Just remember; (Col. 2:8) “Beware (take heed) lest any man spoil (lead away as booty, seduce) you through philosophy (elevating human wisdom over the wisdom of God, loving one’s own thoughts at the expense of God’s word) AND (2Tim. 3:16) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable (bring together) for doctrine (what is taught), for reproof (test, persuasion), for correction (reformation, setting straight again), for instruction (teaching) in righteousness (justness, justice).
Also remember; (Matt. 4:4, 2Tim. 2:15, Heb. 4:12 1John 1:1 & Rev. 1:9 keyword in all: word: defined: thoughts, reasoning, motive, utterance, Divine Expression of God i. e. Jesus) the definition of God’s word (John 1:1-4 & 1John 1:1-4 esp. V.1 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;" THEN V.2-3) and the fact that (John 14:6 keywords: I am the life) God’s Word is life, that Word (Jesus) lived among men (John 5:21-27 esp. V.22 "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:") and that living Word of God will judge each of us.
(2Tim. 3:16) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” and is thus the personal thoughts, reasoning and motive of God (1Tim. 3:16) and “God was manifest (visible) in the flesh (a body)” (John 1:1-4 & 1John 1:1-4) and that manifestation was Jesus the living Word of God. Answer this question. If you violate God’s Word have you personally violated Jesus? (2Tim. 3:16-17 esp. V.17 keyword: works: Strong's 2041: toil, act, deed) Violated, or any other form of that word, is used only one time in the Bible. (Ezek. 22:26 keyword: violated) and the Hebrew definition is: to be a bad doer, to injure, to sin, to do evil.
With that in mind I am thoroughly grateful and thankful (Heb. 4:12-16 esp. V.14-16) I have Jesus the Son of God as my personal great high priest who sits on his throne of grace so I can obtain mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. I am so glad my God (Psa. 103:8) is merciful and gracious. Let us explore the word gracious.
Grace in the Old Testament Hebrew: (Gen. 6:8) The word is chen (pronounced khane) which is defined as graciousness). The word chen is derived from the word chanan (pronounced khaw-nan) which is defined as (to stoop in kindness to an inferior, be merciful and have pity upon). Grace in the New Testament Greek: (Luke 2:40) The word is charis (pronounced khar-ece) and is defined as (#1 graciousness of manner, act, favor and gift. #2 The divine influence upon the heart, - which is the mind, the feelings, the soul, self, me and #3 it's reflection in the life).
(Psa. 103:8) I am so glad my God is merciful, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, (Psa. 85:15) I am so glad my God is full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and plenteous in mercy and truth. (John 20:24-29) I’m so glad Thomas, (V.25) the doubter, (V.28) said unto Jesus; “my Lord and my God” and that made me understand.
I’m so glad Jesus said; (V.29) “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” And I do, just like you.
I’m so glad I have Jesus the Son of God as my personal great high priest who sits on his throne of grace so I can obtain mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. I am so glad my God (Psa. 103:8) is merciful and gracious. I’m so glad because, just like you, I need it all the time. We are brethren, you and I, (Acts 17:26) and we are of one blood. Skin color, height, weight, nationality, language and all that does not matter; we are brothers and sisters, brethren through the love of “our Lord and our God.” We are alike, you and I.
God has only one requirement of qualification; that a Christian love Him with all of his or her heart AND just like you, especially during those times when God is blessing me with His brand of love, I wonder if I even know the meaning of love. But I do love Him with all of the little I am.
There is only one requirement of service to Him and that is obedience to His word through the Holy Spirit AND, just like you, I sometimes create problems for myself with that. God has only one requirement of commitment which is that a Christian never stop trying to do his or her best AND, just like you, I sometimes wonder; "Good grief, is that the best I can do"?
Yes, I have failed God many times. I have sinned. I have become well acquainted with frustrated and lonely. Stupidity seems enamored with me and ignorance is my companion. But God has never let me down. Many times I would have cheerfully wrung my own stubborn neck or cut off my unruly tongue but God was always compassionate, kindly affectioned, forgiving and infinitely gracious with me, just like you.
When I was broken with unutterable sorrow God gently put me back together again. When I was sore wounded and defeated in my struggle God rescued me and tenderly gave me a drink from His own cup of blessing. When I crashed and burned in the frustration and shame of failure God picked me up at exactly the right time and raised my feeble hands in victory, just like you.
When I flew too high on the wings of pride God always brought me down and most of the time it was not a gentle landing. When I despised hateful, hot-tempered me God loved me. When I detested mean, sinful me God was always patient with me. Many times God has chastised and corrected useless me. That’s the way God is because God is love. He is always there, nurturing me, burdening me, correcting me, gently revealing Himself to me and I love Him with all my heart, just like you. Let us see if we are any different than the Christians in the Revelation churches, you and me.
