Revelation: The Seven Churches
In three days I read the book of Revelation three times. First in the New Living Translation and then in the English Standard Version then again in the New International Version.
I have read Revelation several times before and have even read through the whole Bible a couple of times. Recently I have signed up with a group in our church to read through the whole Bible in only four months. I have never done it in four months before. So anyway let’s see how this old mechanic will do, trying to figure out this book called Revelation.
A couple of people have told me that I should be more open about who I am. OK. I call myself a mechanic because I’ve been one for most of my life. However I also have an AA degree in computer networking and I used to be certified as an electronic technician. But as I have said in earlier posts, I have never been to seminary, or to any form of Bible college or training. It would very wise to test everything I say. And oh yeah, I am also a veteran of the US Coast Guard and the Army National Guard.
God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.
OK let’s see what this message is. After all we can’t obey if we don’t know the message.
First I don’t understand the seven or sevenfold spirits of God in Revelation 1:4 yet. By the way I will often say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t understand’. Often times in school, a teacher may not know something. But if the teacher tries to bluff or makes something up, the students will often pick up on it and the teacher will loose the respect of his students.
The book of Revelation was written by John from the island of Patmos. The seven churches were all from the western part of modern Turkey. These seven churches are represented by seven golden lampstands and each has an angel or messengers is represented by seven stars. Our Lord Jesus is doing the talking.
The seven churches in Revelation 2:1 through 3:22 are like many of us today.
Some of us are like the Ephesus church and have lost the love we had when we first became believers. What is scary is the Lord knows this. He knows our hearts, our minds, our feelings. We can fool a lot of people, but we can not fool Him. And if we don’t repent from this, God will take away the lampstand. I don’t know what that means really; but I do not want to find out. It is good that the Ephesus church hates the practices of the Nicolaitans. They were basically faulty teachers who led others astray.
Unlike the Pergamum who did follow the teachings of Nicolaitans as well as eating food sacrifices to idols and committing sexual immorality. I don’t believe there is much of a problem of eating food that’s been sacrificed to idols in North America, but the sexual sin is everywhere. Sexual immorality covers a large area of activities. Adultery, incest, homosexual activities, and others. I’m not judging, I am only saying what scripture says, in both the New and Old Testament. Anyway if those in this group don’t repent, they will find the Lord Jesus Himself fighting against them. This will not be good. On the plus side it is good that they never deny their faith in the Lord Jesus.
One warning that I must add. It’s about Revelation 2:14 where it talks about Balaam. Numbers 22 talks about how Balaam refused to curse Israel. (Which is a good thing.) But think of sin as pollution. You may be holy until that first sin; then you become polluted. Any little sin (wrong doing) is like a supertanker breaking open and spilling oil on a beach. Think you’re mostly OK? Try telling that to the wildlife on the beach. This is why we need to know Jesus, to be forgiven.
The Thyatira church is similar in that they tolerate the woman called Jezebel who misleads God’s servants into eating food that’s been sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality. If they don’t repent, they will suffer greatly with her. On the plus side, the Lord has seen your love, faith, service, and your patient endurance. He sees your constant improvement in all these things. Revelation 2:19. Revelation 2:24-25 says some of you are OK though.
The Sardis church is like so many today. We humans love to pretend. We want to fit in. Many of us pretend to be “spiritual” when in fact we’re dead inside. We can fool a lot of people, but we can’t fool God. So wake up, be alive! Revelation 3:3 says Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Fortunately some will be found wearing white, walking with the Lord for they are worthy.
I find the Laodicea church interesting. My wife and I are far from wealthy, yet we do know a few who are. I would like to think they have their act together. But knowing human nature, I know some do not. (I’m glad I have no idea who.)
After reading this several more times, I wonder if maybe some of the rich get a little too comfortable. I wonder if since they can buy most anything, they stop relying on the Lord. What if they of course still believe and love the Lord but at the same time are no longer in fellowship with Him. Of course I am only guessing at all this. But if I am correct it would maybe explain Revelation 3:15-18. Now Revelation 3:20 is looking also looking a little different. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” In other words Revelation 3:20 is says, “Hey you! I’m knocking on the door of your life. Let me in so we can have fellowship together.”
By this time you may have realized that I have not mentioned either the church of Smyrna nor the church of Philadelphia. If you read Revelation 2:8-10 and Revelation 3:7-10 you’ll see Jesus isn’t holding anything against them.
Another thing I left out until now was the ‘victorious’ parts. So if you are victorious:
1 – You will be given the tree of life . Which is the same tree as in Genesis 3:22 .
2 – You will not be hurt by the second death as in Revelation 20:14 which is the lake of fire.
3 – You will get hidden manna and a stone with a new name on it. (I don’t understand the stone part.)
4 – You will have the authority over the nations, and will also be given the morning star. I find the morning star interesting because according to 2 Peter 1:19 and Revelation 22:16 the morning star is Jesus. So if you seek the Lord you will find Him. 2 Chronicles 15:1-4.
5 – You will not have your name blotted out of the Book of Life and will be knowledge before the Father and His angels. The book of life is also mentioned in Revelation 20:14-15.
6 – You will become a pillars in the temple of God. And He will write on them the name of His God and the new Jerusalem. In other words everyone will know we belong to the Almighty.
7 – You will sit on the throne with Jesus Himself.
One thing that I forgot to mention is God discipline those Him loves Revelation 3:19 .
Well that’s all for now. Someone told me they would like to memorize the book of Revelation, and for that I say that’s great. However I don’t want to memorize words, I want to understand them. Now I wonder if memorizing might be easier. I believe the seven churches is the easy part. Other parts of the book will be much more difficult. Oh Lord please help me with this. What did I get myself into?
Also don’t worry, I will write about other stuff from time to time. After all I don’t want everyone to be bored to tears. Because if everyone was bored to tears the whole world could flood and then I would be to blame. Not good.
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