The American Wisdom Series

The seven churches of Revelation Chapters 1 through 3


Today we begin the study of the Book of the Revelation, the name of which means to "Disclose", to "Unveil", to "Reveal", i.e. to make known.  The Greek word for "revelation" is apokalupsi (Strong's #602) which comes from apokalupto (#601) and more specifically means to "Take the Cover Off". It is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who has given this open, unsealed, book as a special gift to those who love and serve Him.

Perhaps those who have studied the Book of Daniel will recall that Daniel was instructed to SEAL UP the words that he wrote until the time of the end, when the wise would understand.

Daniel 12:4
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
But we will find in verse 10 of Revelation chapter 1 that John was taken to, and wrote from, the time of the end, and even beyond into the millennium.

So in contrast to Daniel, John was given specific instructions by one of the seven angels, whom we will read about shortly, NOT TO SEAL the sayings and prophecy of this book. That means that the Book of Revelation is UNSEALED, free and open for the partaking and understanding by God's "servants". Here is John relaying his instructions:

Rev. 22:10
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
So with the "lid off" all we have to do is look inside and "see" what is happening. And the best part is that most of it is like seeing an exciting movie because the Holy Spirit uses pictures and graphic symbols to "show", to explain and simplify, what it is He wants us to know. In other words, not only is the Book of Revelation UNSEALED, it has also been SIMPLIFIED for our understanding by turning that which is difficult to explain with words into pictures that we can "see" clearly.

And guess what? It is a documented fact that people remember infinitely more of what they "see" than what they "hear" or "read". Please allow me to digress for a moment:

I once worked closely with the man who carries the credentials of the "World's Foremost Applied Memory Expert". He not only has the #1 Medical Terminology course in the U.S., which teaches over 11,000 complex medical terms and their meanings in just 14 hours of video with a guaranteed classroom average of an "A", but he also has a program that can teach third graders ALL 100 of the basic multiplication facts in just 90 minutes. Here's how:

First he simplifies the task at hand by teaching four easy rules: 1.) The Little Rule, which is to always say the little number first, for the answer to 5 x 3 is the same as 3 x 5. This rule eliminates almost half the 100 questions. 2.) The Zero Rule, which is that the answer to any question with a "0" in it is "0". 3.) The 1's Rule, which is that the answer to any question with a "1" in it is the other number. 4.) The 2's Rule, which is that the answer to any question with a "2" in it is the same as adding the other number to itself.

After applying these Four Easy Rules there are only 28 questions left to learn in the multiplication table. In fact, in the "9,s" column there is only one question left (9 x 9), because the Little Rule eliminated the others.

Next, he converts the ten digits, 0 - 9, into the ten hard consonant sounds of the English language. For example 1 = T, there is one "downstroke" in the letter "T", 2 = N, there are two downstrokes in the letter "N", M = 3, there are three downstrokes in the letter "M", etc. The children learn to "sound-out" the letters, i.e. 3 = mmmmmmM. Now by adding vowels, which have no numeric value, he can form nouns and turn the 28 remaining multiplication questions into PICTURES they can see.

For example, the question 3 x 3 is turned into a picture of MoM, "mmmm"  "mmmm" (M*M = MoM), and they see a picture of a Mom. The picture is then made funny by showing MoM with a Pie on her head. A "9" flipped around becomes a "P", so 9 = "P" in the number code (remember vowels have no value). So 3 x 3 = 9, MoM = Pie. So after learning the "number code" and seeing 28 funny pictures, they KNOW their multiplication facts. The need for the pictures soon goes away and they are left with knowledge.

This teaching method is so powerful that later you cannot "unteach" the children. If you try to tell them that MoM had a TaiL sticking out her ear, they would correct you and say "NO, Mom had a pie on her head! We know because WE SAW IT."

The Book of Revelation teaches us much the same way, using PICTURES, so that WE CAN SEE what is to be known. And once we've "seen it" no one can take it away, i.e. no one can shut the opened door. We will know with certitude what is happening and what is going to happen in the future because WE WILL SEE it. Stay with us! The movie is fantastic.

We also have a few "easy rules" to apply in learning the pictures of Revelation. The first is to begin reading and studying the rest of the Bible, for Revelation is the "last" book. If you have read the entire Bible you will basically discover nothing prophetically nor symbolically new in Revelation, it's just that it is now tied together and simplified into pictures for us. The other rules we will point out as we come to them.

Now, having exceeded the length of an introduction, let us begin the "Unveiling".  John, that disciple Jesus loved, wrote these words in approximately 96 A.D. from the isles of Patmos where he was imprisoned for teaching the Word of God.

Rev. 1:1
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Notice that this is "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", not "The Revelation of John", as many Bibles title this book. Also note that the purpose of the revelation is to show things unto "His servants". If you are not one His servants, forget it, you won't get the pictures. You'll think that "locusts", when we come to them, are big bugs out to bite you. If you're not one of His, get with the program.