Thank you for coming this far with me.
THE REVELATION TO JOHN
NOTE: A BRIEF OVERVIEW: (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17 & 26 then 3:5, 12, & 21 keyword in all: overcometh: DEFINED: subdue, conquer, prevail, get the victory) All of the seven churches and every Christian in them had to overcome whatever Jesus had prophesied was happening in them, to them, or around them AND: self (carnal tendencies), the world and what it offers and the devil, Satan with his blinding, God's Word perverting and sin. Are churches today any different than they?
(Rev. 2:2, 9, 13, & 19 then 3:2, 8, & 15 keyword in all: works) Jesus intimately knew the works for Him or against Him or no works at all or any works in between performed by individual Christians in each church. Are Christians today any different than they?
(Rev. 2:5, 16, 21-22, 3:3 & 3:19 keyword in all: repent) Parts of some or all of these five churches; Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis and Laodiceans, were instructed to repent (reconsider, think differently, turn around). Two churches did not have to repent. Are churches any different today than they?
(Rev. 2:8-11) Smyrna, (V.9) the church in tribulation and poverty, (V.10) the suffering church, in whom some would be imprisoned, was called upon to be faithful unto death (martyrdom). Smyrna was not called upon to repent about anything. Obviously, they were following God’s word to the letter (V.12) but they did have to overcome and were promised heaven if they did.
That surely is prophetic of what happened to the Churches and Christians when six hundred years later Mohammad started his thirty-three or so jihads to forcibly convert the Arab tribes to Islam and destroy the Jews and Christians. Tribulation, poverty, imprisonment and death (martyrdom) has been and is happening to Jews and Christians in the Muslim world even now, 11-25-2018.
SEE:AND ALSO SEE: the commentary on this website HELL: COVENANT: Judaism, Christianity and Islam from Part 10 through part 15 for a complete look into Islam.
(Rev. 3:7-13) Philadelphia, (V.8) “Thou hast a little strength (small power, force, ability)” The weak church that kept (keep close, preserve) Jesus’ word, did not deny (disown, repudiate, disregard) Jesus’ name and kept the word (thoughts, reasoning, motive, utterance, Divine Expression of God i. e. Jesus) of Jesus’ patience (a patient enduring, steadfastness). Jesus said He would keep (keep close, preserve) them from the hour of temptation (testing, calamity, affliction) which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth.
(V.11) “Behold I come quickly (as fast as possible): hold fast which thou hast, that no man can take thy crown (of honor, glory).” (V.12) Philadelphia was not told to repent but they did have to overcome and were promised heaven if they did.
(Rev. 2:6 & 15 keyword: hate) Who were the Nicolaitanes? See the websiteIt is a very good, in-depth and complete study of the Nicolaitanes based on church records kept by Ireneus and Hippolytus who were early church leaders.
Basically, the article states; (Acts 6:5 keywords: Nicolas a proselyte from Antioch) Nicolas, a pagan proselyte into Judaism, who then became a Christian, founded a sect that was based on compromise by mixing Christianity and paganism which resulted in the belief backsliding is impossible regardless of sin. (Rev. 2:6 & 15) Jesus hates the deeds and the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes!
Personal Experience: That belief still exists in at least one denomination today. Briefly: I have experienced that belief firsthand. I hired a man to do some work for me. He casually took God's name in vain, the worst way, during a conversation with me and I told him that was sin. He contradicted me and said it didn't matter because once you are saved you stay saved. We had a Biblical discussion, he cherry picked some scriptures and I showed him the scriptures that proved him wrong. He was ***unpersuadable***.
Two years later he took two days to slowly, painfully die grunting, groaning and cursing God because of it. Even the non-Christian nurses were shocked and it was the talk of the hospital! (Heb. 6:4-6 then Rom. 1:28) Like those in the church at Rome the Holy Spirit had departed and all he had left was his reprobate (rejected, castaway) mind (soul).
There have been other encounters with (1Cor. 10:1-11 esp. V.7 & Heb 13:19-31) others who believe God's grace is enough and they don't have to do works; once in grace always in grace. But they are far too long and complicated to go into here. They are just as hard-headed, stubborn and ***unpersuadable*** as other sects are about their beliefs and they cherry pick scriptures here and there to prove their point and they ignore or they apply a different meaning to other scriptures that prove them wrong such as saying (Rom. 1:6-32 esp. V.22-32) those in the Roman church were not part of the church and did not have the Holy Spirit or they had not gotten saved in the first place. END OF OVERVIEW NOTE.
