Seven Churches – Seven Messengers
In the next two chapters, we will read about the churches’ participation in their communities, their accomplishments, their praise and reprimands, their resolutions and the consequences if they did not make the required changes. Each church was given a message to the faithful overcomer. Keep in mind that these seven churches represent the totality of the Church.
The word “angel” means messenger, both angelic and human. Due to the fact that it was the SAVIOR who talked to the ministers of the seven churches and their congregation, I am convinced that the messengers in the seven churches were human and not angelic. For this reason, I have replaced the word “angel” with the word “messenger” when the angel referred to is a messenger of one of the seven churches.
When an angelic angel was used, it was always Yahweh’s messenger. The instrument used by or in connection with the angel always a representation of the message.
After some research on the seven churches, I found a small amount of history on all but one and have added that information. I found it quite interesting that history reveals whether the congregation repented or not; therefore, fulfilling the angel’s prophecies.
To the church at Ephesus:
2:1 Unto the messenger of the church of Ephesus write; These things said he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands;
Here we find that the SAVIOR is involved with not only the pastors of the seven churches but with their congregations also. The church is told that the seven ministers (symbolized as stars) were subject to (right hand) the SAVIOR.
To be in the midst of something means to be a part of it. They were reminded that the SAVIOR was in the midst of the seven congregations (symbolized as lamp stands). Because these lamp stands were golden, we know that the congregations would go through the fire, be purified, and molded for the FATHER’s use. The church in Ephesus had members that were sincere, and they loved the Anointed Word that was being made manifest through them. The Holy Spirit was in their midst bringing those who had ears to hear into maturity—bringing them into the image of the FATHER.
2 I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:
3 And have borne, and have patience, and for my name’s sake have labored, and have not [felt fatigue]
fainted. [This verse should have read…“have borne, and have cheerful endurance, and for my name’s sake have not felt fatigue.”]
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love.
Even though these people had much to be praised for, they were still rebuked. They had lost their first love. Where there was a rebuke, a solution was always given and there were consequences if they did not listen to what the Spirit had to say.
Notice, they could not tolerate evil and they found some to be liars that called themselves apostles. The SAVIOR warned his disciples that there would be some that would become cold and lose their love because of iniquity and false prophets that came on the scene.
Matt. 24:11-13, And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
The church in Ephesus had become “one of the many,” whose love had grown cold. Their inability to forgive caused them to lose their first love, thus fulfilling the SAVIOR’s prophecy.
5 Remember therefore from where you have [*alighted]
fallen and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your lamp stand out of his place, except you repent. [*Alighted means to step down or dismount from something.]
6 But this you have, that you hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
The removal of the lamp stand meant that the congregation would scatter and cease to be.
The history of the Nicolaitans: quoted from The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.
“Irenaeus said that they were followers of Nicolaus of Antioch, a proselyte who was among the seven men chosen to serve the Jerusalem congregation [Acts 6:5], who had forsaken true Christian doctrine; he said they lived in unrestrained indulgence (See Against Heresies I; 26:3).”
The Nicolaitans were practicing humanism, which is a way of life centered on human interests or values rather than on Yahweh’s supernatural authority.
7 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of Yahweh.
The Tree of Life, which the overcomers were to eat from, was:
Wisdom: Prov. 3:13 & 18, Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retains her.
Righteousness: Prov. 11:30, The fruit of the righteous is a Tree of Life; and he that wins souls is wise.
Hope: Prov. 13:12, Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a Tree of Life.
A wholesome tongue: Prov. 15:4, A wholesome tongue is a Tree of Life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
The history of Ephesus: quoted from the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.
“Those who accepted John’s rigid rule came through the persecution refined and strengthened. They became the forefathers of all true Christianity. They laid in their suffering the foundations on which all true religion has since built. To compromise would ultimately have set Christ, where Emperor Severus ultimately placed him—in a chapel along with the images of Jupiter, Augustus, and Abraham….