The reason John writes that these things must "shortly come to pass" is because we will find in verse 10 that John isn't writing from the perspective of 96 A.D. He was taken to the future and wrote from there. This is another "rule" that you must understand.

[2] Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
John bares witness not only of the Word and the Testimony of Jesus Christ but all that he "Saw".
[3] Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
You want to be happy (blessed) and free of anxiety about what is happening in the world?  Understand this great book of Revelation and it will set you free, for you will "see" not only today's events but tomorrow's as well. And knowing the truth is the key that unlocks the prison doors of the mind, which have been slammed shut by the traditional teachings of the unlearned.

John now addresses The Seven Churches.

[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; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Jesus Christ has something to say to all the churches of TODAY, not 96 A.D., and some of it isn't very pretty. Did we not just read in verse three that this is prophecy? Yes we did! Again, John will be taken to the future when he writes and the churches will be present and accounted for. They will be described by that which they teach and only two of them will be found to be in good standing. If you find you are aligned with one of the other five, then it is time to switch churches, don't you think?

Also, "7" in Biblical numerics denotes spiritual completeness (see appendix 10 if you have a Companion Bible), meaning ALL churches are being addressed. Then too, if you look at a map and note the location of these churches, you will see that they basically form a circle, another symbol of completeness. The point is, your church is identified in chapters two and three of this book. This will be your opportunity to test its fruits!

We will learn about the seven Spirits later on.

[5] And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Jesus Christ paid the price on the cross, because He loved us, and "loosed" (washed) us from our sins by the shedding of His blood.
[6] And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
He has made us priests and kings to reign at a yet future time, i.e. during the millennium. We will "See" it all in context as we go through the book. Here are a couple of references that we will come to documenting that this reign is yet future, i.e. prophecy too.
Rev. 5:10
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Rev. 20:6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Hey, the first resurrection, which takes place when Christ returns, is where it's at. Go for it!

For those who are familiar with the closing chapters of Ezekiel, because they have read the rest of the Bible, these priests are the same as the "Zadok", the just, i.e. God's elect.

[7] Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Not only will every eye see Christ when He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords, but as recorded by Paul in Romans 14:11, every knee shall bow. "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (Rom 14:11)".

When does Christ return? At the seventh trump, the last one! Just wait 'till we see that picture a few chapters from now. Did you know that His return ends this "flesh" age, instantly, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of last trump?

And because we know that the final generation began on May 15, 1948, when both the good and the bad figs were set forth in Judea, that means that there will be "Baby Boomers" who will hear that Seventh Trump. Pretty exciting, isn't it?

Would you believe me if I told you that the Book of Revelation is one of the easiest, if not "the" easiest books of the Bible to understand?  Sure, it's filled with symbolism, but that's what makes it so easy. Remember, it is an uncovering, a revealing. Yes, of course you have to understand what the symbols mean. But that is really easy too! They are either already used and explained in the prior books of the Bible or they are clearly defined for us in Revelation. You'll "see".

Let's continue in Revelation. Christ is speaking.

Rev. 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Alpha and Omega are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet giving the analogy of completeness, from the beginning unto the end. And of course Jesus Christ is Lord Eternal, of all time, i.e. the Lord of the "Present" earth age, in which we now live, the "Past" earth age, the world that then was (2 Pet 3:6) which perished at judgment (Gen 1:2), and the "Future" earth age to come.

And did you know, that in all that expanse of time, the Lord is the same? The apostle Paul explains:

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
John now lets us know that he is a team player, our brother and companion (partner), and not some "super preacher" high-up on a pedestal. As with all true servants of God he gives all the credit and all the glory to Him, the Alpha and Omega who makes it all possible.
[9] I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Partner in tribulation? You mean we're going to have tribulation? But I want to be "saved", saved from pain and the horrible things I think Satan is going to do to people when he gets here as the spurious messiah! I want to be "whisked" out of here like preacher "X" said. Give me rapture, not tribulation!

Silly Christian, salvation is spiritual, of the soul, not of the flesh!

So we see John, the Christian realist, who knew there was no "easy ride", imprisoned or exiled to the isle of Patmos for preaching and teaching God's Word. Hey, that's better than the bloody beating Paul took on Mars Hill. When the going gets a little rough, just remember the crucifixion of our Lord.

[10] I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
What does it mean that John was in the Spirit on the Lord's day? What's the Lord's day?

Remember we discussed earlier how that one should read and study the entire Word of God?  Well, here is an example of a verse that a student of the Bible would immediately understand. The "day of the Lord" is spoken of in Isaiah 2, 2 Peter, 1 Thessalonians, etc., and is a time yet future, beginning with the first day of the millennium, the day the Lord returns, His day, the Lord's day.