Never, ever forget this: (2Tim. 3:16) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable (bring together) for doctrine (what is taught), for reproof (test, persuasion), for correction (reformation, setting straight again), for instruction (teaching) in righteousness (justness, justice). AND REMEMBER THIS DEFINITION AS YOU READ: (1Cor. 11:18-19 & Gal. 5:20) HERESIES: (a choice, a disunion, a sect, to take for oneself) and (2Pet. 2:1) Peter wrote that false teachers brought damnable (destruction, loss, eternal ruin) heresies.
Church defined: A calling out, a popular meeting, religious congregation, assembly, the called out ones: Records show the apostle Paul was martyred about 68AD and the apostle John died in 100AD. John outlived Paul by thirty-two years YET during the time of Paul there were already lots of churches as revealed in the NT. The highlighted churches are those who received NT letters from Paul. These other churches are revealed in the scriptures.
There were churches in (Acts 15:4) Jerusalem, (Acts 9:42-43 & 11:12) Joppa, (Acts 10:1-48) Caesarea, (Acts 9:31) Judaea, Galilee, Samaria (Acts 9:32-35) Lydda, Saron, (Acts 11:26 & 13:1) Antioch, (Acts 14:1-4) Iconium, (Acts 15:23) Syria, Cilicia, (Rom. 1:6-7) Rome, (Rom. 16:1) Cenchrea, AND:
(Rom. 16:3-5) Church in the house of Pricilla and Aquila, (1Cor. 1:1-2) Corinth, (1Cor. 16:19) the Churches in Asia, (2Cor. 1:1) Achaia, (Gal. 1:2) the Churches in Galatia, (Eph. 1:1) Ephesus (Col. 1:1-4) Colossae, (Col. 4:15) Church in the house of Nymphas, (Phil. 1:1-2) Philippi, (Titus 1:5-7) every city in Crete, (1Thess. 1:1) Thessalonica, (Acts 11:25-26) Tarsus, (Philemon 1-2) and a Church in the house of Philemon.
Of all those churches named here and the others founded in the thirty-two years between Paul’s death and Jesus’ Revelation, surely you don’t think Jesus was forced to select the Revelation to John churches because they were the only churches that had various spiritual and physical problems and temptations. Of course not!
With all these churches available it is obvious the seven Revelation churches and the individual people in them are representative prophetic types unless you think all the other churches, including yours and mine, and the people in them were perfect. In reading the letters to some of these above highlighted churches we see they all had spiritual problems just like today’s churches. While the cannot backslide sect and the can backslide sect are gleaning the scriptures so they can argue about the above let us go on and see what God has to say about it.
See this website www.bible.ca/maps and click on Images of bible ca maps then click on the map titled Local churches of the Bible: 70AD. As you can see there were several other churches located in Asia besides (Rev. 1:11 thru 3:22) the seven churches named in The Revelation to John. Biblical Asia which is now commonly called Asia Minor or the Near East is located on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.
It will help our understanding if we will identify the seven churches by number in the order of which Jesus identified them in (Rev. 1:11), #1 Ephesus, #2 Smyrna, #3 Pergamos, #4 Thyatira, #5 Sardis, #6 Philadelphia and #7 Laodicea. #1) Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia, the subject of the Letter to the Ephesians and was a church prophesied to by Paul to expect a coming apostasy (abandonment of religious belief).
The first two churches listed below were the churches Paul prophesied would face a coming heresy (a choice, a disunion, a sect, to take for oneself) coming to two of the Revelation Churches to whom Jesus also prophesied.
Paul’s prophecy to the #1) Ephesians; (Acts 20:17-30) (V.29-30) “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous (burdensome, grave, weighter) wolves (people with wolf characteristics, predators who kill) enter in among you, not sparing (abstain, to treat leniently) the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse (distort, misinterpret) things, to draw away disciples (learner, pupil) after them.”
According to ancient maps Laodicea was ten miles west-north west of Colossae. (Col. 4:16) Paul told the Colossian Church to read their letter to the Laodiceans. Obviously the two churches were close and (Col. 2:1) “For I would that ye knew what great conflict (anxiety) I have for you (Colossians) and for them at #7) Laodicea. Paul’s prophecy and warning fit both churches but only the Church at Laodicea is mentioned in Revelation. That relationship proves #7 Laodicea is a type of church just like the other six churches.
