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Revelation 2 & 3 the seven churches

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Revelation 2 & 3 the seven churches

  1. 1. Introduction A. Chapter one introduces the book, the writer and Jesus as the one in the midst of his churches. B. In v. 20. The lampstand were the seven churches and the stars refer to the spiritual life of these churches (compare 2:1with 2:7). C. The seven churches named are real churches, but only seven are mentioned because of the symbolism involved. However, the entire church of the 1st century was described within these specifics, and the needs of every congregation were met. SEE NOTE SESSION
  2. 2. All dictated by the Lord. All addressed to the “angel”. All have titles drawn from visions of chapter 1. All have basically the same outline: a) salutation b) description of himself, usually from chapter 1 c) commendation d) condemnation e) appeal and warning f) exhortation g) promise. Common features of the seven epistles
  3. 3. Asia Minor 1st Century
  4. 4. The Church at Ephesus: “Faithful but Unloving” The City of Ephesus: - A 25,000 seat theatre - Streets flanked by gymnasiums & other sports facilities. - Custodian of the temple & stature of the fertility mother-goddess, Artemis - One of the 7th wonders of the ancient world – the largest building in the Greek world and first of such structure to be built entirely of marble. 36 of its 127 pillars were sculptured & overlaid with gold. - Selling of religious objects such as silver statues was big business (Acts 19:23-41) - With a population of 250,000, it was the 4th largest city in the world. SEE NOTE SESSION
  5. 5. Rev 2:1-7 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
  6. 6. I. The Letter To Ephesus (2:1-7) A. The City Center of worship of Artemis (Acts 19:23-35) Church established there by Paul (Acts 19) B. Outline Of The Letter. - Salutation - Description of himself (v.1) - Commendation: 1. Their labor and patience 2. Their doctrinal strictness and orthodoxy (see Acts 20:20; 1 john 4:1-2; 2 john 9-11) 3. In trying false teachers 4. In hating the works of the Nicolatians (similar in Greek to Hebrew for Balaam in v. 14-15). - Condemnation: They had left their “first love” (v. 4). - Appeal: Remember, repeat, do (v.5) - Warning: That he would remove their candlestick (v. 5) - Promise - Conditional - Partaking of the tree of life in paradise (v. 7) (see also; gen 3:22-24, Luke 23:43). SEE NOTE SESSION
  7. 7. The Church at Smyrna: “Persecuted but Faithful” The City of Smyrna: - A city of secure harbor - A population of more than 100,000 - City with secure harbour. - Gladiatorial city of the “Ten days Game” and home to Polycarp - Known as the Phoenix city because of her “resurrection” - Emperor worship. Christians opposed by Jews - No rebuke for the church here!
  8. 8. Rev 2:8-11 8 "To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9 I know your afflictions and your 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. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
  9. 9. 11. Letter to Smyrna (2:8-11) A. The City – “fairest city of Ionia” 1. Center of paganism 2. Large Jewish population (hostile toward Christianity) B. Outline of the letter 1. Salutation (v.8a) 2. Description of Himself (v.8b) 3. Commendation – for enduring persecution and poverty (v.9) 4. Condemnation – none! 5. Appeal – not to fear the imminent persecution and to be faithful unto death (v.10) 6. Promise – crown of life and would not be hurt by the second death (vv. 9,11). SEE NOTE SESSION
  10. 10. - The city was built on cone-shape hill 1,000 above surrounding valleys & had a 200,000 volume of library. - 120,000 inhabitants - The political capital of the province of Asia - Center of emperor worship - Very liberal - Antipas, the Lord’s ‘faithful servant’…roasted in bronze kettle. Huge temptation to compromise the faith. The Church at Pergamum: “Loyal yet Compromised”
  11. 11. - Not all were that loyal, some held to Balaam’s & Nicolaitans’ teachings (v14-15) - In Numbers 23-24….Balaam’s story is found there… - Balaam could not curse Israel, so he enticed her with idol worship & sexual immorality. - ….what matters is achieving the desired destruction of these people of God. - Different means will be devised and used to bring you down before God. - You and I may not worship idol…but may worship materialism. - We may not be committing sexual immorality…but is pornography going on? - To destroy one’s soul can still be achieved by any of these & OTHERS! - The agents of Satan abounds…so be watchful! SEE NOTE SESSION
  12. 12. Rev 2:12-17 12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live — where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city — where Satan lives. 14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
  13. 13. III. Letter To Pergamum (2:12-17) A. The City - Capital – southern part of Myria - Famous library - Home of parchment - Center of paganism and emperor worship B. Outline Of The Letter - Salutation (v. 12a) - The lord’s knowledge of their circumstances (v. 13a) - Commendation (v. 13b) - For remaining true to his name - For not denying the faith in persecution - Condemnation (v. 14-15) - For holding to the teaching of Balaam (numbers 31) - Also, the teaching of the Nicolatians - Warning (v. 16) - Exhortation (v. 17a) :”He that has ears…” - Promises (v. 17b) SEE NOTE SESSION