….‘To him who conquers I will grant,’ wrote John, ‘to eat of the Tree of Life.’ The church, however, did not survive. Ignatius, writing a generation later, still accorded the church high praise. It became a seat of bishops, where a notable council was held as late as A.D. 431. Then came a long decline. The coast, with continual soil erosion of the hinterland, became malarial. The Turks came with ruin for Asia. The church died with the city. The ‘lamp stand’ was removed from its place.”
The lamp stand wasn’t removed from the church in Ephesus for at least 375 years after John’s vision. The minister and his congregation must have repented and done their first works over; therefore, they went back to their first love.
To the church in Smyrna:
2:8 And unto the messenger of the church in Smyrna write; These things says the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know your
works, and tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich), and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of satan.
The SAVIOR comforted the church in Smyrna by letting them know he knew their hearts. He said their adversaries called themselves Jews, but in reality, they were just hanging on to genealogy that was done away in the Son of Man.
The bloodline of our SAVIOR proves that he was born of man, which is a vital testimony of his existence, but his natural linage ended when he did not have a son. Yet the SAVIOR has sons by his Spirit.
Gal. 3:26-29, You are all the children of Yahweh by faith in the Anointed SAVIOR. For as many of you as have been baptized into the Anointed have put on the Anointed. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in the Anointed SAVIOR. And if you be Anointed, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The SAVIOR was well aware that the Jews spoken of in John (8:37-45) was of the linage of Abraham, but he was not dealing with their natural bloodline. He was speaking of their attitude and the desires of their heart. “I know that you are Abraham’s seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you…. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not.”
There are certain characteristics that define whether or not a person is a child of Yahweh (born of the Spirit). Those who are, have the same nature as Yahweh.
Gal. 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Rom. 8:14-17, As many as are led by the Spirit of Yahweh, they are the sons of Yahweh. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, FATHER, FATHER. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of Yahweh: And if children, then heirs; heirs of Yahweh, and joint-heirs with the Anointed; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
The word “satan” is a Hebrew word that means “adversary.” In the Old Testament of King James’ translation, the word “satan” was translated seven times as “adversary” and one time as “withstand” and the rest of the time it was left as “satan.” In Numbers 22:22 and 32, Yahweh referred to himself as “satan,” an adversary. In First Samuel 29:4, David is called “satan.” David calls Zeruiah “satan” in Second Samuel 19:22. In the N.T., the SAVIOR called Peter “satan.” The word “satan” indicates an action against an opponent, that is, an opposing force.
At this time, there were Jews making havoc for the Christians. They were causing extreme hardship and suffering on those who accepted the SAVIOR as their redeemer. This state of mind kept them in constant adversity with the Church, which made them the dwelling place of adversity.
10 Fear [nothing]
none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the [adversary] devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have [pressure] tribulation ten days: be you faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.
11 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; he that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.
There was much persecution on the infant Church; many were cast into prison and even killed for the Gospel’s sake. The statement “I will give you a crown of life” tells us that the “death” the SAVIOR spoke of here was not a literal death, but the Church overcoming sin. The word “crown” means “laurel.” It was used as a mark of honor or victory given to the winners of sports events. To be an overcomer was to have Life and to have Life was to know the FATHER and to manifest his righteousness in spite of adversity.
John 5:24-25, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Yahweh: and they that hear shall live.
John 1:4, In him [the SAVIOR] was life; and the life was the light of men.
John 4:14, Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 6:32-33, The SAVIOR said unto them [a multitude], Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my FATHER gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of Yahweh is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world.
John 17:1-3, These words spoke the SAVIOR, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, FATHER, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you: as you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and the Anointed SAVIOR, whom you have sent. (Also see John 11:25; 14:6.)
For there to be a second death, there must be a first. In this vision, John is seeing into the spiritual realm. The Spirit was not dealing with a natural death in either the first or second death. Paul told the church in Rome that to be carnally minded was death, which is the first death. The second death is the lake of fire that is spoken of in Revelation 20:14. I will explain more about the second death in Revelation 20:6.
History of Smyrna: quoted from the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.
