Message to Sardis

MESSAGE TO SARDIS

Our Text: Revelation 3:1-6

As we study these churches in the book of Revelation we should see and learn from the things Our Lord points out as He counsels these members. When He speaks to the church, Christ speaks to the Body of Christ but He also speaks to us individually. It should prick our heart as we see the errors made then and what we know of in our day now. It can readily be seen that we just haven’t been steadfast in God’s word as we should and have allowed Satan in the doors of every church to set up his nonsense. I would like to see the day that angel tosses him into that burning lake of fire. Kick him in the head Jesus!

1.)The lesson of Ephesus is we must keep our focus on Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the foundation of the Church.
2.)The lesson of Smyrna is that we are going to see Christians persecuted until the Rapture and it is going to get worse. If we do not get up to serve Christ now, we certainly will not serve Him as things get worse.
3.) The lesson of Pergamos is that we just cannot allow the world into the church. A house divided will simply not stand. The Lord said to come out from among them.
4.) The lesson of Thyatira is that we just cannot get so lax as the Body of Christ to allow false teaching into the Church. Our Pastors must preach the entire word of God and the Church must adhere to the exact word of God.
5.) In Sardis we will see the results when we do not do these things! The dead church.

Sardis was a prominent city and obtained its wealth from textile manufacturing, jewelry trade, and the dye industry.  Generally speaking, the city was pagan with many individual mystery cults.  The temple of Artemis was one of the major points of interest.  Five hundred years before John wrote this letter Sardis was one of the richest and most powerful cities in the world.  It became ethically complacent and morally degenerate, but to all appearances it had every reason to be proud and boastful.

Sardis was in an ideal location in the plain of the River Hermus Valley. It was the meeting place of several major  trade routes.  Sardis was guaranteed commercial prosperity.  It was built on a 1500 foot high plateau with steep cliffs on three sides and a narrow road leading to the city on the fourth side.  This made Sardis virtually impenetrable to attack.  Sardis was so blessed the river which flowed through the town carried gold dust.  How blessed can you be?

It is no wonder that Sardis became a rich and splendid city.  Sardis became the capital of the kingdom of Lydia.  Their most famous king was Croesus.  His very name is synonymous with wealth.  This is where the saying “as rich as Croesus” came from.  Despite all of its blessings Sardis had a problem.  It became over confident. Life had become too easy.  The citizens came to think of their town as unconquerable, no matter who their enemy may be.

Our Text:

*****Rev 3:1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

We already know that the angel of the church is the pastor. The seven stars are the pastors that have been called of God. We must not forget there are some claiming to be called to preach but called themselves. They are not of God.

Salvation comes to those that believe and call on the Lord!

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? [and how shall they hear without a preacher]?
Rom 10:15  [And how shall they preach, except they be sent]? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Rom 10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17  [So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God].

It is Jesus Christ that has the Spirit of God. We have talked about the seven fold characteristics of God’s Spirit from the book of Isaiah:

Isa 11:1  And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Isa 11:2  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Isa 11:3  And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

1.) The Spirit of the Lord (Jesus).
2.) The Spirit of “wisdom”.
3.) The Spirit of “understanding”.
4.) The Spirit of “counsel”.
5.) The Spirit of “might”.
6.) The Spirit of “knowledge”.
7.) The Spirit of the “fear of the Lord”.

The “One” that had all these things was and is the Lord Jesus Christ. He wanted this church in Sardis to know exactly who sent this message. He wanted this church to know that every church would need the Holy Spirit and all these qualities of Him to survive in what we call the “church age” or the “Time of Grace”.

Christ said that He knew their works but we do not see any good works mentioned! This church did not have the right “Spirit”.

If you were a member of the community where this church was located you would have seen an active church. You would probably have seen a church trying to civilize the whole city, building a big magnificent building and a lot of community activities. Not all of this wrong but there has to be a reason for the work of God. That reason and purpose is laid out in God’s word. You may have seen a big fancy building and all of it growing. We see a lot of these churches in our modern worldly churches of today but saving the lost is not first on their list of things to do.

Now God said the church grew everyday and I believe it still does.

Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. [And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved].

How did this growth come about?

Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even as many as the Lord our God shall call].
Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, [Save yourselves from this untoward generation].
Act 2:41  [Then they that gladly received his word were baptized]: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

God said to come out from among them!

2Co 6:17  Wherefore [come out from among them, and be ye separate], saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

What we do not see in Sardis is any persecution. Not any mention of false religion that we know was there. Not any mention of any thing much. In other words this whole city was one big happy family they tolerated each other. This all sounds so well and good but we know Satan hates Christians and Satan hates the church.

God warns us:

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

We know that to be Born Again comes from faith in the word of God and the work of His Holy Spirit but listen to what else Peter wrote:

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, [not of corruptible seed], but of incorruptible, [by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever].

Not only do we see that it is the word of God that is incorruptible and [we see that there is some corruptible seed that is sown].

There was corruptible seed being sown in Sardis!

God tells us about this in one of His parables:

Mat 13:24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25  [But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way].
Mat 13:26  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Mat 13:27  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Mat 13:28  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Mat 13:29  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

We can see that there was some corruptible seed sown in this church at Sardis. Why because the church had fallen asleep. This church had been dying for a long time and even at this time of Christ, this church was dead.

This church had not worshiped in Spirit and Truth as was commanded:

Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

There was little if any truth left in this church! While the church had fallen asleep the enemy had come in to sow the corruptible seed.

We can be sure this church had some works because Christ Jesus said He knew them. It is evident the community surrounding this church saw things going on at this church but they did not see any Evangelism. They did not see any mission work. They did not see any church outreach at all.

They probably did see bazaars, socials, picnics, fundraisers and other such things involving this social club calling itself a church.

*****Rev 3:2  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Jesus says: Wake up Church! You cannot be watchful and still be asleep. The Greek word “gregoreuo” is used here and it simply means to keep awake. Be vigilant. Remember what Peter said. (Be sober, Be vigilant). Christ knows all His children and there were a few hanging on here at this church. They were still doing a few things right. Keep in mind Christ speaks to His church. This pastor was to preach to everyone in the congregation. They both were to get this message because even these few things that remained were ready to die.

The Bible says:

Rom 6:19  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; [even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness].
Rom 6:20  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Rom 6:21  [What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death].
Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23  [For the wages of sin is death]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This church was dying because of sin!

(to strengthen)

The Greek word “sterizo” is used for strengthen in this verse. It means to turn towards the things of God and establish them in order to stop this death and destruction. Like the Greek word “histemi” it means to establish the things of God. Like the Greek word  “stereos” it means to make the things of God solid, stable, and steadfast.

(works perfect)

When the Lord Jesus Christ uses this word perfect, He does not mean in sinless perfection but He means Spiritually developed and Spiritually matured in Godliness.

Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Chapter 5 in the book of Matthew gives us some guidelines of what is expected of each and every Christian. Though these words were written to the Jews we can still use them to guide us in our daily living for Christ. It is easy to see that this church in Sardis was not following these guidelines. This gives us a picture of what was lacking in Sardis.

The Bible says:

Eph 4:10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

I have said before we that sit in the pews in the House of God no matter where we are located have an obligation to our Savior. He bought us and He owns us surely we can serve Him.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We can know that this church in Sardis came up short in this also and most all of us do.

There were many in this church at Sardis that were just going through the motions. They had never accepted Christ as Savior nor as Lord. They just imagined they were saved by the works they were doing. Christ said their works were not perfect, He didn’t say they were not working. It appears that all walks of life in Sardis were traveling the same path to destruction.

The Bible says:

1Pe 1:14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1Pe 1:17  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1Pe 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

*****Rev 3:3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

We must not forget, all the Apostles except John had been martyred at this time. The time of the Apostles was coming to a close. The age of the church had begun, so most all the church probably still had what we call charter members. There would be some in this church that had been there from the beginning. They had heard the word of truth at one time and some had been gloriously saved.

Christ tells them to recollect the teaching they had first heard. Recollect the Doctrine of the Apostles, the Doctrine of Christ.

Paul wrote to the Galatians:

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

These words would hold true to this church at Sardis. There is a song that goes “Roll back the curtain of memory now and then”. If we are saved we cannot lose that salvation but it doesn’t hurt to look back at that dirty, nasty, sinful life we all once had and know that a return to that life would be foolish. Jesus Christ holds on to our salvation. We could not save ourselves nor can we keep ourselves saved. It is the intercessory power of the Lord Jesus Christ that keeps us saved, So He is not saying to hold onto our salvation but He is saying to hold onto the teaching of faith in His saving power and His commands to further the Gospel to this lost world. If the light of the church of Sardis had just a flicker left and it did at this time, then Christ said to burn brighter in His name. To repent is the change your mind and this change should be for the truth. It is God’s word that has all truth.

Rom 3:3  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4  [God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar]; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Christ said “wake up church” you have been asleep to long now. But If You Will Not Wake Up!

Jesus Christ did not say He was a thief but that He would come as a thief!

What is a thief? One who secretly, unlawfully and feloniously takes the goods or personal property of another. The thief takes the property of another privately; the robber by open force.

When Christ comes as a thief He is saying that that thief would not warn you when he would come to steal your things. Jesus Christ says “I will come to get my church, those that believe on Me, and I will not warn you of the hour, day, or the season”.

What’s so sad about this is with the choice of the words used here, Jesus says some of you will not even be aware that I have come though you sit on the pews of this church.

There will be many that will miss the day of the rapture and will return to their place of worship not even realizing the church is in Heaven. They will do business as usual and burn in Hell.

The Bible says:

1Th 5:1  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Of those that miss the rapture:

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

If you miss the rapture of the church you will not miss the time of the Antichrist nor the tribulation period, that is unless you are already in Hell.

*****Rev 3:4  Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

(names)

What’s in a name? When we are born our name is written into the book of the living.

Psa 69:28  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Luk 10:20  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Php 4:3  And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

When the flesh dies that name is removed from that book. But the Born Again child of God, since that person never really dies their name will remain in that book. Now we know that as soon as the child of God accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior that they are also written into the Lamb’s Book of Life. So there are at least two records of the ones who will have eternal life. You name has to be in both books! There is also a book of the works done since you were saved but that book is for rewards and not for salvation.

This verse says that even in Sardis, the dead church there were those that had accepted the Lord Jesus as God. To the rest, they will hear these words at the judgment seat and there will be no record of their names. A person needs to accept the truth of the Gospel before their physical death because no matter what some religions teach there is no way to get your name into the Lamb’s Book of Life after physical death. There is no praying that can change that and “it certainly would not be something that could be bought”.

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(even in Sardis)

Even in a place that has all religion and evil under one roof like Sardis, God’s truth, God’s word will still reach a few of the lost! The world is trying it’s best now to place all religion under one roof, saying that all religion are based on the same thing and Jesus Christ is not the only way to Heaven.

I have to base my salvation on God’s word! That’s why it’s called faith! God’s word still has this teaching.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Christ fulfilled too many prophecies for me to say He is a liar. I’ll just stay with Christ.

(walk in white)

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that “white” stands for purity.

Psa 51:7  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Isa 1:18  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

To know a bit more what that means study the transfiguration of our Lord.

Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

You know most all brides dress in “white”!
The Bride of Christ will be in “white”!

(they are worthy)

Worthy means: Deserving; such as merits; having worth or excellence; equivalent; with of, before the thing deserved.

The word “worthy” is used 54 times in the New Testament.

The Church will not see the tribulation period because God will take us on home through His Son but only through His blood can you be found worthy!

Luk 21:36  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, [that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man].

The Church will stand before Christ at His Judgment Seat!

2Co 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before [the judgment seat of Christ]; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2Co 5:11  [Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord], we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

That terror of the Lord is the tribulation period!

*****Rev 3:5  He that overcometh, 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.

(To overcome)

To overcome is to gain the superiority; to be victorious.

We have victory in Jesus!

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1Jn 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

(Raiment)

Zec 3:4  And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

Raiment is Clothing in general; vestments; vesture; garments.

(Book of Life)

Rev 21:23  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Rev 21:24  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Rev 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Rev 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: [but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life].

(Confess His  name before The Father and His angels)

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mal 3:17  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Mat 10:32  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Luk 12:8  Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
Luk 12:9  But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Jud 1:24  Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jud 1:25  To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

This verse by mentioning The Father speaks also of the Holy Trinity:

The Father
The Son
The Holy Ghost

Notice those are “His” angels.

*****Rev 3:6  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Holy Spirit says open up your ears, clean the wax out, and Hear What He is Saying!

Let’s Pray!

Message to Pergamos and Thyatira

MESSAGE TO PERGAMOS

Revelation 2:12-17

In each of the seven churches Christ first addressed their works. At Ephesus they had two works: first was evangelism and second was defending the faith. Both were commended by Christ but he preferred the church return to its first work of loving the Lord Jesus and putting Him before all other things. At Smyrna, Christ again addressed the works of the church which consisted of submitting to tribulation, poverty and death, all without renouncing their Christian faith. Christ did not rebuke the church at Smyrna. Not because it was a perfect church because there is no church that does not have some problems. After all they are all filled with sinners that are saved by the “grace” of God. These people were doing the best they could in a terrible place.

Now at Pergamos, Christ is once again addresses the works of Christians which works are relative to where they live. They lived in the wickedest city on earth where Satan himself had set up headquarters. Here are our Savior’s words to this church: “I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.” The problem the church at Pergamos faced is defined in the city’s name which means “mixed marriage.” As capital of Asia Minor, Pergamos was a city of mixed religions from all over the world and it was a city whose politics were married to the state religion of emperor worship.

Living in Pergamos would indeed test the faith of Christians for a mixed marriage of religion and state is a marriage made in hell!

Jon 2:8 says  They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

We can see that just as it is in our day, all other religions can go hand and hand with each other and welcome each other with open arms that is all except Christianity. Christianity get’s it’s name from Jesus “Christ” our Lord. We cannot bow to false god’s and neither could these of Pergamos. There is no universal church. There is only the church built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The world does not agree because the world is of the church that Satan built.

1Jn 3:1 says  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: [therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not].
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1Jn 5:19 says  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

When Satan was cast out of heaven, he set up headquarters on the earth. The location of his headquarters had always been at the center of political and military power. So, as one world power conquered another, Satan’s seat moved to the new ascending world power. To control that world power, Satan merged his mystery religion with the state. If people of that nation wanted to prosper they worshiped in the state religion.

We can see that in the time of Nimrod, the time of Solomon, the time of Nebuchadnezzar and all others. I believe we can see such a time when Satan was moving his seat during the time of Daniel.

Dan 10:13 says  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

We can see this happening in our world today, even in America!

To understand the wickedness of Satan’s seat is to comprehend the significance of Christ’s commendation of the Pergamos church. Christ’s commendation has two parts: [holding fast to his name and not denying his faith]. The first implies that [the key battleground was once again the deity of Jesus Christ]. In a city devoted to many gods, in a city that demanded emperor worship, to hold fast the name of Christ was indeed commendable. The question “who is god?” was at the heart of the struggle. The resounding answer faithfully preached by the church “Christ is God incarnate, the Lord of all, the king of Kings, his name is above every name!” Holding fast to his name was central to their faith. Pergamos believers never let go of the basic doctrine of Christianity that Christ is God incarnate. I pray that we in the Bible Belt of America hold on to this fact of Christ was God in the flesh.

All those that say we all have the same God but leave out Jesus Christ as that God in the flesh are worshiping some other god, not the God of the Bible!

