Bible Study Questions - Revelation 2 (Two 4 Ten, Parts 13-24)
We strongly recommend taking the time to read Revelation chapter two at least once in its entirety before beginning this study.
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“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’"
Do you remember what the seven stars represent in this book? As well as the seven golden lampstands?
Jesus starts His address to the Ephesus church by complimenting them. What is it that they are doing well in their communal walk with the Lord?
What is it that they’re not doing well? And what, according to Jesus, is potentially at stake if they do not correct their missteps?
Is Jesus quite literally asking them to judge others in the church? Particularly, those who identify as church leaders, such as apostles?
What is Jesus’ solution for Ephesus as it pertains to getting back on track in the areas where they are misguided?
What does Jesus mean when He says: “if not, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place?” (If you need help with this, go back and watch Two 4 Ten, Part 14: Jesus' Solution for Lukewarm Christians - https://youtu.be/VGhaaMcbqag)
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 9 “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death."
What is Jesus’ purpose in reiterating to the Smyrnaeans that He is “the first and the last, who died and came to life?”
In verse nine Jesus appears to make a contradictory statement: “I know your poverty…but you are rich.” What does Jesus mean by this?
What does the Bible say about riches? Are riches always defined in Scripture in relation to material wealth, or are there other aspects that need to be considered in regard to riches.
Jesus makes clear to the Smyrnaeans that the devil is about to test them severely with tribulation. Some of them will be thrown into prison. Jesus also promises to reward those who remain faithful to Him with “the crown of life.” What are the theological ramifications of such a statement? What does it teach us regarding how Jesus views the role of His Church in the world?
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two- edged sword. 13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it."
In verse 13 Jesus mentions that Pergamum is the place where “Satan’s throne is.” What does He mean by this? (If you need help with this, go back and watch Two 4 Ten, Part 18: What It Means to be a Faithful Witness - https://youtu.be/Z_x57ELSiDo).
We learn from Jesus’ address to the church at Pergamum that one of their members, Antipas, was martyred for his faith. What is unique about the name, Antipas? And what is so honoring about the nickname that Jesus gives to Antipas?(Again, if you need help, watch Two 4 Ten, Part 18).
What is the teaching of Balaam? How about the teaching of the Nicolaitans? (For a refresher on the teaching of Balaam, watch Two 4 Ten, Part 19: https://youtu.be/MfRXcSxarrM. For a refresher on the teaching of the Nicolaitans, check out Two 4 Ten, Part 15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7fgUpm7FRI).
In verse 16, Jesus warns the church at Pergamum that if they do not repent of their misdeeds, He will come to them and war against them with the sword of His mouth. What does this mean?
The address to Pergamum is the third time in a row that we see Jesus telling members of His church to conquer their circumstances, and He goes so far to promise a reward to those who successfully do so. What does Jesus mean when He tells the believers to “conquer”? What does this word mean?
Revelation 2:18-29 18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden.25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Jesus once again begins an address by complimenting the church to whom He is speaking. The church at Thyatira appears to be increasing in something very important to the Christian life. What is it that they are excelling at and growing in?
In one word, what characteristic is this church exhibiting that Jesus says He does not like (“but I have this against you…”)?
What does Jesus promise to do to the unrepentant Jezebel?
Would you consider Jesus’ promise of action against Jezebel to be unloving?
In verse 23, Jesus makes a promise that, as the one who searches mind and heart, He will give to each according to their works. Does this contradict other parts of Scripture that affirm the fact that we are saved by grace through faith? Why or why not?
Also, are there any other New Testament passages that validate Jesus’ words here (hint: check out 2 Corinthians 5:10)? How does this idea coalesce with the promise that we are saved by grace through faith?
What is Jesus’ ultimate advice to the members of Thyatira who have remained faithful to Him thus far? What does He promise as their ultimate reward for “holding fast?”