If you're not familiar with God's Word you may be unprotected and susceptible to listening to the unlearned tell you that it's now Sunday on the isle of Patmos!

But know this well. The understanding of verse 10 is extremely important in order to know the time frame of the Book of Revelation. The Lord's day is where John was taken when he saw the visions.

Let's look at a few verses concerning the day of the Lord. Paul talks about Christ's return, the day of the Lord, in 1 Thes. 5:2.

1 Thes. 5:2
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
Do Sunday's sneak up on you like a thief in the night? Do they take you by surprise? If they do there's a new thing out now called a "calendar" which will let you know when they are coming.

Christ's return will only come as a thief in the night to those who aren't watching (which is the majority of Christianity), to those who do not have the seal of God, His word, in their foreheads. God's children, His servants to whom the Book of Revelation is addressed, have the solar calendar, if you will, i.e. the calendar of events in the order in which they occur.

1 Thes. 5:4-6
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. [6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
What happens before and the day Jesus Christ returns is REVEALED in this Book of Revelation. Stay with us and you'll soon know, too!

Peter also discusses the day of the Lord in his second book.

2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
So the Lord's Day will be 1000 years commencing at Christ's return. We call it the millennium, which means a thousand. It is His Sabbath, the day of rest, the 7th day.
[9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

[10]But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

You just read happens on the day of the Lord, so don't listen to this "it happened on Sunday" stuff anymore!

So in verse 10 John heard a great voice as of a trumpet,

Rev. 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
John is told to take this Book of Revelation, all of it, everything he SEES, from A to Z, and send it to ALL the CHURCHES of today. And so it is that they all have it! But do they all teach it? We'll get to test them in chapters two and three, for they will be identified by what they teach.

And now John will "SEE" exactly why he was just given the instructions of verse 11.

[12] And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
What are the seven golden candlesticks? We will be told shortly. Right now just see the PICTURE.
[13] And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Of course the Son of man is Jesus Christ and His appearance is being described in the best "physical" terms possible .
[14] His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
This is nothing new. We've seen description before:
Daniel 7:9
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
White is a symbol of purity. For documentation ask women. (That's why wedding dresses are white.)
Rev. 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.
His voice was as the sound of many waters. Is this something new in the Book of Revelation? Nah. Ezekiel gives the same description.
Ezekiel 1:24
And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
Remember, the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. Of course, there is nothing new under the sun. I think this was said before by a man with great wisdom:
Eccles. 1:9
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
John continues:
Rev. 1:16 And He had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Do you see the picture? It's pretty awesome, isn't it? Christ is standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, holding seven stars in His right hand and has a sharp twoedged sword coming out of His mouth. Always "See" the picture first, before concerning yourself with the symbolism.

Got it so far? OK, let's look first at the twoedged sword. What is it?  Do swords come out of peoples mouths? Oh please! Words come out of the mouth, in this case His Word! Christ's Word is the sharp twoedged sword. This is nothing new. Paul, tell us!

Hebrews 4:12
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.
Do you see how powerful His word, the twoedged sword, is? It can even kill the soul!

And, guess what? God's elect also have this sharp Sword. It is part of the Gospel Armor that you must have on to be in the battle we are soon going to read about in this exciting Book of Revelation. So, you can see why it must be handled with the utmost care, for it is razor sharp!

Ephes. 6:17
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Well, that should about take of what the "Sword" is. Now back to John describing the vision.
Rev. 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
There's absolutely no need to be fearful of Jesus Christ if you are one of His.
[18] I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
In this verse we see the "I am that I am". This was the name God gave to Moses on the mountain when Moses asked "Who shall I say sent me?" (unto Pharaoh).

Christ is alive for evermore. He's not dead on a cross any more. And He has the keys of both hell and death. This would be a good person to get to know.

[19] Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
So John will write for us from the perspective of the Lord's Day, the first day of the millennium, all the things which he saw, both past, present and yet future. Just wait until you see those pictures!

Oh, and just to wrap up the rest of the symbols in Illustration 1, here it is.

[20] The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
What? The seven stars are the angels and the seven candlesticks are the churches. I thought the Book of Revelation was really mysterious. This is pretty simple.

Now, let me see if I got the picture:

Jesus Christ, who is standing in the midst of the churches (hmmm, equal distance from all, that's fair), is going to use His messengers, the seven angels, to send a message, directly from His mouth (His Word which is the very, very sharp twoedged sword), to all seven churches, meaning ALL churches.
Hey, I got it! Oh! This must be very serious. I wonder what He has to say to them? We'll find out! Stay tuned! . Don't drop your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

OK, it's time for a pop quiz!