The second part of Christ’s commendation is that they had not denied his faith even in those days when Antipas was Christ’s faithful martyr. This implies that even under pain of martyrdom the Pergamos church held strong to the faith of Christ. Although the faith of Christ and the deity of Christ are related, there is significant difference between the two. Whereas the deity of Christ centers on who he is, the faith of Christ centers on our unbending trust in him because of who he is. The key word to the faith in Christ is “denied.” The Pergamos church had not denied the faith of Christ. Denied in Greek means “a verbal or written disavowing, rejection or renunciation of the Christian faith.” At what time in church history were Christians faced with a verbal or written renunciation of their faith in exchange for life? Christ gave the answer when he said “thou hast not denied my faith even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr who was slain among you.” Antipas could have been the pastor of the local church at Pergamos but he could have been a leader that stood up to the evil of Satan’s seat. Historically we know that he was the first martyr of Asia Minor. The method by which he met his demise is more barbaric than any mentioned in our previous study. According to tradition he was slowly roasted to death in a bronze kettle during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian. Domitian began the second wave of persecution in 81 AD. Christians who stood before this savage ruler were given a chance to live if they would renounce their faith. The test was an oath they had to take during renunciation. When they refused to deny their faith in written or spoken word even under penalty of inhumane death, Christ commended them.

The city of Pergamos in Asia Minor set the standard for the broader Pergamos church period for not only was it a city of mixed religions and mixed doctrine, it was also a city where religion and state were married. Here In America where our forefathers wrote into the Constitution that the State could not interfere with free worship has been turned around by Satan’s followers to a lesser and wrong meaning that the true Church cannot influence the nature of government. The forefathers never intended for Christian principles to left out of government and so the battle rages of the evil trying to dominate the good in our nation the U S A. As a Christian I already know good will win out in the end but I’m not sure America will survive until that day. I live in the greatest nation of modern day but also in a nation that get’s further and further from God just as Israel did.

Our Text:

*****Rev 2:12  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

What does a sword say?

The typical Asian sword was made with two edges compared to the typical European sword which was made with one cutting edge. The main advantage is obvious as a two edge sword would cut in two directions. Many times in the Bible we can see where many have died by the edge of the sword.

In the Book of Genesis we see a sword that cuts from all sides or all it’s edges.

Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

This would be a very destructive sword. It believe we see this sword again in the Book of Revelation.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

We know the Lord Jesus is coming to make war.

But in our verse we see the two edged sword. There are only a few places in the Bible we see this sword. We know that Christ is speaking to the Church and that being so that He has already judged the church. So we know that here in this verse He is pointing out things to improve the church. Some would say warning the church. Some would say counseling the church. It is probably some of both.

If someone uses an argument that could both help them and harm them, then they are using a two-edged sword sword; it cuts both ways.

We can see that the Lord Jesus Christ is counseling His church but these things are also a warning to some, thus the twoedged sword.

Counseling means: Advising; instructing; admonishing.

The Bible says in Isaiah:

Isa 11:4  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

This is a two edged sword!

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This is using a two edged sword!

The word of God is sharper than this sword, so I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is using His words on this church.

God expects His children to also be familiar with this sword!

Psa 149:5  Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
Psa 149:6  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
Psa 149:7  To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
Psa 149:8  To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
Psa 149:9  To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

God is not telling us to murder our enemies. “God is telling us to use the Word of God on the Lost”.

*****Rev 2:13  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

We may think we can hide our works from God but that is impossible.

Pro 15:3  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

The ways of man:

Pro 5:21  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

None can hide:

Job 34:21  For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
Job 34:22  There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

There are no secret places to hide from God:

Jer 23:24  Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. [Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD].

Blessings and also the Hickory(the rod of correction) will come from what God sees, not what we think we do!

Jer 32:19  Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: [to give every one] according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:

And not Satan nor any other creature can hide from God:

Heb 4:13  Neither is there [any creature that is not manifest in his sight]: [but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do].

Where is Satan’s seat?

Lets look at the definitions of that word “seat”.

1.) Seat: That on which one sits; a chair, bench, stool or any other thing on which a person sits.

2.) Seat: The place of sitting; throne; chair of state; tribunal; post of authority; as the seat of justice; judgment-seat.

3.) Seat: The place where a thing is settled or established. So we say, the seat of the muses,the seat of arts, the seat of commerce.

4.) Everywhere Satan sits becomes an evil place if he remains seated there!

In the Strong dictionary of Greek terms we find this:  “thronos” From   a´  thrao¯ (to sit); a stately seat (“throne”); by implication power or (concretely) a potentate: – seat, throne.

What’s a potentate?  A person who possesses great power or sway; a prince; a sovereign; an emperor, king or monarch.

Now we can know that God our Father knows exactly where Satan is sitting or standing or walking at this very moment. BUT God also knows where Satan has set up his place of business. Satan’s business is to destroy anything that is of God.

We know of some things that Satan is the prince of, (not king of but prince of):

1.) He is the true prince of “devils”.

Mat 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but [by Beelzebub the prince of the devils].

2.) He is the prince of “this world”.

Joh 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall [the prince of this world] be cast out.

3.) He is the “prince of the power of the air”.

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to [the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience]:

It is he that works in children that do not obey. This includes all grownups.

Christ our Lord also knew where Satan was at all times!

Joh 14:30 says  Hereafter I will not talk much with you: [for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me].

We find in Pergamos a lot of ungodly things. The symbol of Asklepios was the serpent as it is of Satan(all doctors still have this emblem on their doors and some even on their persons as badges). There was, besides this, a great throne altar to Zeus cut on the Acropolis rock, symbol of “rampant paganism” (Swete) and the new Caesar-worship with the recent martyrdom of Antipas made Pergamum indeed a very throne of Satan. Pergamos was in a center of heathen idolatry. Pergamos was a notorious center of idolatry.

1Jn 5:21 says  Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

These believers in Pergamos probably had many reasons to deny their faith. We can see that at least one (Antipas) had been Marty rd by the ruling government of Pergamos. Satan had firmly planted his evilness (his seat) in this government. America is getting worse just as the Bible says but it hasn’t reached that point here yet. But God’s children are Marty rd in many places in this world every day. It is a true statement to say that Satan has a seat in every church on this earth but if we worship as we should “in spirit and truth” then we can at least keep his feet moving toward the door and his thoughts on getting out of there and maybe giving him ulcers and put him on Valium or some pain killer.

Satan can only be in one place at a time but once he entrenches himself in government he becomes an obstacle to the church and we must stand steadfast against all false doctrine and ungodly laws and lawmakers. Our vote is more important that it ever has been. Satan has entrenched himself into most all education of children and we find it harder every day to battle the foolishness of false science and those that control the books used in education. This is another of Satan’s seats that we allow him to much freedom in. Wake up America!

Oh, by the way, it is believed Antipas was slow roasted in the housing of a bull. One legend is that he was burnt to death in a brazen bull. The Bible is not about legends but there are those that will die before they deny the Lord Jesus Christ.

This church did not deny the Lord Jesus Christ. They held fast to His name and did not deny His faith.

James wrote to us by the Holy Spirit that after salvation the born again Christian should be noticeable in the way he lives and serves God.

Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jas 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Jas 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

We cannot please our Lord without our faith in Him.

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

*****Rev 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast 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.

What is the doctrine of Balaam?

The Apostle Paul wrote of these people:

Php 3:17  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Php 3:18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Balaam had the secular world leaders (King Balac) convinced that he could influence the true church because he could gain special favor from God that he could get a special message from God. That is if those needing his service had enough money.

Num 22:7  And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed [with the rewards of divination in their hand]; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.

God did not allow this and reproved Balaam many times. We know if God reproves someone claiming to be a Christian often enough He will sometimes put and end to it.

Pro 29:1 says  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, [shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy].

Before the death of Balaam he did give Balak the means to hurt the work of God’s people.

Num 31:15  And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
Num 31:16  Behold, [these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor], and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

The children of Israel had been influenced when Balak(Balac) had sent many women to live among them. This caused inner marriage with them. They brought their religion in to intermingle with the truth of God causing confusion and causing the children of Israel to sin. Even eating things that were sacrificed to Idols.

Not only was there fornication outside the marriage but there was adultery within the marriage and then add to that the worldly influence came into the church.

God had given these words to his children:

Gen 24:3  And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, [that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites], among whom I dwell:
Gen 24:4  But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

Num 36:6  This is the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, [Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry].

These words hold true even today in our time because God does not change!

Marriage:

2Co 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Fornication:

Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Things sacrificed to Idols:

1Co 10:19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
1Co 10:20  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

The church in Corinth had a lot in common with this church in Pergamos as does a lot of the church in 2010. Satan does not have to change his tactics in any age.

Balaam met his bitter end just as God said:

Jos 13:22  Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, [did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them].

Just as Proverbs 29 had said.

Num 31:8  And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: [Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword].

He was still hanging out with the enemies of God and trying to fill his pocketbook. The secular church in our day and time is filled with this influence of Balaam because there are still many Balaams who have climbed behind the pulpits of many churches and they hang right with the ruling elite of today trying their best to fill their pocketbooks in any way they can.

Paul warns us again:

Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18  [For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple].

Jude says:

Jud 1:16  These are murmurers, complainers, [walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage].
Jud 1:17  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jud 1:18  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, [who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Jud 1:19  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit].

Remember God said this church had these people already inside the church and not outside trying to get in. If you do not have the Holy Spirit inside of you then you are not saved.

*****Rev 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

At the church of Ephesus the Lord had said they hated the the deeds of the Nicolaitans but now this group of people had gained entrance into the church of Pergamos. These are the ones that want absolute rule of the church. The so called perfect ones.

The Apostle John wrote of these:

3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, [who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not].
3Jn 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

These come in the form of members, deacons, and ministers among other things. It is the church that Christ is writing to. It is the church that rules the church with the instruction from Jesus Christ our Lord. The church belongs to Jesus or it is not a church.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

Paul also had this warning which has held true:

Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, [not sparing the flock].
Act 20:30  [Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them].

Satan will do anything to hinder the work of the church of Jesus Christ.

Note: Read more about the Nicolaitans in the lesson “Message to Ephesus”.

*****Rev 2:16  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Repent!

When we look in any direction besides unto God, we are in need of repentance!

Isa 45:22  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

We have to turn from unrighteous works to the living God:

Act 14:15  [And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things?] We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you [that ye should turn from these vanities] unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
Act 14:16  Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

We have to lay aside all forms of evilness:

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2  [Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith]; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Remember that twoedged sword. One side of that sword is counseling to make the church better. The other side of the sword is the rebuke of the Lord, His wrath. God is giving these massages to His church in order that [more lost souls be saved]. This is the purpose of the church, to carry God’s word to the lost. When those Nicolaitans show up in our church, we need to expose them for what they are, give them room to repent and if to no avail we need to turn them over to Satan.

1Co 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1Co 5:6  Your glorying is not good. [Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump]?

It is the Church, those Born Again Saved Souls of Christ, that are to see that the Church goes forward for Jesus!

*****Rev 2:17  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 hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Again the Holy Spirit encourages all the church of Jesus to listen to these words.

Heb 6:17  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
Heb 6:18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

What is the hidden manna?

Manna was the food God sent down from Heaven to feed the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness. Some was gathered at one time and place in the Ark of the Covenant.

Exo 16:33  And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.

This Ark was placed in side the Veil of the Tabernacle.

Heb 9:2  For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
Heb 9:3  And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Heb 9:4  Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
Heb 9:5  And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

We find out later that the pot of Manna is missing from inside the Ark.

1Ki 8:9  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

So is this now what is called the “hidden manna”.

The Ark has never been located but we know that the Earthly ark was built by a pattern in Heaven.

Rev 11:19  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and [there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament]: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Has God taken it all back to Heaven.

We do have these words of Jesus.

Joh 6:31  Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Joh 6:32  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but [my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven].

What is the true bread?

Joh 6:49  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, [and are dead].
Joh 6:50  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and [not die].
Joh 6:51  [I am the living bread which came down from heaven]: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Is this the “hidden manna”? I believe this is the “hidden manna”.

Joh 6:58  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: [he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever].

The Bible says.

Col 3:2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and [your life is hid] with Christ in God.

Is this the “hidden manna” the word of God hidden in your own heart?

Jesus Christ had these words.

Joh 4:31  In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
Joh 4:32  But he said unto them, [I have meat to eat that ye know not of].

There are some mysteries in the Bible.

Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

God’s children will know most all His secrets.

Psa 25:14  [The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him]; and he will shew them his covenant.

The food from Heaven will satisfy all hunger.

Psa 36:8  They shall be abundantly satisfied [with the fatness of thy house]; and thou shalt make them drink of [the river of thy pleasures].

This food will bring life to the soul.

Pro 3:22  So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

We will never hunger again.

Isa 65:13  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
Isa 65:14  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
Isa 65:15  And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and [call his servants by another name]:

That new name will go on that “white stone”!

It is believed that this term the “white stone” comes an ancient voting custom. There were white and black stones. A white stone was cast for approval and a black stone was cast for rejection. We get our phrase “blackballed” from this system of voting. This system may have even began in the arenas where athletes performed. It could also have been a means of the Sanhedrin Court. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says.

Act 26:10  Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, [I gave] my voice against them.

The Jews were well aware of this system of choosing as they had, had the Urim and the Thummim all these years in their religion.

Exo 28:30  And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

In our Christian dispensation, the high-priest’s peculiar treasure, [consultation of God’s light and truth, belongs to all believers as spiritual priests].

The “white stone”, has been regarded as referring to the pebble of acquittal used in the Greek courts; to the lot cast in elections in Greece; to both of these combined; to the stones in the high priest’s breastplate; to the tickets presented to the victor, at the public games; or, lastly, to the custom of writing on stones.

We know that a “white stone” always means the God has chosen the church through His Son Christ Jesus in this time of grace and in this time of the Church Age.

Let’s pray!

MESSAGE TO THYATIRA

Our Text:

Revelation 2: 18-29

In our study of the book of Revelation we have reached the fourth church. We have seen Ephesus the church that lost it’s first love. Any church that does not have the Lord Jesus Christ as it’s foundation is not really a church but only a meeting place for lost souls. We have been to Smyrna the persecuted church. If you follow the Lord Jesus you will see the hate the world has for the true God of love. We’ve been to Pergamos the worldly church. It is a true statement that the place of a ship is in the water but if the water gets into the ship it will sink. We now come to Thyatira and we will find a place where this church got so lax that they also were giving in to the world.

Thyatira lay about 40 miles to the southeast of Pergamum. It was situated on the postal route between Ephesus and Laodicea. The city was originally formed as a Greek outpost. However, the city was built on flat, unprotected land, so therefore there were no natural fortifications to protect the area. Eventually, around 190BC the Romans took over the area.

We don’t know a lot about the city’s religious or political history. It was not steep in culture or Roman Emperor worship like some of the other cities we have studied. We do know that Thyatira had a “guardian” deity called Tyrimnos. A warrior and protector god that is associated with the many trade guilds found in Thyatira. It is also believed that there was a temple to Apollo, the ‘sun god’.

The one major thing we know about Thyatira is that it was a successful commercial center. Due to its location along the trade routes, it prospered commercially and became economically strong. Along with this prosperity, came the formation of several trade guilds, or what we may relate to as unions. They had guilds representing workers in the wool, linen, leather, bronze, pottery, baking, dying and slave trades. While we don’t know much about the cities overall religious activities, we do know that these guilds involved several forms of pagan worship in their meetings and activities including sacrifices to the pagan gods, eating of sacrificed meat that had been offered to the pagan idols and large sexually immoral gatherings.

We have no history of the start of the church at Thyatira. It is believed that Jewish families flocked to the city because of its commercial success and the Christian church probably formed out of that body. There is no evidence that the Christians of Thyatira were persecuted by the government the way they were in Smyrna and Pergamum, however it seems understood that there were issues with the trade guilds and the impact they had on the holiness of the Christians life.

A European named Lydia was the first one saved from this city though she was at Philippi when this took place.

Act 16:14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
Act 16:15  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Our Text:

*****Rev 2:18  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

Again John was to write for the Pastor of this church who was to deliver the message.

(Son of God)

The phrase “Son of God” is used 46 times in the New Testament but only this “one” time is it used in the book of Revelation. Christ wanted this church to know it was the Son of God that gave this message to their pastor.

