The Book of Revelation-Chapter 2

Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 are seven messages from heaven to certain assemblies in Asia Minor. Seven is the number of completion, but also it can be the number of an incomplete structure that represents a greater number or deeper meaning. Each assembly will receive some sort of compliment, praise, rebuke, promise or solution. There is a concept in the Scripture called “midah kneged midah” which means “measure for measure.” If any assembly was to receive punishment, it would fit the “crime.” Now, when we read these messages, we need to keep a Rosh Ha Shannah through Yom Kippur, High Holy Days and Yomim Noraim understanding in mind, or when the Messiah comes.
1) To the angel (doctrinal messenger) of the assembly of Ephesus (permit) write (Ephesus is the only city of these seven that is mentioned elsewhere in Scripture. So, understanding what the book of Ephesians has to say will help us understand why Yeshua is saying what he says here. Ephesus was a large city with pagan mysteries and the Diana cult everywhere. Diana is “related” to Semiramus and Ishtar in the Babylonian Mysteries. These female goddesses took on many other forms, like Venus and Aphrodite): The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand (shows power and authority over these assemblies), the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands (lampstands are symbolic of the assemblies, and Yeshua walks among them as the Shekinah. Yeshua describes himself in the same way as in Rev 1.12-19) says this:
2) I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men (in their lies and doctrines, they lived among an evil society and paganism) and you put to the test (with the Tanach) those who call themselves apostles (or sent by God) and they are not, and you found them to be false (they were not sent by God, which is the case for most “teachers” today. They tested them with Deut 13.1-5 and Isa 8.20. These false teachers taught that the Torah did not apply to them and that it was “done away with”)
3) and you have perseverance and have endured (affliction and persecution) for my name’s sake and have not grown weary.
4) But I have this against you, that you have left your first love (the understanding that they, as Gentiles, were a part of the faith of Israel and welcomed by the Lord-Eph 1.9-10; 1.14; 2.1-2; 2.11-13; 2.19-22; 3.6-8; 3.17; 4.1-5. There was only one faith-John 4.22; Matt 5.17-21; Rom 3.31; Eph 4.14-15. Evidently, we have the beginning of the anti-Jewish and eventually an anti-Torah faith in Ephesus like what we see today).
5) Remember therefore from where you have fallen (they had been raised out of a pagan world into a relationship with God and are going back) and repent (turn) and do the deeds (good works, mitz’vot, commandments related to the covenant in the Torah-Eph 2.11-13) you did at the first or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand (to remove the Shekinah, or assembly) out of its place (alluding to 1 Sam 3.1-3) unless you repent (which many assemblies did not. These predominantly Gentile assemblies received a punishment when they abandoned their “first love” and developed into the various branches of early gentile replacement theology Christianity. As early as 187 there were around 20 different versions of Christianity. By 384 A.D. there were eighty. Because they no longer considered themselves a part of the Torah-based faith of Israel, they were now open to legal persecution by Rome. New religions were not tolerated by Rome. Julius Caesar had given the Jews the right to have their religion within the empire, called a “collegia”, because it was so ancient. Legal cases against “Christians” appeared around the end of the first, beginning of the second century. The historian Pliny said that these “Christians” were already distinguishing themselves from Judaism, thus opening themselves up for persecution. Had these gentile believers remained faithful to the Torah-based faith of Israel, they would have avoided “legal” persecution by the Romans. The removal of the lampstand is associated with the biblical concept of “karet” or being cut off. In the concept of “midah kneged midah” or “measure for measure”, by starting to cut themselves off from the Torah-based faith of Israel and the Shekinah, they would cut themselves off from the bridegroom).
6) Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans (means “to conquer the people” and in Acts 6.5 it mentions a Nicolas and early church fathers said he started this sect and were like Balaam, in that, they seduced the people. Balaam in Hebrew is the equivalent to the Greek Nicolaitans. Who and what they did is unknown for sure but they tried to usurp authority over the people and were false teachers and anti-Torah) which I also hate.
7) He who has an ear (to perceive doctrinal truth) let him hear (be instructed, obey) what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will grant to eat at the tree of life (associated with an olive tree) which is in the Paradise of God (Gan Eden, Garden of Eden, the third heaven-2 Cor 12.1-4).
