An Explanatory Rendering Of The Revelation: Chapter Two
Jesus' Mediation Confirmed
The second section of The Revelation is a historical survey establishing the qualifications of the designated covenant head. It includes a recitation of the current relationship between the subjects and the mediator as well as a display of the mediatorial abilities of the Sovereign's representative. In other words, the representative is recognized as qualified by his right relationship with the Sovereign, in the way he has previously dealt with the subjects of the king and by his ability to properly mediate the law.
The Revelation, Chapter Two
1. "Here is what I want you to say to the leadership at the Ephesus church: 'This is what the one who is favorably disposed toward Church leaders says; this is what the one who is always with his Church has to say:
2. 'I know what is going on there at Ephesus. I know you have worked hard at sharing and living the Gospel of my kingdom. I know it seems to you that you have been waiting a long time for me to entirely close out the old covenant age. I know you do not put up with people who reject the commands of God. I know you have had your suspicions about certain people who claim to be my messengers. You took note of their behavior and their teaching and discovered that they are not delegates of mine after all.
3. 'You have endured. You have faced tribulation because you refused to deny my lordship and you did so without giving up.
4. 'However, I find I am against you because you are not committed to me like you used to be.
5. 'So, I am telling you to recall how it was when you were really committed to me. You need to repent and go back to living for me with the same passion you had when each of you were first made a new creation. If you do not do so soon, I will come to you and wipe you out. Unless you all repent and recommit your lives to me you will cease to be part of the Church!
6. 'Really, the only reason I don't get rid of you right now is because you hate those Judaizers who seek to conquer my people with false doctrines.
7. 'If you have a mind to listen, then pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church. Those who conquer the ones who want to conquer my people, will be saved and enjoy the benefits of the new covenant age.'"
8. "To the leaders in the church in Smyrna say, 'This is what the one who claims the name of God as first and last, the one who was dead but rose again, this is what I have to say to you:
9. 'I know you have worked hard at sharing and living the Good News, the news that I have authority over every part of life, and have experienced tribulation because of it. I know you are materially poor, even though you have been consistently obedient to me and so have the great reward of close relationship with me. I know those who claim to be true Jews are speaking against me. I know they say they are God's covenant people but they are really an assembly of Satan.
10. 'Do not be afraid even though your suffering will soon grow worse. The devil will oppress you as he did Job. He will test and trouble you for an appropriate time determined by me. If you are loyal to me even to death then your salvation is secure and you will reign and be blessed in your arena of activity as you bring it under my authority.
11. 'He who has ears, let him really listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the Church. Anyone who verifies their new birth by remaining in me and my overcoming power will never see hell.'"
12. "This is what I want you to tell the leaders in the church of Pergamos: 'This is what the word of God who speaks the words of literal life and death from God has to say to you:
13. 'I am aware of your obedience as you work to bring your area of responsibility under my authority. And I know where you live. I know you live where Satan has his eastern throne of Empire worship. Yet, you are loyal to me and did not become faithless even when Antipas - a true witness of my messianic kingdom - was put to death in your midst, in that place where Satan dwells.
14. 'Nonetheless I find that I am against you because you tolerate people who are not of my people, destroyers who entice my people into false worship and unfaithfulness to me.
15. 'Thus, you tolerate Judaizers who conquer my people with enticements to false worship focused on the completed temple in Jerusalem, false worship that is unfaithfulness to me - and I hate them!
16. 'If you do not have a sudden change of heart about these false Jews I will quickly come in destructive judgment on those in your midst who have mixed loyalties.
17. 'Listen, if you will, to what the Holy Spirit says to the Church. Those who confirm their new creation by working out their salvation may rest assured that I am theirs and they are mine and I will strengthen them. They may be confident they are each a new creation and will not lose their place in Eternity since they are known by me.'"
18. "Say this to the leadership in the Thyatria church: 'This is what the Son of God says, the one who is the image of the Ancient of Days, with flaming eyes and feet like molten metal; completely other and yet completely human.
19. 'I am aware of your Gospel labors and of your brotherly love, your faithfulness to the Gospel and your willingness to lend a strong hand to others in times of trouble. Moreover, I am aware that you are doing this more now than you did in the past.
20. 'However, I find that I am against you! You have let a large portion of the church in Thyatria prostitute itself, to be unfaithful to the covenant. That faction makes claim to prophetic gifts, teaches falsehood and leads my people into Judaism and Empire worship.
21. 'I gave that faction a chance to change but they are not inclined to give up their unfaithfulness.
22. 'So watch and see what I am going to do. I will curse the leaders of that faction and those who follow their false teaching. If they continue in their ways, they will suffer greatly in the days of vengeance against the false Jews and the great tribulation of the Church about to come.
23. 'I will destroy the heretical churches that are born of that false doctrine and the Church will understand that I see the very thoughts of man. Thus I am able to give each one what he truly deserves.
24. 'Now to the rest of you in Thyatria, those who have rejected that filthy doctrine and have stayed away from the Judaic Gnosticism that is a part of their bag of tricks, of you I ask for nothing additional.
25. 'Simply continue to obey me, keeping safe what you have until I come in judgment to close out the old covenant age.
26. 'He who resists temptation and remains obedient to me in this time of trial will be empowered to bring his arena of responsibility under my authority.
27. 'And he will reign in his sphere of influence by virtue of obedience to my law. Those who oppose his quiet submission to me will be left in his dust as I bless him for his faithfulness according to God's covenant promises.
28. 'He will be successful in his arena of responsibility and will have a covenant relationship with me.
29. 'Anyone who has ears should listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the Church.'"
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