"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?"
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
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.
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.
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
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
3. Rom. 15:1 "We then that are strong
ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to
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;)"
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.
I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy
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
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
Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward
is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any
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."
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
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
4. 2 Cor. 2:12 "Furthermore, when I came
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown
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
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.