Mar 1:1  The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

Joh 6:69  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

There is a reason for everything Christ does and we will see why He used this name shortly, but we already know the He wanted it known the source of this message to this church. That source was the “Son Of God”. This speaks of the deity of Christ but also of the Holy Trinity of God.  He does not bear this title in consequence of his miraculous birth, nor of his incarnation, his resurrection, and exaltation to the Father’s right hand. This is a title of nature and not of office. The sonship of Christ denotes his equality with the Father. To call Christ the Son of God is to assert his true and proper divinity. The second Person of the Trinity, because of his eternal relation to the first Person, is the Son of God. He is the Son of God as to his divine nature, while as to his human nature he is the Son of David.

Rom 1:3 says  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

(eyes like unto a flame of fire)

The phrase “flame of fire” is used exactly seven times throughout the Bible and we know the importance of the number “seven” in in this book. Christ sees everything that happens in His church.

Exo 3:2; Joe 2:5; Act 7:30; Heb 1:7; Rev1:14; Rev 19:12 and in our verse Rev 2:18.

We already know that these angels of the church represent the pastors of these churches. In Hebrews we see:

Heb 1:7  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

Heb 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

But they are also the stewards of God’s word:

1Co 4:1  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1Co 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

They are also accountable to God:

2Co 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

God knows we will be tempted just as his pastors are tempted:

Gal 4:14  And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

Not only do those eyes of Christ see all these things but He shows us He will be with us through all these things but with these eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ there is also that warning of that devouring flame, that all consuming flame when there is no obedience.

Isa 29:6  Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

Heb 12:29  For our God is a consuming fire.

Job said:

Job 42:2  I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

God sees even every thought that we have!

(fine brass)

We already know that this fine brass would be more like sterling silver. Showing how our Lord had spent His time on this Earth sin free, unstained, untarnished and willing to walk us through the flames of purification to refine us.

Mal 3:2  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

John the Baptist said:

Mat 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

These are the eyes of Our Lord that watch over us every day and this is the same Son of God that had this message for these of Thyatira this day.

*****Rev 2:19  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

We must not forget that this message was intended for the church. The bride of Christ. Their work of salvation already complete (to believe on the Lord Jesus and Repent their ways). These works are the works done since coming into the family of God.

Rom 6:13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, [as those that are alive from the dead], and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

As those that are alive would be those that are “Born Again”. Saved by the “grace” of God. Our works are good only when they are for the love of God and have the “glory of God” as the objective.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, [created in Christ Jesus unto good works], which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

(charity)

We throw the word “love” around throughout this world but only our English word “charity” can come close to describing the “Agape love” of Christ. This is love based on principle and action. This is love that can have feelings and shared emotions but are not ruled by those emotions. I love my children because they are my children. I’m not going to stop loving them just because they do foolish things. God will never stop loving His children and it shows in His actions. He did send His only Son to save a lost world. He loved us while we were still sinners and lost. We are still sinners but no longer lost if you are Born Again.

1Co 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

If I had charity, I would not strap a bomb on myself to go kill other people for “any” reason. Nor would I take a rifle to kill the innocent. There is a difference in a true soldier and a killer terrorist.

(service)

It is because of that “agape love” that these believers at this church could serve a Holy God. The word “service”comes from the word “deacon”. In other words that service would be directed toward others and for their benefit. If a deacon does things for his own glory then he is not serving God.

A Deacon is a person in the lowest degree of holy orders. The office of deacon was instituted by the apostles, Acts 6, and seven persons were chosen at first, to serve and to minister to the wants of the poor. Every child of God is a servant, a deacon, for the church of the living God, though some may be specifically chosen to perform this honor in the church. And God does have some guidelines for those that are chosen.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

The Strong dictionary of Greek terms says this of “service” in the church: “diakonia”: attendance (as a servant, etc.); figuratively (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher)

And from “diakonos” (to run on errands); an attendant, that is, (generally) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specifically a Christian teacher and pastor: – deacon, minister, servant.

Christian service extends in all directions. Our focus should always be on the unsaved but we should also be of service to our brothers and sisters, our church family is another priority and we cannot forget our service extends to God and our Lord Jesus Christ “first”.

Christ was pleased with the service of these saints at Thyatira.

(faith)

It took your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ to be saved. It will also takes faith to do the work of God.

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

These saints at Thyatira served God faithfully because they believed on Him and His word. The worst any situation gets, the more we need our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

(Patience)

It is the “agape love” of these saints of God and their saving faith that gave them the patience to be those faithful servants. Patience is being steadfast no matter what Satan throws at you. Remember how Noah preached for 120 years while he built that Ark. He never got a single person to believe on God. That took a lot of patience to preach a saving God and no one ever listened.

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
2Pe 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Just because people do not believe the word of God does not make it a lie. When the flood rains from Heaven began those of Noah’s day became instant believers but the door to safety had already been closed.

Gen 6:3  And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

We have to many examples of the truth of God. We have too many prophesies that have been totally fulfilled and not to forget the work of the Holy Spirit in our own souls to not believe what God says in His word. When you can witness the life saving grace of God in peoples lives and the change that takes place when the best rehabs and clinics fail you know what to be “Born Again” really means.

This church at Thyatira had patience!

(more than the first)

Because of their patience this church persevered in the work of God. These saints started well and continued in the race to the finish line.

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

These saints were not on again, off again Christians. They continued to grow spiritually and in theirs works of the church! Christians should never become complacent in their work for God nor should we ever feel satisfied of the work we are doing.

1Sa 12:24  Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: [for consider how great things he hath done for you].

*****Rev 2:20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

You know the saints of God sitting in the pews have a responsibility! We cannot allow any teaching that goes against the word of God!

(sufferest)

The Strong dictionary of Greek terms says of the word sufferest: to let be, that is, permit or leave alone:

Suffer in the Webster dictionary says: To allow; to permit; not to forbid or hinder.

Eph 5:11 says  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

1Ti 5:20 says  Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Tit 2:11 says  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

(Jezebel)

Who was Jezebel?

The dictionary says of this name Jezebel:  An impudent, daring, vicious woman.

Vicious means:  Addicted to vice; corrupt in principles or conduct; depraved; wicked; habitually transgressing the moral law.

You know when a real name “Jezebel” has it’s own definition in a book of word meanings, then she must have fit that desription.

There was another Jezebel in the Bible.

1Ki 16:31  And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.

This wife of Ahab who worshiped Baal.

Who was Baal? An idol among the ancient Chaldeans and Syrians, representing the sun. The word signifies also lord, or commander; and the character of the idol was varied by different nations, at different times. Thus Baal Berith is supposed to signify the Lord of the Covenant; Baal Peor, the Lord of the dead, Baal Zebub, the god of flies, etc.

She killed God’s prophets.

1Ki 18:4  For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD,

She installed her own prophets who Elijah proved were false.

1Ki 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
1Ki 18:22  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
1Ki 18:23  Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
1Ki 18:24  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

Jezebel made vows to her own false god.

1Ki 19:2  Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. (She would kill Elijah)

Jezebel controlled her husband Ahab.

1Ki 21:7  And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
1Ki 21:8  So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

This woman Jezebel did everything she could to make the children of Israel worship a false God. We can see that this Jezebel defied everything about God. She had placed everything on her on false beliefs. She had become a Queen being in her beliefs and now she answered to no one. She even dominated her husband the King of Israel. She was proven to be a pagan and murderous wife. She condoned immorality in her own family. (Ahab had seventy children). This Jezebel of Thyatira was so named of our Lord because she resembled the ways of the wife of Ahab.

There is a pretty good chance this woman at Thyatira was not named Jezebel even though she could have been, but she had the qualities of a Jezebel. Though some say that she was the wife of the Pastor, even that may not be true but it makes sense.

It is more than likely that this Jezebel was a person of some degree from the worship of Apollo, who was in this city, the sun god just as Baal. We can be sure she was not saved but a person as defined who would take charge if so allowed and it was happening at this Church at Thyatira.

1.) It seems she was being allowed to teach men or more probably young men or young adults.

1Ti 2:12  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
1Ti 2:13  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
1Ti 2:14  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

2,) She was teaching immorality and idolatry!

Idolatry is anything we put between us and God. Immorality is every action which contravenes any divine precept, or which is contrary to the duties which men or women owe to each other.

Luk 10:27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; [and thy neighbour as thyself].

The word “fornication” is used here in this verse and “not adultery”. This tells me this Jezebel may have been teaching young single adults. We know that this is the doctrine of Satan. Get them hook on sin while they are still young. We see in our own school systems where abstinence is not being taught but that it is OK to indulge in these immoral things. It was bad then and bad now. She taught that it was acceptable for Christians to engage in fornication. Remember King Ahab had, had at least 70 children. This was a common practice in these guilds, these unions of Thyatira and their pagan rituals. This philosophy still lives in our humanistic and atheist societies. Many today believe that business is business and we have to go along with business to get along in this world. When we teach the young people of this world to live immorally, they carry that wrong all the days of their life.

Every evil doctrine or false science, sinful ways seems to find it’s way into the schools. We cannot allow it in our Church!

God says?

Jer 17:5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

God’s arm is never to short to take care of His children.

Jer 32:17  Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

If business principles collide with Christian principles then most people will set aside their Christian belief to make what they call a living. The truth is we don’t have a clue to what would happen if we totally yield ourselves to the Lord.

King David wrote in his time:

Psa 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Psa 37:24  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; [yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread].
Psa 37:26  He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
Psa 37:27  Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

Jesus Christ held the church responsible for the teaching of this evil woman. The saints of God have a responsibility even when we are sitting in those pews. This church needed to stand up against this teaching. When we violate the authority of God’s word, then God is no longer in control of our lives and we are in deep sin. If whatever you are living for and whatever makes you happy is not centered around the Lord Jesus Christ “then you have a new god”.

Notice she made her own self a prophetess. We already know that their are no more prophets in our day nor were there in this day of Jezebel.

One of the purposes of the Book of Revelation is to show us that it was Christ who was the last prophet of the coming future and He alone. There are no more prophets after Jesus who is our only Saviour!

This woman Jezebel still has followers today. This is another reason God gave us this wonderful book, to show us Satan never changes and sadly he does not have to. His old methods still work. They have for 6000 years.

Christ said her followers would go through the great tribulation. Billy Graham once said that 85% of those sitting on church pews were not saved. Another preacher said 97%. The truth is the first Sunday after the Rapture of the church many will go to church as they always have and will not realize that the church is already in Heaven. Many will slide off the church pew straight into Hell.

Jesus also said that this woman had children which means she had many that had converted to her doctrine. These will suffer at the White Throne judgment seat. This is the “death” of all unbelievers. This is the only sin that will put you in front of Jesus at the White Throne. (The Sin Of Unbelief).

Rom 6:23  [For the wages of sin is death]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

3.) This woman was totally unrepentant!

The Jezebel of the Bible, wife of Ahab was still flirting with danger when Jehu came to town.

2Ki 9:30  And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
2Ki 9:31  And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?

She was eaten by the dogs at the bottom of a high window!

The name Jezebel still represents sinful ways in our day.

What is “doctrine”? In a general sense, whatever is taught. Hence, a principle or position in any science; whatever is laid down as true by an instructor or master.

Man’s doctrine will not work in Heavenly matters.

Only the doctrine of the gospel are the principles or truths taught by Christ and His Apostles.

Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Jesus Christ told this church to continue in the works and even to improve. He recognized that just to hold on in such a wicked place would be enough of a challenge for these believers.

In the time of Paul, the Apostles had given some details of salvation to the Gentiles:

Act 15:28  For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Christ our Lord still gives these details to the church of Thyatira.

The Bible says:

Luk 18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. [Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?]

To be steadfast in God’s word and being a doer of that word should be the goal of every believer no matter what obstacles Satan places in our path. We are going to fail from time to time but God will pick us up and dust our pants and set us back on His path.

What is the depth of Satan?

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

If your conscience is seared with a hot iron, then you will not have one!

Satan seeks to destroy the church from within. A house divided cannot stand.

Mar 3:25  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

Churches can be divided over such mundane things as traditions and politics. But if Satan can get a false Preacher, Pastor, or any Teacher in a church they can take a congregation away from Biblical Doctrine and insert their own doctrine that may never be corrected before the house falls. It is important for every church to be based on the written word of God and [not some ones opinion of that word]. The best way to avoid these things is to take God’s word and study it for yourself.

God’s word says what it means and it means what it says!

What’s our challenge?

1.) Be an over-comer.
2.) Keep the word of the Bible(KJV).
3.) Be steadfast in the work of the Lord!

What is His promise?

To rule over these nations with a rod of iron. This rule will be to obey the word of God. A pot broken in shivers cannot be repaired, it would have to be replaced. This is the rule of Jesus during the Millennial Kingdom.

Psa 2:7  I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Psa 2:8  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Psa 2:9  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Psa 2:10  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Psa 2:11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psa 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

What is a morning star?

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

It is Jesus Christ our Lord! He gives Himself to everyone that believes on Him.

Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, [If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him].

He’s coming again and it will be soon. If you have the Morning Star within you now you will come with Him when He returns the second time!

It seems so simple because it is!

Let’s Pray!

Message to Smyrna

THE MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH OF SMYRNA

Our Text: Revelation 2:8-11

Last week we learned about the message to the Church of Ephesus. This was a big modern city of her time and was home to the temple of Diana, once listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the known world. The lesson we learned was that we can never take our eyes off of Jesus. It was Jesus Christ that paid our debt that we could not pay. It is Jesus Christ that will lead us in to Heaven and eternal life. There is no other way to get there. You know Peter took his eyes off of the Lord when he got out of that boat and he began to sink but it was the long arm of God that reach out to him and carried him back to the safety of the church. That church, the one that clings to the Lord Jesus as a loving bride is the one that is going home soon to Heaven.

Today we look at what Christ said to the Church of Smyrna. The church in Smyrna was a much-persecuted church in a wealthy city that had little time for Christians. The city itself, founded about three centuries before Christ, was a well-planned accomplishment of Alexander the Great. The commercial center of Asia Minor, it was on the direct trade route from India and Persia to Rome. The large variety of coins found by archaeologists in the city clearly indicates that it was a wealthy city. The Jewish segment of the population seems to have been most irreligious and neglectful of spiritual things. Few specific details are known of the history of the Smyrna church other than what is given here in the book of Revelation. It can be safely deduced, however, that it was a most faithful church in the face of persecution. From this account, the known characteristics of the conditions in the church at Smyrna indicate that the judgment seat of Christ will reveal this church to be one of the most outstanding local bodies of believers in all of church history.

The city’s name means “myrrh”, which is obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense and tastes bitter. Myrrh was used chiefly in embalming the dead, because it had the property of preserving dead bodies from putrefaction. This type of embalming was used in Egypt and Judea. Smyrna was located about 40 miles to the north of Ephesus and was likely founded by the apostle Paul. The celebrated Polycarp, a pupil of the apostle John, was in the second century a prominent leader in the church of Smyrna.

The origins of the Christian community there, which was established in the 1st century, are unknown. Ignatius of Antioch stopped at Smyrna on his way to martyrdom in Rome in 107 AD, and he sent a letter back to the Christians there from later in his journey. Smyrna’s bishop, Polycarp, was burned at the stake in Smyrna’s stadium around 156 AD.

Some say this church represents the Age of the persecuted church but if you ask some in India, and China, and Russia or especially any of the Muslim dominated countries you will see persecution is still rampant in this world. It can be said that many more than 100,000,000 Christians have been murdered since the time of Christ and many of those by the so called Christian church. The false church of Satan is alive an well in this world and we will learn the destruction of this beast in this very book we are studying.

Our Text:

Rev 2:8-11

*****Rev 2:8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Here again we see this word is given to the pastor of the church. We know the work of the pastor.

Jeremiah said:

Jer 17:15  Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.
Jer 17:16  As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; [thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee].

A true Pastor has to preach God’s word in truth:

Jer 20:9  Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. [But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay].