1.) The day of the Lord is:
A. Sunday
B. The Millennium
C. Saturday
2.) The stars in Christ's right hand represent:
A. Oscar winners
B. The Zodiac
C. Angels
3.) The two-edged Sword represents:
A. The Word of God
B. King Arthur's Excalibur
C. An hors d'oeuvre accessory
4.) The seven candlesticks represent:
A. The Altar
B. The Churches
C. Liberace
5.) The Book of Revelation is the revelation of:
A. John
B. Jesus
C. Jerry
Well, how did you do? The answers are contained in an acrostic in the following sentence. BeCAuse we love the BiBle, we study it.

Now that we're all in the testing mood, feeling confident because we scored 100%, it's time to test the seven candlesticks. We have come to chapter two where Christ will now address the seven churches.

Keep in mind that these are church "types", and although some will resemble certain denominations, it is not our intent to identify specific religions and/or organizations. Christianity is a personal relationship between Jesus Christ and each one of us. In effect, we are really testing ourselves to see if what we believe aligns with the Word of God.

Our Lord speaks:

Rev. 2:1
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Make no mistake about it. The message to the church of Ephesus is directly from Jesus Christ. The "picture" is refreshed in our minds and we now understand the symbology.
[2] I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Jesus Christ knows all of our works and our labours and our patience (of the lack thereof) .

These good folks obviously have some degree of common sense. They can spot a "phony" preacher on the street corner or on TV, and after listening awhile (trying them) they find them to be liars, con artists! We need more people to be able to do that, i.e. to try these phonies and realize they are liars, and that they are not sent from God.

[3] And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
They are steadfast in their labors. They are faithful churchgoers and tithers and never grow weary.
[4] Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
This is not good! Whenever one has Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, against them they have a big problem. This is not to be taken lightly.

What is a Christian's first love? It is Jesus Christ, the Savior, the living Word of God. How is it then that they leave Him? By becoming involved in "church" and following the teachings of the church, the traditions of men, that make void the Word of God, which is Christ. They are wasting their time. Christ said so Himself!

Mark 7:7
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
However, Jesus provides the solution to the problem:
Rev. 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
They better leave "Churchianity", i.e. quit playing church, and start studying and following the will of God, else HE will come quickly and remove their candlestick, by declaring it a non-Christian church, a Beth-Aven, which is Hebrew for "House of Vanity".

Some people have a real hard time understanding how there will be Christians that do all these wonderful works and yet don't make it into the kingdom of heaven! Jesus addressed this issue.

Matthew 7:21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Well meaning people can be running around calling themselves Christians, saying "Praise the Lord this" and, "Praise the Lord that" and still not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Again, one must do the will of our Father.

What exactly is His will? His "will" is His "testament", both the Old and the New. If one doesn't do His will they are simply "kidding" themselves by calling themselves Christian! James 1:22 reads: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

So Jesus says, when talking about the same time period where John is now, i.e. the day of the Lord:

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Look at all the wonderful things this church has done. They have prophesied in the name of Christ, cast out demons, sent missionaries to various parts of the world, raised money at benefits or by playing Bingo to buy food for the homeless, etc, etc.

Though they profess Christ, too often well meaning Christians turn their will and their lives over to the care of their "church", and their church actually becomes their "means to salvation". This is especially true when their church thinks that only they are God's "elect", a term they interpret wrongly to mean "elite". Then just "belonging" to this church gets them into the kingdom. Here's what Jesus will say to them:

[23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Christ never knew them because they never knew Him. If one doesn't know the Written Word of God then one doesn't know the Living Word of God, for they are one.

Christ now continues to give His message to the church of Ephesus.

Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
At least they also hate licentiousness and lustful, perverted practices (which would not make them politically correct). Although there is not much history on the Nicolaitanes, Smith's Bible dictionary gives us a brief outline of this sect of heretics whose doctrines originated with Balaam. They worshipped idols, did not believe in creation, and held their women in common.

It is amazing how many church goers today do not believe in creation, but believe evolution took place in one form or another.

Jesus Christ has one more thing to say to all of us, not just to the church of Ephesus:

[7] 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.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear" are words used exclusively by Jesus Christ on seven separate occasions, to emphasize and call attention to the utterance He has just made. For only through Him can one obtain true understanding, and in this case, to understand what the Spirit is saying unto the churches, it requires "ears to hear". If you don't have them, ask Him. He has a pair waiting for you.

We will learn more about the tree of life in the final chapter (22) of Revelation.

What can we conclude about the church of Ephesus. Well, they appear to pretty "main stream" Christians, good hearted, well meaning church goers, who are definitely against sinful, lustful practices. The problem is that they are Biblically illiterate, they have left their first love, and so they don't have the seal of God, His Word, in their foreheads. Consequently, they will worship Satan when he appears first as the spurious messiah, i.e. they will believe that he is Jesus Christ Himself. That is not an opinion, for we will document this in the remaining chapters of the Book of Revelation beyond a shadow of doubt.