“Aelius Aristide compares the city to the crown of Ariadne, shining in the heavens, and to a statue with its feet in the sea, and rising to its crowned head at the hilltop.
The story of the actual coming of Christianity to Smyrna is not known. It was probably a result of Paul’s activity in Ephesus, followed up and extended by John. On the evidence of the apocalyptic letter, Smyrna’s Christians stood well in the first century. They continued to stand, and Smyrna was one of the Asian cities which withstood the Turk, and was among the last to fall to Islam. Such resistance played a part in history. The delaying action of surviving remnants of the Empire in the East, allowed Europe time to emerge from the Middle Ages, and receive with creative hands those gifts which brought the renaissance and the modern world to birth.”
The church in Smyrna was strong and they made a great impact in Asia. Even though some of them were cast in prison, they remained strong when they were tried. They remained faithful witnesses of righteousness through their persecution.
To the church in Pergamos:
2:12 And to the messenger of the church in Pergamos write; These things says he which has the sharp sword with two edges;
This sharp sword with two edges symbolizes the Savior coming to the church in Pergamos in the form of the Word of Truth. This truth was going to bring judgment upon their way of thinking and would cut away at their very core.
Heb. 4:12, The word of Yahweh is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 I know
your works, and where you dwell, even where satan’s throne seat is: and you held fast my name, and have not denied my faith [truth itself], even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful [witness] martyr, who was [killed] slain among you, where satan dwells.
This scripture should have read: I know where you dwell and where the throne of satan is. You used my name and did not deny the truth of me even in the days Antipas, the witness of my faithful who were killed among you, where the accuser dwells.” Antipas stood by while the faithful were martyred. Antipas was not a faithful martyr as King James implies, he was the one who killed and persecuted the Christians.
Quoted from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of the Religious Knowledge, Vol. 5, heading “Herod and His Family.”
“Herod Antipas (4 B.C. – 39 A.D.), also a son of Herod by Malthace, was given Galilee and Peraea and the title of ethnarch (Herod) by his father’s will. He was improperly called king in Mark 4:14, possibly as a reflection of the popular terminology, and correctly ethnarch in Matthew 14:1 and Luke 3:19.”
An “ethnarch” is a ruler of a province or a people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, or cultural origin, especially in the Roman Empire; therefore, history proves that Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee at the time of John the Baptist and the SAVIOR, and also when the Christians were greatly persecuted and killed.
In Matthew 14:1-11, Herod Antipas was the one that had John the Baptist beheaded.
In Luke 23:6-15, when the SAVIOR was brought before Herod Antipas for judgment, he did not announce judgment on him, but he and his men “mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.”
In Matthew 14:3, we see Herod had a brother named Philip. In Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 1, Chapter 28.4, we see Herod Antipas had a brother named Philip. This makes us know that Herod Antipas was the same Herod as in Matthew fourteen.
Herod Antipas persecuted the Church:
Acts 12:1-4, Now about that time Herod the ruler (king) stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Pentecost (Easter) to bring him forth to the people.
The Herod that was during the time of our SAVIOR’s birth was not Herod Antipas, he died not too long after our Lord was born and Herod Antipas took his place.
Matt. 2:15, And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Antipas was on the throne during this time and was a great adversary of the Church. During all the adversity, the church in Pergamos stood faithful to Truth.
2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have 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.
15 So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword [word] of my mouth.
The church in Pergamos was allowing false doctrines to be taught in their church. The “sword of the SAVIOR’s mouth” was the Word of Truth (Eph. 6:17). His Word was full of living power, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit by exposing the thoughts and attitudes of their hearts (Heb. 4:12). The pastor in Pergamos had an obligation to his congregation to not allow the false teachers to be in authority. By doing so, he jeopardized his congregation’s integrity and their spiritual growth.
The Word of Yahweh should never be compromised because truth is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Without truth, the believers would not be able to become mature Christians with good works (2 Tim. 3:13-17).
17 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes 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 knows saving he that receives
The “hidden manna” symbolizes the Word that produced life. By the Word of Truth the overcomer could come into Life, which is the Kingdom of Righteousness.