  14. 14. The Church at Thyatira: “Split by False Teaching” - Important trade rout - Products includes: dyed purple cloth - Lydia, Paul's first convert in Europe, was a dealer in purple fabric who had gone to Philippi from Thyatira (Acts 16:11-15) - Emperor worship - Very liberal - Strong trade guilds of tailors, bakers, tanners, potters, linen-workers, wool- merchants, dyers, slave-traders & coppersmiths
  15. 15. Rev 2:18-29 18 "To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25 Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery'- just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
  16. 16. 1V. Letter To Thyatira (2:18-29) A. The City 1. Noted for its red or purple dyes (Lydia in Acts 16) 2. More trade guilds here than in any other city- meetings were in idol temples (tremendous pressure for Christians to compromise). B. Outline Of The Letter 1. Striking description of himself. (v.18) 2. Commendation (v.19) 3. Condemnation for tolerating the women jezebel (v.20) note: she was likely advocating compromise over trade union situations. 4. Warning (v22-24. Note in v. 24, the deep secrets of Satan were thought by those involved to be secrets of God . 5. Exhortation (v.25, 29) 6. Promise (v. 26-28) 7. Authority and rule over the nations (see psalm 2:9) 8. The morning star (see Rev. 22:16) SEE NOTE SESSION
  17. 17. The Church at Sardis: “Harmless & Ineffective” - Home to 6th century ruler & world’s most richest man: Croesus - Croesus lost his kingdom (546BC) to Cyrus the Persian. The city fell without resistance cos they were overconfident. - By the time of the roman conquest, only the city's old reputation was left. It was a sleeping city! - Center of emperor worship - Very liberal - Antipas, the Lord’s ‘faithful servant’…roasted in bronze kettle. Huge temptation for Christians to compromise the faith.
  18. 18. Rev 3:1-6 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. SEE NOTE SESSION
  19. 19. V. Letter To Sardis (3:1-6) A. The City 1. Wealthy, degenerate, proud 2. The city had a location that nearly defiled assault. Yet they had fallen twice due to being careless. Hence, “wake up” in v. 2-3 had historical significance. B. Outline Of The Letter. 1. The usual salutation and self-description (v.1) 2. Practically no condemnation. 3. Condemnation – “dead” “about to die” (v. 2) deeds not complete before God (v. 2). 4. Exhortation – remember to repent (v. 3) 5. Warning – Christ would come on them as a thief (v. 3). 6. Promise – to a few worthy individuals (v. 4-5). SEE NOTE SESSION
  20. 20. The Church at Philadelphia: “Ready for Mission” - Philadelphia – “brotherly love” - A city of commercial importance - Conveniently located as a gateway to the west - Constantly threatened by earthquake, its inhabitants are very small in population, compared to other cities of similar importance. - Many residents live in the open country for fear of the frequent earthquakes. - Emperor rule and oppression was strong
  21. 21. V1. Letter to Philadelphia (3:7-13) A. The City 1. Founded by Attalus the second (called “Philadelphos” for his good deeds) in 140 B.C. 2. Built as the gateway to the East to spread the Greek culture. B. Outline Of The Letter. 1. In self-description, new figures appear (v.7) 2. Commendation (v. 8) 3. No severe criticism 4. Divine assurance (vv. 10-11) 5. Promises (v. 12) SEE NOTE SESSION
  22. 22. Rev 3:7-13 7 "To the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars — I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. SEE NOTE SESSION
  23. 23. The Church at Laodicea: “Having Everything, & Nothing” SEE NOTE SESSION - The city of Laodicea was Known for its banks, medical school, and textile industry - A city of commercial importance - Wealthiest city in Phrygia during roman times - Had a major water supply problem. Had to rely on poor “imported water” channeled through an aqueduct from hot mineral springs near Denizli, 5 miles away. This water was poor in quality and can even make one sick - In contrast, her two neighbors, Hierapolis & Colossae had good hot springs & clean cold, pure spring water respectively.
  24. 24. VII. Letter to Laodicea (3:14-22) A. The City 1. A center of Banking, wool manufacture, and medicine. 2. Among the wealthiest – now in ruins. B. Outline of Letter 1. Self-description (v.14) 2. Condemnation (note no condemnation) - Lukewarm and nauseating to the Lord (v.16) - Self-deceived and enjoying false security (v.17) - Poor, blind naked (note contrast with the city’s wealth, fame for medicine and clothing center) 3. Exhortations (v. 18-19) 4. Promise (v 20-22) - Note that Christ is already on the outside of the heart trying to get back in. - One painter pictured a human heart with a door knob only on the side. (God cannot come in unless we let him in). SEE NOTE SESSION
  25. 25. Rev 3:14-22 14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Notas do Editor

