Chapter 3 Program Introduction:
From last week we have been covering the messages to the seven Assemblies of Asia. Last week from Chapter 2 we have already discussed the messages to the assemblies of Ephesos, Smurna, and Pergamos.
We saw it mentioned to the Ephesians that they had left their first love, which must have been that Gospel and Christian instruction brought to them by Paul of Tarsus, and they were warned to return to it. They were complimented for rejecting false apostles, and especially also the Nicolaitans, who were evidently pedlars of idolatry and licentiousness, and who also bore a form of what may be called proto-Gnosticism, as we had seen from the early Christian writers. From their name, which means “people-conquerors”, it is evident that those promoters of a professional priesthood, which have forever sought to subvert and rule over the people, is being described.
We then saw in the message to the church at Smurna, which means anointing, that this assembly was not criticized. Rather, they were warned about those enemies of Yahweh who would persecute them, and encouraged to stand firm in the face of that persecution.