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Friday: Further Thought – Jesus’ Messages to the Seven Churches — 4 Comments

  1. We could be excused from thinking that John paints a very depressing picture of the state of the church in the messages to the seven churches. However, it probably makes sense to contemplate the final admonition to each church. Does anyone need a pair of hearing aids?

    Ephesus:

    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. Rev 2:7

    Smyrna:

    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. Rev 2:11

    Pergamos:

    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. Rev 2:17

    Thyatira:

    And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev 2:26-29

    Sardis:

    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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev 3:5-6

    Philadelphia:

    Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev 3:12,13

    Laodicea:

    To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev 3:21,22

    Overcoming seems to be pretty important. How do we achieve it?

    Amen!(17)
  2. Jon Paulien the author of the Teacher's Comments makes the following interesting points which are part of the keys to decode the book of Revelation - he calls them duodirectional texts:
    Rev 1:19
    This verse is probably the most important structuring passage in the entire book of Revelation. It parallels 1:11, where Jesus (the “son of man” figure in the vision) tells John, “Write what you see (blepeis).” The command is in the present continuous tense. This introduces the vision that John is about to see. In verse 19, Jesus says, “Write what you have seen (eides).” The aorist indicative of eides clearly indicates that the vision is over. So the vision itself occurs between verses 11 and 19 of this chapter. John is told to write down the things he has seen while in the presence of the mighty son of man (1:12-16).
    This verse seems to be a nutshell summary of the entire book. It includes in it everything that John is told to write down. As we will see, this verse is a duodirectional structuring devise that helps us understand the primary purpose of the two main sections of the book. This also has implications for the meaning of the seven churches.
    Revelation 1:19 elaborates on the time reference of Revelation 1:1. The general focus on future events mentioned there is expanded to include things contemporary with John’s time and place. Revelation concerns both “things which are” and “things which will happen after these things.” So the next question we need to ask is whether the things which are will be described first, following by the things that will happen afterward (as the order of phrases in verse 19 might suggest), or whether the entire book is a mingling of the two. This question is answered by reference to Revelation 4:1: "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.'" Revelation 4:1, NIV.
    "What must take place after this" in 4:1 translates the same words in the original language as one finds in Revelation 1:19. So the comment in Revelation 4:1 is clearly expanding on 1:19. Revelation 4:1 marks a crucial transition point in the structure of Revelation. What happens in Revelation after chapter four is primarily future and what happens before chapter four (the seven letters to the seven churches) concerns primarily things that are present in John’s experience. In Revelation 1:19 John is giving us clear insight with regard to his intention (and/or the intention of the one who is speaking to him) for the structure of the whole book.
    Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
    One of the most significant literary strategies in the Book of Revelation is what I call duodirectionality. The author places the introduction to the following section of the book in the conclusion of the previous section. The seven seals are the fulfillment of Revelation 3:21 and it is the explanation of the seven seals. The throne of the Father is described in Revelation 4. Jesus joins the Father on His throne in Revelation 5. The saints join Jesus on His throne in chapter 7. The one remaining element of Revelation 3:21 is the overcoming of God’s people on earth. That corresponds to Revelation 6. The breaking of the seals reveals the events on earth that accompany the overcoming of the saints. Thus Revelation 3:21 is the key to the following section of Revelation, the Seven Seals.

    Amen!(4)
  3. Saturday - Claudia on January 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm said: "The beautiful thing is, that Jesus can reach anybody,anywhere, any time. The Lord is not hindered by time and space. He created time, and works and draws his people from any time era."

    Sunday - Shirley de Beer on January 12, 2019 at 10:03 pm said: "I believe the issue is on whose words are we nourishing our souls, ones that lead to compromise, distraction, rebellion or ones that strengthen our faith?"

    Monday - Stanley Tuvako on January 14, 2019 at 5:20 am said: "The troubles in Thyatira, are rather common in today's churches too. Possibly we live in blind-spot or maybe it is deliberate, but a lot of times we find ourselves clung on traditions that boost no benefit to our Christian journey; to our salvation; or even towards exalting God."

    Tuesday - Maurice Ashton on January 14, 2019 at 10:04 am said: "Here are some questions and ideas to think about.

    1) How long is it since we opened our Bibles to study a belief theme for ourselves. (Not just studying the Sabbath School lesson - like taking our medicine in the morning)

    2) Do we believe what the church believes, or do we believe for ourselves?

    3) Do we really know what folk in other believe systems believe, or do we base our ideas on what we think we read in a church paper some time ago. (I mention this because I often hear anti-evolution arguments that are no longer relevant - the evolutionists have moved on!)"

    Wednesday - James Ehrlich on January 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm said: "We either become a sanctuary for God and reveal His character of love or a sanctuary for Satan and reveal his character of selfishness."

    Thursday - Maurice Ashton on January 16, 2019 at 11:35 am said: "While we are boasting we have the truth, are we blind to notion that truth is not a destination to arrive at, but a continual journey - a commitment to exploring and developing our understanding. That is the message we need to understand."

    Friday - What is the phrase repeated by Jesus to all the seven churches. He that hath an ear let him hear, He that overcometh
    Why? The religious people in the time of Jesus were listening to Jesus with the soul purpose of finding fault with HIM.
    John 8:31 & 32
    31So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    Amen!(4)

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