  • CHRIST AND HIS CHALLENGES TO SEVEN CHURCHES
    CHAPTER 1-3
    I. Introduction
    A. chapter one introduces the book, the writer and Jesus as the one in the midst of his churches.
    B. in v. 20. The lampstand were the seven churches and the stars refer to the spiritual life of these churches (compare 2:1with 2:7).
    C. the seven churches named are real churches, but only seven are mentioned because of the symbolism involved. However, the entire church of the 1st century was described within these specifics, and the needs of every congregation were met.
    D. common features of the seven epistles.
    All dictated by the Lord.
    All addressed to the “angel”.
    All have titles drawn from visions of chapter 1.
    All have basically the same outline: a) salutation, b) description of himself, usually from chapter 1;, c) commendation; d) condemnation; e) appeal and warning; f) exhortation; g) promise.
  • *Establishment of the church seen in Acts 19. Paul was there for more than two years & have been for 40/45 years when the letter was written.

    *‘You have forsaken your first love’(v4) ……OR……..
    ….‘the honey is over’…….
    …just as a man & a woman fall in love, so a disciple rejoice at their newfound forgiveness.
    …when we lose sight of the seriousness of sin, we begin to lose the thrill of our forgiveness.
    *Were carrying on the active programme of the church, but the motivation is long gone.
    *Can’t be young Christians with enthusiasm, but no knowledge
    *Neither an old Christian with knowledge, but no enthusiasm

    V7
    *To him/her who overcomes……
    …..it’s a battle that we must consume or it consume us.
    Rom 8:37-39
    *….tree of life......
    …..mankind barred from it, but will be accessed again.


  • II The Letter To Ephesus (2:1-7)
    A. The City
    Center of worship of Artemis (Acts 19:23-35)
    Church established there by Paul (Acts 19.

    B. Outline Of The Letter.
    Salutation
    Description of himself (v.1)
    Commendation
    Their labor and patience
    Their doctrinal strictness and orthodoxy (see Acts 20:20; 1 john 4:1-2; 2 john 9-11)
    1. in trying false teachers
    2. in hating the works of the Nicolatians (similar in Greek to Hebrew for Balaam in v. 14-15).
    Condemnation – they had left their “first love” (v. 4).
    Appeal –remember, repeat, do (v.5)
    Warning – that he would remove their candlestick (v. 5)
    Promise
    Conditional
    Partaking of the tree of life in paradise (v. 7) (see also; gen 3:22-24, Luke 23:43).
  • THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA
    An Asian city located in what is now called Izmir. Closely aligned with Rome. Belief in Emperor worship and a hostile Jewish population made it difficult to be a Christian.

    One of two without rebukes
    - Smyrna and Philadelphia are the only two church that nothing negative is said about them


    Description of Christ
    - First and the Last
    - Died and came to life again


    Rich in poverty
    - Afflictions and poverty
    - Money does not make you rich
    - These people proved it
    - Can you be poor and happy? Yes!


    Slander from Satan
    - Words Satan and Devil (greek diabolos) used (both mean accuser)
    - The church is being slandered today
    - Difficult for a Christian to run for political office


    Suffering is coming, fear not
    - God is preparing them
    - Worthy of suffering


    Testing and persecution
    - Satan will put some in prison
    - Satan will bring testing
    - Opportunity to overcome

    Faithful even to death
    - People today are jailed or worse for proclaiming the gospel
    - This makes the persecution we face look small
    - Are we willing to die for what we believe in?
    - Is there any amount of torture that mould make us deny Christ?
    - If we have faith, God will give us the strength we need when needed


    Crown of life
    - The reward of eternal life
    - A crown
    - Like an award of a athletic competition


    Hear what the Spirit says
    - Do you have an ear?
    - Are you really listening?
    - Do you want to understand.