(Col. 2:1-8) (V.8-9) “Beware (take heed) lest any man spoil (to lead away as booty, seduce) you through philosophy (elevating human wisdom over the wisdom of God, loving one’s own thoughts at the expense of God’s word) and vain (empty, fruitless discussion) deceit (delusion), after the tradition (traditional law) of men, after the rudiments (orderly, fundamental) of the world (arrangement) and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth (house permanently, reside) all the fullness (all around) of the Godhead (supreme Divinity) bodily (contrast).
The fact Paul’s letter and the prophecy in it was to both the Colossian and #7) Laodicean Churches and the Christians in them is a Biblical statement the Colossian Church was in the same spiritual danger as the #7) Laodicean Church. Obviously that indicates some of the other named churches above, (1Cor. 1:10-13 & 3:1-6) such as Corinth, (Gal. 1:1-9 esp. V.2 keyword: churches & V. 7 keyword: pervert) Galatians (Phil. 1:14-16, 3:2 & 18-19) and Philippians were also having their problems. SO, these seven prophetic Revelation Churches are representative of all churches.
Later in this article you will be able to see that Paul’s prophecy is repeated in greater detail by Jesus’ prophecy concerning the condition of the churches at #1) Ephesus and #7) Laodicea.
Four of the named churches are not mentioned in the NT scripture except in Jesus prophecy. #2) Smyrna- a city of Ionia in Asia, #3) Pergamos- a city of Mysia in Asia, #5) Sardis- a city of Lydia in Asia and #6) Philadelphia- a city of Lydia in Asia. AND: #4) Thyatira- a city in Lydia in Asia that is mentioned only in (Acts 16:14-15) concerning the conversion of Lydia and her household but it does not say a church was in her house.
(2Tim. 3:16) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” SO: (Rev. 1:1-20) (V.3) “Blessed is he that readeth (to know again), and they that hear (understand) the words of this prophecy and keep (to watch, to guard from loss) those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (for the time is at hand obviously negates the idea or belief the seven churches are a prophecy of seven different church ages) (V.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;”
(V.5-9) John gives Jesus the proper praise and respect. Then introduces himself, tells his location (V.10) and presents his credentials; “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” ***(V.11) Jesus STARTS His spoken prophecy/written by John, and names the seven churches of His prophecy.*** (V.12-18 esp. V.16 keywords: out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword) John turned, saw Jesus in all His glory and John fainted!
The spoken/written prophecy to John: (Rev. 1:11) Jesus had started His spoken prophesy by naming the churches (Rev. 1:20 thru 3:22) before going into spoken detail about the churches. SO, that also proves they were representative, prophetic churches. Why did Jesus make this a personal visit? Why His personal message? Why so personally specific?
(Matt. 9:15 then Rev. 19:9) Jesus is speaking (Rev. 1:19 keywords: hast seen, which are, shall be) (past) about His bride and speaking (present) to His bride HOW she is supposed to be making herself ready (Rev. 19:9 again) so (future) she will be acceptable and Jesus will marry her sometime in the future. (John 14:17-29 & Eph. 1:12-14) It is a personal relationship.
After the churches (Rev. 4:1 thru 22:21) the rest of Jesus’ prophecy is a combination of a spiritual journey (Ezek. 11:1 & 23-24 esp. V.24 keywords: took me up) just like Ezekiel, visual observations (Isa. 52:14 thru 53:12) just like Isaiah and some conversation prophecy with a messenger (Dan. 9:21-27) just like Daniel. Some Christians claim Jesus’ prophecy starts at (Rev. 4:1) after His words concerning the churches. They are wrong.
The (V.16 keywords: sharp twoedged sword) represents (Heb. 4:12-13) “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. 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 which we have to do.” As said before (John 1:1-4 & 1John 1:1-4) Jesus is the living Word (twoedged sword) of God.
(V.17-20) Jesus touched John, awakened him and started speaking “I am alive forevermore, Amen (surely); and have the keys (a key as shutting a lock, to close) to hell and death.” (V.19) "Write the things which thou hast seen (past), and the things which are (present), and the things which shall be hereafter (future). This should conclusively prove this prophecy is to every church (Acts 2:1-47) from the beginning (1Thess. 4:13-18) to the ending of the church age. (V.20) Then Jesus told John the seven stars John had seen in His hand were the angels (a messenger angel) of the seven churches and the seven candlesticks (holds the light) John had seen are the seven churches.
Jesus had also said; (Matt. 5:13-16) “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 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. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
#1) Ephesus: Jesus focused his prophecy: (Rev. 2:1-5 esp. V.1 keywords: the church of Ephesus) (V.1) Jesus said he “walketh in the midst of the seven candlesticks (churches)”. (John 14:23-26) Holy Ghost (Spirit) form. (V.2-3) Jesus commends the church for its good works.
