Rev  2:1-7  "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

Each of the seven letters is written to the angel of the church.  The word, "angel," comes from a Greek word meaning messenger.  While there are heavenly creatures known as angels spoken of in the scriptures, yet the word translated angel is also translated messenger especially when it has reference to men:

           1.  Matt. 11:10 "For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."

          2.  Mk. 1:2 "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."

          3.  Lk. 7:24 "And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?"

          4.  Lk. 9:52 "And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him."

          5.  2 Cor. 12:7 "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."

          6.  James 2:25 "Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?"

The angels of the church are the messengers of the church.  Thus the angel of the church is the pastor or preacher of the church, the one who is to deliver the Lord's message to the church.  Each letter (message) is first sent to the messenger of the church.  The messenger of the church is then to deliver the message to the church.  The message first applies to the messenger.  The messenger is to be the leader of the church and most often the church follows his leadership.  So if there are things wrong with the messenger, then it follows there are usually the same things wrong in the church.  When the pastor of the church sets the proper example, then often, but not always, the members of the church will follow that example.  If what the pastor says is inconsistent with what the pastor does, then often the congregation will follow the example rather than the precept.  Paul said, "be ye followers of me as I am also of Christ."  We are to follow the preacher so long as he is following Christ.  To know whether he is following Christ we must be knowledgeable of the scriptures. 

Next, the message of the messenger comes from what has been written.  God gave the message to John, who in turn was to send the message to the angel of the church.  The same principle applies today.  God gave the messages to the apostles and prophets and we have their written word.  From the written word, thru the leadership of the Spirit, the preacher gets the message to deliver unto the church.  In this way it is what the Spirit says unto the churches.

 "These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks."  It is the Lord who holds the ministry in his right hand.  It is He who called them to the ministry and enabled them to preach the gospel in power and demonstration of Spirit.  It is He who gives them messages to deliver unto the churches.  It is He who blesses their meditations and studies and thoughts and labors.  Without the Lord they can do nothing.  Thus the message the church receives should be received as the Lord's message and not the messenger's message.  Praise belongs to the Lord. 

Additionally, he walks in the midst of the churches.  He is not an inactive bystander in the lives of the church members or the church body.  He considers our thoughts afar off.  He knows our down sittings and our uprisings.  Even the hairs of our head are all numbered.  He knows our needs before we ever ask him.  He knows our good deeds as well as our shortcomings, errors, and sins.  It is on this basis that the Lord sent the message to the church at Ephesus. 

"I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience."  This particular part of the passage does not tell us whether the works and labor and patience were good or bad.  It just tells us that the Lord knows them.  He knows all about us.  He knows whether our works are good or bad.  He knows how much we have labored or how little.  He knows whether we have patiently waited upon the Lord or forged ahead without any direction.  He knows this about us, both individually, and collectively as a church body.  We may fool other churches and other individuals, but we can't fool the Lord.  Furthermore if we have been doing good works, and laboring much in His service, and patiently waited upon Him, it will not go unrecognized by Him.  He will reward our efforts.  

"And how thou canst not bear them which are evil."  The church at Ephesus was maintaining good church discipline as set forth in 1 Cor. Chapter 5: 1 Cor. 5:11 "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."  They could not bear them which are evil, therefore, they had taken steps to remove them from their fellowship.  As 1 Cor. 5:6 tells us, "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?"  Furthermore, we are instructed to "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened."  If we are to have and maintain fellowship with the Lord, then we must maintain good church discipline and withdraw from every brother that walketh disorderly.

"And thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars."  Paul spoke to the elders at Ephesus in Acts 20:29 "For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."  The presence of a false and designing ministry has been an age-old problem for the church.  There had been some to come to the church at Ephesus and claim to be apostles.  The Lord said of false prophets: Matt. 7:16 "Ye shall know them by their fruits."  The church must be ever vigilant for such men can rise up among us or come to us from outside the church.  We must be fruit inspectors.  We inspect their fruits by the word of God.  If what they say and do is a departure from the word, then we try them and find them liars.  If they refuse to repent of their false doctrines or practices they advocate then it becomes necessary that we remove them from our fellowship.  The church at Ephesus had done this and the Lord commended them for it.