    Protection from the second death
    - Overcomers need not fear
    - We will not be hurt by the second death
    - Fear factor winner: “Fear is not a factor for you”

    *Were going through affliction & poverty(v9)
    …in the city, the church faced two hostile forces…
    a)Jewish population that opposed Christianity.
    b)Non-Jewish population that was loyal to Rome & worship of emperor.
    *This led to their property confiscated, resulting to the affliction & poverty.

    *Have you been mistreated for your believe?
    *Has your stand for the truth or choice of doing what is righteous brought you pain or loss?
    *Like the Lord told these 1st century brothers & sisters he knew it all,so today he knows yours…
    *As they remained faithful in all these, so let us imitate such faith.
    *No wonder this church got no complaint from the Lord….

    *Not to be afraid of what they were about to suffer(v10)
    ...What would you do if pre-informed of a suffering?
    ..Obviously, assurance from the Lord can help.
    *Be faithful to death(v10)…..a crown awaits you.
    ..In a way, this too is motivational to help us endure whatever we may go through as trials.
    *2nd death for the unrepentant is terrible and that as disciples we should work towards avoiding….if we can not avoid the 1st death ,which really is not as terrible.

  • ....‘white stone’….four use of it then…….
    -given to a man freed & justly acquitted of a crime, carried as sign of freedom.
    given to a man freed from slavery & made a citizen of the province.
    -given to a warrior who had conquered in a battle.
    -given to an athlete who won a race.
    *Whichever application it is, only faithfulness to the end to God will fetch us any of these
  • III. Letter To Pergamum (2:12-17)
    A. The City
    Capital – southern part of Myria
    Famous library
    Home of parchment
    Center of paganism and emperor worship

    B. Outline Of The Letter
    Salutation (v. 12a)
    The lord’s knowledge of their circumstances (v. 13a)
    Commendation (v. 13b)
    For remaining true to his name
    For not denying the faith in persecution
    Condemnation (v. 14-15)
    For holding to the teaching of Balaam (numbers 31)
    Also, the teaching of the nicolatians
    Warning (v. 16)
    Exhortation (v. 17a) :”He that has ears…”
    Promises (v. 17b)


    THE CHURCH IN PERGAMUM
    Modern Bergama, the ancient capital of Asia. Built on a cone-shaped hill rising 1,000 feet above the surrounding valley. PERGAMUM in greek means: citadel. The origin of our word for parchment.

    THE GOOD NEWS

    Description of God
    - The one with the sharp double-edged sword

    Living in Satan’s territory
    - Satan’s throne: The city was the official center of emperor worship
    - Ministering in a place full of evil
    - Capital Wesleyan Church (in a bad neigborhood)
    - Most churches move out of bad areas
    - That is where the church should shine the brightest

    Remaining true to His name
    - Challenges to belief in Jesus
    - Tolerance is not acceptance
    - Times of Antipas - first martyr of Asia
    He was slowly roasted to death in a bronze kettle during the reign of Domitian

    THE BAD NEWS

    Corrupt teachers
    - People who hold to the teaching of Balaam
    - Balaam advised the Midianite women how to lead the Israelites astray by eating food sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality
    - People who hold to the teachings of the Nicolaitans teaching spiritual liberty allows for idolatry and immorality


    Warning
    - Repent!
    - God will fight against the corrupt teachers
    - He will use the sword of His mouth


    Listen to what the Spirit says
    - He who has an ear…

    Message to overcomers
    - God’s attitude, even in rebuking, is always redemption
    - Overcomers will receive some of the hidden manna (heavenly food)
    - Contrast to eating food sacrificed to idols
    - White stone: stones were used as tokens for various purposes.
    - In this context: Admission to the Messianic banquet
    - New Name: reflects a new status
    - Secret name (illustrates personal relationship)
  • V. Letter To Thyatira (2:18-29)
    A. The City
    Noted for its red or purple dyes (Lydia in Acts 16)
    More trade guilds here than in any other city- meetings were in idol temples (tremendous pressure for Christians to compromise).