John 6:31-35 & 51, Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then the SAVIOR said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my FATHER gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of Yahweh is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And the SAVIOR said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst… I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh [his substance, that is, his Spirit], which I will give for the life of the world.
The white stone answers to the Urim (light) in the Old Testament. It was a stone that was placed in the breastplate along with the Thummim over the high priest’s heart. It was used as a medium between Yahweh and man in regards to important decisions. It symbolizes the overcomers making righteous judgments.
Ex. 28:30, You shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before Yahweh: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before Yahweh continually.
Num. 27:21, He [Joshua] shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before Yahweh: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
In this white stone, a new name was written. The word “name” means authority and character. The overcomers would be under a different name than their adamic lineage. Their new authority and character would not be understood by those still bound by carnal understanding because the overcomers’ authority would come by the Holy Spirit and their character would be righteous. The Holy Spirit would help the overcomers make correct and righteous judgments that the unbelievers would not be able to comprehend. The Spirit of the Word would transform the overcomers by renewing their mind, making it possible to prove what is good, acceptable, and the perfect will of Yahweh (Rom. 12:1-2).
The doctrine of Balaam: quoted from The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.
“His teaching involved the most contemptible action conceived in an unregenerated heart. Corrupt a people you cannot curse and God will have to chasten them. In short, this means to make a people under divine blessing and deliberately lead them into sin to strip them of the divine blessing.”
Balaam’s instructions on how to corrupt a people, quoted from the book of Josephus, chapter 6 paragraph 6.
“…set out the handsomest of such of your daughters as are most eminent for beauty, and proper to force and conquer the modesty of those that behold them, and these decked and trimmed to the highest degree able. Then send them to be near the camp, and give them in charge, that the young men of the Hebrews desire their company and then allow it them; and when they see they are enamored of them, let them take leaves; and if they entreat them to stay, let not give their consent till they have persuaded them to leave off their obedience to their own laws, the worship of that God who established them to worship the gods of the Midianites and Moabites: for by this means God will be angry at them. Accordingly, when Balaam had suggested counsel to them, he went his way.”
A more modern example of people falling into corruption is the acceptance of adultery and fornication within our civilized countries and many of our Christian communities.
History of Pergamos (Pergamum): quoted from The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.
“Pergamum synthesized the deities of three races, and of three successive periods in the history of the State. There were pagans, no doubt, who thought that their complex scheme of worship could absorb yet another faith. There were also Christians who thought that the nation was not without merit. Could Christianity avoid a head-on collision with the pagan world, at least with simple imperial cult, by a little judicious compromise? The thought had its temptation in a place where dissent was more likely to be viewed with hostility than anywhere else in Asia. Perhaps Dionysus, Asklepios, Athene, and Zeus could be avoided as object of worship, impossible though it was to escape their presence in shrine and image. To avoid the worship of the emperor in the center of his cult, where that worship was thought to conflict with the other, and to be also a test of loyalty, was not so simple.
Hence, the popularity of the sect of “the Nicolaitans” in Pergamum. Little is known about them, but it is clear enough that they were those who thought that a measure of compromise could be worked out, perhaps only in the comparatively harmless sphere of the state cult. The apostles saw with clarity that no compromise at all was possible. Allow the pinch of incense before the emperor, and the landslide would begin. The guild-feasts would follow, a problem for Christians in Thyatira. Then would come the immoralities of Corinth’s worship of Aphrodite and the breakdown of Christian morality—the whole challenging distinctiveness of the Christian faith, the whole purpose of being. Those that stood firm, in spite of misunderstanding, misrepresentation, the harsh criticism of less rigid friends, and the fierce resentment of a corrupt society, held and passed on the integrity of the faith.”
Because the church in Pergamos did not listen to the voice of the angel and was willing to compromise, they became preoccupied with false gods and suffered the consequences. A more modern example of this is the way the “Americans did All Saints Day.” They went from a day set aside for the saints to a day to appease the devils and demons and call it Halloween.