A true Pastor has a mission from God Himself:

Eze 3:19  [Yet if thou warn the wicked], and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

A true Pastor will preach the entire word of God:

Act 20:27  For I have not shunned to declare unto you [all the counsel of God].

A true Pastor is always aware of the false preachers so, they will always speak of Christ:

2Co 2:17  [For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God]: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Does our church have a true Pastor? I know we do here at Gethsemane Baptist Temple. Does yours?

Then they should also preach this Book of the Revelation of Christ Jesus. He (Jesus) gave these words to the Pastors of these seven churches to “Preach”.

(Is alive)

The last time our Lord was seen on this Earth, He was alive!

Act 1:6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, [while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received
him out of their sight].

He was seen of the Apostle Paul after that:

Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, [but by the revelation of Jesus Christ].

Eph 3:3  How [that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery]; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

In fact Paul gave us these words:

1Co 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of [due time].

I believe Paul thought he should have been one of the 144,000 by his words due time. I try to pay my bills before they are due. That is a future date not one from the past.

We are also taught of God that by Jesus were the worlds created:

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

There is only one true God:

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

My God is alive. He walked on the Earth with Adam. He walked on this Earth as Jesus. He walk out of that grave as Jesus, “alive” not some ghost. He walked on this Earth for forty days after the grave in a body which was glorified. He was alive when the Apostles saw Him go into that cloud. He was alive when Paul saw Him and he was alive when The Apostle John saw Him this day. Our God is alive and He always will be.

Rev 10:6 says And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

If we are with Him as He says then this very day of endless time will be our beginning of “eternal life”.

*****Rev 2:9  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.

(Thy works)

The phrase “I know thy works” is used [exactly seven] times in the Bible and it is only used when Christ addresses these seven churches.

Does God know everything?

Job said God had perfect knowledge: Job 37:16
The Psalmist said God’s understanding was infinite: Psa 147:5
Samuel says the Lord looks all the way into the heart of man: 1 Sam 16:7
King David told Solomon that God understood every thought of man: 1 Chron 28:9
Jeremiah wrote God knows everything we do: Jer 17:10

It tells of this in Hebrews and, In Isaiah, in fact Isaiah says God even knows the future before it happens: Isa 41:21-24

Isa 42:9 says  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Jesus said God even knew how many hairs were on the head of each and every one of us: Matt 10:30

God knows everything and He knows what we are doing and what we have done since we got saved. Jesus gave this message to the pastor so the pastor could preach to the church. Jesus is talking to you and I on a personal level when He says “I know your works”!

James the half-brother of the Lord writes:

Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

And you can say that a church without good works will be dead also.

(Tribulation)

If God knows our works He also knows how much we have suffered to do those works. Now this is different from punishment for sin. God will use that Heavenly Hickory from time to time. This is different from the things that happen because of the curse on this world. The Sickness, and things that come from aging, and things from more natural causes.

This is the tribulation we suffer just because we say we are “Christians”  and just because we are trying to do the work God has commanded us to do. We are all suppose to be Evangelist for Jesus in any way that we can and with all our heart. We have freedoms here in America that some do not have in other countries, So God will expect more from us but He expects us all to do our part. Even when we are old and weak, we can pray for the word of God to go unhindered throughout the world. We can pray God will place a hedge of protection around His children, His sheep.

During this time in Smyrna it was a time of Emperor worship. The Caesars had declared themselves god’s and it could mean death to not bow down to them or their statues. The Temple of Zeus was there which goes back to the days of Nimrod. The Temple of Cybele was there which was their version of Diana and the queen of heaven. This was a hard place to be a Christian. The Romans hated all Christians. The imperial laws against Christians were enforced severely in Smyrna. At that time this helped the Jews who also hated all Christians.

The Smyrna church was a persecuted church. The name Smyrna comes from the word myrrh, the sweet smelling
incense. The aroma permeated the space when myrrh is crushed. It is used even today is incense. The Smyrna church was sweet smelling sacrifice to God. You could say it was bitter-sweet to be a Christian in this place. They were mercilessly put to death by fine Roman methods -lions, stakes, and torches. Romans were connoisseurs of torturing. To this tortured persecuted crushed church Jesus writes a comforting letter.

The Church at Ephesus in it’s period had lost it’s first love; therefore, the Lord permitted chastisement to come to that Church. In Smyrna the prophecy of persecution and death is seen. We now will also see there are rewards for the sealing your testimony with your own blood.

(Thy Poverty)

Any person that converted to Christianity in Smyrna were not only persecuted but they were not allowed into the system. No employment. No place to sell their wares and what they owned was taken away from them. Sadly this still happens in Muslim control countries and in some other places as well.

But they were rich:

Jas 2:5 says  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and [heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him]?

Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and [what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints],

2Co 6:10  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; [as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things].

Mat 5:12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: [for great is your reward in heaven]: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Mat 10:41  He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and [he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward].

2Jn 1:8  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

(That say they are Jews)

There are always people that claim to be something they are not. There are many living in America today that call themselves Americans but do everything they can to change things to something from their past. These Jews probably were not as persecuted because it was the time of the Church. They were still suppose to be God’s people! When they added to the persecution of the Church they brought the wrath of the Lord down upon them. Jesus Christ Himself was born a Jew in the flesh through His mother Mary but He is the foundation of the Church.

Rom 2:28 says  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

These are His words recorded here to His own Earthly race. God does not sugar coat any of His words. His word is always true.

Rom 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Just because they had a family tree in the Jewish history it did not make them Jews. The Lord said if you were Abraham’s seed you would do the works of Abraham. And what was the work of Abraham.

Joh 8:37  I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Joh 8:38  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Joh 8:39  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, [If ye were
Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham].

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, [Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God].

A friend of God would not persecute other believers!

Gal 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Synagogue of Satan:

If you do not belong to God then you belong to Satan and wherever you gather you are in his house. Today we hear that all religions should pull together under one roof. This could never be the truth without the truth first and only being Jesus Christ.

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Two names are used for the enemy of mankind in Revelation:

1.) Satan- which means “adversary”.
2.) Devil- which means “slanderer”.

He is both these things to the church of the Living God. He is the instigator of all persecution and of all slander brought forth to the Church.

*****Rev 2:10  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.

We that know God, know that all power comes from Him.

Psa 62:11  God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

Satan cannot come close to one of God’s children without His (God’s) express permission!

God said to Satan about Job: Job 2:6  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

There is no power but of God:

Rom 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: [the powers that be are ordained of God].

To resist God’s power is to ensure your place in Hell:

Rom 13:2  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and [they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation].

The persecution of Saints has it’s own purpose and God is in control of it’s use and it’s outcome! God’s purpose of persecution will cause repentance, purification and will strengthen the love, faith and courage of the Church.

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Luk 12:4  And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
Luk 12:5  But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Luk 12:6  Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Luk 12:7  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Luk 21:12  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

That number “Ten”. The first thing we should know is that this is not referring to any time of the tribulation period. That would be later and the Church will already be with our Savior.

Ten is a big number in the Bible.

1.) There are “Ten” Commandments.
2.) God would not have destroyed Sodom had He found “Ten” righteous men.
3.) God named the place we live Earth in the “tenth” verse.
4.) God tells us of the Generations of Noah in the “Tenth” Chapter.
5.) There are “Ten” Generations till the time of Noah.
6.) There are only “Ten” recorded Passovers in the Bible with Jesus dying on the Cross of Calvary at that “Tenth” one.

There are also “Ten” known era of Christian persecution with the last one, the Diocletian period lasting exactly “Ten” years.

1.) Nero (66 A.D.)
2.) Domitian (93 A.D.)
3.) Trajan (102 A.D.)
4.) Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Verus (166 A.D.)
5.) Septimus Severus (201 A.D.)
6.) Maximin (237 A.D.)
7.) Decius (251 A.D.)
8.) Valerian (259 A.D.)
9.) Aurelian (273 A.D.)
10.)Diocletian (302 A.D.)

Ten is also one of the perfect and complete numbers with three, seven and twelve being the others.

The number ten is the start of a whole new order of numbers and the culmination of the numbers that come before it. This may seem to be merely a distinction given to ten under our decimal numbering system. However the numbering systems in use in the time that the Bible was written were also based upon the number ten. Furthermore numbering by tens is built in to our very anatomy, count up on your fingers and when they are all used, make a mark on a piece of paper and start from your first finger again. Soon you will have a number of marks, each representing ‘two hands’ worth. Thus in ancient times as in modern times ten is the start of a whole new order of numbers and the culmination of the numbers that come before it.

Let’s make it simple:

In the Book of Daniel we see these words:

Dan 1:12  [Prove thy servants], I beseech thee, [ten days]; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

Because Daniel and his friends stayed by the word of God, God gave them wisdom and understanding.

Dan 1:17  As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

In fact they were “ten” times better than those false men of understanding.

Dan 1:20  And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

God is no respecter of persons:

Act 10:34  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Act 10:35  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

God could not do for Daniel and not do for these that were persecuted in Smyrna. He would only allow Satan to prove them for “ten” days. Their end result would be a homecoming!

2Co 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mar 8:35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

Jas 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.

1Pe 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

*****Rev 2:11  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.

Seven times to these churches does the Holy Spirit tell the individuals to hear what is said. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to hear God’s message that is taught in the Church. God will accept no excuses at the Judgment Seat. We cannot depend on others to do our learning, our hearing, our praying nor our confessing.

He that overcomes will not be hurt in the second death.

It is a good saying, that he that is born once will die twice but he that is born twice will die only once.

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

The first death is the death of the flesh. That second death is in the Burning Lake of Fire. No “Born Again” child of God will ever see the Burning Lake of Fire.

A person has to reject God’s word to get there and sadly many will. To be a child of God, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, you will suffer persecution that will increase as time goes by. It may cost you some friends. It will cost you some popularity. It may cost you your job. Many of these Saints at Smyrna lost their lives because of their faith. God pity you and I if we cannot suffer some in the name of Jesus Christ.

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

Let’s pray!

Message to Ephesus

THE MESSAGE TO EPHESUS

Our text for today: Revelation 2:1-7

There are some things we need always to remember in our study of God’s word. He does things in order and He has a purpose for everything He does. We also know that God’s purpose and His order will always work out for the best for His children, every believer.

1Co 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

So why did He choose to begin with the church of Ephesus?

First let’s remember how the Lord Jesus Christ Himself divided up this book for our study.

Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

In chapter one we had the things which the Apostle John had seen. We now will look at the things that are. The things that are, are the church age which we still live in. This is the age of “mercy” and “grace” God has provided for those that will believe. It will last until the time of the rapture of the the church, which could happen at any moment as there is no other prophesy that needs to be fulfilled for this time to end. The Apostles new about the “ages” because they wrote of them.

Eph 2:7  That [in the ages to come] he might shew [the exceeding riches of his grace] [in his kindness] [toward us] through Christ Jesus. (that toward us is the church of the living God)

You know the Apostles Doctrine did not begin until the book of Acts. The Gospels is our record of their discipleship. Only after the Holy Ghost came upon them at Pentecost did they begin the work assigned to them of Christ.

Joh 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; [It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you].

Joh 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, [he shall testify of me]:

The love of Jesus and our service to Him must be the primary motivation and activity in every true church. All ministry, service, deeds and actions must spring from our affection for Jesus Christ. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will also be led by the Holy Spirit who still testifies of Christ Jesus and Him only.

Mar 12:28  And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

The church belongs to Jesus Christ. If we do not put Christ Jesus first in the church then it cannot be called a church. That word is used an awful lot in America and throughout the world but by definition a church has God as it’s founder and the foundation of God’s church is Jesus Christ.

1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
1Co 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11  [For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ].

What is a church? The collective body of Christians, or of those who profess to believe on Christ, and acknowledge him to be the Savior of mankind.

Most people now refer to the building where the children of God meet as the church but it is actually just a place where God has placed His name.

Jer 7:12  But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, [where I set my name at the first], and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

Deu 15:20  Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year [in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household].

What is a true church?

Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

So then a church is only a church when they are gathered around Christ Jesus!

Jesus Christ sent these messages to seven churches in Asia. They seem to be seven typical places of worship. We will see that it is He(Jesus Christ), not we as members, that decides if these places are what he expects. We must ask ourselves, “is Jesus Christ happy with our church”.

I believe these seven churches also represent the changes the church has gone through in different periods of time up till the day we are in now.

The entire book of Revelation was written to these seven churches. Every church got to read what Jesus said about every other church and every church got to read about the future and every church got a copy of the book of Revelation. We will need to see how the place we worship compares to these of the Bible as they are the examples given to us to learn by. This book was not written to the lost of this world nor to the governments of this world nor to the Jew. This book was written to the bride of Christ. The church of the Living God.

A little history of this city Ephesus:

Ephesus was a very prominent city on the western part of the Roman province of Asia, had enjoyed the ministry of Paul for three years (Acts 20:31). Timothy also had apparently served this church as pastor. Later, before his exile to the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John had served as one of the pastors of this church.

Ephesus was a large city with an excellent harbor, and it was known at this time as the marketplace of Asia. It was also a banking center because of its great vault in the Temple of Diana, which was considered the safest place in Asian Minor. “Ephesus was also an important religious city. The Temple of Diana (or Artemus, as the Greeks called her) was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The goddess Diana was the patron of all the prostitutes and, with her many-bosomed image, represented fertility and sexuality. Many writers in ancient times described the immorality of the city.

One pillar in the Ephesian economy was the production of silver images of Diana by the many silversmith who plied their trade there. Devotees of this goddess brought much gain to the city (Acts 19:23-27). Black magic was also widely practiced in Ephesus.

Ephesus was known as the light of Asia at this time and it was the strong hold of Satan’s power over the then known world. The Apostle Paul wrote an entire epistle to the church at Ephesus.

OUR TEXT:

**********Rev 2:1  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;

(unto the angel)

That angel we have already established to be the pastor of this church.

Rev 1:20 [The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches]: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

The Strong dictionary: a?´??e??? aggelos ang’-el-os
From a???e´??? aggello¯ (probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings); [a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication a pastor: – angel, messenger].

G71 a?´?? ago¯ ag’-o
A primary verb; properly [to lead]; by implication to bring, drive, (reflexively) go, (specifically) pass (time), or (figuratively) induce: – be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open.

G34 a??e´?? agele¯ ag-el’-ay
From G71 (compare G32); [a drove: – herd].
If you are to lead a herd then you are typically the shepherd.
1Pe 2:25  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
These angels of the church are the shepherds called to lead the flock until the true Shepherd (Jesus our Lord) comes again.
By saying He is holding them in His hand, Christ says it is He that has the power over the these shepherds. Any pastor or preacher that is not led by the Holy Ghost will not be a true pastor or preacher.
Heb 5:4  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, [but he that is called of God], as was Aaron.
Being the pastor of a true church is not a job, “but a calling of God”.
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
*****Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? [and how shall they hear without a preacher]?
*****Rom 10:15  And [how shall they preach, except they be sent]? as it is written, [How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!]
Paul said:
1Co 1:17  For [Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel]: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 9:16  For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: [for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel]!
*****Now we can see the location of our Lord. We know that He sits at the right hand of God.
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We know that He is also walking in the midst of the church. We already know that is where He said He would be.
Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Christ is not just walking about in these seven places of worship but He walks in the congregation of every true church when they meet in His name. If a congregation is gathering together in any other name then they are just having a meeting. They have not come together to worship God. If we do not gather in His  name, worship in His name, or pray in His name, we have missed the point of “salvation”. It’s all about Jesus and not about any other so called god, Allah, Mohamed or any other such or so called prophet. It’s not about Buddha, or Confucius, or any of the others. Jesus Christ is still the only way to get to Heaven.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

There is no other God and there is no other way!

**********Rev 2:2  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:

(thy works)

Though there are those that still believe it is by the good works they do that will get them into Heaven, there is only one work that is acceptable. That work is to simply believe on the finished work of our Saviour. The works of this verse is work that takes place after Salvation.

Rom 6:13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: [but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God].

We are to yield our bodies to be instruments for the use of God. Jesus tells this church at Ephesus that He is keenly aware of their good works.