(V.4-5) Then Jesus said; “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first (foremost in time and place, beginning) love. Remember (exercise memory, recollect) therefore from whence (where) thou art fallen (drop away, be driven out of one’s course, become inefficient, to lose) and repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy candlestick (church) out of his (his own) place (seat, opportunity) except thou repent (reconsider, think differently).”
(V.5) Jesus had prophesied He would remove the candlestick (church), (Rev. 1:20 keywords: the seven candlesticks are the seven churches) out of his place, except they repent; Jesus said He would remove the whole church of Ephesus! Remove from what? The only thing possible is to remove the church of Ephesus from the church as a whole (made up of other congregations) unless they repent (reconsider, think differently).
If their candlestick was removed, they would have still called themselves a church but it would actually be a socially acceptable meeting place with only (2Cor. 4:4 keywords: the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not & 11:13-15 keywords: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an ANGEL OF LIGHT) the god of this world present to direct them. (2Cor. 4:2) Satan doesn’t care how “good” you are just as long as he can blind you to the truth about Jesus!
(2Cor. 11:13-15) Satan, (2Cor. 4:4) the god of this world, deceived ignorant, proud men and they had done exactly what Paul’s prophecy had predicted; (Acts 20:17-30) (V.29-30) “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous (burdensome, grave, weighter) wolves (people with wolf characteristics, predators that kill) enter in among you, not sparing (abstain, to treat leniently) the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse (distort, misinterpret) things, to draw away disciples (learner, pupil) after them.” They had drawn the flock at Ephesus away from their first love. And Satan the devil was working in the middle of it.
BECAUSE: (1Pet. 1:1-2) Do not forget Simon Peter had written a warning to the strangers (alien, foreigner, obviously non-Jewish, gentile Christians) whom he called the elect (select, favorite, chosen) through the blood of Jesus that were scattered throughout Asia and four other Roman provinces. (1Pet. 5:8) “Be sober (spiritually free from illusion, free from the intoxicating influences of sin such as the impact of human nature instead of God nature), be vigilant (to be awake, watch); because your adversary (opponent of God and man) the devil, as a roaring lion (an active predator who kills), walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (to eat up).
Just like wolves do, when a lion eats its prey the strength in the physical meat of the prey becomes part of the lion’s strength. The same thing happens spiritually. (2Cor. 4:4 keywords: blinded the minds of them which believe not) When Satan consumes a Christian that Christian become part of Satan’s strength and it is obvious these grievous wolves (to eat up) at Ephesus prophesied by Paul were influenced by the devil. (Acts 20:30 keywords: of your own selves) “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse (distort, misinterpret) things, to draw away disciples (learner, pupil) after them.” just as Paul had prophesied.
Jesus had repeated and clarified (Acts 20:29-30) Paul’s prophecy. The grievous wolves entering in and those among themselves were destroying the Church at Ephesus. “Thou hast left thy first love.” Do you remember your first love when you experienced the salvation event; “I love you with all my heart and I'll do anything for you Lord!” or words to that effect. That first love is what they had left behind!
Jesus had said; (Mark 12:30) “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (life), and with all thy soul (the vital principal, personality), and with all thy mind (intellect), and with all thy strength (physical power, endurance); this is the first commandment. (John 15:1-5 esp. V.5 keywords: He that abideth in me and I in him & V.6 keywords: abide not in me is cast forth as a branch and burned) The Ephesians were losing their first love personal relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
Back to: (Rev. 2:5) “Remember therefore from whence (where) thou art fallen (drop away, be driven out of one’s course, become inefficient, to lose) and repent and do the first works;” When reading Jesus’ words one cannot help but wonder; “If one of the fallen Christians in the Church at Ephesus had died before they repented what would have been their eternal destination?”
Seearchives for Oct 15, 2018 issue and read the article “Religious leaders reflect (show an image of) city’s LGBTQ-friendly values”. Satan loves political correctness. (Eph. 5:11) “And have no fellowship with the works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (2Tim. 2:4) “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (John 8:33-47 esp. V.44 & 18:28-40 esp. V.36) Jesus was not politically correct!
The city is Huntington, WV. (John 15:5 then 14:23) Do you think the Holy Spirit is directing the religious leaders in these churches? (John 12:48) Do you think they are following Jesus’ word? (Mark 12:30) Do you think they love Jesus, (John 1:1-4) the living Word of God personified, the way Jesus wants them to? Definitely read (2Cor. 11:14-15 keyword: righteousness); Do you think they “feel like” they are being led by the Holy Spirit and doing “righteousness” by their “good works”? Remember, Satan, the angel of light, can deceive and make sin appear righteous. Read the article The Devil: The Deception Principal in the Sin in Church commentary.
