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Wednesday: Christ’s Messages for Then and Now — 17 Comments

  1. Perhaps the most overlooked interpretation of the messages to the seven churches is that they are messages to us as individuals on a personal spiritual journey. It is easy to say they, the original church, or the prophetic church, are the ones who need the message, but applying it to ourselves is the tough one. It requires some honesty on our part to do that. Each message (I will need to check that later in the day) ends in the injunction, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;" - an open invitation to apply the message to ourselves. Every time we are tempted to say "they" and "them" when reading these messages, we should stop and replace the pronoun with "me" and "us".

    • It is just as the apostle John states in Revelation 1:3. If what I hear in this book does not work a change in my soul, then there is no blessing from the Father, the Son or the Spirit for me. If the Word does not make me in his image, I will find myself looking remarkably similar to the Beast and his image.

  2. Jesus takes a personal interest in the ups and downs of each church and makes promises for their future before he tells them about the future. We can learn we need to care for a person's current situation and to show them Jesus cares for them before they will be interested in the future.

  3. The message of Christ
    1) Repentance
    Matthew 9:13
    13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    2) Reformation
    Matthew 4:16
    16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
    on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”[f]
    17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

    3) Restoration
    John 17:24
    24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am,

    How did He accomplish this?
    "When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

  4. The sad thing about the 7 churches is the progressive decline, in 1-3 majority are faithful, 4 it is 50-50, 5-6 minority are faithful, but in 7 all are uncommited to faithfulness. The threats to those who don't repent get worse and worse. but praise the LORD, the promises get more and more, starting with one for Ephesus each get an additional one until Philadelphia gets six and Laodicea gets them all in One. Jesus is willing to do whatever it takes to save everyone.

    • Shirley,

      Your comment is so true. There is hope for us today! The words of Revelation are spot on. Good thing we have these words to hold on to.

    • Jesus is willing to do what ever it takes to save everyone. Everyone who chooses Him. Hebrews 7:25. “Therefore He is able also to save forever (completely, perfectly, for eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede and intervene on their behalf [with God].” I also like the text from last weeks lesson. Deuteronomy 29:29. Combined with the following chapter Deuteronomy 30. Again everyone who chooses Him, chooses life. Deuteronomy 30:19. How do we choose Him? By loving the Lord our God, by obeying His voice, by staying close to Him, or if you will by clinging to Him. Deuteronomy 30:20.

    • Shirley;
      To the Church in Philadelphia
      Rev 3:7  'And to the messenger of the assembly in Philadelphia write: These things saith he who is holy, he who is true, he who is having the key of David, he who is opening and no one doth shut, and he shutteth and no one doth open!
      Rev 3:8  I have known thy works; lo, I have set before thee a door—opened, and no one is able to shut it, because thou hast a little power, and didst keep my word, and didst not deny my name;
      Rev 3:9  lo, I make of the synagogue of the Adversary those saying themselves to be Jews, and are not, but do lie; lo, I will make them that they may come and bow before thy feet, and may know that I loved thee.
      Rev 3:10  'Because thou didst keep the word of my endurance, I also will keep thee from the hour of the trial that is about to come upon all the world, to try those dwelling upon the earth.
      Rev 3:11  Lo, I come quickly, be holding fast that which thou hast, that no one may receive thy crown.
      Rev 3:12  He who is overcoming—I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of my God, and without he may not go any more, and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, that doth come down out of the heaven from my God—also my new name.
      Rev 3:13  He who is having an ear—let him hear what the Spirit saith to the assemblies.

      I do not see anything against the congregation in Philadelphia. Verse 9 isn’t directed to that assembly specifically, or is it? ... Royce

      • Royce, you are correct Philadelphia is the only church which does not get a threat, why? Could be Jesus knows they have little strength and thus treats them gently. Note Laodicea does not get a 'good for you'. There is a pattern and exceptions because the LORD meets people where they are, He knows what they can bear and what they need.

  5. In the now resurrected Jesus, we observe no change in His character and manners. As He was before, so is He now, though physically glorified. And whether speaking of a lost coin, wheat and tares, or lamps and stars, He uses real items to teach spiritual truth, and His use of symbols is always appropriate for the lesson being given.

    We cannot get through the books of Moses without understanding(hopefully) the significance of 7, where we find the same meaning, and thus a perfect explanation in the Revelation. The symbols used in regard to the 7 churches listed are very meaningful to the actual experiences of those churches referred to in their historical reality. These symbols also teach us prophetical truths, and all are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” to any who “readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein”.

    Hasn't the Lord written a letter that is both accurate and profitable for our church today in His letter to Laodicea?

  6. Why does the book of revelation use symbols yet it suppose to reveal hidden messages. Could it have not been more helpful if it was written more directly.
    Also if I compare both Daniel and John the revelator, why did they both had to suffer before receiving prophesy ??

    • I think most of the symbolism in Revelation is pretty straight forward. The candlesticks probably link to the notion that we are to be lights set on a hill - it relates back to the Old Testament Sanctuary and its use of the Menorah and provides a model for shifting Old Testament symbolism into the Christian area.

      Angels are often seen as messengers. The Trumpets are associated with proclamations and so on. We get ourselves into knots over interpretation when we become too rigid in our description of their meaning.

      Maybe I have a different perspective on the use of symbols because of my mathematical background. In maths, we use symbols because sometimes we want to show a general rule that can be applied in a number of situations. To a certain extent, I think the same is happening in Revelation. The use of symbols gives us the opportunity to reapply the prophecies to more than just a specific situation.

    • Cornelius, you are certainly not alone on your first question! In fact, Jesus' disciples asked Him a question quite similar to yours in Mt 13:10. Jesus gave them an interesting answer worth considering, which you can read in its context.
      However, notice the first part of His answer--"...it has been GIVEN to YOU to KNOW the MYSTERIES of the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, but to THEM it has NOT BEEN GIVEN."(Mt 13:11 NKJV) Notice that Rev 1:1 declares a line of possession of Truth that begins with God the Father, to His Son and then from His Son, to His Son's servants. Servanthood isn't self-declared, it is determined by the Master (Jn 17:6; Rm 14:4). Every good CEO is protective of their company's proprietary secrets, and are rightly selective of those they entrust with such proprietary knowledge (Dt 29:2-4; Eph 3:8-10).

      Regarding your second question, Scripture is very consistent--servanthood comes after overcoming rigorous testing (Heb 12:5-6,11; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Cor 4:1-2)--which we have exemplified in the Father's ultimate Servant (Heb 5:5,8-9).

  7. It is interesting to me how the Apostle Paul wrote to about eight churches: Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thesalonians, and Heberews; and in Johns' Revelation there is only one (Ephesus,) of those churches that is mentioned there. I find it difficult to see how then we are to conclude that Jesus' messages in Johns Revelation are to six other churches that supposedly physically existed in his time. Yet, why did not the Apostle Paul also write to those other six churches that the Apostle John mentions in his prophetic last book in the Bible?

    • Pete, your observation that there is so little overlap in interesting. I am not sure that the difference is meaningful, other than Paul and John had different areas of influence. It is worth noting that Paul did write to other churches as well but those letters were not preserved to be included in the New Testament canon. We know from Colossians, for example, that Paul wrote to the Laodiceans and that Colossians and Laodiceans were instructed to read both letters.


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