6 Yet you do have this: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Nicolaitans were followers of Nicolaus who was preaching a false doctrine which was a stumbling block to true believers in Jesus Christ. Not much is known about the Nicolaitans and their doctrine. In verses 14 & 15 of the same chapter, the Nicolaitans teachings are compared to that of Balaam’s in making Christians participate in sacrificing and worship of idols.
The Ephesians hated the Nicolaitans doctrine because the church knew God’s Word very well.
7 “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give the victor the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in God’s paradise.
The phrase “Anyone who has an ear should listen” was a way of saying that what is being said is very important and the hearer should listen to every detail carefully, especially when the Holy Spirit is revealing something to you from scripture.
The victors are those who have put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ. True believers will reject false doctrine and hold on to the truth that’s found in scripture.
8 “Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna:
“The First and the Last, the One who was dead and came to life, says:
Here is another reference to Jesus Deity who is eternal.
9 I know your affliction and poverty, yet you are rich. I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Christian riches are not based on earthly material but on the heavenly treasure. We might seem to be very poor to those on earth when it comes to material and status but in Jesus’ eyes, if we are obedient to His Word, we are very rich because we are amassing treasure in heaven for the glory of Jesus Christ. If your heart is all for yourself and selfishness, then you will be rich on earth but if it is for Jesus you will be rich for Him as seen in Matthew 6:19-21 which says, 19 “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Those who profess to follow God but instead hate you and slander you are driven by Satan because the name Devil in Greek means slanderer. To slander, someone with pure hatred is to be like the Devil and follow his ways.
10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will have affliction for 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
All Christians are under that kind of assault from Satan. He will try to break your spirit and make you think that God has abandoned you so that you will abandon God. This is not a new strategy of Satan, we see him do the same thing with Job which can be found in Job chapter 1 & 2.
No matter what happens, the Lord says that if we have to die for Him then let it be because once we close our eyes in death, it will reopen in eternity with Jesus.