Rev. 2:12-17

Note: It was a place of emperor worship. A little compromise is dangerous.


This church represents the state church. This may be the reason for some of its problems. It was 55 miles north of Smyrna. There was an immense altar built to Zeus. He was the chief of the Greek mythological gods.

Scriptural Analysis

Verse 12

Here is the description found in Rev. 1:16. It is a two-edged sword, which means judgment. The words “Satan’s seat” means the Roman government. Antipas was slain there.

Verses 13-15

Although they are praised, there are some inside problems that they must deal with. The leadership is Nicolaitane  in nature. The doctrine of Balaam is being taught. Note the following  scriptures for an understanding: Numbers 31:16; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 14-16 and Jude 11

In reference to idols: Exodus 20:3-5, Deut. 6:14; 13:4-7 Jer. 25:6 I Cor. 8:4-9

It should be noted that Balaam suffered a  dishonorable death, which served as a warning to future generations. Numbers 31:8. He did wrong for personal gain. 2 Cor. 6:16-18—separate from them.

Verse 16

This church needed to repent of their wrongdoing. If they would not repent, judgment would fall. They needed to repent quickly.

Verse 17

This church would eat of the hidden manna. This is spiritual food for the faithful.

They would receive a white stone with their new name written on it. Nobody would know what that new name would be. Is. 56:5 A new body with a new name!





Verse 8

The description of this church is found in Rev. 1:11a and 8. This church manifests the Father as the all-encompassing God. Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary, and He rose on

Verse 9

Their  natural poverty is mentioned. Yet they are rich in what is important—rich in the things of God. They were in the favor of God. They were living the life of true believers who depended upon the Lord. Luke 12:22-31; I Tim. 6:17. See vv. 6-12.

There are those who profess to be Jews, but their lives do not testify of them! They are instruments of unrighteousness. Romans 6:11-13, 16. Rather than being the habitation of God’s glory, their bodies are the habitation of Satan. They chose to dwell in the thorn bush of Satan instead of the true vine of Jesus. John 15:1-6

They are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead of praising the Father, they speak evil against Him. They blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, which means no forgiveness. Mark 3:29 They have chosen darkness over light because their deeds are evil.

Verse 10

A crown is an emblem of royalty. There are different kinds of crowns in the Bible.

I Cor. 9:25 eternal     Phil. 4:1          crown of joy

1 Thess. 2:19                                      crown of rejoicing

2 Tim. 4:8                                          crown of righteousness

James 1:12                                         crown of life

1 Peter 5:4                                          crown of glory

This church is told not to fear. Jesus tells them what they shall go through as believers. These are satanic attacks against them. They shall have tribulation for a season.

Verse 11

This speaks of a spiritual ear that is obtained through prayer, communion, reading God’s Word and fasting. Rev 20:14—They shall not experience the second death.



Introduction to Smyrna


The Persecuted Church

Revelation 2:8-11

This is the shortest of the letters to the seven churches. It is filled with praise, and no condemnation. There other church that escaped the Lord’s rebuke was Philadelphia.

The Audience

Smyrna was known for her trade. It was located about 35 miles north from Ephesus. It had a harbor that could be totally enclosed during wartime. Alexander the Great rebuilt the city, and he was determined to make it a model Greek city. It was a city of wealth and commercial greatness. It was referred to as “The Beautiful.” It received its name from one of its main products—myrrh. It also saw profit in wine. Today it is called Izmir, which is located in Turkey. Its population is over 300,000 with two thirds of its people professing Christianity.


The Greek word for Smyrna means “suffering,” and it comes from the word myrrh. Myrrh was a perfect symbol of suffering, and the blessing that can come from suffering. The believers here suffered much. Myrrh was used for several purposes. Rom. 8:17; I Peter 2:20-23; I Peter 3:12-15

-used in perfumes

-an ingredient in the holy anointing oil for the priest

-for the purification of women

-for embalming

It was brought to Jesus at His birth. It is associated with Christ in His first coming. It is a sign of Christ’s suffering humanity. Matthew 2:11 When Christ was on the Cross, He was offered wine mingled with myrrh. In this case, it acted like a painkiller. Matt. 27:34 and Ps. 69:21.

In order for this spice to release its full fragrance, it had to be crushed and beaten. Smyrna was beaten, crushed and persecuted. At that time, it was in the midst of bitter sorrow and suffering. It was the most afflicted and persecuted of all seven churches. It gave off the fragrance of Christ.


It was a beautiful city. It claimed to be the “Glory of Asia.”

The temples in this city were:

-the Temple of Zeus

-The Temple of Cybele (the goddess of nature)

All the temples of this area were located on Golden Street. This area also had a stadium and library. It was the birthplace of the poet Homer.

It was first in beauty, and first in Caesar worship.

Its loyalty was to Rome. In 196 B.C., it built a temple to Dea Roma, the goddess of Rome. They eventually began to worship the city of Rome.




Verse 5


An individual must acknowledge their spiritual need. It is important to keep remembering where they have fallen. When we forget what God has done for us, and the decisions we have made for the Lord, we can slide back spiritually. The individual can fall flat on their face. Ephesus needed to remember where they came from. The memory is precious and haunting.

An individual must remember, but not turn back. Lot’s wife remembered and looked back. She died because of this action. Whatever an individual does, they must not give up. Paul could have been destroyed by his past memories. Instead he pressed forward.

A person’s memory can be a great blessing as they dwell on the victories of the past, which bring joy, peace, and precious moments with the people we love. These memories can make the individual grateful to the Lord.


No one is exempt from repenting. There must be a change of mind that leads to a change in character and behavior. Sacrificial repentant worship attracts the Father, and it allows Him to move close to the worshipper.


This church had to do their first works over or else face judgment. They needed to return to the place where they started. They needed to have that passionate love for the Lord.

Vance Havner put it this way:

A revival is the Church remembering,

The Church repenting,

The Church repeating.

Failure to do this would lead to disaster. Otherwise, God would remove the candlestick. The light of His Word would move to another place.

The lights went out in Ephesus. They lost their effectiveness, and the result was Islam sweeping the land. It is only a memory now. The immediate area of Ephesus has been uninhabited since the 14th century.

Verse 7

An overcomer is an individual who has trusted Jesus as their personal savior. I John 5:4-5. Those who know Christ will eat of the tree of life in Heaven. As believers, we will enjoy eating in our glorified bodies. Rev. 22:2, 14