but leads His people into sexual immorality and encourages them to eat food sacrificed to idols. Yeshua has dealt with Jezebel before and has given her time to repent. Because she has refused to repent, he will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit (spiritual) adultery with her will have great trouble.
The community in Pergamum is commended for holding onto Yeshua’s name. Over the centuries, the Adversary has played a major role in changing the Hebrew name, Yeshua, into the Greek rendering, Jesus. Using the Yeshua’s name set people free from demons and the worship of other gods, but it also brought the prospect of death.
Yeshua sends the second messenger to the community in Smyrna. He reveals himself as “the first and the last, who died and came alive again.” With the ‘first and last’ reference, this congregation would have immediately understood that Yeshua is the ‘alef tav’ –– את –– found between the words in the Hebrew Scriptures.
To the credit of the Ephesian community of believers, they hate the Nicolaitans. In Greek, nico means ‘conquer,’ and laitan refers to ‘lay people’; Nicolaitan means ‘conquer the lay people.’ This implies there is a hierarchy in Ephesus –– those who rule and those who submit. Yeshua hates this hierarchy because he is to be the only Shepherd over his sheep, King over his Kingdom, High Priest over his Priesthood, and Bridegroom for his Bride.