8) And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly in Smyrna (meaning “myrrh”, a large Greek, pagan city with a large Jewish population. A street of gold led to the temple of Zeus, very lustful city) write: The first and the last (alluding to the first and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph and tav, the full word of God, the beginning and end of everything, “forever and ever”), who was dead and has come to life, says this.
9) I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not (Nowhere in Scripture are unbelieving Jews called non-Jews. This same expression is found in 2.2 about apostles, who were not. In the first century, the Jewish faith was highly regarded and protected and many Gentiles claimed to be Jews, but they took a short cut for the advantages of Jewish designation without Torah observance. Apparently, they still participated in emperor worship and cared little for God), but are of the synagogue of Satan (can be said of any false assembly. Evil will be present among the good right now, this is why it is called a mixed multitude. Yeshua said that the tares were to left alone among the wheat for now).
10) Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days (there are ten days between Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur called the “yamim noraim” or “days of awe” and is a picture of the Birth-pains of the Messiah, or Tribulation period, this also is an idiom meaning “a short time “-Gen 24.55; Num 11.14. There is a mystical relationship between ten and seven here. There are seven days between Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur, but when you add the two days of Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur, you have ten. Also, there were ten sayings of creation within seven days. Seven (complete) and ten (judgment) carries the idea of “perfect judgment” during the Tribulation). Be faithful until death, and I will give the crown of life (this is similar to the “hidden manna” and “white stone” of v 17. These are idioms for the Kingdom of God).
11) He who has an ear (to perceive doctrinal truth) let him hear (be instructed) what the Spirit says to the to the assemblies. He who overcomes (the promise of being “sealed” by God is associated with Rosh Ha Shannah and the “yomim noraim” or the days of awe) shall not be hurt by the second death (the final resurrection leading to the Lake of Fire).
12) And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly of Pergamum (meaning “height”, it was a Hellenistic center, had libraries, pagan, emperor worship, main god had to do with healing) write: The One who has the sharp-two edged sword (the Torah-Isa 11.4; Psa 149.6; Prov 5.4; Eph 6.17; Heb 4.12) says this.
13) I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is (according to some, the mystery religions moved to Pergamum after Babylon fell. This altar to Zeus was found in the 19th century and the discoverer sends it piece by piece back to his home country in 1871, the same year this country called the empire of Germany begins. It was reconstructed there and by 1878 they had the whole altar. This is the year anti-Semitism begins to rise in Germany, so Germany has the throne of Satan and anti-Semitism begins. The altar is completed in 1889, the same year a child is born named Adolf (noble wolf) Hitler. So, the altar of Satan appears and Hitler appears. World War I starts a few years later and as a result of losing that war, the Nazi party arises and the altar is still in Germany. In 1930 this altar is opened to the public and the Nazi’s go from the smallest political party to number two, and in four years Hitler is dictator. Hitler wants a platform to speak to the people. He appoints his architect Albert Speer to come up with a plan. Speer has visited the altar of Pergamon and decides to build this platform using the Pergamon altar as a basis. If you compare pictures of the altar of Pergamon and this platform in Nuremburg you will see the resemblance. When you see Hitler speaking there, you will see the resemblance. Satan’s goal, like Antipas in our verse, is to wipe out the Jews. It is from this platform, a replica of the throne of Satan, that Hitler first utters the plan called the “Final Solution” to destroy the Jews. The Nuremburg laws started there, which were racist laws against the Jews. The Holocaust was the result of this. Six million Jews died. The word “holocaust” in Hebrew is “olah” and it means “a burnt offering.” Just like the burnt offering was offered to God in his Temple, the Jews were “offered” as burnt offerings to Satan, and the plan for this was uttered from a replica of his throne in Nuremburg. Today, we have seen another replica of this throne in America. At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, 2008, candidate Obama spoke from a reproduction of a “Greek temple.” When you do a comparison, you will see a similarity between this “stage” with the platform at Nuremburg and the Pergamon altar. Coincidence? Compare the pictures between the Pergamon altar, the platform at Nuremburg and this Greek temple reproduction at the convention in 2008. You be the judge. We are not saying that Obama is Hitler, but there is a power that is not good behind these things), and you hold fast my name, and did not deny my faith (“the” faith of Luke 18.8, the body of doctrinal truth, the Torah-1 Tim 4.1), even in the days of Antipas, my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells (Antipas was a talmid of John who refused to burn incense to the emperor. He was put into an iron bull and roasted at the altar at Pergamum).
