So far, we’ve looked at the first two chapters of Revelation.
One thing I want to emphasize is that we’vev seen the words “church” or “churches” 13 times in revelation 1 & 2. We’ll see them six more times in Revelation 3, and then won’t see it again until Revelation 22.
Again, that’s a bottom line. Don’t believe something unless you see it in the Bible, and if you don’t see it in the Bible, think carefully about that.
The churches were in the Bible in Revelation 1-3. After Revelation 4:1 and the “Come up hither”, there is no reference again to the churches until the eternal state. That’s a bottom line statement. Think strongly about that, if you’re Preterist, Post trib, Mid Trib or Pre-wrath. There’s no biblical foundation for your doctrines.
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. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 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. 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. 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. 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:1-6 (KJV)
The churches have gone from losing their first love, to mixing in paganism. And now, it is dead. The number of unSaved have increased radically. the Lord comments that “there are a few names”, meaning the majority of that church is unSaved, and doomed to eternal destruction if they do not repent. The reference to the seven spirits here is speaking of salvation. Those that are not born again, need to do so, and quickly.
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; 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. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 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. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:7-13 (KJV)
The last great Christian age, this is the era of from shortly after 1611, as the King James bible began inspiring the Great Awakening. David cloud points out Revelation 3:10 is further proof for the history of the churches interpretation, as the church in Philadelphia was never kept historically from the hour of temptation. This is the other of the two churches that is not chastened by the Lord. This era pretty much ended in the 1880’s giving us the last of the Church ages…
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 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. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:14-22 (KJV)
The last church. THis is the churches at their worst. They simply are uninterested in being on fire for the Lord. And that’s exactly what He explains is the remedy for their situation. Apostasy and modernism is so prevalent in that church that Christ has been locked out of His own churches. And his advice is this…. “be zealous therefore, and repent.” That’s the answer we need. We need to get on fire for God’s word. The antidote for lukewarmness is strong preaching, and a commitment to God’s people to delve into God’s word, and prayer.
We need to separate from the world. No more Superbowl, no more following hollywood movies. Take your TV and throw it in the trash. Get in the word, and out of the World. That’s what it’s going to take to get back on fire for God. Get back into God’s Bible, and out of the modern versions.
Of course, this is just a blog, and you are welcome to do as you please. That’s just my advice. Every Christian tells me they want to be on fire for God. Okay, that’s what it takes.
Tomorrow… we begin the study of the next phase. We’ve looked at “the things which thou hast seen” and just finished “the things which are” and tomorrow, we start the “things which shall be hereafter.”