    B. Outline Of The Letter
    Striking description of himself. (v.18)
    Commendation (v.19)
    Condemnation for tolerating the women jezebel (v.20) note: she was likely advocating compromise over trade uion situations.
    Warning (v22-24. Note in v. 24, the deep secrets of satan were thought by those involved to be secrets of God .
    Exhortation (v.25, 29)
    Promise (v. 26-28)
    Authority and rule over the nations (see psalm 2:9)
    The morning star (see Rev. 22:16)

    THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA
    Modern Akhisar. Founded as a military outpost and noted for it’s many trade guilds. Lydia (mentioned in Acts 16:14) “a dealer in purple cloth” was from Thyatira.

    Good News

    Description of God
    - Eyes are like blazing fire
    - Feet are like burning bronze


    God knows your good deeds
    - Love and faith
    - Service and perseverance


    Doing more than at first
    - Growing
    - Expanding
    - Doing greater things for the Kingdom

    The good news ends quick


    Bad News

    You tolerate “Jezebel”
    - Named used to as a description
    - Betrayer of God (I & II Kings - Idolatry and Witchcraft)
    - Calls herself a prophetess
    - Teaches sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols

    Time to repent ignored
    - God has been patient and given time to repent
    - She did not take advantage of it
    - God patience is about to end

    Promised suffering
    - She will be cast on a bed of suffering
    - Intense suffering for those who commit adultery with her (unless they repent of her ways)
    - Her children will be stuck dead (most likely refers to spiritual children)
    - It will be an example so others will know that God is the one who searches hearts and minds and will repay according to your deeds.


    Hold on!
    - To you who do not hold to her teachings (so-called deep secrets of Satan)
    - Hold on to what you have until I come


    Message to overcomers
    - Those who overcome until the end
    - God will give authority over nations
    - Just as God the Father gives authority to the Son


  • Num 24:17
    17 "I see him, but not now;
    I behold him, but not near.
    A star will come out of Jacob;
    a scepter will rise out of Israel.
    He will crush the foreheads of Moab,
    the skulls b of c all the sons of Sheth.


    Rev 22:16
    16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you a this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."


    Ps 2:9
    9 You will rule them with an iron scepter f;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery."
  • V. Letter To Sardise (3:1-6)
    A. The City
    wealthy degenerate, proud
    The city had a location that nearly assault. Yet they had fallen twice due to being careless. Hence, “wake up” in v. 2-3 had historical significance.

    B. Outline Of The Letter.
    The usual salutation and self-description (v.1)
    Practically no condemnation.
    Condemnation – “dead” “about to die” (v. 2) deeds not complete before God (v. 2).
    Exhortation – remember to repent (v. 3)
    Warning – Christ would come on them as a thief (v. 3).
    Promise – to a few worthy individuals (v. 4-5).


    Church of the Living Dead

    Part of the study of the Book of Revelation on Sunday nights

    Background of the Church
    Located in modern Sart. Capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia. It was a city of great wealth and fame. The acropolis was a natural citadel on the northern spur of Mount Tmolus. It rose 1,500 feet above the lower valley.

    Message to the Churches
    - Two fold
    - Message to specific churches
    A message to us today.

    One of two churches with no good news
    - God told John to pass a message to seven chuches
    - Two of the chruches only had good news, warningns, but no rebukes
    - This is one of two churches that their message does not start with bragging

    Reputation of being alive
    - God knows our deeds
    - “You have a reputation of being alive”
    - This church was once a live spiritually
    - Once did the things a church should
    - Once known by others on the outside as living

    Now dead
    - There reputation did not keep up with reality
    - Maybe they looked good on the outside
    - Illus Great Revival at a church (no one reading the Bible more)
    - Maybe not doing things that matter in the Kingdom

    Works fall short
    - Deeds are not complete
    - Didn’t finish what they started
    - King James: Works are not perfect
    - Works are lacking
    - Illus. Family who complains about church service but only gave a dime in offering
    “Good show for a dime”
    - Our worship service if for God’s benefit
    - What God asked for His money back after our service?
    What would God’s review say about us as a church? As individual Christians?