It is time for the two sects, the cannot backslide sect and the can backslide sect, to stop bickering and pay attention to God’s word. (John 12:48) How you adhere to that word is the only thing that will ever count at your judgment in front of Jesus. You will see Jesus’ final word regarding the matter and it will shock you.
#5) Sardis: (Rev. 3:1-5) (V.1) Jesus said: “I know thy works (toil as an effort or occupation, acts, deed), that thou hast a name (authority, character), that thou livest (lively, quick), and art dead (a corpse). (V.2) Be watchful (keep awake, be vigilant), and strengthen (turn resolutely in a certain direction, to confirm, establish) the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found (perceive, see) thy works perfect (to cram, level up, satisfy, complete) before God.” A dead church?
(V.3) “Remember therefore how thou hast received (accepted, welcomed) and heard (comprehended by hearing), and hold (bind, take possession of) fast (stand firm), and repent (reconsider, think differently). If therefore thou shalt not watch (be alert), I will come on thee as a thief (steal by stealth rather than in the open with violence), and thou shalt not know what hour (trial, probation, testing) I will come upon thee.”
(V.4) “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled (to soil) their garments (clothing, raiment, vesture); and they will walk with me in white (light): for they are worthy (deserving, suitable, due reward).” Jesus had described two types of Christians in the Church at Sardis, those who needed to repent and those who had not defiled themselves.
(2Tim. 2:15) “rightly (correctly, righteously) dividing- dissecting- the word of truth” The undefiled understood and were able to know, understand and grow closer to Jesus. They had passion, love, prayer, worship, praise, loyalty, sacrifice, dedication and obedience. They remembered Jesus had said; (Matt. 10:37) “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy (deserving, comparable, suitable, deserving reward) of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross (self-denial), and followeth (union, to be in the same way with) after me, is not worthy of me.
(V.5) “He that overcometh the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot (smear out, obliterate)<- (Acts 3:19 keyword: blotted: this is the same Greek word, exaleipho, used to describe how a person’s sins are blotted out at salvation- they are gone forever) out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
AGAIN: Jesus had revealed two types of Christians in the church in Sardis: (V.5) Those whose names were going to be blotted (smeared out, obliterated) out of the book of life if they didn’t repent and overcome and those who would walk with Jesus in white (light) for they are worthy.
#1) (Rev. 3:5 blotted out) If a Christian says it is impossible for a Christian to get his name blotted out of the book of life and lose his salvation (backsliding) that Christian is calling Jesus a liar because Jesus said He could and He would. #2) (Rev. 3:5) If a Christian says a Christian who goes back into sin never had an initial salvation event, (didn’t get saved in the first place), that Christian is calling Jesus a liar because these Christian’s names were in the book of life (they were saved) or Jesus could not have said He could and would blot them out of the book of life!
SO: #3) In reality these Christians are the liars. (Prov. 6:16-19 keywords: (V.16) these things doth the Lord hate (V.17) a lying tongue (V.19) a false witness that speaketh lies. (Rev. 21:9-27) (V.8) All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. (V.27) Any thing that defileth, worketh abomination or maketh a lie shall not go to heaven.
(Gen. 2:17) God told Adam to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Gen. 3:1-7) (V.1) The serpent, Satan, questioned Eve. (V.2) God or Adam must have told Eve because she knew they weren’t supposed to eat of it. (V.4) Satan called God a liar (V.6 then Matt. 8:34-44) and Eve must have repeated Satan’s lie to entice Adam to eat what God had told him not to; “WOW! This stuff is great! I ate it and nothing happened to me, I didn’t die!” They ate and lost their eternal life in the Garden of Eden. Things have not changed; Christians still believe Satan’s lies and pass them on then they and other Christians also eventually (Rev. 20:15) lose their eternal life in heaven. That will be proven below!
***Please continue reading because the greatest danger to modern denominational Christians will soon be revealed and the Jesus provided way to preserve our eternal lives is also revealed, yours and mine.
(Rev. 1:3 thru 3:22) These prophesies are not just to the individual churches and their individual Christians named in Revelation because at the end of every church prophecy Jesus said; (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17 & 29 and 3:6, 13 & 22) “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (plural, the whole body of Christian believers).” You have seen the list of churches in Asia at that time so these prophesies are obviously to churches as long as the “church age” lasts.
#7) The Laodiceans: (Rev. 3:14-22) (V.15-16) Jesus said; “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold (chilly) nor hot (fervent): I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm (tepid), and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (to vomit) thee out of my mouth.”
