NMD 02a Answers
NMD 02a Answers Revelation 2:1-11
On this page, NMD 02a answers to points of discussion, you can find the possible answers to the questions of study page NMD 02a Rev 2:1-11. These answers can be discussion points for a study group. If you have any questions, please mail to Hans: email@example.com
The points of discussion are listed in the table below and are consecutively numbered from 1,2 etc. These points can be seen as a short summary of parts in the study, which are in sequential order. The answers are practically the full texts, which are given in the study. The added drawings are meant as reference points in this study.
NMD 02a Answers Points of discussion
|Points of discussion of NMD 02a Revelation 2 Letters to Ephesus and Smyrna
|NMD 02a point of
|Contents of points of discussions and possible answers
||Where do the letters, mentioned in the book of Revelation, come from?
The letters, mentioned in the book of Revelation, come from the Lord Jesus and are given to John by an Angel. Who has written down the letters in Chapter 2 and 3.
||How are the first two letters from the Lord called and for whom are these letters meant?
The first two letters are addressed to the Church at Ephesus and Smyrna.
The letters are meant for the following people:
1. Firstly, they are intended for the churches to which they were sent (Ephesus, Smyrna, etc.) thus, during John’s lifetime.
2. Secondly, they are meant for the whole Christian church, during John’s lifetime as well as thereafter.
3. Thirdly, they appear to characterise the following periods of the church history.
4. Finally, they are directed to every believer who sees his or her own spiritual life reflected in the letters.
Revelation 2 Christ and the Church of Ephesus and Smyrna
Each letter has a characteristic. Do you know the characteristics of the first two letters?
The characteristic for the letter to the Church at Ephesus is: Decline
The characteristic for the letter to the Church at Smyrna is: Persecution
||What does the number seven in General mean and what does it mean for these letters in particular?
The use of symbolic numbers in ancient times was common practice for all nations including Israel. In the Bible some numbers also have hidden meanings.
The number seven stands for the Holiness which is revealed to the world. The number seven is always related to God and humanity where God and humanity meet each other. That is why the number seven is called a “holy number”. One can see the holy day on the seventh day of the week. Sometimes one can see the number seven between God and man when they have community (the Godly One + human six together) or a representation of that which is holy on the earth. There are many examples of the number 7 in the Bible. Especially the book of Revelation which is a book of sevens: seven golden lampstands, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven Bowls of God’s Wrath etc. (see also article Seven in Revelation; number). The figure seven could point to the fact that Jesus portrays in these seven churches the whole history of the Christian church. Paul also keeps to the figure seven; ‘he writes to the seven churches no more and no less, namely, to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Thessalonians, Philippians and the Colossians. Later, so as not to go beyond the figure seven, he writes to various people individually’.
||How can you see that the Lord was fully informed of the situation in the Church at Ephesus?
In His letter to the churches Jesus accurately shows that He is fully aware of the conflict and perseverance. As He said in verse 2 ‘I know your deeds’. To this particular church He reveals Himself as the One who walks among the lampstands in order to see whether they are still burning. Fortunately, ‘the stars’ are still in His right hand and the Lord can still speak about ‘hard work’, ‘perseverance’ and ‘tolerance’.
||The Lord says in Rev 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you”. What does He mean with that?
He says “Yet I hold this against you” because they have forsaken the love they had at first. He calls that in verse 5: “Consider how far you have fallen!”. How was it during the time of the ‘first love’ in the church in Ephesus? Paul thanked the Lord for the love of the believers. He saw that they were ‘rooted and established in love’ and able to ‘grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge’. The subject of love was a matter of importance in Ephesus.
||What is meant in Rev 2:6 when He says: “but this you have before, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate”?
Who were the Nicolaitans? We do not know for sure who they were. The writings of the ‘church fathers’, these are the old Christian writers who lived directly after the time of the apostles, give us some likely indication. They point out Nicolas as the founder of the wrong doctrine who was the last of the seven deacons who were chosen by the church in Acts 6, to ‘wait on tables’. Although it is mentioned in Acts chapter 6 that these men were ‘full of the Spirit and wisdom’ it is known that Nicolas turned from the spiritual way and followed the way of the world.
||What does the Church at Smyrna suffer from even though it gets praising words from the Lord?
The name Smyrna is connected to “suffering”. In the Greek language the word Smyrna is also used for myrrh. We often see this used in connection with suffering and death. The word Smyrna is, therefore, appropriate for a church that suffers persecution. In this rich town the Christians formed a group of poor outcasts. They were poor but Christ called them rich. They were threatened with death, but Jesus revealed himself to them as the living Lord.
What does the Church at Smyrna constantly face?
The Lord warns the church in Smyrna in advance that they can still expect a lot of tribulation. Persecution for 10 days may seem short but if you are in the middle of it, it can seem like a century. But then comes the warning “Be faithful, even to the point of death” and the promise ‘I will give you the crown of life’. Continuously we see death and life opposite to each other. People can kill us but the Lord gives us everlasting life.
||Is there an explanation for the fact that the believers in Smyrna are so highly persecuted and by whom are they persecuted ?
Christians are persecuted by satan, as they are his enemies. In Smyrna there is even a synagogue for satan.
Revelation 2 History of the Church of Ephesus and Smyrna
What is the individual note in the first and second letters?
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches followed by a promise of the Lord. Please observe: This sequence changes, which consequently changes the composition in later letters as we will see in the next study.
||What is meant by the composition of the letters?
In each letter there is an individual note added by the phrasing of the following sentence: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” followed by a promise of the Lord. This individual note and the promise changes the composition as we will see in the following letters.
It is important to understand the individual notes followed by the promise in its full extension. Here is meant: The harmonious arrangement of two parts, the Spirit and who overcomes. In more simple words the order in which it is written, Spirit and promise versus Promise and Spirit. We will see in letter 4 that there is a turning point.
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