to fulfill them? Well, here is what is interesting. That first fall feast, the “blowing of the trumpets”, did you notice how it occurs right smack dab in the middle of the year? Think about it. The first day of the seventh month, what does that mean? Well the first day of the seventh month, that means there have been six months leading up to it, and you have six months to go.
So the first day of the seventh month is right dead centre of the year. And it’s the blowing of the trumpets. Then ten days later, you have the day of atonement. Then after that, you have the feast of tabernacles. So stop and think about this? What does the blowing of trumpets represent when it comes to the second coming of Jesus Christ? Now, many people will jump and say, “Oh, that’s the rapture! The trumpet is going to sound, the last trump, last trump of the year, blowing of the trumpets, that’s the rapture!” And I have heard a lot of people teach that. Because they believe that the next event on “God’s prophetic calendar” is the rapture. But in fact, the blowing of the trumpets does not represent the rapture at all. Neither is the blowing of the trumpets the last trump. Because of the fact that another trumpet is blown on the tenth day of the seventh month, on the day of atonement.
The blowing of the trumpets, what that represents is not the trumpet sounding at the rapture. But rather it refers to an alarm sounding. You see, when the Bible would talk about blowing of trumpets in the OT, it often had to do with sounding an alarm because an enemy was attacking them, and they would blow with the trumpet so that God would save them. Let me read for you from numbers 10. You don’t have to turn there. Listen to Numbers 10:9. “And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppress you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets. And ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.” So the Bible says when there is an enemy that is coming to oppress you, you are supposed to blow with the trumpets, and God is going to save you out of the hand of your enemies. He also talked about it in numbers when he referred to going to war, and blowing with the trumpets.
Stop and think about this. When it comes to end times Bible prophecy, we know that the book of Revelation deals in great detail with a certain 7 year period of time. Now this entire period of time often called “Daniel’s 70th Week”. That seven year period is often wrongfully called “the tribulation”. A lot of people will often call that whole 7 years… They will say “the seven year tribulation”, but you know what is funny about that? There is no place in the entire Bible that says “seven years tribulation”. And yet people just swear by that. I mean they just take that…”Well OF COURSE, there is a 7 year tribulation, of course”- That is not found in the Bible ANYWHERE. Now here is where people will take you. Because you will tell them “there is no seven years tribulation”. Here is what they will say, “oh yes there is!” You say, “Okay, show it to me”. They will take you to Daniel 9:27.
It says “and he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week. And in the midst of the week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. So that right there in Daniel 27 talks about a week which, if you get the context is a 7 year period. And now, in the midst of that week, there is going to be what is called “the abomination of desolation”. But notice about that verse. Did it say that that 7 year period is called the tribulation? Did it say “there is going to be a week, and by the way, it is going to be called the tribulation”? And in fact, it’s easy to prove that that whole week is not called the tribulation because part way through that week, the sun and moon are darkened and the stars fall, and the Bible says, that that is AFTER THE TRIBULATION. So, the first part of the week is called the tribulation, but, the entire seven year period is not known as the tribulation.
In fact Jesus does not say that the “great tribulation” begins until the abomination of desolation. He says “when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet”, he said, “THEN shall be great tribulation”. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but in Daniel 9:27, it said in the midst of the week, is the Abomination of Desolation, isn’t that right? So if this whole 7 year period is just known as “the tribulation, the seven year tribulation”, why didn’t he say, “Well when you see the abomination of desolation which is in the MIDST of the seven years, then shall be great tribulation”? And THEN he says “when the sun and moon are darkened, tribulation is over.” So if the tribulation is over when the sun and moon are darkened and the stars fall, and the sun and moon are darkened and the stars fall, in Revelation 6- NOT at the end of the seven years, NOT at the end of the week, but rather part of the way through before any of the trumpet or vial judgments, how can you call the whole 7 year period tribulation? Nobody can show me a verse in the Bible that calls the whole 7 years tribulation, and so I refuse to call it that.
It’s not what it’s called. Here’s the deal. In the middle of the seven year period that revelation describes, there is what is called the abomination of desolation. I am going to hurry up and just quickly explain this. This is where the antichrist sets up an image, the false prophet sets up an image of the antichrist, and people have to worship the antichrist. And the Bible says that when this takes place, and this is all covered in Revelation 13, that the antichrist will make war with the saints and overcome them. So, again, in the midst of the week, the antichrist makes war with the saints and overcomes them. That is at the time of the abomination of desolation. Well, wait a minute.