    DEAD MAN WALKING
    - Title given to a man on death row walking to execusion
    - Think of it today as Zombies

    Alive once
    - Once had a life
    - Now dead
    - A dead church once had life
    - Now this life is not evident
    - Spiritual life is no longer what God sees when he examines a dead church
    - Zombies are in grave clothes and covered in dirt
    - Dead churches are known by sin more than righteousness


    Stiff
    - Zombies do not move well or fast
    - Illus. In the movies the bad guys always walk slow and stiff but somehow keep up with the ones who are running away.
    - This is not true of a dead church
    - If we do not keep up we will never catch converts
    - The message can never change but the bait must.
    - We must be flexible so we can follow where the spirit leads
    - Rick Warren, autrthur of the purpose driven church, says “we’ve never do it that way before” are the famous last words of a church.
    - Since the world is ever changing we must be willing to try new ways to relay the timeless Gospel.


    No outside friends
    - Zombies only hang out with other zombies
    - We never see the living hanging out with the dead
    - Dead churches are closed groups
    - Dying churches are not looking for ways to connect with others
    - If the only people we see are Christians, how will we spread the Gospel?
    - Zombies all look alike
    - Dead churches only want people who look like themselves
    - We must be willing to let sinners become a part of our crowd
    - Maybe then they will see what it is like to be a Christian and they will want to join God’s team


    Gloomy
    - Zombies never seem happy
    - Why? They’re dead!
    - Zombies are usually negative
    - A pessimistic spirit is like a cancer in a church (it spreads and kills)
    - Illus. Bad indicator in a marriage - Negative interpretation
    No matter what you say or do it is interpreted negaticely
    Example: Help clean the house - Not a good house keeper?
    Not help clean the house - Your lazy
    - Illus. Political debates - Who won?
    Depends on who your rooting for
    Most see the bad in the other side
    - Negativity in a church is the same way
    - If you looking for bad things, you’ll see them
    - Negativity hurts in many ways:
    - Personally - Shades your perspective (downward spiral)
    - Like depression
    - Church - Spreads to others - Like a poison
    - Others start to look at things negatively
    - This kills a church
    - The devil wins by making us ineffective
    - Effect on the World (most dangerous)
    - It turns the world off to Jesus
    - So many want nothing to do with the church
    Luke 17
    1Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

    No eating, breathing, or heart beat
    - Zombies don’t eat
    - Dead churches are full of Christians who have starved to death
    - Our feeding times come more than on Sunday mornings
    - You are missing out if you don’t attend Sunday School, Sunday PM, or Wednesdays
    - You will be malnourished if you do not have you daily time alone with God
    - The breath of the Church is the spirit
    - Dead churches do not see the spirits work because they are not filled
    - Dead churches have not heartbeat or compassion for the lost
    - Dead churches are concerned mainly with inward matters

    No future
    - Zombies have no future
    - Dead churches will no exist for long
    - No one is attracted to the dying
  • THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA
    Background: Located in modern Alashehir.

    Description of God
    - Holy and true
    - He holds the keys of David (Davidic Messiah)
    - The opener and closer
    - God controls the doors to heaven

    Open door
    - “I know your deeds” (in a good way)
    - An open door placed before you that no one can shut – MISSION (Col. 4:3; 2Cor. 2:12)
    - Maybe a door of opportunity
    - More than likely the door to the kingdom

    Strength in weakness
    - “I know you have little strength”
    - Not denied Christ

    Victory over Satan’s followers
    - Some who claimed to be Jews, but are not
    - “synagogue of Satan”
    - Jesus holds His strongest rebuke for those who claim to be religious but are not.
    - Jesus will have them fall down at the feet of the Christians and acknowledge that He loves them.

    Protection from trials
    - Because of endurance and faithfulness
    - They will be protected from the trials that are coming to the world
    - May be a verse to support pre-tribulation rapture

    Purpose of trials
    - To test those who live on earth
    - To show whose side they are on
    - The truth is shown under pressure

    “I am coming soon.”
    - A promise for Christ
    - Hope for endurance
    - Motivation for ministry

    Hold on to what you have
    - Hold on!
    - So no one will take your crown
    - Rewards in heaven are dependant upon obedience on earth

    Promise to overcomers
    - Will be a pillar in the temple of God
    - In the presence of God for eternity
    - Name of God and city will be written on him
    - The New Jerusalem coming down from heaven from God
    - A new name
    - He who has an ear let him hear
  • V7/8
    *God opens doors that no man can close….
    ……either door of opportunity or of Kingdom.

    *These Christians had little strength, yet held on.
    …example in Gideon(Judges 6)

    *Living to please God is not….
    …how much money…list of degrees…connection

    *With little or nothing we have, we can live the life.