14) But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam (he tried to curse Israel for money after God said no. He tried to find a way around it-2 Pet 2.15; Jude 11; Num chapters 22 through 25; Num 31.1-16), who kept teaching Balak to put stumbling blocks before the sons of Israel (through sexual corruption), to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit immorality.
15) Thus you also have some who in the same way (as Balaam) hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans (The name Balaam means the same thing as the Greek Nicolaitan) which I hate.
16) Repent (turn away from false doctrine) therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against men with the sword of my mouth (true Torah doctrine will correct false doctrine coming from the mouths of some in that congregation, measure for measure or “midah kneged midah”).
17) He who has an ear (to perceive doctrinal truth) let him hear (be instructed, obey) what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna (an idiom for the Kingdom of God, Yeshua ate “hidden food” of the Kingdom-John 4.32-34.Jewish tradition says that there are mills in heaven making manna for the righteous. Manna was “hidden” in the throne of God, the Ark. Yeshua referred to his body as bread which came down from heaven-John 6.58. Notice this “hidden manna” is given at the end of the Tribulation-see v 10, so this is an idiom for the eating at the “banquet” when the Kingdom is given, the Marriage Supper) and I will give him a white stone (another idiom for the Kingdom of God, also called the precious stone), and a new name (alluding to the adoption as sons of the King) written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
18) And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly in Thyatira (meaning “odor of affliction”, engaged in the dye and tapestry business, trade goods and very pagan, had a temple to Astarte there where prostitution for religious reasons was practiced. Yeshua will draw spiritual parallels to this. Lydia in Acts 16 lived there) write: The son of God (an idiom for King-1 Chr 28.5-7), who has eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like burnished bronze (idioms for judgment) says this:
19) I know your deeds (good works, mitzva’ot, commandments), and your love (ahav) and faith (“emunah”= action, confidence) and service and perseverance, and that your deeds (good works according to the Torah) of late are greater than at first.
20) But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel (this refers back to Jezebel in First and Second Kings who was long dead, but her false teaching continued which said that Israel should compromise Torah by mixing it with false teaching), who calls herself a prophetess and she teaches and leads my bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality (spiritually by bringing/learning anti-Torah teachings) and eating things sacrificed to idols (all forbidden in the Torah).
21) And I gave her time to repent and she does not want to repent of her immorality (spiritually).
22) Behold, I will cast her upon a bed (this is a bed of a harlot as opposed to the bed of the Shekinah, the virtuous woman, in Song 3.7) and those who commit adultery (spiritually by bringing in anti-Torah teachings into the assembly) with her into great tribulation (by entering into the judgment that is coming upon the world), unless they repent of her deeds (of teaching anti-Torah doctrine).
23) And I will kill her children (adherents, those who follow her anti-Torah doctrines) with pestilence; and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts (Heb 4.12; Jam 4.2-3-for those complacent-Zeph 1.12) and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds (if they don’t repent-again the concept of “midah kneged midah” is in action here. Yeshua is involved because “stealing” children away from him through adulterous teaching is very serious).
24) But I say to you, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching (there was a doctrinal problem there), who have not known the deep things of Satan as they call them, I place no other burden on you.
25) Nevertheless, what you have hold fast until I come (in the Natzal, the Gathering, the Rapture).
26) And he who overcomes, and he who keeps (guards) my deeds (the Torah, the good works therein, the commandments-Titus 3.1; John 8.31-51; Deut 13.4) until the end (Matt 24.13), to him I will give authority over the nations (in the Kingdom);
27) and he shall rule them with a rod of iron (an aggressive use of authority, the Torah- Isa 2.3; Psa 2.9)), as the vessels of the potter (God) are broken to pieces, as I have also received authority from my Father (Psa 2.7)
28) And I will give him the morning star (this refers to Yeshua-Rev 2216-the “sun” is an idiom for the Messiah-Psa 19.4-6; Mal 4.2; Luke 1.78-79 and when that light shines, the Kingdom has come upon us. So, this to do with his role as bridegroom to usher in the Sabbath of God, the Messianic Kingdom of God, when the groom and the bride are united. He is both the Sabbath and the one who brings it in, just like he is the lamb and the one making the offering).
29) He who has an ear (to perceive doctrinal truth) let him hear (be instructed by and obey) what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

Posted in Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, Understanding the New Testament, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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