The truly sad part is, that when one worships Satan, even through ignorance, guess what? They can kiss their candlestick good-bye! Did you "hear" that?

Next we will see one of only two churches that Christ has nothing against. Hey, that's one to pay close attention to and become a part of what they teach.

Let's pay close attention to this next church, the church in Smyrna, for there are only two churches that Christ will find no fault with, this one and the church in Philadelphia. Hey, go with a winner! We will find that they share a common teaching, so whatever it is it must be very pleasing to Christ.

[8] And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
You will notice that Christ will give a few of His credentials to each church as He addresses them. And it is fitting that He says He was crucified and is alive, i.e. rose again, to the church of Smyrna. Why? Because they, along with the church of Philadelphia, know who it was that brought about the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, and it wasn't our brother Judah! Let's check it out.
[9] I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
You won't find these Smyrna folks featured on the earthly TV show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". But they are featured in the heavenly version. And one thing is for sure. Though they may have tribulation and even poverty (as the rich would define it), they wouldn't trade their pearl for all the money in the world. They know what they've got!

Now notice what identifies the church of Smyrna. They know who the blasphemers are that say they are of Judah, who run around claiming to be God's chosen people, while all along they are liars and are of the synagogue of Satan. Whew, that's pretty powerful stuff! You bet!

Jesus Christ identified these same imposters who lay claim to God's inheritance in John chapter 8. The scribes and the Pharisees were trying to "sell" their lies, deception, to Jesus Christ Himself (talk about bold).

John 8:39-44
They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Jesus knew full well that they weren't descendents of Abraham, and so do the folks of the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia. How about you?
[40] But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Let's see here. The religious leaders of the church, the "Oh So Holy Men of God, in their fancy robes", are PLOTTING MURDER and yet claim to be children of God. Ye, hypocrites!
[41] Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Christ told them they do the deeds of their father, which is not our Father! Their rock is not our Rock (Deut. 32). And even when they are exposed as frauds, they continue to lie.
[42] Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

[43] Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

It's pretty obvious they don't have a pair of those "ears to hear".
[44] Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Oh, look here! Their father is the devil, who sired their father the first murderer. Like father like son, "Liar, Liar, pants on fire".

Time for another pop quiz.

Who was the first murderer in the Bible?
A) Cain
B) Cain
C) or Cain
Good, you got it right! They were Kenites, the sons of Cain. It was the kenites who killed Christ, not those of our brother Judah.Take the time to look up the word "Jews" in Strong's concordance. You will find it is the Greek word Ioudaios, which means either a person of Judah's descendents or a person who resides in the land of Judea. People are often identified by the land in which they live. If you live in Texas you could be called a Texan. If you live in Judea you could be called a Jew.

Note: We will be addressing the subject of the Kenites throughout the Book of Revelation, so just be patient if this is new to you. However, if anyone would like to be brought up to "modern times" concerning Rev. 2:9 and 3:9 then do some research on the subject of Khazars. Here's a quote from one paragraph in the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"Khazar civilization shows a fairly complex texture and their religious life raises more than one problem... About 740 the Khazar ruler - and probably the greater part of the ruling classes - were converted to Judaism. The circumstances of the conversion remain obscure, the depth of the Jewish layer difficult to assess; the fact itself is, however, undisputed and unparalleled in the history of Eurasia. ... The story of this conversion of the Khazars had a considerable and lasting impact on the western world."
You take it from here.

Now let's return to Revelation.

Rev. 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Whoops! Someone doesn't like these people of Smyrna. Some, not all, from this church shall be imprisoned, and delivered up and put on TRIAL.  CNN, MSNBC, Internet Broadcasting, etc. will carry these trials live, from Jerusalem, for the whole world to see. And believe me, everyone will be watching. (Good, good, that's the plan, a worldwide forum for God's elect! The Holy Spirit will take it from here.)

Of course, this is nothing new. Christ talked about these trials in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. Let's check it out.

Mark 13:9
But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
Now we know why they will be tried in the councils of the synagogue of Satan. For "my sake", i.e. for Christ's sake. This is a religious matter.  Satan will be here claiming to be the Messiah, and God's elect, some of those rascally Smyrnites, will be singing "Liar, Liar, pants on fire".
[10] And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
The word "published" is better translated "proclaimed". Look it up yourself. So can you see how this is accomplished at the TRIALS?

Continuing in Mark 13:

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
Like we said, the Holy Spirit will take over from here, and that "tongue" spoken on Pentecost Day in Acts chapter 2 will once again be spoken. And everyone in the world will "hear" God's elect speak in their own native language. There won't be any need for any interpreters.

Think carefully now. Remember the picture we were given? The message to the churches, and to the whole world for that matter, comes directly from the mouth of Jesus Christ (His Sword, the Word). Right? That's why God's elect are not to premeditate what they will say. They won't have to! It will be the Sword of Christ, His Word, the Holy Spirit of God, proceeding directly out their mouths to proclaim His Gospel to this world.