Rom 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Paul reminds us that it is who we yield ourselves too that we will obey. If we yield to Jesus then we will obey Jesus Christ. If we yield to Satan then we will do the works of Satan. You cannot do the works of Satan and call yourself a Christian. The gospel of salvation by grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true, unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. “Neither adulterer, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkard” shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Works are “good” only when, they spring from the principle of love to God and “good works” have the glory of God as their objective.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

(thy labor)

We must remember this church was located in Ephesus, the sin capitol of the world at this time. The Temple of Diana which served also as the seat of government at times was there. This temple was listed as one of the seven wonders of the world. It would have been hard to do the work of God in this city.

The Apostle Paul wrote of this city(Acts 19):

1Co 15:32  [If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus], what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

The word beast in the Strong dictionary:  “the¯riomacheo¯” (thay-ree-om-akh-eh’-o)
From a compound of G2342 and G3164; to be a beast fighter (in the gladiatorial show), that is, (figuratively) to encounter (furious men): – fight with wild beasts.

These were furious men who defended their false religion. It was hard to be a witness for Jesus in Ephesus.

Again Paul wrote:

2Co 1:8  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
2Co 1:9  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
2Co 1:10  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

It was not any different and probably worse in this time of the Apostle John.

(thy patience)

patience used here: “hupomone¯ ” (hoop-om-on-ay’)
From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

You know our job is to sow the seed. It is God that will control the increase. If we do not see any fruit from our labor it does not mean it’s our fault. If we patiently do the work of God with all our heart there will be results and the rewards of our labor will be shown to us when we meet Jesus. This is not a part time job and we cannot retire from it. So it’s best to have patience. In other words get out of God’s way. Just surrender yourself to Him in everything we do.

Luk 1:74  That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
Luk 1:75  In holiness and righteousness before him, [all the days of our life].

(have tried them that say)

Not everyone that say they are Christian are!

Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The Apostle Paul said use him as an example:

Php 3:17  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Php 3:18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Paul also admonishes us:

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

There were only 12 Apostles and there will never be any more.

Act 1:22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

You had to see the resurrected Christ to become an Apostle. Only the Apostle Paul was not with these original disciples but he saw the Lord Jesus Christ on at least three different occasions.

These believers of Ephesus had put all those that had come to preach in Ephesus to the test. It’s not that hard to see a liar if we have God’s word and accept it as truth as our standard of truth.

2Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14  And no marvel; [for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light].
2Co 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Paul said it’s going to get worse:

Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing [shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock].
Act 20:30  [Also of your own selves] shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

All we need do is listen to the false doctrine being preached behind most all pulpits in America and throughout the world to know this is true and sadly only a few believers seem to care.

**********Rev 2:3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

(and has borne)

Jesus told this church that even as tough as it was they had truly stayed with it and endured all the persecution for witnessing for Jesus. Again with patience continuing in the work of the Lord.

(for my name’s sake)

You open a window to get air. We work to get a paycheck. We read the Bible to get instruction. We witness for the sake of Jesus or we are doing it all for the wrong reasons. This church was doing things for the right reasons. The phrase “name’s sake” is used 30 times in the Bible. God does these things to make the world know that “there is a God”.

Psa 106:8  Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

(Hast labored)

In verse 2 we saw the word labor: The Greek word “kopos” (kop’-os)
From G2875; a cut, that is, (by analogy) toil (as reducing the strength), literally or figuratively; by implication pains: – labour, + trouble, weariness.

This just meant it was troublesome to do the work of God in Ephesus. Remember what Paul had said about the “beast” (furious men) of Ephesus.

Here in verse 3 The Greek word “kopiao¯” (kop-ee-ah’-o)
From a derivative of G2873; [to feel fatigue; by implication to work hard]: – (bestow) labour, toil, be wearied.

This means that even though the work was very hard these people had remained faithful to the work. Why should we be so busy for the Lord Jesus?

2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, [we may be accepted of him].

Now this has nothing to do with salvation but it does have something to do with the day we meet the Lord in the air.

Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

If our work for the Lord is not because we trust Him then our salvation is based on the wrong things. How does that song go? (Only Trust, Only Trust Him Now)

Heb 2:13  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

(hast not fainted)

To faint is to become feeble; to decline or fail in strength and vigor; to be weak. This church had not become weak in God’s work. They had remained strong.

2Co 4:1  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2Co 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Gal 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

This is a must do for any true church. Persecution of the church is on the rise. If we do not go the work of the Lord now, we surely won’t go when things get worse.

**********Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

(Nevertheless)

Ouch! What a word! This word is actually used 97 times in the Bible. This the Greek word “alla” and I believe we get our word alas from this word. Jesus says contrary to the good things I have just told you, you need to know this also.

(I have somewhat against you)

The word “somewhat” was not in the original text but was added in this English translation to clarify the words. In other words Jesus was saying He was  disappointed or disturbed about this one thing.

(Thou has left thy first love)

What is the first love of the Church?

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, [Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.]

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and [upon this rock I will build my church]; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (the rock of Jesus)

The church is built on Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God!

Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, [The first] of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30  [And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment].
Mar 12:31  And [the second] is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

What we do not realize sometimes as a church is that we can get so involved in the work of God, that we actually make an “Idol” out of that work. What is an “Idol”? An “Idol” is anything we place between us and our Lord God. It is also sin!

1Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

1Jn 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

When we quit dwelling in the Love of God and dwell in anything else we are in sin to God. We will not lose our salvation but we lose the basis of the church. We will remain saved but it will not be very long before that church will close the doors and not exist any more.

The church belongs to Jesus!

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

The modern day humanistic church that has removed, the blood of Christ, the Virgin birth of Christ, The Cross of Christ, The Deity of Christ have surely like this church at Ephesus left there first love.

It’s all about Jesus. The Church, The Bible, And the Bride. Who wants an adulterous bride for a wife. Think about it church!

1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

We certainly were not chosen just so we could forget the one that saved us! If not for the mercy of God we would all burn in Hell.

**********Rev 2:5  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.

(remember)

To remember is to preserve the memory of; to preserve from being forgotten. This not the same as to recollect something we have temporarily forgotten. Jesus says to lock this thing in to your mind. Preserve this fact. This is  something to never forget.

Take this quick test:

1.) Am I willing to separate myself for Jesus?
2.) Am I totally focused on Jesus?
3.) Am I steadfast for Jesus?
4.) Am I bringing Jesus to others?
5.) Is Jesus All I need everyday?

Jesus Christ is the “Rose of Sharon” and the “Lily of the Valley” can you say “yes” to these questions?

(therefore)

Remember (for that or this reason, referring to something previously stated).

(whence thou art fallen) (Remember that because you have forgotten the first love). This is a fallen position. This a change of direction. This is being disobedient to God. This is being in sin.

(repent)

There is only one option when we are in sin. We had to repent to be saved and that is where we met our first love. We never have to repent to keep our salvation again but we must repent every sin to God on a daily basis. Sometimes on a moment by moment basis. It’s best to repent as soon as you realize you have sinned. And even when you may not realize it but you can feel the tug of the Holy Spirit, it’s best to ask the Lord to forgive.

1Jn 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
*****1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The lesson of repentance:

Mat 21:28  But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
Mat 21:29  [He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went].

Obey our Father in Heaven and go and do what He tells us to do!

Ecc 12:13  [Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.]
Ecc 12:14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

(do the first works)

1Jn 5:20  And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
1Jn 5:21  Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Remember an Idol is anything that we put before our God.

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and [we in him]; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, [and we by him].

Any other way is the wrong way!

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, [the love of many shall wax cold].

Without the first love there can be no love for others. We see this result now in our own lifetime.

(come to thee quickly)

There are many churches closing down every day. I read not long ago that as many as 50 were closing their doors monthly for various reasons. When you take out the blood, the virgin birth, the cross, and forget about the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ our Lord, the doors will soon close. Those that are false churches were never a place where God placed His name.

(will remove the candlestick)

The candlestick is not the light. The candlestick is the place where the light would emit. If the church has no candlestick then there will be no place for the light of Jesus, who is that light of salvation, to shine from. There is no need for the candlestick without the true light.

Joh 1:6  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
Joh 1:7  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
Joh 1:8  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Joh 1:9  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Joh 1:10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

1Jn 2:8  Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and [the true light now shineth].

(repent)

There are three steps to take to recover from this fall.

1.) Remember
2.) Repent
3.) Do the first works.

We cannot recover from any fall until we have done these things.

1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

**********Rev 2:6  But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

1.) Nikos = dominating the defeated
2.) laos = working class people
3.) tan = the

4.) The deeds = Power of action.

The Apostle John writes of such persons:

3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, [who loveth to have the preeminence among them], receiveth us not.
3Jn 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, [prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would], and [casteth them out of the church].
3Jn 1:11  Beloved, [follow not that which is evil], but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: [but he that doeth evil hath not seen God].

This is someone in the church that assumes lordship over God’s people. An elder, a pastor, a pope or such (but false).

Jesus Christ says He hates this thing. He didn’t use the word hate very much.

Luk 16:13  [No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other]. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Proof:

2.The name, Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes), is a compound word which is composed of three Greek words, and which, because of being a proper noun, is transferred instead of being translated into English. As thus transferred, it is subject to the laws of Greek construction in regard to ellipsis, contraction and phonetics.

3.The Greek words used in its construction are first: “Nikos,” of which we use the English equivalents instead of the Greek letters, as we shall also of the other two. [Nikos is defined as “a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered]; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated.” Another transferred name in which this term is used is “Nicopolis,” i.e., Niko – conquest; polis city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory. Also Andro — nikos a man of conquest, of victory.

The second term used in the name under consideration is “laos,” — people, another use of which is Nicolas, which is transferred and is composed of Nikoslaos and means [one who is “victorious over the people,”] the letter “s” being, in both words, the nominative case ending, which is retained only at the end of the word to denote the case, while “a” short and “o” short are contracted into “a” long.

“Laodicean” Also, a still further transferred use of “laos” is found in the name Lao(s)diceans, compounded with dike or dice as the Greek “k” is the equivalent English “c.” Thus, in the name Laodiceans, [we have laos — “people”] and dice judgment, or vengeance, i.e., the people of my judgment, or of my vengeance. Also the Greek word la(ic)os means “laymen,” of which laos is the root and stem, which selfsame word, with the “o” short contracted to “i”, to which root and stem the plural definite article ton is joined to form laiton — is a Greek phrase meaning “the laity.”

The third and last word entering into the construction of the proper name Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes) is ton, in which omega, the long “o”, is contracted into long “a”, thus making the word “tan” which is the genitive case plural in all the genders of the definite article ‘the.’

Therefore, we have, without the legal Greek construction, the English hyphenated word Nickos-laoston, but which, with its lawful elisions and contractions, becomes the English name: Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes), the full meaning of which, in its native tongue and in its ecclesiastical setting, [is that the bishops and prelates of the Church have gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the laiton — the laity — until they have been compelled to submit to the arbitrary dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates – (‘Lords over God’s heritage’):]

1Pe 5:1-3 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (Neither as being lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.) ”

Jesus Christ Our Lord said:

Mat 23:8  But be not ye called Rabbi: [for one is your Master, even Christ; and (all ye) are brethren].
Mat 23:9  And call no man your father upon the earth: [for one is your Father, which is in heaven].
Mat 23:10  Neither be ye called masters: [for one is your Master, even Christ].
Mat 23:11  [But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant].
Mat 23:12  And [whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased]; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

**********Rev 2:7  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.

(He that hath an ear)

Remember these letters were sent to the church. Then every brother and sister in Christ should open their ears to these words. The Holy Spirit said “listen to what I am saying” This is important stuff. We know John was told to write what he saw. We know he saw Jesus standing in the midst of these seven churches. Now we see it is the Holy Spirit that still guides the words that are said.

Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

And the Holy Spirit will always speak of Jesus Christ!

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, [he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you].

(eat of the tree)

Where else have we seen this tree?

Gen 2:8  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Gen 2:9  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The way to this tree was blocked because of sin!

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:
Gen 3:23  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Here in this verse we see it is the brothers and sisters of the church that will have access to this tree, that is located in the New Heaven.

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.

Only those that obey God have the rights to this tree.

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

THIS IS THE PARADISE OF GOD!

Let’s pray!

The Lord’s Last Messages’s to His Church And John’s Vision of Jesus

WHAT ARE THE LORD’S LAST MESSAGES TO HIS CHURCH
(The Book of the Revelation)

Our Text Today:

Rev 1:1-11

We will begin a study today in the Book of Revelation that will go through to the end of August 2010. It will be a good time to get a blessing.

Luk 11:28 says  But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

What is “revelation”? What does this word mean?

The Webster dictionary says this is: The act of disclosing or [discovering to others what was before unknown to them]

The Apostle Paul said what he had learned, he learned when Jesus “revealed” Himself to him.

Eph 3:3 says  How [that by revelation] [he made known unto me the mystery]; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

He repeated this to the Corinthians:

2Co 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].

The Strong’s dictionary of Greek terms says:  disclosure: – appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.

The word revelation itself is used 12 times in the Bible and all in the New Testament but [it is used only one time in the book of Revelation].

Easton says: An uncovering, a bringing to light of that which had been previously wholly hidden or only obscurely seen.

Some say it is an “unveiling” of the Lord Jesus. unveiled means: [Plainly; without disguise].

In other words, Our Lord Jesus Christ has made this as plain as He could and still keep it so we can understand it. We know He is not the author of confusion. John could only describe what he saw in terms of what he had seen throughout his life. John got a glimpse into the future to a place indescribable except in terms that he knew.

The Book of Revelation is the book that ties it all together. Jesus said the Prophecy and the Law up till His time stopped with John the Baptist. None of the prophets had figured out the Church age any more than they had figured out the two comings of Christ. The scriptures were there as we can see but they could not see the two events.

Mat 11:13 says  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

You see John preached the coming Kingdom but the “Church” age would come before that time began. The Book of Revelation picks up from that point, with the time of “grace” given through His own blood, and goes on through the Church age, then the Rapture, then the Tribulation period, then the Millennial Kingdom(which John was preaching) and then to “Eternal Life” in the New Heaven and a New Earth.

So many people call this book the book of doom, or the end times or anything to make people scared to read and study.

Actually this is “a book of life”. When the words “end of time” are used, we must take those words literally just like we should the whole Bible.

IT WILL BE THE END OF TIME, AS NO MORE DAYS, NO MORE MINUTES, NO MORE HOURS, NO MORE SUNRISES OR SUNSETS. THE VERY LAST SUNRISE YOU SEE WILL BE THE LAST DAY. THERE WILL BE NO MORE DAYS, [ONLY LIFE ETERNAL].

THE ONLY WAY TO MISS THIS LAST DAY IS TO “NOT” KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOUR. SADLY MANY WILL CHOOSE TO NOT BELIEVE. THEY WILL NOT MISS OUT ON ETERNAL LIFE, [THEY WILL JUST SPEND IT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE].

UNDERSTANDING THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD IS THE KEY TO THE BOOK OF REVELATION. HE IS COMING IN TWO STAGES. IN THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH HE WILL COMES AS FAR AS THE CLOUDS:

1Th 4:17  Then [we which are alive and remain shall (be caught up) together with them in the clouds], to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

What does the word Rapture mean? A seizing by violence. Rapidity with violence; a hurrying along with velocity; as rolling with torrent rapture.

1Co 15:52  (In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye), at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The word Rapture may not be in the Bible but the definition of that word for sure is there!

*****AND LATER IN PROBABLY ABOUT SEVEN YEARS OUR TIME HE WILL COME ALL THE WAY TO THE GROUND:

Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
*****Act 1:11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, [why stand ye gazing up into heaven?] this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Act 1:12  Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

We should observe what these angels were saying. They said what are you doing still standing here. You need to get busy with the Masters work till He comes.

