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Written Hope

Revelation 1:19-20

It may seem obvious, but without the written Bible, we would not reliably know anything about God, what He thinks, what He does or His plans for the future.

Letter to Ephesus 1

Revelation 2:1-3

As we start looking at the letters dictated by Jesus Christ to John, we may well ask, why did Jesus want to write to these churches?

Letter to Ephesus 2

Revelation 2:4-7

The Lord Jesus had warmly commended the Ephesian church for their orthodoxy (meaning 'straight-teaching'), their hard work in proclaiming the gospel, their endurance under persecution, and for their diligence in discerning the false teachers who were trying to infiltrate the church (

Letter to Smyrna 1

Revelation 2:8-9

Smyrna was an important seaport, about 35 miles north of Ephesus and rivalling it for the lucrative trade between, what is now, Europe, and Asian countries as far as China, along the ancient Silk Road. Now renamed Izmir, and greatly expanded, Smyrna was wealthy and cosmopolitan; but like all prosperous trading hubs there were many poor people and much corruption. It was a significant Roman military staging point too, and one of the first cities in which Emperor worship was enforced. The church struggled.

Letter to Smyrna 2

Revelation 2:10-11

Suffering is not nice. Yet the word not only means 'to bear up under a load', but also 'to allow'. In the Bible, no suffering occurs without God's permission. It is a part of His means by which His will is done.

Letter to Pergamum 1

Revelation 2:12-13

This third letter in the series is addressed to Pergamum (meaning 'citadel') - the most northerly of the seven churches. The city, now called Bergama, was built on a 1000 foot conical hill and dominated the region. Having been the capital of ancient Asia, it became the centre of Roman government and emperor worship in what is now western Turkey. It was famed for its magnificent library which was considered better than the one in Alexandria. That rivalry led to Egypt putting a trade embargo on sending papyrus to Pergamum.

Letter to Pergamum 2

Revelation 2:14-16

Although one of their leaders, Antipas, was roasted alive in their city, Jesus commended the church in Pergamum for not renouncing their faith. Despite Satan thinking he was in charge of the city, the church had stayed true to Jesus (

Letter to Pergamum 3

Revelation 2:17

Each of these letters to the seven churches included this instruction in their conclusion … "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches." The implication is striking: God is speaking but only some people are bothered to listen with care, to understand and obey. The others who resist His encouragement and rebuke will not be included in the promised blessing. In our computerised age, we are bombarded with information; much of it we ignore or briefly scan without doing anything about it. We are in peril if we treat God's Word in the same way.

Letter to Thyatira 1

Revelation 2:18-19

The people who feature in Revelation are sometimes given verbal titles and sometimes portrayed pictorially. In this letter to the leading elder/pastor/teacher ('angel', meaning messenger) of the church in Thyatira, the Lord Jesus Christ identifies Himself in both ways. Firstly He declares Himself to be the Son of God.

Letter to Thyatira 2

Revelation 2:20-23

Jezebel was a wicked woman in the Old Testament. The daughter of the king of the Sidonians, she became the wife of the young king Ahab of Israel. It was a marriage of political convenience to prevent war between Israel and the Phoenicians, sponsor trade and have a military alliance against the Assyrians. But Jezebel’s father was a committed Baal worshipper from birth, and she also hated the God of Israel.