What an exciting time we live in!  This is reality!

And finally to the church of Smyrna, Jesus says:

Rev. 2:11 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.
Got your "ears" on yet? You too can be part of the church of Smyrna or Philadelphia. And did you know that when you take part in the first resurrection, when Christ returns, that you receive eternal life THEN. Therefore, the second death, which is the lake of fire, doesn't pertain to you. What a fantastic reward.

So maybe you're beginning to think that being a Christian soldier in these last days requires some guts. Well, maybe so. But when you have the gospel armor (Eph 6) on and in place and Jesus Christ lets you carry His twoedged Sword (and He does if you're willing), then, as He says over and over again, there is nothing to fear.

Then again, if it's still too much for you, there's five other churches you can choose. Good luck!

Here is something to think about, "If you don't know something, then you don't know that you don't know it. Furthermore, how in the world would you know that you were supposed to know it?"

Our people have been kept so ignorant about God's Word that they have no idea that it was written personally to them by their Father who loves them so much and has given them blessings and an inheritance beyond their wildest dreams! It is His will and testament. It is even called "Testament", the Old and the New.  Sure they may love their Father, but they have to claim His will!

If someone left you a fortune, and recorded it in his last will and testament, but the will laid on the coffee table and no one read it, then you wouldn't know about the fortune and consequently you couldn't claim it. Meanwhile you struggle through life wondering why you are so "unblessed".

Worse yet, professional "will readers", with seminary degrees in "will reading", who claim to have read and studied the will, tell you come back "faithfully" every Sunday and they shall explain what the will says. The problem is, they never quite get around to explaining the will, but they never, ever, forget to pass the golden, felt lined plate.

Keep that in mind as we now move on to the church in Permagos.

Historically the Permagosians (can that be a word?) were worshippers of Apollo to whom the title of soter, which means "savior", was given and whose emblem was a serpent. "Some even trace the Babylonian pagan priesthood as removing to Pergamos." (See note on Rev. 2:12 in the Companion Bible). In any event, they had adopted a great many pagan rituals into their worship. Ever see that in today's churches, easter eggs, bunnies, etc.?

However, remember where John has been taken to, the day of Lord, the first day of the Millennium, which is yet future.

Let's see what Christ has to say to them.

Rev. 2:12
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
This church is reminded right away of His sharp sword that has two edges, i.e. His word that proceeds out of His mouth. The church in Pergamos is about to get a "tongue lashing" with the sharpest tongue in the universe.
[13] I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
It looks like this church has "made their bed" right where Satan dwells. I'm sure they believe he is the real thing, for most of the world will! When Satan appears at the six trump (which we will learn about in this Book of Revelation), he will claim to be Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

You should remember from kindergarten (or Sesame Street) that the number 6 comes before the number 7. It is at the 6th Trump that Satan is cast out of heaven onto this earth (Rev. 12:7-9), to play the role of the spurious messiah. We don't gather back to Christ until the 7th Trump, the very last one! The apostle Paul WARNS us what will happen before we gather back to Jesus at the 7th Trump.

2 Thes. 2:1
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2 Thes. 2:3
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The "that day" is the day we gather back to Christ.  And the son of "perdition" is the son who will "perish" (in the lake of fire). That's Satan. He's as good as dead which is why he is also called "Death".
[4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Satan will sit in temple of God claiming that he is God. He's a supernatural archangel and he will put on quite a show in the sight of men!And the name he will go by is "Jesus". Do you know what this means? There are two Jesus', the real and the imposter. Most people don't know the difference. Do you? Will you at that time?

Well, there will be one person in the church of Pergamos who will know the difference between the two and he will be martyred. His name, not doubt derived from his reputation, is Antipas which means "anti-father", and yet Jesus calls him His faithful martyr. He is faithful in telling the Biblically illiterate of the church of Pergamos that the dude who sits in the temple claiming to be God "Ain't the Father". Six comes before seven, don't you know?

Note: At the time of the crucifixion the people were given the choice to release one of two prisoners, Jesus, the Son of the Father, or Bar-abbas, which means "son of the father" (bar = son, abba = father). Two sons of two different fathers. Amazing, isn't it? They chose the latter.

Let's return to Revelation chapter 2.

Rev. 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Uh oh! This church has multiple problems, "a few things" wrong.

1.) They've got the "Balaam Syndrome". Balaam was a true priest of Israel all right, but if one takes the time to read the account they will find he preached to Balac, i.e. the Moabites, for MONEY. Know any churches like that? Do you know any churches that concentrate on fund raisers, pledges of money, pass the plate, building funds, etc, etc.

In fact at one point Balaam had his ass so loaded with "donations" that God intervened with an angel and had the ass speak to Balaam to bring him to his senses.