*****CHRIST WILL RETURN TO THE EXACT SAME PLACE WHERE HE LEFT!

Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

**********LET’S BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING OUR TEXT:

Rev 1:1  [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]:
Rev 1:2  [Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw].
Rev 1:3  [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).

Verse 1.)

A.) The very first words tells us this book is about the “revealing”, the unveiling of Jesus Christ. This book is about Jesus not the man of sin. This book is about God!

B.) The very first verse tells us the source of this “revelation”. That source is the Almighty God. (Theos) is used here in this verse meaning the supreme God.

C.) The very first verse tells us the reason God has revealed all this about “His” “Son” “Jesus Christ”. These things will shortly come to pass. We can well say that it has been almost 2000 years since Christ went back to Heaven, so what is the word “shortly”?

What does this word shortly mean? Most believe that it is used as a short time and this is true whether we see it now or another 1000 years, though I believe it to be much sooner or as John writes it “Surely I come quickly”

BUT let’s dig a bit deeper. This term can also mean that “I’m writing this in as few words as I can and in the language of man (John) so you can understand.

The old Webster dictionary has these meanings:

Shortly: In few words, briefly, as to express ideas more in verse than in prose.
Prose: to write or relate in a tedious way in man’s words.

We can see that the Apostle John put what he saw in word pictures many times so we to could see what he saw. He gave descriptions many times and we should also try to relate to those pictures. These are not figments of his imagination but actual things he saw in the future that he had never seen and tried to describe so we would know them.

In other words let’s look at the book of Revelation in what it says rather than how soon all this could happen. The other 65 books gives us the picture of when all this could happen and that is “at any time”.

D.) This very first verse tells us God sent and signified by His angel!

(His own angel) Now we know that God is the Lord of the Angelic Host. He is King of the angels just as He is our King and Lord. So this could be any angel but He did use the term “his” and not “an” angel. There is a difference. I believe this to mean an angel that sits in His presence.

This angel was sent on a mission. It was his purpose to make sure John saw all these things.

To “signify” is to: To make known something, either by signs or words; to express or communicate to another any idea, thought, wish, a hod, wink, gesture, signal or other sign.

This angel showed to John a glimpse into the future and John used all his knowledge in his old age to show that future to anyone that studies this great book.

Heb 1:13 says  But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
*****Heb 1:14  [Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?]

You know God will use one of these angels to throw Satan into the lake of fire one day soon. Saying is this the one!

Isa 14:15 SAYS  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
*****Isa 14:16  (They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee), saying, [Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms];

SATAN’S DAY IS COMING AND WE LEARN ABOUT THIS DAY IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION! THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT HIM(Satan) THOUGH HE IS IN IT. THIS BOOK IS ABOUT JESUS. THE WHOLE BIBLE IS ABOUT JESUS. THAT’S WHY THE WORLD HATES JESUS!

E.) John is a servant of God. Every Saint of God is a servant of God.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

If we are not the servants, the “slaves” of God then we are not saved. You have to be purchased to be saved. My Lord owns me and I will serve Him! He not only bought me with His blood, He bought me with His “Love”.

Verse 2.)

John gives us this record of what he saw.

The word “bare” means: The Greek word “martureo” is used here. It’s definition is:

[to be a witness,] that is, testify (literally or figuratively): – charge, give [evidence], bear record, have (obtain, of) good (honest) report, be well reported of, testify, give (have) testimony, (be, bear, give, obtain) witness.

(of the word of God)

2Ti 3:16 says  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

John just didn’t write these things. He was still under the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit!

(the Testimony of Jesus)

A Testimony is: A solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact. Such affirmation in judicial proceedings, may be verbal or written, but must be under oath. Testimony differs from evidence; testimony is the declaration of a witness, and evidence is the effect of that declaration on the mind, or the degree of light which it affords.

The Book of Revelation is the “testimony” of Jesus Christ!

Isa 8:20 says  To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

(and all things he saw)

This was not a dream to John. This somewhat like a vision but I believe it was a life like vision. In other words it was like seeing it on a movie screen in 3D.

Even though this book is about the “unveiling” of Jesus Christ, there are many visions and events that are brought forth for us to know.

Pro 14:5 was  A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

The Apostle John is this faithful witness to the “testimony of Jesus”!

Verse 3.)

We talk about ways to be blessed of God. This book that everyone is so afraid of comes with the blessing of God.

1.) He who reads:

2Ti 2:15 says  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

What is it to read?

a.) To inspect and understand words or character; to peruse silently; as, to read a paper or letter without uttering the words; to read to one’s self.

If we just glance over the word of God and not seek the understanding of it then we haven’t really read it have we.

Neh 8:8  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and [gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading].

God’s word causes conviction and joy!

b.) To know fully.

Act 8:30  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
Act 8:31  And he said, [How can I, except some man should guide me]? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

We may not always be able to know what we read. We cannot just stop reading but seek help to understand.

c.) Uttered; pronounced, as written words in the proper order; as, the letter was read to the family.

To read out loud. To read before others.

1Th 5:27 says  I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

WIPE THE DUST OFF THAT BIBLE AND REALLY READ THE WORD OF GOD. THE BOOK OF REVELATION PROMISES A BLESSING IF YOU WILL DO THIS.

2.) They that hear:

We can see immediately that this cannot take place unless someone reads these words out loud. So if no one will read, (that can read) then others will not be able to receive a blessing. Nor will they know or understand the word of God. This is one of the main purposes of Sunday School, to read and understand God’s word. I’m not here to give you Bobby’s doctrine. I stand before you so we can learn God’s word together and try to make sense of the word.

The Apostle Paul said when we really read, we can understand the mystery of Jesus.

Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

You see Jesus Christ does not try to hide anything from us. He wants us to know the truth.

1Jn 5:13 says  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; [that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God].

3.) Those that keep the things that are written.

If we do not read God’s word and read out loud to those that cannot read then we will not know what things to keep!

If we do not understand that for this very reason is why there are so many new translations coming out in these the last days. It causes confusion. Who is the author of confusion?

1Co 14:33 says  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

WAKE UP CHURCH! It is still all about Jesus!

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, (the truth), and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

(for the time is at hand)

How do we describe time? A particular portion or part of duration, whether past, present or future. The time was; the time has been; the time is; the time will be.

The time of the fulfillment of the Book of Revelation is at hand. Now we must remember this book begins with a teaching of the Church Age. You cannot have an “age” until some time has past.

“Age” can be said as:  A particular period of time, as distinguished from others; as, the golden age, the age of iron, the age of heroes or of chivalry. A particular period; hence, a generation and a succession of generations; as, ages yet unborn. Sometimes a period of 100 years is called an age.

The Apostle John knew that this did not mean in the next day or so but a time of God’s hand at work. The “Church Age” and the “Time of Grace” are still the age we are in just now. I believe the completion of this age is now at hand and we will soon be in the next step, the next age, the Tribulation age.

The signs say to look up for the coming of Christ is at hand!

Luk 21:28  And [when these things begin to come to pass], then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Read the book of Luke to see what these things are! I just know it is time for the Christian to raise his head, be watchful, and be busy about the “Masters business”.

But we must remember:

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
*****Heb 1:2  [Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son], whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

HE’S COMING AND IT WILL BE SOON!

WHO ARE THESE MESSAGES FOR?

AGAIN OUR TEXT:

Rev 1:4  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;
Rev 1:5  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,
Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev 1:7  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.
Rev 1:8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Verse 4.)

(The Number Seven): The number seven is used 463 times in the Bible. This number has been called the symbol of perfection, and also the symbol of rest. It is also the number for completeness. The number seven is used 54 times in the book of Revelation.

(The Seven churches): This also is relevant because we know from the Bible that that were more than seven churches in Asia. This is not a contradiction because by saying the “seven churches” it brings us back to the point of the number seven. (Perfection, Rest and Completeness) Remember, Jesus is revealing or unveiling or both a specific message to His Church. This book is written to the Church. If you rightly divide the Bible, you always want to know, to whom is this part focused on. Verse 4 says to the Church.

(Grace and Peace): 18 times in the New Testament it says the phrase grace and peace. 16 times the verses say specifically “from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ”. WE CANNOT GET GRACE NOR HAVE PEACE UNLESS THEY COME FROM THE LORD!

But on two occasions:

Rom 16:20 says  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

This verse though it says the same thing, God of peace and Grace from Jesus Christ is a bit different because it tells of the beginning of the downfall of Satan.

In our verse 4 it says:

Rev 1:4  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;

In other words just so you are not confused, “that him that which was, which is and which is to come”, is also God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ all in one Almighty God.

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

We also know that the book of Revelation tells us of the ending of Satan on this Earth,

Rev 20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Rev 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and [shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever].

We will probably discuss this when we get to it but, it’s interesting to know that the place where Satan will spend eternity is not even going to be in the same place where all the Saints will be. Note (He will be tormented day and night forever). I believe that to be on this destroyed earth.

Rev 22:5  And [there shall be no night there]; and they need no candle, [neither light of the sun]; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

The redeemed of God will be at this location. An Eternal Heaven has no need for day and night. Satan will never even be near God’s children again. That sounds like the Heaven of the Bible to me! This why grace brings peace.

The Seven Spirits before the throne: (Again the Number Seven) If we study the Bible we find out that the Bible itself is it’s own best commentary. We can learn about these “seven spirits”.

Isa 11:1  And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Isa 11:2  And the [spirit of the LORD] shall rest upon him, [the spirit of wisdom] and [understanding], the [spirit of counsel] and [might], [the spirit of knowledge] and of [the fear of the LORD];
Isa 11:3  And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
Isa 11:4  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

We know this rod of Jesse makes reference to the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now we can also see seven spirits that will be upon Him.

1.) The Spirit of the Lord
2.) The Spirit of Wisdom
3.) The Spirit of Understanding
4.) The Spirit of Counsel
5.) The Spirit of Might
6.) The Spirit of Knowledge
7.) The Spirit of The Fear of the The Lord

Rev 3:1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith [he that hath the seven Spirits of God], and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Rev 4:5  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: [and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God].

Rev 5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, [stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth].

Zec 3:9  For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; [upon one stone shall be seven eyes]: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. (compare Rev 5:6 seven eyes)

Zec 4:10  For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with [those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth]. (compare Rev 5:6 seven eyes)

Zec 6:5  And the angel answered and said unto me, [These are the four spirits of the heavens], [which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth]. (compare Rev 4:5, Rev 5:6)

1Co 12:3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
1Co 12:4  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

The Spirit Of God! He’s been around forever.

Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Gen 1:1  [In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth].

Job 33:4 says  The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

Verse 5.)

THIS MESSAGE IS FROM JESUS CHRIST!

(the faithful witness)

1Ti 6:13  I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, [who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession];

What is a witness? [One that which furnishes evidence or proof!] A person who knows or sees any thing; one personally present; as, he was witness; he was an eye-witness. To see or know by personal presence. To see the execution of an instrument, and subscribe it for the purpose of establishing its authenticity; as, to witness a bond or a deed. To bear testimony.

Jesus Christ has done all these things. He is the most faithful witness for us all who believe!

The Christian, the “Redeemed” can say these words of Job:

Job 16:19  Also now, behold, [my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high].

(the first begotten from the dead)

1Co 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, [how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures];
1Co 15:4  And that he was buried, and [that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures]:

When the Apostle Paul wrote these things, he was referring to the Old Testament, according to the old scriptures. Paul was causing some of the writing of the New Testament even though we know at least he and James and Peter knew of each others writings. The Holy Spirit was working in these men and others and it was then and is now the time of “Grace”.

You see Jesus Christ is the first begotten of the dead in Christ. That flesh He put on to come to Earth did actually and fully die. Jesus Christ did fully resurrect from that death into a glorified body. This will happen to every born again child of God. Christ is and was the first but there will be many more.

*****1Co 15:20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

*****Jas 1:18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

The Church will be called out first, before the tribulation period and then those from the tribulation period and the millennial kingdom that are saved a little later.

(the prince of the kings)

1Co 15:24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
*****1Co 15:25  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Luk 1:26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Luk 1:27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
Luk 1:28  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Luk 1:29  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
Luk 1:30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
Luk 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
*****Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Luk 1:34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Luk 1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

It began at Genesis 1:1. The Lord Jesus will guide us into “eternal life”.

Heb 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Heb 7:26  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Heb 7:27  Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, [when he offered up himself].

HE WASHED US IN HIS OWN BLOOD!

Col 1:12  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14  In whom we have redemption [through his blood], even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15  [Who is the image of the invisible God], [the firstborn of every creature]:
Col 1:16  [For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him]:
Col 1:17  [And he is before all things, and by him all things consist].
Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, [the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence].

GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN SO HE WILL ALWAYS BE THE FIRST ONE TO DO THINGS. WE DON’T TEST THE WATERS, HE HAS DONE THESE THINGS BEFORE US AND HE WILL LEAD US ON TO GLORY!

Verse 6.)

(Has made us kings and priests)

Many say this should be read “a kingdom of priests”. I believe Christ has made us a kingdom of priests but not because this verse needs to rewritten. I believe it is written the way it was given by the Holy Spirit. The same Greek word “basileus” is used throughout the New Testament. So do all of them need to be rewritten. I don’t think so.

Isa 61:6  But [ye shall be (named) the Priests of the LORD]: [men shall call you the Ministers of our God]: [ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles], and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Now let’s get down there where the rubber meets the road.

1Pe 2:3  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
1Pe 2:4  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, [are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood], to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
*****1Pe 2:9  [But ye are a chosen generation], [a royal priesthood], an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

This word royal means a kingly priesthood!

Col 1:12  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

If you follow where I’m going we know that the Lord Jesus Christ is a King-Priest. As born again children of God we are adopted into the family of God. (inheritance)

The Kingly line of David extends through Christ, That will never change! The Priestly line of Jesus Christ from a [higher source] exist now. That will never change!

Heb 3:1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Heb 3:2  [Who was faithful to him that appointed him], as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

*****Heb 5:5  So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but [he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee].

*****Heb 7:3  Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; [abideth a priest continually].

Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
*****Heb 10:21  And having an high priest over the house of God;

Our bodies are a Temple of the Lord.(the house of God) We are rulers over this house (priests-king) but also as being inheritors of the Godly Kingdom we will also be king-priests in God’s kingdom. No this verse wasn’t translated wrong it was written just as the Holy Ghost intended it to be written. We are in the family of God and good things come to those that love God.

Mar 3:34  And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
*****Mar 3:35  For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Eph 3:14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
*****Eph 3:15  [Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named],

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND THERE NEVER WILL BE BUT ONE GOD! WE CALLED HIM JESUS WHEN HE WAS ON THIS EARTH. HE IS OUR HIGH PRIEST WHILE HE IS IN HEAVEN. HE IS THE COMING KING TO THIS EARTH AND IF YOU BELIEVE ON HIS NAME AND REPENT, YOU BECOME A MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY NOT BECAUSE I SAY SO, BUT BECAUSE HE SAYS SO.

TO HIM BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOREVER, FOR HE IS GOD!

LISTEN TO HIS MESSAGE.

Verse 7.)

(He comes in the clouds)

The second coming of Christ. Many doubt this will ever happen.

2Pe 3:3  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4  And saying, [Where is the promise of his coming]? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

What people do not realize is that this is also a prophecy not only from Peter but also from a Psalmist.

Psa 55:19  God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. [Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God].

Christ is coming back and we as Christians know it will be in two parts.

1.) The Rapture of the Church:

Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, [I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also].

Php 3:20  [For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour], the Lord Jesus Christ:
*****Php 3:21  [Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body], [according to the working whereby (he is able) even to subdue all things unto himself].

1Th 4:16  [For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout], with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and [the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord].

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, [even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
*****1Co 15:23  But every man in his own order]: [Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s (at his coming)].

2.) There is no doubting what the scriptures say. They say He is coming and He has to come twice because it is two different events. He’s God, He can come as often as He wants too and He very well may do so but He teaches us of these events for Himself.

His Second Coming:

Jud 1:14  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, [Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints],

Zec 14:5  And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: [and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee].