    *We can have only commendation & no condemnation

    V10
    *Hour of trial…on the whole world…who live on earth
    ….not some future ‘tribulation', but of that time.

    *In hard times God can make us not to undergo or take us through…

    *But will it be based on ‘since you have kept my command?’

    V11
    *What do you have in & for Christ?
    ..Generosity..honesty..faithfulness..purity..meekness
    V12

    *Overcome & become a PILLAR
    …same people that were ‘weak’ & fragile
    Ephesians 2:19-22
    *Shall turn from being stones to pillars.
  • THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA
    Background: Near modern Denizil. Wealtheist city in Phrygia during roman times. Known for its banks, medical school, and textile industry.

    Description of God
    - the Amen
    - the faithful and true witness
    - ruler of all creation

    Neither hot nor cold
    - “I know your deeds”
    - I wish you were either
    - God hates when we try to ride the fence

    God’s rejection
    - Worst symbolism for rejection given
    - Spit from Christ’s mouth
    - Leaves a bad taste in Christ’s mouth

    Self reliance
    - The reason God rejects
    - Wealthy: “I do not need a thing”
    - Reality: wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked
    - The realization of the need for God is essential to salvation

    God’s counsel
    - Buy refined gold from God to be truly rich
    - Receive white clothes and salve from God
    - Addresses their three major industries (Banking, medicine, and textiles)

    God’s loving rebuke
    - The good news
    - Here Christ tells them he loves them
    - He only rebukes and disciplines who he loves
    - Otherwise He would just ignore them and let them perish

    Earnest repentance
    - God calls for earnest repentance
    - He knows when it is sincere or not
    - Some do not endure because they were not earnest
    - God knows the heart

    Promise to come in
    Rev. 3:20
    - Truths of Jesus
    - He is standing and knocking
    - We must listen and open
    - He WILL come in
    - “Eat with Him” shows a relationship


    Promise to overcomers
    - The right to sit on the Christ’s throne
    - Just as Christ overcame and sat on His father’s throne
    - He who has an ear let him hear …

    Conclusion
    - This passage addresses the two worst offences
    - False righteousness and False wealth
    - This concludes the messages to the 7 churches and to us.
    - Next week we will start looking at prophecy and what is to come.
  • VII. Letter to Laodicea (3:14-22)
    The city
    Self-description (v.14)
    Condemnation (note no condemnation)
    Lukewarm and nauseating to the Lord (v.16)
    Self-deceived and enjoying false security (v.17)
    Poor, blind naked (note contrast with the city’s wealth, fame for medicine and clothing center)
    Exhortations (v. 18-19)
    Promise (v 20-22)
    Note that Christ is already on the outside of the heart trying to get back in.
    One painter pictured a human heart with a door knob only on the side. (God cannot come in unless we let him in).


    THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA
    Background: Near modern Denizil. Wealtheist city in Phrygia during roman times. Known for its banks, medical school, and textile industry.

    Description of God
    - the Amen
    - the faithful and true witness
    - ruler of all creation

    Neither hot nor cold
    - “I know your deeds”
    - I wish you were either
    - God hates when we try to ride the fence

    God’s rejection
    - Worst symbolism for rejection given
    - Spit from Christ’s mouth
    - Leaves a bad taste in Christ’s mouth

    Self reliance
    - The reason God rejects
    - Wealthy: “I do not need a thing”
    - Reality: wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked
    - The realization of the need for God is essential to salvation

    God’s counsel
    - Buy refined gold from God to be truly rich
    - Receive white clothes and salve from God
    - Addresses their three major industries (Banking, medicine, and textiles)

    God’s loving rebuke
    - The good news
    - Here Christ tells them he loves them
    - He only rebukes and disciplines who he loves
    - Otherwise He would just ignore them and let them perish

    Earnest repentance
    - God calls for earnest repentance
    - He knows when it is sincere or not
    - Some do not endure because they were not earnest
    - God knows the heart

    Promise to come in
    Rev. 3:20
    - Truths of Jesus
    - He is standing and knocking
    - We must listen and open
    - He WILL come in
    - “Eat with Him” shows a relationship


    Promise to overcomers
    - The right to sit on the Christ’s throne
    - Just as Christ overcame and sat on His father’s throne
    - He who has an ear let him hear …

    Conclusion
    - This passage addresses the two worst offences
    - False righteousness and False wealth
    - This concludes the messages to the 7 churches and to us.
    - Next week we will start looking at prophecy and what is to come.

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