To the church in Thyatira:
2:18 And unto the messenger of the church in Thyatira write; These things says the Son of Yahweh, who has his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet
are like fine brass;
Through the SAVIOR, Yahweh enlightened the believers to their spiritual condition and to its effect in their church. The SAVIOR’s eyes being as fire, revealed his ability to judge and purify them.
Eph. 1:18, The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
The SAVIOR’s feet being like fine brass symbolizes the path he walked and the strength he had to deliver mankind them from the bondage of their carnal understanding.
Jer. 15:20-21, And I will make you unto this people a fenced brazen (brass) wall: and they shall fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you: for I am with you to save you and to deliver you, saith Yahweh. And I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the hand of the terrible.
2:19 I know your works, and [love]
charity, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first.
The New International Version Bible translated this verse where it easier to understand what was said: I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.
20 Notwithstanding I have
a few things against you, because you [sent forth] suffered that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
Jezebel worshipped idols, used witchcraft, and killed Yahweh’s prophets. She used domination and seduction to get her way. She fought against everything that represented good. Jezebel killed the prophets of Yahweh and gave false prophets access to the throne. She was determined that the nation of Israel worship Baal instead of Yahweh, the only True God. Jezebel has been given the name of being the evilest woman in the Bible. She was not alive at the time of John’s vision, so the angel was referring to her doctrine and not her gender. Jezebel’s children are the offspring of her doctrine which continues to influence people even today.
Jezebel’s life’s story and the power of her influence can be found in First Kings chapters 16, 18, and 21. Also see Second Kings 9 for her tragic end.
2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the innermost [mind]
reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
The church in Thyatira was allowing the spirit of Jezebel to seduce them; they were committing fornication, and allowing false prophets in their church. Jezebel, being an Old Testament figure, became the symbol of fornication and false prophecy. The Spirit of Truth was going to expose the Jezebel spirit in this church by allowing them to see and experience the effect of it in their lives. Their actions would not be blessed and they would not produce life. Those who loved righteousness would then seek to be delivered from this spirit.
2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
25 But that which you have
already hold fast till I come.
26 And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
If “the end” (v. 26) referred to the end of the world, there would be no nations for the overcomers to have power over. This “end” is referring to the end of the Levitical priesthood.
27 And he shall [shepherd]
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. This should have read: And he shall shepherd them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter are molded: even as I received of my FATHER. [The words “shall they be broken to shivers” should have been “are molded.”]
The Greek word for “rod” was also translated “scepter” or “staff” in other scriptures. It means a stick or wand as a cudgel, a cane or a baton of royalty. It was used in Hebrews 9:4 in reference to Aaron’s rod that budded. Aaron’s rod was made from an olive branch that symbolized his priesthood. The shepherd’s rod of iron symbolizes his position and his strength. The rod of the Levitical priesthood was made of wood, symbolizing the weakness of the priesthood on the fleshly realm (Rom. 8:3). The rod of iron symbolizes the authority (strength) of the Anointed Word in the hands of the minister (shepherd) to inspire, to teach doctrine, to reprove, to correct, and to instruct in righteousness in order that Yahweh may perfect those who believe and obey the Word of truth (see 2 Tim. 3:14-17).
The Word of Yahweh is powerful!
Heb. 4:12, The word of Yahweh is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
In Strong’s dictionary, the phrase “shall they be broken to shivers” comes from one Greek word, “suntribo” (#4937). This word came from two words: “sun” (#4862), meaning a union and the word “tribo” (#5147), meaning to rub as into a rut or a worn path.
I cannot understand how “suntribo” could mean to break into shivers, when neither of the two base words imply “breaking into shivers.” Thayer’s dictionary meaning of the word makes more sense—“to put satan (the adversary) underfoot as to conquer.”
The statement “even as I received of my FATHER” makes me believe that Thayer’s had the correct definition. The FATHER did not break his Son into shivers, but his Son was under his authority and through his authority he will destroy death (carnality) out of Yahweh’s temples.