"And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted."  The scriptures tell us that we are to bear several things:

          1.  Lk. 14:27 "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."

          2.  John 15:8 "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

          3.  Rom. 15:1 "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."

          4.  Gal. 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

          5.  1 John 1:2 "(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)"

Thus the members of the church at Ephesus had borne their cross, had borne much fruit, had borne the infirmities of the weak, had borne one another's burdens, and had borne witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Furthermore, they had patiently waited upon the Lord for direction in their lives and for deliverance in the midst of their infirmities and afflictions and persecutions.  In addition they had labored.  Now there are many reasons that a person may labor, but they had labored for the Lord's name sake.  They did it because they loved the Lord and wanted to glorify his name.  I can find no greater reason to labor than this.  Sometimes people will start on a project and it becomes too time consuming, or they get bored with it, or it becomes too arduous a task and they give up on it and quit (faint).  The church at Ephesus was not that way.  They continued to labor for his name sake.  They loved the Lord and thought his cause was worth the effort.

 "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."  The Lord had commended the church at Ephesus for several things that they had done that were right and needful, yet now he tells them that they had a serious problem.  The problem was so serious that if they didn't correct it they would lose the candlestick (church).  They had left their first love.  This does not mean that they had ceased loving the Lord, because as we have already seen they did indeed love the Lord.  They had been diligent to maintain good church discipline, to try the false ministry, to labor in those things the Lord had set forth for them, to patiently wait upon the Lord, and not to faint during times of hardship or discouragement, but to continue on in the worship and service of the Lord.  No doubt thru the ages many churches have ceased to exist who this description would apply.  Outwardly they would appear to be a church in good condition and zealous of the things of the Lord, yet something was lacking.  They had left their first love.  When a person comes to the church, he has seen the glory and holiness of the Lord and has seen his own sinfulness and been convicted in his heart of his sins.  When he hears the glorious gospel of the grace of Christ, it brings him such sweet and loving release of his sin guiltiness.  Furthermore, it brings him to want to serve the Lord and be his disciple.  Thru great tears of joy he comes to the church and asked to unite with the church thru water baptism.  In this condition he wants others to know what great joy he has found and to hear the glorious gospel of the grace of Christ.  This is our first love, the burden of the gospel to poor convicted sinners that they may find the same joy and comfort and peace that we found.  Paul said, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.  For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."  When we lose that heart's desire and prayer to God for God's people dwelling in ignorance of the fact that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, we have left our first love.         

"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. As we have previously shown, leaving our first love is to lose the burden of the going forth of the gospel to those of God's elect who are ignorant of its message.  We become complacent and satisfied that we hear the gospel preached regularly and rejoice in it and think that is all that is necessary for the church.  Paul commended the church at Thessalonica for their efforts in the spread of the gospel: 1 Thes. 1:5 "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us."   

Now you may say to me, "I invited my relatives and friends and neighbors to come hear the gospel preached and no one ever came so I quit trying."  The problem with many of our efforts is that we fail to recognize that only the Lord opens doors.  We attempt to open doors to people who have not felt the burden of sin-guiltiness or who are not seeking the kingdom of God.  We need to pray that God will open the doors and to wait on him to do so.  The following verses of scripture illustrate this principle:

           1.  Acts 14:27 "And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles."

          2.  1 Cor. 16:9 "For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries."

          3.  Col. 4:3 "Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:"

          4.  2 Cor. 2:12 "Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord."

          5.  Rev. 3:7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth."

These verses illustrate the need for the Lord to open the door and when he opens the door it will be effectual.  Our responsibility is to carry a hearts burden for the Lord's people and to pray that God will open the door of faith to them.  God is faithful and he will keep his promises.  In this manner the gospel goes forth to those of God's burdened people beyond the bounds of the local church.