I wonder if they are like those Paul described to Timothy? (2Tim. 3:4, 5 & 7) “Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
(V.17-20) Apparently the Laodiceans had an (James 2:15-26) easy believe-ism faith and don’t do much for Jesus lukewarm-itis concept of Christianity (“grace will take care of it and we don’t have to do much”) (V.18) and concentrated on worldly riches and pleasure (Matt. 13:22) rather than concentrating on Jesus and what He expects. (Mark 8:36 then James 4:17-26) Have you ever seen a U-Haul trailer pulled behind a hearse going to a cemetery (V.17-19) so the deceased could take his riches and his pleasures with him?
(Rev. 3:16) If any of them die in this state is Jesus going to vomit these Laodiceans out in some back corner of heaven where they will stink and be sickening to Jesus and all the others in heaven? Of course not; (Mark 12:30) in their lukewarm concept of Christianity they had refused to honor Jesus’ blood-soaked love covenant. (2Cor. 8:9) Jesus gave all He had including His glory in heaven to come to us as a man, then He suffered torture, crucifixion, burial and resurrection to save us because He loves us, SO, why shouldn’t He expect that same intensity of love from us?
Have you ever wondered what kind of pastors the churches at Ephesus, Sardis and at Laodicea had? I wonder if they always started their preaching or teaching with; “This is what the Holy Spirit told me to say” OR was it “This is what God’s word says.” It makes me wonder because in reality:
(Jer. 12:10 & Eph. 4:11-12 keywords: pastors & for the perfecting defined: to complete thoroughly, of the saints) A pastor is a job foreman who scripturally teaches and preaches the how, who, what, why where and when of works and leads (Phil. 2:12 keyword: work) his congregation in its works for Jesus. He scripturally preaches and teaches the true identity, character, mission, and method of Satan the devil who expends himself to hinder Christian works and to destroy any Christian he can. The pastor is answerable to the Construction Superintendent (God).
(Heb. 12:1 keyword: race) A Pastor is the coach who scripturally teaches, preaches and encourages the correct way to pray instead of blurting out a wish list, spiritual growth, spiritual discerning, witnessing, how to worship God, how to praise God, the Biblical truths, what is modern day physical idolatry and spiritual idolatry, who and how their race is hindered and how to further develop the personal relationship a Christian has with Jesus so the congregation can win their race. AND THAT:
(Psa. 66:18) "If I regard (enjoy, experience, approve, consider, take heed, respect, advise, look on another) iniquity (vanity, wickedness, evil, unrighteousness, false in the sense of idolatry) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Matt. 5:27-28) Pornography is a good example. Do you teach that every Christian sins in one way or another and we need to ask forgiveness every time at the beginning of our prayer. THINK ABOUT IT! A coach is answerable to the Principal (God).
(2Cor. 10:3-5 esp. V.3 keyword: war) A pastor is a commanding officer of a company (congregation) of Christians (Matt. 5:14 keywords: set on a hill) who scripturally teaches and preaches passion, dedication, daily commitment to and how to topically learn the Bible, how to wage their internal war within themselves against the beckoning, seduction and temptation of the world, the flesh (human nature with its frailties and passions) and the devil AND how to wage their external war against the world, the flesh and the devil by letting their light shine. The commanding officer of the platoon is answerable to the Commanding General (God).
Pastor do you teach that (Luke 24:51) when Jesus was parted from them (the disciples), and carried up into heaven He took His body with Him. (Eph. 2:22) Christians are a habitation of God through the Spirit. (1Cor. 1:10-13 & 3:1-23) Christians are the body of Christ. (Phil. 2:5-8) (V.5) “Let this mind (opinion, mentally disposed, be like, be of one with) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Do you teach that the bodies of the willing Christians in your church are the “physical vehicles” to carry the Holy Spirit so He can do His work in your church and communities? When a Christian has properly yielded all of himself to serving God isn’t it amazing that God lets that Christian hang around and watch Him work?
Pastor: (Mark 12:30) “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (organ of life), and with all thy soul (the rational self, personality), and with all thy mind (intellect), and with all thy strength (physical power, body): this is the first commandment?” Do you just say it or do you live it and really teach your congregation the reality of that Biblical truth?
TWO SHOCKING TRUTHS
First, The Blessing: (Rev. 1:3 keywords: the words of this prophesy) “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear (comprehend by hearing) the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Rev. 1:11) Jesus started His prophecy (Rev. 1:11 & 19) by naming the seven churches and commanding John; “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” (Rev. 1:20 thru 3:22) Then Jesus focuses His prophecy on the spiritual state of the seven churches.