Remember what feast took place in the dead centre of the year? The blowing of the trumpets. What to trumpets represent in that passage? They represent the blowing of an alarm, of an oppressive enemy? What happens in the dead centre of Daniel’s 70th week, or the seven year period that most of the events of Revelation fall within. What happens? The antichrist makes war with the saints. He is the oppressive enemy, and the blowing of the trumpets is symbolic of the warning sound of the alarm that we are going to be persecuted by the antichrist. That he is going to make war against the saints and overcome them. So the blowing of the trumpets basically represents in biblical prophecy, the abomination of desolation and the antichrist’s war against the saints. And look, that’s when the “great tribulation” begins, does it not. Because Jesus said, “when you see the Abomination of Desolation”, that’s in the middle of the seven years, he said “THEN shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be.” Remember, first day of the seventh month? Middle of the year? Blowing of the trumpets represents the abomination of desolation. Tenth day of the seventh month, there is a trumpet that sounds, that represents the trumpet of the rapture.
That trumpet is called the trumpet of jubilee, and it is blown on the day of atonement, on the tenth day of the seventh month, only once every 50 years. Let’s look at that briefly here. Leviticus 25:9. “Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the 7th month. Notice, 10 days after, right? Because look, he says the “tenth day of the 7th month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year”, and watch what the Bible says about the trumpet of Jubilee, “and”, he says, “proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. It shall be a jubilee unto you. And you shall return every man unto his possession, and you shall return every man unto his family.” The first feast was the blowing of the trumpets, representing the antichrist making war with the saints, beginning with the abomination of desolation. The next fall feast, or end of the world harvest feast, is the tenth day of the 7th month, which is the day of atonement, but it is also the day of the blowing of the trumpet of Jubilee. What is that which characterises the day of jubilee, or the trumpet of Jubilee? He said it was proclaiming liberty throughout all the land, and that basically every man would return to his possession and his inheritance.
Look at Romans 8, and notice what the Bible says about the resurrection, or the rapture, or the first resurrection. Look at Romans chapter 8m beginning in verse 21. You are going to find some of the same wording that we saw with the Jubilee. It says in verse 21 “because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious LIBERTY of the children of God, for we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now”, watch this in verse 23, “and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” So right now, he says our soul is saved, but our body is not going to be saved of course until the resurrection.
The first resurrection, or what we call “the rapture”. When in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall be changed. This mortal shall put on immortality. This corruptible shall put on incorruption. And the Bible says we shall be brought from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God, when our body is redeemed. When our body is resurrected. You see at the rapture, that is called the glorious liberty of the children of God. So doesn’t it make sense that in the fall end of the world feasts, the trumpet of the Jubilee proclaiming liberty represents the trumpet sounding when the dead in Christ are raised incorruptible, 1st Corinthians 15:51, and notice also, it’s the last feast trump of that series of feasts. When he goes through these feasts. The last trump there, is the trumpet of trumpet. Last among what series? Well, we already had the blowing of trumpets on the 1st day of the 7th month, then there is one more trumpet that is blown, tenth day of the seventh month.
What’s interesting about that is the space between those two events, right? Because blowing of trumpets on the first day, on the tenth day of the seventh month is the trumpet of Jubilee sounding, which is symbolic of the trumpet that is going to sound on the day of the resurrection or the rapture. So, if the war with the saints, or the great tribulation mentioned in Mathew 24 begins at the abomination of desolation at the midpoint of the week, and then obviously our persecution and trials and tribulations are over when the rapture happens, because we are caught up to be with Christ… then what period of time is that great tribulation going to encompass? Well, symbolically, when we look at these feasts… we have ten days right there which matches up perfectly with revelation 2:10, “ye shall have tribulation 10 days”. Which ten days? From the first day of the 7th month, to the tenth day inclusively, that’s your ten days of tribulation.
Now, you say “Pastor Anderson, will the great tribulation”- and I’m sorry if that whole… If the last ten minutes went over your head then don’t even worry about it because you know, you might need to do a little more study on this… But you know it is time for us to wake up as God’s people, dig in and get the meat of God’s Word. And maybe that went over your head, you know what? You need to do more study; you need to do more reading. You know what? There were a lot of people that understood what I just said, because they have been studying their Bibles.
And you know we all need to keep learning, and to keep growing, and to pay attention and to learn these things. But anyway, let’s go back to revelation 2. That was a little heavy. But let me say this. The great tribulation that the Bible mentions in Mathew 24, Mark 13 and elsewhere, will last for more than 10 days. I’m not saying it’s only for 10 days. Because I believe that the great tribulation will last 75 days. If you study this out and understand it. But the 10 days is symbolic of the first day of the seventh month, to the tenth day of the seventh month of these feast days, okay? And again, it’s a lot to go into, it’s a lot to wrap your mind around, but when you study this it just becomes amazing how everything lines up. I mean it will blow your mind. Like, for example, since we are talking about a seven year period of Daniel’s 70th week… and we are talking about it in the dead centre, the abomination of desolation… and then we are talking about “shortly thereafter”, the tribulation being cut short by Jesus Christ coming in the clouds and the trumpet sounding.