"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate."  The word, Nicolaitanes, is a contraction of the words Nicolas and laity.  Nicolas was a preacher.  The term Nicolaitanes carries the concept of a layered organization in which the ministry is over the laity (common people in the church).  This concept is completely contrary to the teaching of God's word.  Jesus Christ is said to be the only head of the church: Eph. 1:22 "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."  The term Nicolaitanes therefore refers to man's organization.  Men have often thought they could organize things better than that set forth in God's word.  From man's organization has come forth a hierarchal ministry, Sunday schools, mission societies, mission boards, preachers colleges, youth camps, preachers seminars, and the concept of tithing, salaried ministry, raising money for foreign mission work, etc.  The Lord said he hates the deeds of the Nicolaitanes.  The church at Ephesus also hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes.  We also should hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes.

 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."  This verse of scripture destroys Arminianism. (LINK) It takes the Lord's message and restricts it to those that have ears.  The Spirit speaks to those that have ears, and not to anyone else.  You may say, "But everybody has ears."  It is not speaking of natural ears for 1 Cor. 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  The natural man with natural ears cannot hear the things of the Spirit.  He must have spiritual ears in which to hear.  He must first be born of the Spirit before he can have spiritual ears.  Thus only the Lord can give one a spiritual ear.  The gospel can only be received by those with spiritual ears.  The gospel as well as the scriptures is only directed to those who are born of the Spirit: 2 Tim. 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."  Thus the scripture is directed to the man of God (those who are born of the Spirit).  To those who have spiritual ears the Lord speaks to us through his word and especially through the preaching of his word.  We need to give heed to the things he says to us.

"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."  The phrase, "tree of life" is found in several verses of scripture:

          1.  Gen. 2:9 "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

          2.  Gen. 3:22 "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

          3.  Prov. 3:18 "She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her."

          4.  Prov. 20:30 "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise."

          5.  Prov. 15:4 "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit."

          6.  Rev. 22:2 "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

          7.  Rev. 22:14 "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."

Obviously more than one tree of life is referenced in these passages of scripture.  The tree of life in ref. 1 and 2 is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Wisdom is the tree of life in Ref. 3.  The righteous living of God's people is the tree of life in Ref. 4.  The wholesome tongue of God's elect is the tree of life in Ref. 5.  Ref. 6 and 7 speaks of the tree of life as being a "her."  The Lord is never referred to as her in the scriptures.  Thus these references to the tree of life are speaking to us of the church.

The word, paradise, appears only three times in the scripture and all three in the New Testament.  The first two times the reference is pretty clear to mean the glory world.  However, Eden, in the Old Testament appears to have a context like that of Rev. 2:7 in that the tree of life in Gen. Chapter 2 is located in the midst of Eden.  Thus paradise is where the tree of life is located.  The kingdom of God is where the church is located in this time world.  Similarly the kingdom of God will be delivered up in the resurrection and all the elect will be in the kingdom of God at that time.

When we overcome the obstacles and persecutions and problems and troubles that come against us and the church we are permitted to eat of the fruits of the church in this time world.  The proclamation of the word of God is the main fruit that we eat of.

Rev 2:8-11   "And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." 

"And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write."  Here again we see the letter being sent to the messenger of the church who then is to deliver the message to the church in Smyrna.  Please note that this is the Lord's means of delivering his message to the churches.  This message is generally delivered thru the preaching of the word, however, it is sometimes delivered thru written messages or thru one on one conversations with the individual church members.  

"These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive."  Of course this has reference to Jesus Christ for he is the one who is the first and the last and he is the one who was dead, and is alive.  Often we get bogged down in our circumstances and don't see the end of a matter and we worry and fret over it and often times needlessly.  The end result often turns out to be much better than we ever thought it would be.  Since Jesus Christ is the first and the last, he KNOWS the end from the beginning.  He knows the end result and what he tells us we can count on to come to pass as he has told us.  

Also, since Jesus is the first and the last, what he starts, he also finishes and it always turns out just as he wanted it to.  Furthermore, Jesus is the one who was dead and is alive.  Jesus suffered more than anyone ever has or ever will as he was made to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.  Jesus suffered the wrathful judgment of God for our sins in order to satisfy God's divine judgment.  Jesus also suffered many and great things at the hands of men, but that all pales in comparison to what he suffered on the cross under the wrathful judgment of God.  But his suffering and death on the cross wasn't the end of the matter.  He arose the third day, victorious over the grave never to die again.  The end result of that suffering was the greatest of all victories.  As the song writer says, "Because he lives we shall live also."  There were many things that the members of the church in Smyrna had suffered and were to suffer for Jesus' names sake.  Yet the end blessing would be far richer and better than all the suffering combined. 

