Transcript from show #285.
(Please note that the transcripts are written pretty well as they were delivered on air).
This program continues on a series on the Book of Revelation, level 1, based on the e-book Timing Revelation. As mentioned previously the Lord gave me a vision a few months ago, in the middle of the night, of a chart outlining the events of the book of revelation. Within a few days I produced that chart and then went on further to write and write the 100-page e-book that goes along with this chart that the Lord gave me.
The e-book is available on this web site, which you can find throughout the pages. But I am here sharing a summary of it and interesting excerpts from the book in the next while because a lot of people are wondering “where are we in the events of the end times?” and “Are we now in the tribulation?”
Alright, so we continue today with the book of Revelation, a level 1 study based on the e-book Timing Revelation available on my web site. We are now looking at the messages given to John by the Lord Jesus Christ, to send to the 7 churches of Asia minor at that time.
Last week, we covered the first letter to the church at Ephesus, then we finished with the message to the second church at Smyrna. This week we will look at the next churches and see how far it will take us.
You will recall that we have already gone through the whole book of Revelation except for chapters 2 and 3 which was left for last, to come back to and cover at this time.
So today we will pick up from there and continue with the message to the 3rd church at Pergamus.
And again as I always remind ourselves, no one can read, understand and interpret the book of Revelation 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 of times. We can only do our best to read it often with the help of the Holy Spirit.
In spite of our limits and short comings, we are directed by the Word of God to read this book. It is so important that we are given a blessing by God 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." (Rev. 1, v. 3).
So again 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, picking up at chapter 2, verse 12, which is the message to the 3rd church at Pergamos.
week we looked at chapter 1 which is about the greetings of John to
the 7 churches introducing the revelation of Jesus Christ, verses 1
to 7 and John's awesome vision of Jesus the giver of future things to
come, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last (v.11), the
description of the vision and the words of Jesus to John (v. 18 to
again, just a reminder to us that this book is the book of Revelation
(singular) and not Revelations (plural). A lot of people make the
mistake of calling it “The book of Revelations” with an “s”...
but it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ our Lord. The word means the
“unveiling” -- the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
So let's get to our message for today...
verses 12 to 17
The message to the 3rd church at Pergamos
and I'm reading from the King James Bible.
12.And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things says he which has the sharp sword with two edges;
13.I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells.
14.But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15.So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
16.Repent; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17.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 hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it.
The location of the church in Pergamos was one of the finest cities of Asia, known for its learning of science and medicine. According to historians, it was the headquarter of the military and government.
But this church was more evil than Ephesus and Smyrna that we covered last week, because of its deep involvement in idolatry and worldliness. So Christ the Lord speaks to the shepherd and members here of the sharp sword with two edges, which is the measuring rule of God's Word.
Satan's throne refers to the world power it sways over them, particularly by the influence of the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes mentioned here again, which the Lord hates, and the teaching of Balaam had them to remove themselves from their place of separation (Numbers 25).
The church is called to repent or else the judgment of the Word of God will come quickly against them.
The reference to the white stone speaks of the ancient custom of casting such a stone into a voter's urn of the courts of justice where the accused were condemned by black pebbles and the acquitted by white.
Jesus the Saviour, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, who holds the candlestick of the churches, and who knows everything that goes on corporately or personally, stands with us faithfully no matter what we have to go though...
(Music interlude on the live radio show)
Alright, so let's continue on the message of our Lord to the 7 churches of Asia minor at the time of John. By the way this would be taking place about 65 years after the Lord had gone back up to heaven. John was an old man then and probably the last one of the apostles still alive in his time.
18 to 29, still in chapter 2,
Message to the 4th church at Thyatira
18.And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things says the Son of God, who has his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
19.I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first.
20.Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffers that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21.And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22.Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23.And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he who searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
24.But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
25.But that which you have already hold fast till I come.
26.And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give
power over the nations:
27.And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
28.And I will give him the morning star.
29.He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
Interestingly, this seems to be the longest letter to the smallest church. Christ here reveals his authority and power over intolerated evil. Thyatira is the place where we hear about the woman seller of purple which was a commodity that was famous in this city.
Again, in spite of the evil found in this church, the Lord looks at what can be commended: charity, service and faith. He sees the remnant amidst the apostasy and corruption.
But He does rebuke the church for tolerating the doctrine of ancient Jezebel which takes the church away from divine authority. In His grace and patience God gives the church time to repent but since she does not, unless she repents of her wrongdoings, she can only expect certain judgments,
The consequence will be both collective and personal judgment, according to the works of each one of the members. Since many will not repent, the godly can only look for the coming of the Lord by faithfully holding on to the truth.
We are reminded that Jesus sees though all of His churches from the smallest to the largest.
The promise is given to those who overcome and keep their work for the Lord unto the end when they will be given power in the coming kingdom of Christ on earth.
Verses 1 to 6
The message to the 5th church at Sardis
1.And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things says he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and art dead.
2.Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.
3.Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and
repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shalt not know what hour I will come upon you.
4.You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5.He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6.He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
In this church, the Lord does not have anything to commend onto them. It has a profession of something but it was of dead works.
The church is told to repent and be watchful and to strengthen the positive things that remained, but they were not found perfect before God.
If they don't repent, there will be nothing left but swift consequence upon them.
However the Lord recognizes the few who have not defiled themselves and they will be received in their worthiness.
But to those who overcome will be given due recognition in the end.
Verses 7 to 13, chapter 3
Message to the 6th church at Philadelphia
7.And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things says he
that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;
8.I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.