Second, The Curse: (Rev. 22:18-19 keywords: the book of this prophecy) (V.18) "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:" (V.19) “AND IF ANY MAN TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY, GOD SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, AND OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, AND FROM THE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK.”
That statement and the things you have read above says that the statement; “Well, they never got saved in the first place” takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy (Rev. 3:5) because those people’s names were in the book of life so they had to have been saved. AND:
The statement; “There is no such thing as backsliding (falling from grace)” (Rev. 3:5 blot out his name, out of the book of life & Rev. 3:16 spew thee out) takes away from the words of this book of prophecy. You have called Jesus a liar! You have proved yourself a liar. (Rev. 21:8) "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." SO: stop saying them, go to the throne of grace like we all do and repent before you have your name removed from the book of life! Get it done before you die in that heresy!
***The greatest discovery made in this study is that those who believe a Christian can backslide and lose his place in heaven are not a sect! They simply accept that backsliding is part of God’s word of eternal truth.***
Remember? (2Tim. 3:16): All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
(2Tim. 2:26) “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure (quickly, perhaps) will give them repentance to the acknowledging (to acknowledge fully, confess) of the truth (divine truth, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere); And that they may recover (restore) themselves out of the snare (trap, cause to stumble) of the devil, who are taken captive (to take or lead, subdue, ensnare) by him at his will.” At his will? How are we going to overcome that?
(Eph. 6:11-12) “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand (stand firm, persevere) against the wiles (craft, deceit, scheming) of the devil. For we wrestle (fight, conflict) not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (rulers), against powers (might, strength, energy), against the rulers (asserting its independence from God, demonic powers) of darkness (spiritual darkness, obscurity) of this world, against spiritual (supernatural) wickedness (vicious disposition, malice, spite, evil) in high (that which is lifted up) places.
In more than forty-two years as a Christian I have never heard a complete sermon or a complete teaching service revealing Satan! Preachers love to roar; “SATAN IS A DEFEATED FOE!” and that’s it. (Luke 4:1-13 & Rev. 1:18) And he is BUT:
(1Thess. 3:5) “For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith (belief, fidelity), lest by some means the tempter (to test, entice, prove, try) have tempted (same definition) you and our labour be in vain (to no purpose, in an unreal way).” (Luke 4:2) The devil, Satan, is the tempter. He tests our heaven worthiness and Paul was worried the devil had led them away from the truth Paul had taught.
(Job 1:1 thru 3:26) Please tell Job Satan is a defeated foe while you sit weeping with him beside the graves of his ten children, tell him that while you help him scrape the crusted pus off his sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head as he writhes and groans in agony and tell him that while he sits in the gate in his poverty because he has lost all he has! (1Pet. 5:8-9 esp. V.8 keywords: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion) Has the church forgotten our greatest enemy?
(2Cor. 2:11 keyword: devices) Paul knew the devil (Satan) “Lest Satan should get advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (thought, purpose). What do you know about Satan? What does your pastor know about Satan?
(1Tim. 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.”
Giving Heed to Seducing Spirits
(1John 4:3 keywords: spirit of antichrist) There is a spirit of antichrist. (1Pet. 5:8) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary (opponent, arch-enemy) the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
(1Chron. 21:1-16 esp. V.1 keyword: provoked: defined: to seduce-entice) Satan provoked King David to number his soldiers, God sent the destroying angel upon Israel and (V.14) seventy thousand men died. (Luke 22:1-6) “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.” Satan, the spirit, entered into Judas, Judas betrayed Jesus and Judas hung himself. Don’t let that happen to you.
(Rev. 22:19) “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Don’t let that happen to you.
Please read the three-article series; Satan: A Study Guide and Teaching Manual in this commentary. AND: The commentary God, Satan and Man: The Relationship Parts 28 thru 36 contains twenty articles that are a very in-depth study of the seven Churches of Revelation. Read the three-article introduction to the commentary Sin in Church beginning with Was America Founded on Christian Principals. These commentary articles will help you tremendously.
I have found the truth and I have shown it to you and it breaks my heart to think (Rev. 22:18-19) a beautiful, beautiful Christian can have their name removed from the book of life because of false teaching and/or Satanic blinding. Please, please (Rev. 20:15) realize that you are playing with fire when you play with God’s word. I want us, you and me, to be in heaven together.
Jesus said; (Matt. 7:13-15) “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and wide is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (rapacious which is defined as: greedy, covetous, materialistic insatiable, predatory) wolves.”
God Bless you.