Transcript from show #307 Part 12 Replay
(Please note that the transcripts are written pretty well as they were delivered on air).
This program continues on various series of different topics on theology such as end times, prophecies, daily living, etc. as the subject matter comes up.
The e-book on end times and Revelation, answering the questions “where are we in the events of the end times?” and “Are we now in the tribulation?” is available on this web site, which you can find throughout the pages.
Alright, we continue today with the book of Revelation, a level 1 of the study of the last book of the Bible or the Word of God, based on the e-book Timing Revelation available on my web site.
Last week, we finished with the last chapter of the book of Revelation, chapter 22. This week I go back to chapters 2 and 3 that, as you will recall, I skipped to come back to after the revelation of the events that the apostle John was shown and told to write about.
So, chapters 2 and 3 are about the churches of the time of John which Jesus is writing to.
And again just a friendly reminder on the book of Revelation that no one can read, understand and interpret this book completely from beginning to the end at this time. We learn more and more about the details of it and how every verse and chapter fit together as we move year by year toward the very end. We can only try and do our best, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to put the work together.
God knew this all along... but, in spite of our limits and short comings, we are directed by the Word of God to read this book. It is so important, we are told that we will get a blessing for our obedience to that.
"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."
So let's remember to always read this book with an open mind and patience.
(Opening Music interlude on the live radio show)
(Let us pray...
The Lord's Prayer...
Praise God Doxology...
Alright so let's get into the book of Revelation to cover chapter 2 and 3 which were kept for last in this study of the famous end time book.
To get there I will begin from chapter 1 where the Lord appears to John the apostle in verses 1 to 3, which we covered at the beginning of the last segments.
Then verses 4 to 7 about the greetings of John to the seven churches of Asia... let's read that again as an opening to where we're going in this study today.
And here's just a reminder again that this book is the book of Revelation (singular) and not Revelations (plural). A lot of people -- many actually -- make a mistake here and call it Revelations... and I don't hear many preachers correct this common error... of course not many preacher cover the book of Revelation at all... but it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ our Lord. The word means the “unveiling” -- the Revelation.
verses 1 to 3
...and I'm reading from the King James Bible.
1.”The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2.”Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3.”Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
So, in verse 1 we have, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him – who? -- Jesus Christ. The Greek word is apokalypsis which means 'the revealing', 'the uncovering' or the “unveiling” of or by Jesus Christ.
We see here a sequence of ranking of the orderly commands of God, as we see in the
vision of Ezekiel. It is given by God the father who sits on the throne, to the Son Jesus
Christ, to the Holy Spirit, to the mediating angel(s), to the servant(s) or prophets, and finally to those on the earth.
v.2. Who bare record... the word here is martyreō which means to bear witness, to testify. In this case to testify of all the things that he, John, saw.
v.3.This prophecy is so important that a special blessing is promised for its reading, hearing and keeping of the words therein.
And now Verses 4 to 8
of Chapter 1,
Greetings to the seven churches.
4.”John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5.”And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6.”And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7.”Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
8.I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
So, Asia here is not the continent as we know it today but rather the Roman province of Asia Minor of the time of John. There were other churches as well, such as Colossae, for example, but these specific churches here were picked out by the Lord because of certain characteristics He deemed critical for their spiritual safety.
Note the salutation of Grace and Peace which are elements of each the New Testament and the Old Testament, and which are issued from the Godhead: God the eternal Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ the Mediator between God and man.
So in verse 6, we see Christ in His authority making us the redeemed, priests and kings unto God the Father.
In v. 7, future event reference is made of His visible return to come in the end of these things being revealed in this final book of the Word of God.
And in v. 8, John quotes the voice of the Lord that he heard saying “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (red letters).
Alright, let's continue with
Verses 9 to 11
Beginning of the record of John's vision.
9.”I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God,
and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10.”I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11.”Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you see, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto
Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
The word “Laodicea” is actually “laodikeia” (lah-od-ik'-i-ah), as spelled and pronounced from the original Greek. But everybody says “Laodicea”, so I will pronounce it that way also.
So now in v. 9, “The word 'tribulation' in this verse refers to general tribulation as we have in the world today, it is not speaking of The 7-years Tribulation of the end time.
In v. 10. Some people debate whether “on the Lord's day” is the Jewish 7th day of the week (Saturday) or the Christian 8th day (Sunday). Most expositors understand this as being the first day of the week which had become known as the day of the Lord when Jesus was resurrected.
Either way John was under the control of the Holy Spirit on that day dedicated as “the Lord's day” in the new covenant. In John's pre-Patmos days, he would have been
worshipping in his church at Ephesus on Sundays.
11.Alpha and Omega is used only 4 times in the Bible -- all in the book of Revelation—1:8, 1:11, 21:6, 22:13. Jesus also refers to Himself as “the first and the last” in Rev. 1:17. This is the Lord's description of Himself. The beginning and the ending. It speaks of “eternal”, see also John 1:1-3.