9.Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are
Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
10.Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11.Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown.
12.Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
The Lord speaks of His personal characteristics here rather than His judicial nature --holy and true, and the One who opens and closes doors.
His reference to possessing the key to David, points to His messianic and kingly office.
Smyrna and Philadelphia are the only ones who are not given rebuke. Smyrna was a suffering church; Philadelphia was a weak church.
Again here is mentioned the “synagogue of satan”, which represents the Judaism and legalism system in its opposition to the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
v. 10. The word for patience here is “hypomone” which means steadfastness, i.e.: the church steadfastly held on to the expectation of Christ's promise of imminent return from heaven.
Regarding “I also will keep you from the hour of temptation” in v. 10... many people use the word temptation to mean “the wrath of God”. However it does not speak of “the wrath of God” here, but of a certain testing (peirasmos) in order to prove their faith and fidelity to God.
It is the same word used in the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:13, “lead us not in temptation” (peirasmos), in other words “lead us not to be tested.
Here in Rev.3:10, the Lord tells the church they won't have to go through testing because they will have already proven themselves through their steadfast holding on to His word.
The word “wrath” that most people use to say that God has not appointed us to wrath, is actually found in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 where it says to “wait for Jesus from heaven who delivered us from the wrath to come”. In this scripture the word is “orge” (pronounced “orgay”) which speaks of the wrath of God.
This is why in the next verse (11) He says “behold I come quickly. It is a re-affirmation of His soon return. “Soon” may be a long way for those in John's time but for us today, it is now eminent.
Alright so let's continue in chapter 3,
Verses 14 to 22,
Message to the 7th church at Laodicea (Ladekea)
14.And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15.I know thy works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.
16.So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you
out of my mouth.
Laodicea was a city of Phrygia, situated on the river Lycus not far from Colosse. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 66 A.D., along with Colossae and Hierapolis, and rebuilt by Marcus Aurelius. It was named Laodicea in honor of Laodice, the wife of Antiochus II. It was the seat of the Christian church.
(Even though everybody in the church today pronounces Laodicea (as a “s”) the Greek word is “laodikeia” (with a “k”) .
Christ describes Himself as the faithful and true witness and the Amen and the beginning of the creation of God... the word beginning here is the word archē (pronounced ar-khay ) and does not mean He began at creation, rather it means He is the origin, the head, of creation.
Verse 17. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and
blind, and naked:
v. 18.I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see.
19.As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20.Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21.To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22.He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
This church is the one so famously known for its lukewarmness (v.15), in its description of its moral condition. The Lord has nothing to commend of this church. Neither cold nor hot means indifferent with no spiritual life in it.
An interesting comment is made in the Liberty Bible Commentary: “When believers are raptured, the Laodicean Church will remain on earth, spewed out by Christ to endure the Tribulation Period.”
Except of course for those who will repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour and are born again of the Spirit of God.
“I stand at the door and knock” in v. 20 is sobering. Yes Jesus knocks at the door of the sinner's heart all the time... but here he is speaking to the church!
He that has an ear, let him hear indeed what the Spirit says unto the churches...
The gold mentioned in v. 18 speaks of the divine righteousness, and eye salve refers to spiritual discernment. Their real problem was that they didn't see themselves as sinners.
However in spite of all, Christ still stands at the door for “whosoever” individual will let Him in... Christ may disown a church as a whole, but He still makes a way for the individual heart to repent and return to Him.
The faithful Spirit of God continues to plea for everyone to hear and heed His Word.
And I see that I've run out of time again...
but just in closing, I want to say again that a lot of people teach 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 so we have covered a good level 1 of the whole book of Revelation in the last few weeks. Chapter 4 and onward was covered in those last programs, so if you missed any of them you can check the transcripts of the radio shows on my web site TimingRevelation.com.
And of course as usual the last 5 shows are always up on the web site, the earliest program (or oldest on the web site) being moved out into a transcripted article to make room for the current program.
I do want to take a moment here to say that I have made reference to many wonderful and helpful books throughout my readings and studying of the book of Revelation over the months and years, too numerous to list all here, but I do mention several of them at the end of my e-book which is available on my web site “Timing Revelation”.
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."
I hope and pray that you will come back next Sunday at SpiritFM.ca, 7 am and 7 pm pacific time. And if you want to hear the service again at any time, you can go to my website at TimingRevelation.com, and click on the Radio Shows navigational tab along the left side. The replays are available there for five weeks, then they are transcribed into articles as new radio shows are put up.
I encourage you to go to your Bible and read further on the scriptures that were given throughout the program today. And if you like these programs and you've been blessed, call or write the station and let them know... if you said the prayer and have accepted the Lord or you've been healed or touched in some way by the Holy Spirit, write to me on the contact form of this web site...
...and this web site is also where you will find the Free Offer of the “Christian Growth and Maturity Chart” that I talked to you about in the last weeks... you will see the graphic on any page called “Get your free CGM Chart”, click on it and it will take you to a page that will tell you about it and how you can subscribe to my newsletter to get your free copy of the Chart sent to you.
Until next week, Maranatha, the Lord is coming, very soon. Goodbye and Blessing.
Click here to hear "The Blood Bought Church"
click on the graphic just above to share your thoughts...
click on this graphic to go to Christianbook affiliate store products:
P.S.: For your information I am a participant of the Christianbook affiliate program and as such will receive a small commission on purchases made by my readers. I want to thank you for buying your Christian products through here... all of this helps me with the expenses of providing this important ministry and operating this web site.