Col 3:4  [When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory].

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and [his name is called The Word of God].
*****Rev 19:14  [And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean].

Daniel saw it in a vision:

Dan 7:13  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [came with the clouds of heaven], and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Jesus told about it:

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and [they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory].

He’s coming and He’s coming back to the exact place He left from:

Zec 14:4  [And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives] shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, [while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight].
Act 1:10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Act 1:12  [Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet], which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

(AND EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM!)

Jesus probably could not have come at another time in history where technology would allow this to happen. With TV, Satellite, IPod, Cell Phones and Computers and the other stuff that is available. Now God does not need man’s help or man’s technology but even we can see where this could be fulfilled in our day.

(and they that pierced Him)

The piercing of Our Lord was prophecy fulfilled and we can believe these words from the book of Revelation also and who are “they”?

The assembly of the wicked. There will be a great assembly of the wicked (Satan/Anti-Christ) around Jerusalem at the time of His second coming.

Psa 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: [the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me]: [they pierced my hands and my feet].

*****Zec 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: [and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn].

We must also remember these words of the children of Israel.

Mat 27:25  Then answered all the people, and said, [His blood be on us, and on our children].

Little did they realize, His Blood was the key to salvation for us all!

Heb 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

How bad will they feel?

Heb 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Christ is coming. The Saints will be in Heaven or with Him. Only non-believers will be on Earth until these Jews believe. So why is Christ coming back? He has many reasons but one is for sure.

Isa 13:9  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and [he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it].

It does not say He will save the sinners out of this world. They will not repent even at the sight of the coming Lord. (Read Psalms 2)

(All kindred shall wail)

Kindred simply means every race of people. Wail means: specifically to beat the breast in grief:

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and [then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn], and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The Anti-Christ and his followers will not like what they see. The Bible says even further that they will even turn their weapons of war upon Him.

Look around at our world and tell me that you cannot see the hatred in this world for Jesus. God is a God of love and the world does not know love at this time. This world only knows lust. It’s time for Christ to come. Yes, come Lord Jesus come. Amen.

Verse 8.)

The book of Revelation is about Jesus Christ. We can never understand this book unless we believe it revolves around His second coming! Verse 8 tells us who is the author of this Book. He placed His signature in this very verse.

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Apostle John referred to Christ as the word. It takes letters to make words. Jesus Christ said He was the Alpha and the Omega. These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Jesus said He was every word in His Bible and in this Book of Revelation. God is the source of all things. God is the beginning of all things. Everything finds it’s answer in Jesus Christ.

Joh 4:25  The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
*****Joh 4:26  [Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he].

*****1Jn 5:10  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: [he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son].

*****Listen to the message of God.

*****2Co 5:19  To wit, [that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself], not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

HE IS LORD “WHICH IS NOW”, “WHICH WAS WHEN HE WAS ON THIS EARTH” AND “THE SAME ONE THAT IS TO COME!” THE ALMIGHTY GOD!

Again our text:

Rev 1:9  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.
Rev 1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 1:11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, 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.

We now see that is John who will be the scribe of this great book. His qualifications were:

1.) Brother all Christians everywhere are called brothers and sisters:

Mat 12:50  For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

2.) Companion in tribulation:

Joh 15:18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Joh 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, [they will also persecute you]; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

3.) Companion in patience:

Rom 5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Rom 5:4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Rom 5:5  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.

Rom 8:24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Rom 15:3  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
Rom 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Rom 15:5  Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

Luk 21:19 says  In your patience possess ye your souls.

*****John tells us where all this began: The Isle of Patmos.

You know God’s servant is indestructible until God’s calls them home. We are to never be afraid of what man can do to us.

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Psa 56:11  In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Psa 56:12  Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.
Psa 56:13  For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

John could not preach to much of a crowd on Patmos but God has a reason for everything He does. This island was a dreary and lonely place. It was a barren, windswept island in the Aegean Sea. At that time it was used as a place of exile for political prisoners. The Roman Emperor Domitian sent John to this place because “he preached the word of God” and he would not stop preaching.

This should be an example to all that preach Christ as the Bible is also our book of examples. Governments will never stop the preaching of God’s word no matter how hard they try.

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Verse 10.)

(The Lord’s Day)

We should not be confused about which day this was. It was on a Sunday. John could remember real easy all the Sabbath’s because as a Jew he would have kept the Law. He may not have remembered Sunday as what we have come to know as a day of gathering in the house of God because John remembered this day as the day the Lord God Jesus Christ rose up out of that tomb showing that He was God.

Mat 28:1  In the end of the sabbath, [as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week], came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Mar 16:9  [Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week], he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Joh 20:19  Then the same day at evening, [being the first day of the week], when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came [Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you].

You see this began also a day that the disciples of Christ gathered

Joh 20:26  And [after eight days again his disciples were within], and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

You can see that the Apostle Paul also used Sunday as a day of gathering to worship the Lord Jesus and God.

Act 20:7  And [upon the first day of the week], when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

This was the day to gather in the tithes and offerings at the house of the Lord.

1Co 16:1  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
1Co 16:2  [Upon the first day of the week] let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Is this the only day of worship?

Col 2:16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

God says we are not to be judged on our day of worship. Their are many under persecution in many nations that have to meet when and where ever they can to worship. WE SHOULD WORSHIP THE LORD EVERY DAY. IN PRAYER, IN ACTION AND IN EVANGELISM.

John had only one day on his mind this day. The day he walked out of that grave. That “grave” could not hold him.

1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Now saying this, the Book of revelation is about “the day of the Lord”. The second coming of Christ!

Isaiah says “in that day” 43 times.

Isa 26:1  [In that day] shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.

“The day of the Lord” is used 29 times.

Isa 34:8  For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

Joe 2:1  Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

Oba 1:15  For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Amo 5:18  Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

(in the spirit)

John was worshipping the Lord just before the Lord appeared to him. We fail each other and our own selves when we go into a worship service and do not know why we are there. It’s not to fellowship though we can. It’s not to show off new clothes, though some do. It’s not to talk and gossip about what has happened during the week, but it happens.

We are to gather in the house God has placed His name on “TO WORSHIP THE LORD”. That is the sole purpose of the worship service. If we do bring the Holy Spirit in with us, if we do not pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, then we cannot worship the way God intends.

Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and [they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth].

Good things always happen when we worship the Lord as He has taught us and not what we think. John was fixing to be whisked away by the Spirit. If he had just moped around all poochy lipped that day because of his persecution, we may not even have the Book of Revelation today.

God will take us home to be with Him when our work here on Earth is done!

1Pe 2:15  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
1Pe 2:16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

Heb 10:36  For ye have need of patience, [that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise].
Heb 10:37  For yet a little while, and [he that shall come will come, and will not tarry].

(behind me a great voice)

Psa 29:1  A Psalm of David. Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Psa 29:2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psa 29:3  The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
Psa 29:4  The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
Psa 29:5  The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
Psa 29:6  He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
Psa 29:7  The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
Psa 29:8  The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
Psa 29:9  The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
Psa 29:10  The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
Psa 29:11  The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

(as of a trumpet)

This voice did not sound like a trumpet. A trumpet was used for many reasons:

1.) A call to war:

Jdg 3:27  And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
Jdg 3:28  And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.

2.) A call to assemble before war:

Num 10:9  And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

3.) A call of warning for coming war:

Eze 33:2  Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
Eze 33:3  If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Eze 33:4  Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
Eze 33:5  He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

Christ was coming and John was to write down the things he saw because [it is a warning of all these things]. Just before these things happen there will blow another trumpet:

4.) A call to resurrection (the Rapture of the Church)

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Verse 11.)

What did this voice say?

Instructions from the Lord.

The Phrase “thus saith the Lord” is used 413 times in the Bible. Jesus Christ made this announcement Himself to the Apostle John.

There was no doubt who was giving this message. John had already remembered the day of resurrection of the Lord and now he was reminded in person of the transfiguration.

Mar 9:2  And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

This was, in a sense two witnesses for the message our  Lord was about to give John.

Who is this message for?

The Church.

1.) Notice the same message will be sent to every church.

Christ only has one message. He does not have a doctrine or a salvation that is different for everyone. He has the same message of Salvation to us all.

2.) Each church would see what the Lord had to say on an individual basis. Every group of believers has it’s own problems but to the Lord Jesus we are all still His one and only church.

3.) This message was sent to seven churches but it is a fact that there were more than seven churches in this area. So we have to say that these seven represented the church as a whole worldwide.

4.) This message by being in the cannon of the Bible by the work of the Holy Ghost is being sent to every church down through the ages. God’s word is the same in any age. There is only one salvation message.

5.) This message is a warning that the church age is soon over. The time of grace to the gentiles is about over. Now is the time to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and repent and believe. Today is the day to know the Lord.

6.) THIS MESSAGE IS NOT SENT TO THE WORLD.

The purpose of the church is to be a testimony of the Glory of God. God is in charge of the church just as he is in charge of this world. It is the Jew, the children of Israel that will take God’s message to the sinful world that remains after the rapture of the church.

A brief history of these churches:

Ephesus: (desirable)(permitted) The capital of proconsular Asia, which was the western part of Asia Minor. It was colonized principally from Athens. In the time of the Romans it bore the title of “the first and greatest metropolis of Asia.” It was distinguished for the Temple of Diana who there had her chief shrine; and for its theatre, which was the largest in the world, capable of containing 50,000 spectators. The desirable church that left its first love. Ephesus was the influential capital city of Asia Minor on the Aegean Sea. Ephesus is now known for its huge metropolis of ancient streets, arches and ruins.

Act 19:26  Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
Act 19:27  So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

Smyrna: (myrrh) An ancient city of Ionia, on the western coast of Asia Minor, about 40 miles to the north of Ephesus. The persecuted church that suffered poverty and martyrdom. Smyrna was located north of Ephesus in a powerful trading position on the Aegean Sea known for its harbors, commerce, and marketplaces. The primary ruins of Smyrna are located in the modern Turkish city of Izmir.

Pergamos: (height, elevation) A city of Mysia, about 3 miles to the north of the river Caicus, and 20 miles from its present mouth. It was the residence, of a dynasty of Greek princes, founded after the time of Alexander the Great, and usually called the Attalic dynasty, from its founder, Attalus. The worldly church that mixed doctrines and needed to repent. Pergamum is located on the plains and foothills along the Caicus River in Western Turkey. It was considered a major city in Asia Minor since the 3rd century BC, and became a Greek and Roman hub for temple worship.

Thyatira: (perfume, sacrifice of labor) A city of Asia Minor, on the borders of Lydia and Mysia. It was and still is famous for its dyeing. Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in that city in ancient times. The false church that followed a seductive prophetess. Thyatira is located in western Asia Minor about 42 miles inland from the Aegean Sea. The ancient city was known for its textiles and dyeing trade, and is now known as the Turkish city of Akhisar.

Sardis: (prince of joy) The metropolis of Lydia in Asia Minor. It stood on the river Pactolus, at the foot of mount Tmolus. Sardis was, in very early times, both from the extremely fertile character of the neighboring region, and from its convenient position, a commercial mart of importance. The art of dyeing wool is said to have been invented there. The “dead” church that fell asleep. Sardis is located on the banks of the Pactolus River in western Asia Minor, 60 miles inland from Ephesus and Smyrna. Popular ruins include the decadent temples and bath house complexes.

Philadelphia:(love of a brother) A city of Lydia in Asia Minor, about 25 miles south-east of Sardis. The locality was subject to constant earthquakes, which, in the time of Strabo, rendered even the town walls of Philadelphia unsafe. The expense of reparation was constant, and hence, perhaps, the poverty of the members of the church. The church of brotherly love that endures patiently. Philadelphia is located on the Cogamis River in western Asia Minor, about 80 miles east of Smyrna. Philadelphia was known for its variety of temples and worship centers

Laodicea: (just people) (justice of the people) The city of this name mentioned in Scripture lay on the confines of Phrygia and Lydia, about 40 miles east of Ephesus on the banks of the Lycus. It was originally called Diospolis and then Rhoas, but afterwards Laodicea, from Laodice, the wife of Antiochus II., king of Syria, who rebuilt it. The “lukewarm” church with a faith that’s neither hot nor cold. Laodicea is located in the Lycus River Valley of western Asia Minor, a primary trade route between the cultures of the West and East. Laodicea was known as a primary hub for the Roman aqueduct system.

God the Father gave this message to His son Jesus Christ, who passed it on through an angel to the Apostle John who was told to write it all down for us all to see and learn and it comes with the promise of a blessing.

Jesus Christ is coming back in all His Glory and it is going to happen soon.

ARE YOU READY!

Let’s pray!

JOHN’S VISION OF JESUS AMONG HIS CHURCH

OUR TEXT TODAY:

Revelation 1:12-20

Jesus Christ lives in the heart of every born again child of God. It is these very ones that make up the “Church” of the living God. There are not many churches! There is one church! There are many gathering places where brothers and sisters gather to worship the living God. May the light of Christ shine through all His Church into the darkness of this world.

Isa 60:1  Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isa 60:2  For, behold, [the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people]: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

The first chapter of this great book sets the stage for the entire book. Remember John was worshiping on the Lord’s Day when these visions took place. When we worship like we are supposed too then amazing things can happen.

Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and [they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth].

Why should we worship in spirit and truth? Because our Father in Heaven seeks those that will worship Him in this way. There are places of worship where there is plenty of spirit but they have no truth to their doctrine. God is no where near these places.

There are places where there is truth but they are cold as ice. No, we must have the truth of the Gospel but we must also show God that we are sincere in the Spirit.

Many will not like this comparison but we know the Jew is someone that God holds dear. If we look at the Book of Romans we can see, “who truly is a Jew”. You know Jesus Christ walked on this earth as a Jew. God assumed the flesh of a Jew.

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  [But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God].

You see it is not the outward appearance that makes one a Jew, no [it’s the soul that is in the spirit that has the praise of God!]

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; [for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.]

If you have God’s Spirit within you then He will guide you in worship if, we allow Him to do so.

1Th 5:16  Rejoice evermore.
1Th 5:17  Pray without ceasing.
1Th 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1Th 5:19  Quench not the Spirit.

It is God’s Holy Spirit that provides all goodness, righteousness and truth!

Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10  [Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord].

This is the only worship that is acceptable to God!

You see God knows His Holy Spirit will always lead you to Jesus Christ!

Joh 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, [he shall testify of me]:

You see as John was worshiping as he was taught by Jesus. Jesus came to him in this special way to show His church what was coming in the future. The church has gone through a lot of that future up until the day we live. We will see that not only can we see how Jesus sees individual places of worship but how the church has changed throughout the different ages. As the ages become darker. The time ahead of us “will” become darker. As Christians we can look to a brighter life and a certain future but this lost and dying world will see more and more darkness and evil.

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Isaiah  60:2

It is the hope of our Lord that the Church will shine as bright as we can:

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Jesus will show us in this, His Book book how the remaining prophecy of Daniel will be fulfilled:

Dan 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Our text for today:

Rev 1:12  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 1:13  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.
Rev 1:14  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
Rev 1:15  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Rev 1:16  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Verse 10 told us how John had heard this great voice. He now had to turn from what he was doing to see where and what this voice was. We will all hear this voice one day and we will all face a Holy God.

(Verse 12 The seven golden candlesticks):

*****The number seven:

When John heard this awesome voice, he had to stop what he was doing and turn toward this voice. That will always be the same. When we are in need, and that is always, we can always turn to Jesus Christ and He will always be there.

Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, [I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee].

There are a lot of symbols in the book of Revelation. Most everyone of them are explained in this book. Some can be explained with other scriptures because the Bible is it’s own best commentary. I will try to stick to what the Bible says because this is the message God gave to us. Having said that, even a casual reader of the Bible will notice the prominence of the number seven.