In the Old Testament God calls Himself “the first and the last” in Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, 48:12; also God is referred to as the eternal God in Deuteronomy 33:27. That's very interesting.
So continuing on chapter 1,
let's now read verses 12 to 16:
12.And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13.And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14.His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15.And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16.And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength.
So the voice heard by John is as a trumpet sound, indicating the coming of a matter of great public importance, reminiscent of the Old Testament trumpet sound of the Jewish
call to convocation.
The next verses describe the awesomeness of Jesus as in the judgment scene of Daniel 7:13-14, in reference of the Ancient of Days of the Old Testament who is the same as the Son of God and the Son of man in the New Testament. John was very
familiar with this having been a personal witness to the life of Jesus the Christ.
Now John was beholding this presence of a glorified Jesus beyond what he had seen on the mount of transfiguration. This Jesus that John was looking at was everything to do with power and judgment. The sharp two edged sword is the Word of God.
Verses 17 to 19:
17.And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, “Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18.”I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19.”Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20.”The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches.”
So, 17-18. “Fear not” is a familiar statement to John who heard it spoken from the Master many times during His earthly life. “I am He that lives” refers to His physical living during His earthly life, then His physical death and now His forever spiritual living.
Christ has “the keys of hell and of death” means that we need not be afraid of either if we know Him and have accepted His work on the Cross which redeemed us from sin.
v. 19.After re-emphasizing who He is, Jesus gives John his mission of writing down what he has seen up to now, what the present event is about, and the future things that he
will be shown to include in his recorded letter.
v. 20.The word “angels” for the seven churches is the Greek word “angelos” used some 184 times in the new testament. It means heavenly angels or messengers. Here it is speaking of the “pastors” of the churches and not heavenly angels because Jesus tells John to “write” to the angels of the seven churches —obviously He does not mean heavenly angels in this context.
But this tells us that the pastors of the churches of Jesus Christ are messengers appointed by the Lord to shepherd His flock.
As you read the book of Revelation keep in mind that the original letter John wrote did
not have any of the chapters and verses divisions or markers that we have today. It was a hand written long letter, a book or booklet really, that was to be circulated among the churches. Sometimes, in order to clarify passages that may be hard to understand, it helps to read a context right through at the chapter ending to the beginning of the next chapter, ignoring the markers and you get a fully understanding of what is being said.
Chapter 2, Verses 1 to 7
The message to the church of Ephesus
1.Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things says he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden
2.I know your works, and your labour, and your patience, and how you can not bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:
3.And have borne, and have patience, and for my name's sake have laboured, and have not fainted.
4.Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love.
5.Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his
place, except you repent.
6.But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7.He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Interestingly, it is recorded that John ministered in Ephesus for 30 years. Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos laboured in this city. At one time Paul preached there for 3 years.
Ephesus was the main center of Grecian culture and heathen idolatry. The temple of the goddess Artemis was located here and was known as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Verse 1, Christ is seen here as holding the leaders in his right hand, and walking in the midst of the church in complete knowledge of what is going on and in control.
v. 2-3.Christ commends them for their works of labour and patience.
4.In spite of all their good works and activities, Christ notifies them of their lack of one thing: their first love towards Him. Their hearts were drifting away, which is one of the first signs of growing cold toward Him.
5.The church is told to remember where they fell and to repent or else they will be removed.
See, repentance is always available no matter what or how far we can fall. God's love is so deep that His forgiveness is always available. But we have to repent, that means we have to admit we made a mistake, admit our mistakes, and turn around, go the other way.
6.Christ commends them for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans. It is commonly told that these were a sect of the Gnostics, who promoted impure doctrines and practices of Balaam.
7. Christ commands them to hear well what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to them and that means also all the other churches.
Now, before moving on to the next verses in this chapter, I want to say that a lot of preachers and teachers believe that the 7 seven churches are forerunners of the future generational churches to come. In other words they believe that each church represents an era of the future times to come from that day on.
This is why you hear them say that we are now in the church of Laodeacia—because that's the last one mentioned here, the lukewarm church. But if you read these seven churches carefully, to whom Christ is writing, you will note that all of the praises and rebukes are alive in today's churches as well. They all have some characteristics of each of these seven churches at any given time.
These are the things that Christ finds important for all churches to be aware of. I personally believe that Christ was referring to characteristics of the church that are common in all churches throughout history, then and now. He is the same yesterday today and forever. He knows every church's struggles and success in real time.
His warning “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” needs to be heeded by all churches then and now.
And again, I have run out of time...
Before I dismiss the service today, I want to read to you the Blessing that was read to the people of God in Numbers 6:24-26 which is the benediction from God to you today:
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
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Until next week, Maranatha, the Lord is coming, very soon. Goodbye and Blessing.
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