Sometime during the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week, when you look at it that way, and then you compare it to the Hebrew calendar year, and you overlay the Hebrew calendar year, with the seven years of Daniel’s 70th week which I have done on a chart, and it’s on kjvprophecy.com… If you overlay that, you see that the blowing of the trumpets lines up perfectly with the abomination of desolation, right in the middle. But then you will also see that if you line up the trumpet of the jubilee with the seven year period of Daniel’s 70th week, you will notice that 1335 days in to Daniels 70th week would line up perfectly. Well in Daniel chapter 12, the Bible says “blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days”, and he basically says that Daniel is going to be resurrected at the end of that 1335 days. So that all just lines up perfectly, because if you take 1335, and divide it by 7, you end up with 190, well what is the hundred and ninetieth day of the year? The tenth day of the seventh month.
And so, either you think that that is really cool right now, or you have no idea what I just said. But either way, let’s go on and move onto the next church. So we saw that with the church at Smyrna. He said “You shall have tribulation 10 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 of course, according to Revelation 21, the second death is the lake of fire. Look at verse 12. We will get into the next church, the church at Pergamos. “Unto 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.” Look, have you noticed a pattern in the book of Revelation yet? In chapter 1, John is being persecuted, John is going through tribulation.
The church at Smyrna, they are going through tribulation. They are being persecuted; they are being thrown into prison. They need to be faithful unto death. Now we get into the church at Pergamos… It’s the same thing! He talks about a man who was killed for the cause of Christ. His name was Antipas, and he was a faithful martyr who was slain among them. He says in verse 14, “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 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 recieveth it. 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 they works, and charity and service and faith, and thy patience and they works, and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferedst 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.” So the church at Thyatira, he says a lot of good things about the church… Their charity, their service, their faith… And he says, he said he knew their works, and then he mentions their works AGAIN, and then he then he says the last are more than the first.” So here is a church that is increasing in works.
Here is a church that is doing better and better. But he says he has something against them, because he says they are “suffering”- or allowing- this woman Jezebel, “which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach”. Now, their first mistake was suffering ANY woman to teach. You say “Pastor Anderson, I can’t believe you would say that”. Well, if you go back to 1st Timothy chapter 2, he says “but I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Now don’t tell me it’s a coincidence that 1st Timothy 2 clearly commanded and said “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man but to be in silence”, and then here a church is being rebuked for doing- what? For suffering that woman Jezebel to teach and to “seduce my servants, and to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” Now, you say “well, the only problem was that this was a BAD woman that they were allowing to teach.” Right, but they weren’t supposed to allow ANY woman to teach, according to 1st Timothy 2.
The Bible says “let your women keep silence in the churches”, 1st Corinthians 14. “For it is not permitted unto them to speak. They are commanded to be under obedience as saith also the law.” Now that might not fly today in 2013 to preach, that women are supposed to be in obedience. That women are supposed to keep silence in the churches. That women are not supposed to be allowed to teach in the church. But you know what? THAT’S BIBLE. And just as God was upset at this church, He will be upset today if we don’t listen to what he warns us about. Now, obviously, this woman was doing more than just teaching, she was also seducing God’s servants to commit fornication. Let me ask you this. Are these people that she is seducing to commit fornication saved or unsaved? He said she is seducing “my servants to commit fornication”. So she is seducing those that are saved to commit fornication. People that are serving God in a church, that is a Bible believing church that God is claiming, “Yes, they’re my servants”.
And basically she is seducing them to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols, which is also sinful. He says I gave her space to repent of her fornication, 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 reigns and hearts. And I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” So this is the fourth time that the word tribulation is used in the book of Revelation. The first 3 times it was talking about God’s people going through tribulation. But it was always a positive mention. It was John going through tribulation, because he was doing right. It was the church at Smyrna going through tribulation twice, because they did right. Here he mentions those that are saved Christians, who were serving God, but they are into fornication, he says if they don’t repent of their fornication, he is going to cast them into great tribulation.
Basically, what does he mean by that. He is not talking about obviously, the great tribulation of Mathew 24, because of the fact that this church no longer even exists and these events happened thousands of years ago. But what is tribulation? It’s trouble, it’s affliction, it’s persecution. Basically, in our modern vernacular, he is saying I am going to throw you into a world of hurt, if you don’t repent. You are going to be in some serious trouble. You are going to be in trouble with me. Basically, “I’m going to cloud up and rain on you, I’m going to afflict you, I am going to punish you, if you do not repent of your deeds.” So, we see that tribulation here, is just a word in general for affliction, trouble, that basically in this case God’s going to bring on disobedient Christians.