1 Cor. 15:25-28, For the SAVIOR must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For Yahweh has put all things under the SAVIOR’s feet. But when Yahweh says, all things are put under the SAVIOR, it is manifest that the SAVIOR is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto the SAVIOR, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Yahweh that put all things under him, that Yahweh may be all in all.
Potter: quoted from The Standard Reference Work 1919 Volume V.
“Pottery, earthenware: In forming a piece of pottery of whatever class, the clay is first freed from all impurities and grit. It is then mixed into a thick paste with which to form the body. The proportion in which the ingredients are mixed and the requisite degree of stiffness are secrets of the potter’s art, guarded by all large establishments with care. In making an article, the potter takes a piece of clay and fashions it between his hands on a potter’s wheel. The latter is a small, circular table resting on a pivot, so as to revolve readily. The most primitive potter’s wheel is turned by hand. The Egyptians used an improved form of wheel. A lower table, larger and heavier than the first, was attached to the same axle, so that the work man might cause it to spin around with his foot, thus leaving both hands to shape the clay. As the lump of clay whirls with the table the workman molds it with his hands, as in a lathe. If of just the right consistency the paste shapes itself with wonderful ease and regularity. As the potter raises or lowers his hands, spreads them, or brings them closer together, the clay follows, rising or falling, spreading or curving, and shaping itself into a plate, cup, or vase, almost as though it seems to realize what is wanted of it.”
Jer. 18:2-6, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? says Yahweh. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
When I took these two statements, “he shall shepherd them with a rod of iron” and “as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers” and compared them by cross-translating, I found them to be alike in comparison. A shepherd guides and protects his sheep. A potter molds (not breaks) the clay and creates beautiful vessels. Yahweh does not break his sons into pieces; he molds them and makes them into his image.
Our Creator is the potter and we are his clay. We are all the works of his hands. When he is finished with each of us, we will be like him, because nothing can separate us from his hand of love as he molds us into his image. Just as the potter molds the pot upon the wheel, so our FATHER molds us. We see his hands in our lives as we are turned upon the wheel of circumstances, and his hands are always there allowing enough pressure to mold us into his image.
Isa. 64:8, O Yahweh, you are our FATHER; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of you hand.
2:28 And I will give him the Morning Star.
In Revelation 22:16, the SAVIOR said that he was the Morning Star.
The Morning star heralds the rising of the sun. The sun symbolizes the FATHER’s communication (his Word) with his children. The SAVIOR, as the Word made flesh, heralded the Word of Yahweh to the people. The morning stars were the witnesses of the sun as it rose from the east. The SAVIOR—the Word—is the Morning Star, he is the witness of the Spirit of Righteousness rising up in earthen vessels.
The morning star: quoted from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Electronic Database.
“As the eastern horizon began to brighten toward the dawn, they (Hebrew shepherds) would specially note what stars were the last to rise before their shining was drowned in the growing light of day. These, the last stars to appear in the East before sunrise, were the ‘morning stars,’ the heralds of the sun. As morning followed morning, these morning stars would be seen earlier and earlier, and therefore for a longer time before they disappeared in the dawn, until some morning, other stars, unseen before, would shine out for a few moments, and thus supplant the stars seen earlier as the actual heralds of the sun.…One star would herald the beginning of spring, another the coming of winter; the time to plow, the time to sow, the time of the rains would all be indicated by successive ‘morning stars’ as they appeared.”
The SAVIOR’s star came from the East:
Matt. 2:1-2, Now when the SAVIOR was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the ruler (king), behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.’
To see or receive the Morning Star (the SAVIOR), one cannot be spiritually asleep or indifferent to the Word.
29 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
History of the church in Thyatira:
I could not find any history regarding the church in Thyatira other than the town was known for its worship of pagan gods. Tyrimnos was their chief deity, which was also known as the Greek sun god Apollo. The first day of the week, Day One, was changed to Sunday in his honor. In Acts 16:13-15, we read that Lydia lived and sold purple material for a living in Thyatira and was converted through Paul’s ministry.