This number denotes perfection, fulfillment and completion. The number seven points to what is morally complete. This number goes all the way back to the book of Genesis, when God said He rested on the seventh day. The number seven and seventh is used 583 times in the Bible and there are many more multiples of this number. The number seven is used 54 times in the book of Revelation not counting 5 more times for the word seventh for a total of 59 times.

God specifically chose seven churches and church ages to send this message to. This message is sent specifically to the “Church”. Not the Jew, not Israel, not Gentiles though there are some of each and every nation involved in the “Church”. This message is sent to the Christian! (Rev 1:11) That group of saved souls that make up the Church.

*****Gold:

Gold symbolizes the purity God seeks in His Church. He will have a Heavenly Divine Church. No other Church will work. He will not accept a blemished Bride. The Bride of Christ will be pure.

*****Candlestick:

In the Jewish Tabernacle there was one candlestick. It had seven arms and it provided the only light inside the Tabernacle. This candlestick represented the one single place of worship But it was still just a light holder until the true light of the Lord shone through.

Exo 25:31  And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
Exo 25:32  And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:

What John saw was seven separate candlesticks. This symbolizes the entire Church as one Church. These churches are independent of one another but have one thing unifying them and that is Jesus Christ. The candlestick is not the light but is only the bearer of the light. It is Jesus Christ that is the true light. The Church like John the Baptist is not that light. It is Jesus that is the true light. The candlestick (Church) is the bearer of the light.

Joh 1:8  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of [that Light.
Joh 1:9  That was the true Light], which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

1Jn 2:8  Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, [and the true light now shineth].

In this dark world the Lord Jesus Christ is the only light. He gives the light of “Grace” to the Church. It is that light of “Grace” that should shine from the Church into this dark world by Jesus Christ.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Joh 9:5  As long as I am in the world, [I am the light of the world].

He is that light of the world though they refuse Him! He is now back in Heaven interceding on behalf of the Church and Now:

Mat 5:14  [Ye are the light of the world]. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2Co 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, [lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them].
2Co 4:5  [For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord]; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, [to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ].

(Verse 13)

(He’s in the midst)

What is the basic foundation of every Church?

Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, [there am I in the midst of them].

If Jesus Christ is not the center of a Church then that place is not a church of the living God.

We might also ask then how could John know this was Christ?

John said like unto the son of man.

John had seen Christ the day of the resurrection!

Joh 20:19  Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, [came Jesus and stood in the midst], and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

John had seen Christ in His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration!

Mar 9:2  And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
Mar 9:3  And [his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow]; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

John had read the book of Daniel!

Dan 7:9  I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and [the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool]: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

There was no doubt in the mind of John that this was the Son of Man! This term son of man speaks of the God-Man. We know God is a spirit and cannot be seen. This vision speaks of His humanity the “redeemer” of all lost mankind.

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even [as Christ is the head of the church]: and he is the saviour of the body.

1Co 3:11  [For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ].

Eph 5:30  For [we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones].

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, [to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood].

You see, there are different ages of the Church but they must all be centered on Christ. This is His message!

Eph 2:7  [That in (the ages) to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus].
Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

The unchanging message of “Grace” and “Faith”.

**********(Clothed)

A garment down to the foot. The long robe of a high priest girt about with the golden girdle of a king. The “robe” denotes dignity. The “gold” signifies His righteousness and faithfulness.

Isa 11:5  And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Christ is our High Priest while He is in Heaven to intercede on our behalf!

Heb 7:25  [Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him], seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Heb 7:26  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Heb 7:27  Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

You it’s not up to us to keep our salvation. What makes our salvation so secure is our High Priest.

1Jn 2:1  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jn 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

It is Jesus Christ Himself who is responsible to keep us saved. We must still try our best to not sin but when we do we must ask forgiveness and He will forgive,

1Jn 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, [he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness].
1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Verse 14.)

His head and his hair were white. White is the color of purity and of triumph. The idea here is not age but heavenly glory.

Pro 16:31  The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Pro 20:29  The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

Isa 1:18  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

The “pure” sinless Son of God.

Daniel also saw this in his vision.

Dan 7:9  I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and [the hair of his head like the pure wool]: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

His eyes were as a flame of fire. Bright, piercing, all seeing, flashing light, and also a consuming fire of the wicked.

Nothing escapes the notice of God!

2Ch 16:9  [For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him]. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Heb 12:28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29  [For our God is a consuming fire].

Verse 15.)

Feet like unto fine brass. Shedding forth splendor like burnished brass heated in a furnace.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, of a yellow color; usually containing about one third of its weight of zinc, but the proportions are variable. The best brass is made by cementation of calamine or the oxide of zinc with granulated copper.

Ancient metalworkers in the area now known as Syria or eastern Turkey knew how to melt copper with tin to make a metal called bronze as early as 3000 B.C. Sometimes they also made brass without knowing it, because tin and zinc ore deposits are sometimes found together, and the two materials have similar colors and properties.

The Greek word “chalkalibanon” is used here: The Strong dictionary says.
khal-kol-ib’-an-on
(in the implied mean of whiteness or brilliancy); burnished copper, an alloy of copper (or gold) and silver having a brilliant luster: – fine brass.
This term “Fine Brass” is used only two times throughout the Bible. Those two times are both in the Book of Revelation. (Rev 1:15 and Rev 2:18)
Copper and silver mixed is now called Sterling Silver. Copper and Gold mixed is when you buy gold and it has a rose color. Both these metals are used in Jewelry today.
The Strong dictionary says of this fine brass as an alloy of copper.
Today, Fine Brass is known as White Bronze it is a unique metal known to have been used by Greek metalsmiths as early as 3000 B.C. While it is one of the oldest decorative metals known to man, White Bronze artifacts are rare. Naturally tarnish-resistant, White Bronze is lacquered and does not need polishing. It has strength and durability, making it much more practical than silver or pewter.
We can see that is rare to find these qualities. Only on Christ our Lord and in His church. Those feet that have carried us through the ages still untarnished and stain free. It is Christ that still carries us in the filth of this world. He carries us through the fires of life. There is no greater strength to be found anywhere. Whenever I read of these feet of fine brass, I always think of three Jewish boys in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 3:16  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Dan 3:17  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Dan 3:18  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Dan 3:19  Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
Dan 3:20  And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:21  Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:22  Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Dan 3:23  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:24  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
Dan 3:25  He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
I understand that brass in the Bible can mean judgement but when I read those words burned in a furnace I cannot get away from this picture of these three Jewish boys that stood up for the Lord. Jesus will walk with us no matter where we are if we are His Children.

His voice. His voice was mighty like the sound of surging waters.

Psa 93:4  The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

If you were standing near a mighty water falls such as the Niagara Falls, you would not be able to hear anything else.

Yet, When the Lord God Almighty speaks, no other sound will be heard!

Psa 65:7  Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.

Verse 16.)

In his right hand seven stars. “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches”.

Rev 1:20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

And out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. This two-edged sword is a symbol of the word by which Christ’s conquests are won.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Again the Bible is it’s own best commentary.

His countenance. The glory of his countenance is the same that was manifested at the Transfiguration.

Mar 9:2  And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
Mar 9:3  And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Isa 24:23  Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

Again Our Text:

Rev 1:17  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:
Rev 1:18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

1.) No human will ever be in the presence of the Lord without being overwhelmed by His “Righteousness” and His “Glory”.  When Moses asked God, he was told:

Exo 33:17  And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
Exo 33:18  And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
Exo 33:19  And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
Exo 33:20  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

2.) Everyone that is in the presence of the Lord will first worship Him!

Ezekiel: (The rainbow)

Eze 1:28  [As the appearance of the (bow) that is in the cloud in the day of rain], so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. [And when I saw it, I fell upon my face], and I heard a voice of one that spake.

Eze 3:23  Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: [and I fell on my face].

Daniel:

Totally overwhelmed

Dan 8:18  Now as he was speaking with me, [I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground]: but he touched me, and set me upright.

Dan 10:8  Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, [and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength].
Dan 10:9  Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, [then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground].

Dan 10:17  For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? [for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me].
Dan 10:18  Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
Dan 10:19  And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.

Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
Mat 17:3  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Mat 17:4  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Mat 17:6  [And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid].

Fear Not!

God uses this phrase 63 times in the Bible. God expects a holy reverence of Him. This comes from a just view of Him and His divine character and His real love for us. Every time we witness to someone before the Almighty God we see they have the fear of emotion, the fear of impending danger. God always has these words of security waiting. “Fear Not”.

I am the First and the the Last!

This same divine title is used “three” times in the book of Isaiah!

Isa 41:4  Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? [I the LORD, the first, and with the last]; I am he.

Isa 44:6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; [I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God].

Isa 48:12  Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; [I am he; I am the first, I also am the last].
Isa 48:13  Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

This divine title is used “three” times in the book of Revelation!

Rev 1:17  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]:

Rev 2:8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith [the first and the last], which was dead, and is alive;

Rev 22:13  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, [the first and the last].

There should be no doubt of the deity of Christ Jesus. He is equal to the Father in every respect. He was in the beginning with the Almighty God and He is before all and above all things and all things proceed from Him. He is the last and therefore He will be after all things and the center of all things. He is the source and the sum of all creation. He is life itself and the giver of all life.

Ecc 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: [for this is the whole duty of man].
Ecc 12:14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Verse 18.)

Jesus says “I am life”! The living one! He is the source of all life. He is the author of all life. In Him we live and move and have our being. He lives from eternity to eternity and He will never die.

Gen 1:1  [In the beginning God] created the heaven and the earth.

He was the creator!

Joh 1:1  [In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and (the Word was God)].

He was the source of the Word of God, He was and is the fulfillment of the word.

Joh 1:14  And [the Word was made flesh], and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

He put on this flesh for one reason only. To provide the way of escape from Satan.

Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

He is God!

1Pe 4:6  [For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead], [that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit].

Preacher Oliver Greene says it like this:

The Living One “became dead”. Jesus was the God-man. He took a body of flesh, and in the flesh did what the law could not do.

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

The wages of sin had no effect on the sinless flesh of Christ. Jesus voluntarily “became dead” so that we might live. Jesus literally gave up His life for us. He “became dead” in our place.

Mat 27:50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, [yielded up the ghost].   {He yielded}

Mar 15:37  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and [gave up the ghost].    {He gave}

Luk 23:46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, [Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost].     {He gave to the father}

Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, [It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost].       {He decided when it was finished}

He had become man, lived on this Earth a short time and then “The Living One” stepped into death of His own free will, that by His death He would destroy he who had the power of death The Devil. Through His death He delivered the captives from the devil.

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

1Co 15:26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

When John saw Jesus, He was standing in the midst of the Church. It is in the middle of the Church(not the temple)(not in Jerusalem)(not in any particular place on this Earth)(not in any particular denomination) but in His Church where He declared His victory and that He will live forevermore. Jesus Christ will not die again! He has conquered death. In Him we have eternal life! Because He lives we can live. Salvation is in Christ Jesus! There is no salvation where Christ is not worshiped as God!

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

*****The Keys:

The Keys tell us that Christ has complete mastery over the bodies and souls of all mankind.

Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Christ may have given the Apostle Peter the Keys of the kingdom of Heaven, which is the word of God. But Jesus personally attacked Satan to get the Keys to Death and Hell.

Isa 22:22  And the [key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder]; so [he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open].

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];
Rev 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Rev 9:1  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the [key of the bottomless pit].

Rev 20:1  And I saw [an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit] and a great chain in his hand.

We can see the truth of this statement in this scripture:

Rev 9:6  And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

They will die when a Holy God says it’s time and not before though they even try to kill themselves.

Just now the grave holds death but hell holds the souls of all that are lost. It is Christ that holds the keys to both! Everyone will face the Lord one day. It’s now the time for you to decide if you will spend your time waiting in the smoking section or the non-smoking section. The child of God will never even have the smell of smoke on them.

Again Our Text:

Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
Rev 1:20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

The Instructions:

Here we see that Jesus Christ Himself has divided this book for our study.

1.) The “things” John has already seen.
2.) The “things” which are.
3.) The “things” that are coming in the future.

This is the way we are to study this book and know that God told us to rightly divide the Bible for study.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Christ Himself has taken it on His own to show us the division of the Book of Revelation. We cannot bring the future back to the present. We cannot move the past up into what happens today. We cannot mix what will happen to the church with the covenant to the children of Israel. But we should remember one thing in particular.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

First what John had already seen:

John is told to write down these things. It will be good to point out one thing now. When I am in Bible College I write down notes for my class. I write down things that are said and try to get the most important things. I very seldom am asked to write down what I see. If I need to see something then a picture will usually be given to me.

John is told to write down what “he sees.” We will get a lot of word pictures as John tries to describe in his own words things he sees and many he will not understand as he tries to write of what he sees of the future. This is an amazing task to fulfill. Thank God for His Holy Spirit, without whom these things could not be done.

1.) In verse 11 John was told to write what he saw in a book. Between verse 11 and verse 19 John saw the glorious vision of the Lord Jesus Christ standing in the middle of His Church. This is what John would have just seen.

2.) Second John is told to write the things that are:

From verse 1:19 through to verse 3:22 are the things that are. This book is to be given and read to the church. The church exists from the time of Jesus’s resurrection until the Rapture of the church. The Church age was already in progress in the time of John and he was familiar with all these that were mentioned in verse 11.

3.) Third John was to write down the things he would see of the visions of the future. From chapter 4 through chapter 22:5. This division has to do with the future world and the Jew, with the apostate church that will be left behind when Christ calls out the true church at the Rapture.

We then have past, present and future. We cannot mix the past with the present nor the present with the future. We must keep this in mind as we go forward in this book. These divisions do not overlap. One will begin as one is completed. If we don’t follow God’s instructions we will never truly understand His Word.

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and [the Word was God].

Verse 20:

What is a mystery? Some say God is a mystery. The Greek word (musterion) is used in this verse and it says it is a secret or something that has not been spoken of.

Webster says: That which is beyond human comprehension until explained. In this sense, mystery often conveys the idea of something awfully sublime or important; something that excites wonder.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: [God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory].

This is not now a mystery to those that love Christ and Believe.

Again he wrote:

1Ti 3:9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

Again this is not now a mystery to the believer. It is by faith that we are saved. Without faith we cannot please God.

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Our salvation is based on our faith!

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So these are not mysteries at this time though they are to the lost of this world. They are mysteries to the unbeliever.

As the Bible most always is it own best commentary, Jesus Christ helps John along by pointing out that the seven stars are the angles of the seven churches and the candlesticks are the seven churches.

An angel is a ministering spirit:

Heb 1:7  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

As we know that angels do not preach in the church then we can see that these represent the “pastors” of these churches or pastors of the church that Christ built.

Mat 18:10  Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

The angels face our father in Heaven. These stars in the hand of Christ are His pastors who should shine for Jesus.

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The preacher, pastor, evangelist, missionary, saint of God that does not do this is not obeying the Lord Jesus.

The Candlesticks:

These represent the Church. They are suppose to be light holders. Jesus Christ is the true light. It is the job of the church to bring forth that light to a dying world. This world is not getting better no matter what our governments say.

God says this world will get darker.

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

That does not change the job of the church. This is the message Jesus is portraying with these symbols.

Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. [A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid].

God says as the world grows darker that the light of the church should be brighter. The only hope of the lost is in Jesus Christ. It is the church that should carry that hope forward to them.

There are many that go about it wrong.

Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

There are many that have the attitude that since they are saved, the rest can go on to hell. Some denominations think they are going to Heaven but no one else will. If they ever had a light they are hiding it under a bushel for no one else to see.

Jesus Christ will explain things about the church in the next two chapters. These things can be separated by ages but they can also be separated by individual churches. It’s time we started acting like the servants of a Holy God and get busy about the Master’s work.

Remember Jesus is in our past. He is our present. He will be in our future as every knee will bow to Him one day!

Isa 45:22  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Isa 45:23  I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Rom 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Some of us will meet Him in the air the day of the Rapture. Those that do not meet Him there will meet Him about a thousand years later at the White Throne of Judgement. It’s our choice. “I’ve made mine”, how about you?

Let’s pray!