1“To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write:

“He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden lamp stands says these things:

2“I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can’t tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false. 3You have perseverance and have endured for my name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you left your first love. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lamp stand out of its place, unless you repent. 6But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God.

8“To the angel of the assembly in Smyrna write:

“The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life says these things:

9“I know your works, oppression, and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Don’t be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes won’t be harmed by the second death.

12“To the angel of the assembly in Pergamum write:

“He who has the sharp two-edged sword says these things:

13“I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. You hold firmly to my name, and didn’t deny my faith in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15So also you likewise have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows but he who receives it.

18“To the angel of the assembly in Thyatira write:

“The Son of God, who has his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like burnished brass, says these things:

19“I know your works, your love, faith, service, patient endurance, and that your last works are more than the first. 20But I have this against you, that you tolerate your woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22Behold, I will throw her and those who commit adultery with her into a bed of great oppression, unless they repent of her works. 23I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24But to you I say, to the rest who are in Thyatira—as many as don’t have this teaching, who don’t know what some call ‘the deep things of Satan’—to you I say, I am not putting any other burden on you. 25Nevertheless, hold that which you have firmly until I come. 26He who overcomes, and he who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. 27He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots, as I also have received of my Father; 28and I will give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.


Word study | Rev 2:1 | Steve Stanley • Hershel Wayne House

Church (Gk. ἐκκλησία, ekklesia). (9; Matt 16:18; 18:17; Acts 8:1, Eph 1:22, Rev 1:4, 11, 20; 2:1) Strong’s 1577

The word church [1] is used one hundred fourteen times in the NT. It is formed from the preposition ἐκ (ek), “out of,” and the verb καλέω (kaleo), to “call.” It literally means “those who are called out.” It is used widely in Greek literature to refer to a regularly summoned legislative body, a casual gathering, or a congregation with shared beliefs. The word is used in the Greek Old Testament for the Hebrew word קהל (qahal), the congregation of Israel. It is used in one passage in the NT for a gathering other than church, Acts 19:30, 33. The typical use in the NT is to refer to a local church, that is, a particular body of believers (Rom 16:1; 2 Cor 1:1Gal 1:22; 1 Thess 1:1). This word is also used to refer to the universal church, that is, all true Christians (believers in Jesus Christ) from the Day of Pentecost until the rapture (Acts 12:1; Col 1:18). It is important to note that from the perspective of the NT, the word “church” [1] only ever refers to the people of God and their assembly. Even though modern Christians use it to refer to the “church” building, it is never used this way in the NT. To think and speak biblically about “church” is to think and speak about saved people universally, or a congregation of believers committed to one another and who assemble regularly. In NT thought, the assembly of God’s people is a powerful and unique expression of the presence of God (Eph 2:21). The church is never mentioned in the OT, with its first mention in the Bible in Matt 16:18.

[1] The origin of the English word "church" is from the Middle English word chirche, from Old English cirice, (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/church) and is related to the German word Kirche, and from the Greek word kuriakon κυριακός, η, ον, "those belonging to the Lord." BAG, p. 459.