The church in Smyrna had suffered tribulations and poverty and persecutions, some were to be cast into prison and tried, tribulations were to follow with some suffering death for the cause of Christ.  Yet the Lord said they were rich!  While few of us in this day have gone through any where near as much sufferings, persecutions, trials, famines, tribulations, and afflictions as the members of the church of Smyrna had to endure, yet such things to some degree do happen to every true disciple of Christ.  While it is true that the members of the church in Smyrna were not perfect, yet this is the only church of the seven that based on the messages didn't have anything seriously wrong that needed correction.  Based on the statement the Lord made, "But thou art rich," we can conclude that this church in Smyrna was receiving exceeding blessings in the midst of their sufferings.           

Tribulations, sufferings, persecutions, afflictions, poverty, and trials are needful in our lives if we are to experiences the richness of God's fellowship and blessings in this life.  Please notice the blessings in the following verses of scripture: 

          1.  Zep. 3:12 "I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD."

          2.  Matt. 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

          3.  Matt. 5:4 "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."

          4.  Matt. 5:10 "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

          5.  Acts 14:22 "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."

          6.  James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

          7.  Rom. 5:3 "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

          8.  1 Pet. 1:6 "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"

The above passages of scripture are just a small sampling of the verses that tells us of the blessings of sufferings, persecutions, poverty, tribulations, and trials.  We can draw the following conclusions from the above verses: 

          1.  We are blessed when we feel the afflictions of our sin-guiltiness and feel to be poor in spirit for this leads us to call upon the name of the Lord.

          2.  Also we are blessed when we feel to be so poor in spirit for at that time we are in possession of the Kingdom of heaven.

          3.  We are blessed to mourn over our sins, for when we do so the Lord comforts us and shows us that he has redeemed us from our sins.

          4.  Again we are blessed when we are persecuted to possess the kingdom of heaven and we can rejoice and be exceeding glad to be counted worthy to suffer for his names' sake. 

          5.  It is through much tribulation that we enter to the kingdom of heaven here on earth and rejoice in the fellowship of God and fellow saints who are traveling the pathway of discipleship.

          6.  Tribulations, temptations, trials, and persecutions test our faith and works a patient waiting upon the Lord in our lives. 

          7.  Tribulations work or exercise our patience, which in turn leads us to experience the deliverances of the Lord in our lives, which causes us to hope in the future working and deliverances of the Lord in our lives and ultimately to trust that the Lord will keep his promise and deliver us eternally.

          8.  The trying of our faith ultimately works to the praise, honor, and glory of God. 

The churches of Macedonia are set forth for a great example of the riches of blessings in the midst of sufferings as set forth in the following passage:  2 Cor. 8:1 "Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also."

"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."  This is not teaching that some will have a crown of life in glory and others won't.  Rather this crown of life is something we have while we live here in time:  James 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."  Notice it says that the man will receive the crown of life "when" his is tried.  Thus the crown is there as he walks in faithfulness in the midst of the trials of life.  Therefore, this crown is worn while we live faithfully.  To be faithful unto death is a great testimony to our lives.

"He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death."  The second death is defined for us in Rev. 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."  All the non-elect will be cast in the lake of fire as an eternal punishment for their sins.  The elect will not be cast into the lake of fire as Christ has died to redeem them from their sins.  The question before us is, "Can the elect be hurt of the second death?"  The answer is yes.  While they will not and cannot be cast into the lake of fire in the end of time, yet they can suffer hell in this life.  Jonah experienced this in Jon. 2:2 "And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice."  Hell in the scriptures is described as a place of torment: Lk. 16:28 "For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."  1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."  When one of God's elect finds himself walking after the flesh, such as in unforgiveness he is tormented in his own mind.  This is being hurt of the second death.  Thus while the elect cannot be eternally cast into the lake of fire, they can be hurt of the second death while they journey in this time world.  That is why it is needful that we "overcome" and walk by faith and not by sight.