You know, it seems like every time I hear a sermon on TV by certain "will readers", I learn how blessed I'll be if I send money to them. Balaam lives on!

[15] So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
2.) They got "hanky panky" going on, too! We addressed this in the church of Ephesus.
[16] Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
REPENT! That is a strong command, and He means it! If they don't, guess what? They'll get a lesson in sword fighting!

Here is a word of wisdom! If there is one person in this universe you don't want to get into a sword fight with, it's Jesus Christ. I don't care if your name is Zorro or Luke Skywalker!

Rev. 2:17
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.
This time Christ says if we have those "ears to hear" we better pay attention to what the Spirit, i.e. Jesus Christ, is saying to these churches, ALL of them. It is extremely important, a matter of eternal life or death.

What is this manna spoken of here? Manna is the angel's food that our Father fed His children with in the wilderness of Sinai. It is symbolic of the truth, i.e. the bread of life, which our Father feeds His children in today's wilderness, during this time of the great famine spoken of in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.

"What?.. I don't see a great famine!" Maybe you also need "eyes to see". Look into the Book of Amos and "see" what is revealed concerning the famine of the end time.

Amos 8:11
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
There's just no time to prepare a meal with real meat for God's children. There's too much Balaam going on. Give 'em a little morsel and then "Bail-'em", the money that is.

Now, notice in Rev 2:17 that there is "hidden" manna, i.e. hidden truth. Some will ask, "Why is it that truth is hidden in the Bible?" The answer is, "So that when you go looking for it, you can find it!" Actually, all you need are "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" and it becomes revealed, uncovered, as it is right here in the great Book of Revelation.

We will address the white stone and the new name in a subsequent study. Meanwhile, here's some good advice, "Get out of Pergamos".

Let's review where we are in Revelation, this Book of the Uncovering. So far we've learned that the "Revelation" is from Jesus Christ and is written to His servants. He has transported John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, in the spirit to the day of the Lord, which is the Millennium, to record for those servants the things which must "shortly come to pass", at that time, not 96 A.D.

We then learned the simplicity of the use of symbology, which allows us to see in Picture Format that which Christ would have us know.  However, it only makes sense if we allow the Bible to do the explaining and not "mystify" what is being revealed with our own runaway imaginations.

Jesus Christ then began to address the seven churches and "reveal" their doctrines. This is a very serious matter, for if one finds himself to be a part of any church other than Smyrna or Philadelphia, he or she has big problems. Why? They don't align with His Word!

Let's check the scorecard of the first three churches:

Church     Fault         No Fault

Ephesus        X

Smyrna                                X

Pergamos        X

We now move to next church, which is in Thyatira.
[18] And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
Jesus now makes it a point to refresh in our minds the Picture we saw in chapter 1, of His Majesty in His glorified body standing in the midst of the seven churches, which are represented by seven candlesticks (Rev 1:13-15).

The church of Thyatira should pay particular attention to His eyes that "see" what they're doing and His heavy metal feet that could do some serious "stomping" when He returns.  Brass feet will be great for "treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev 19:15). Remember, He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords to rule with a rod of iron (and brass feet).

[19] I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
The "ands" in this verse constitute a figure of speech called a Polysyndenton, just like the "Ands" in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis (And the evening and the morning... etc.)  See appendix 6 in the Companion Bible. The "ands" are used for emphasis and so you could read verse 19 like this to understand the emphasis of the figure polysyndenton:
I know your works,
And I Know your charity,
And I Know your service,
And I Know your faith,
And I Know your patience,
And I Know your works.
It would appear that this group loves the Lord and is doing all the right things, as far as "religion" goes.  But there's trouble within. Something is wrong:
[20] Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
What's wrong is that they are obviously listening to someone who is "teaching" them, who calls herself a prophetess (which means teacher), but all the while she is leading them astray! She's seducing them to commit fornication and if they don't wise up, they're screwed alright! They're going to get stomped with brass feet.

Now let's back up and analyze what's being said. First, this is not, and cannot be, the Jezebel of 1 Kings chapter 16, though she certainly was a type.  Her name, Jezebel, means chaste, and so she gives the appearance of purity and holiness and goodness and truth (read as a Polysyndenton now that you what one is), but we just learned that she is anything but those things. The problem is her church members are too deceived, too seduced and in love with her, to know that what she teaches is an abomination to our Father! (She is not an actual woman, but a "teaching" of the church).

What does it mean to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols? Do you mean she teaches people to have sex outside of marriage and eat food sacrificed to idols?  No, this is church doctrine that is being talked about. She teaches people to become idolaters by eating "spiritual food", i.e. doctrine and traditions, that are not Biblical, and so not from God. It comes from other gods, meaning the false god, Satan himself, but it looks and "tastes" so good!