Now, tribulation in almost every mention in the NT is usually referring to the world persecuting us. Or the devil persecuting us for the cause of Christ, that’s often called tribulation or persecution. But sometimes the word tribulation is also used about God’s punishment, or God troubling or afflicting someone. Because the word tribulation means just that. And these are synonyms. I mean look, it’s easy if you look up every time “tribulation” is used.
It’s always paired with words like affliction, trouble, persecution, that gives you an idea of what it means. So again, this scripture uses the word tribulation and it is talking about God’s people going through tribulation. This time it’s chastisement, isn’t it? For their sins. You know the Bible talks about us as believers being punished and chastised by God. The Bible says “whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” What does it mean to scourge? To beat with the whip.
That’s a punishment. Look what it says in verse 23. “And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reigns 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 which have not known the depths of Satan as they speak, I will put upon you none other burden”- that shows you how serious God is about fornication. These people were into fornication and eating meat sacrificed unto idols. He called it the depths of Satan. He says “But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh AND keepeth my works unto the end”- so these people aren’t just saved, they’re also keeping his 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.” So these scriptures here deal with the reign of Christ. Because the Bible often talks about Jesus Christ ruling and reigning with a rod of iron. But here, it says that if we as believers overcome- meaning that we are saved- AND we keep His works unto the end… God will give us power over the nations and WE will rule them with a rod of iron. You see, we will have the privilege, if we are faithful, to rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years. And we will rule and reign depending on our faithfulness. You see a Christian who doesn’t do much for God; he is not going to be ruling over the nations.
He is not going to be ruling over ten cities, as it says in the parable in the gospels. He will probably be ruling over a small building or something, you know what I mean? Obviously He is going to grant authority unto His servants according to their works. He is going to reward his servants according to their works. And the Bible teaches that those who are faithful, the Bible says “if we suffer we shall also reign with Him.” I don’t know about you man, but I want to rule and reign with Christ.
I want to be over 10 cities. I want to rule over the nations. And notice, it doesn’t say he is going to rule over the nations with a feather duster. And this is what people picture. Jesus Christ is going to come down and he is just going to be a softie. No, the Bible says he is going to rule over them with a rod of iron, he is going to break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Let me explain something to you. And I don’t really have time to develop this, but I just want to throw this out there for you. You know all those laws in the OT that people thought were just “so strict”, you know, when you look at the way God ran things. When He ran government. You know, when He was in charge, when the Lord ruled over Israel, like when the homos were basically stoned? When adulterers and adulteresses were stoned.
When kidnappers and murderers got the death penalty? As the Bible teaches. You know what? The law of the Lord is perfect. God is going to institute those kinds of laws when He rules and reigns with a rod of iron on this earth someday. And we’ll be ruling and reigning with Him. Now he says unto them in verse 28, he says “And I will give him the morning star.” You say “what’s the morning star?” Well, if you look at Revelation 22, you will find a mention of the morning star.
It says in Revelation 22 verse 16, “I Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” So Jesus says he is the morning star. And of course, if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we have Christ in us. Jesus Christ belongs to us as our saviour. He is in our heart, Christ in us, the hope of Glory, and so on and so forth. And the Bible says “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Now, that’s a profound statement, don’t let that pass you by. The Bible doesn’t say, “okay, just the church at Thyatira, hear what I am saying to Thyatira.” Or, “just these four churches need to hear what I am saying to them.” No.
“He that hath an ear”. Let me ask you this. Do you have an ear this morning? Then God is talking to you. You know, I get so tired of people always telling me, I try to show them things in the Bible, “Oh, that’s not for us… that’s not for us”. What about the book of Genesis? “No, OT, not for us.” What about Psalms? “No, not for us, Old Testament.” What about Mathew? “No, not for us, that was for the Jews.” What about the book of Mark? “No, that was for the Romans, not for you.
AH! Can’t get your doctrine from the Hebrews, that’s for the Hebrews. Ah! Can’t get your doctrine for James, that’s for the Jews. Ah! Can’t get your doctrine from Titus, that’s only for Titus!” You know, every promise in the book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line. And the Bible says “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” You know what? Just because you don’t go to the church of Thyatira, you better learn the lessons of what God told the church of Thyatira. And just because you don’t go to the church at Smyrna, you better still be faithful unto death. And just because you don’t go to the church at Pergamos, you better still not eat things sacrificed unto idols. You know, we need to realise that the word of God is addressed unto us. It is for us today. It’s written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. And so we need to take these messages to the seven churches, and realise that they are a message to our church today.
Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much for your Word. And we thank you for these messages to the four churches that we went through today in revelation 2. Lord, some of the things that we have gone over are deep and hard to understand. I just pray that you would give everyone the zeal, and the wisdom to dig into your word, and to search the scripture daily, to see whether these things are so, and to learn the unsearchable riches of Christ, and also just to learn about end times Bible prophecy.
And in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen. .
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