An example would be the "rapture theory" taught in most Christian churches today. Margaret McDonald, a prophetess herself, originated this doctrine in the year 1830 in Glasgow Scotland. She herself wrote that at first it was evil and there was darkness about it. That should tell you right there where it came from, the dark one himself. It is not supported in anyway, shape, or form in the Bible, yet it "tastes" and "feels" very good to those who wish to "eat" of it and continue being "seduced".

But let's check out the type, the Jezebel in I Kings 16-19.  She had good old Ahab make groves that really angered our Father, more so than all the kings of Israel that were before him. That's pretty serious stuff!

1 Kings 16:33
And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
Do you have any idea what a grove is?  The truth of the matter is "covered up" in the English, hidden just beneath the surface, if you will.  If you're like most of the people in the church of Thyatira you're probably thinking Ahab planted a bunch of trees, like an apple grove, or maybe cleared away the under brush to make a nice oak grove.

Well guess what? We just read in verse 17 of Rev. 2 that there is hidden manna, so henceforth we better all start looking a little deeper to uncover the truth.  Get a Strong's Concordance and look up "grove". The word is "asherah", from the root "ashar", to be straight, erect or upright!

Check out all the passages where this word is used and you will "see" without question it is not a grove like the folks of Thyatira think. For example, in 2 Kings 17:10 "they set them up under every tree" and in 2 Kings 23:6 "he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron...".

The asherah was a "thing", it was the Phallus image of  Isa. 57:8 and the "image of the male" in Ezek. 16:17. You guessed it, it was the image of the male upright organ of procreation. OK, it was a big carved penis, there I said it.

But you know what? It was a religious "thing". It was used in the spring sexual orgies honoring Ashteroth, the queen of heaven, from whom we get our word "Easter". Uh, oh! The church of Thyatira wouldn't bring symbols of fertility into the house of God, would they? Eggs, bunny rabbits?

"Oh, but those", we are told, "are just symbols of new life, after all it's spring time. And besides, it's so cute for the kids." (Doesn't Jezebel speak so sweetly?)  Sure, and grove means a clump of trees. How's it feel to be seduced by her? Do you know the origin of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies? What do they have to do with the Passover anyway?

It may offend some, but if that be the case, go ahead and try to find Easter in the New Testament. It ain't there! Surprised? (Note: Please don't send an e-mail saying you found it in Acts 12:4. The word is pascha, translated all 28 other times as Passover.)

[21] And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Our Father uses "adultery" to represent the far worse sin of "idolatry" throughout the Bible. He's giving her time, even now, to repent.
[22] Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Hey, she's going to "bed" and those that she "seduces" are going with her. And they will have great tribulation. Do you know what that means?  It means they will be "taken" by the false messiah, who is Satan, when he comes at the 6th trump claiming he is God. He'll be in the sack with them! In other words, they will worship the devil as Jesus Christ.

Worshipping Satan, even if in ignorance, is not a very good thing to do if you claim to be a Christian, is it?  It is called the great falling away, the great apostasy.

[23] And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Christ isn't going to kill children. Come on! It simply means that the children of Jezebel, her followers, i.e. the deceived members of the church of Thyatira, are going to be "Spiritually Dead"!!!
[24] But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
Stay away from Satan's fake doctrines. Learn his mysterious and conniving ways of slipping paganism into the churches of Christianity. Get out of Satan's bed!
[25] But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
If you have eyes to see and those ears to hear that Christ has been mentioning to every church, then hang in there. These are exciting times now, but more excitement is about to befall us all!
[26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
God's elect will reign with Christ during the day of the Lord, the Millennium.
[27] 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.
To "rule" means to "shepherd".  But the rest of the church of Thyatira better watch out for those brass feet.
[28] And I will give him the morning star.
The morning star is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who reveals the hidden manna to those who will "hear" and "see". Remember though, you have to want to. Ask Him.
Rev. 22:16
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
But never forget, there is an imposter that "looks" so much like the real Christ, that the majority of Christianity can't tell the difference. So it is no wonder that in Isaiah 14, Satan is also called the bright star. There are two stars, two Christs.
[29] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
So much for the church of Thyatira. It didn't score well either.

To this point in our study of the book that uncovers and unseals the truth, Jesus Christ has addressed four of the seven churches, and so far three of the four have come up short of pleasing Him. In fact we find that only two out of the seven are pleasing to Christ, Smyrna and Philadelphia.

The question is, "Do you want to please Christ, or not?" That may sound like a "dumb" question to ask someone who professes to be Christian, but let's think about it?

Suppose you "hire on" as a contractor for an architect who has given you the plans to build a great, magnificent structure. You're all excited about your new position and you really want to do a good job and please your boss. But you never quite get around to reading the plans or studying the blueprints. Instead you go about erecting poles and walls the way you think they ought to be, the way you've seen other poles and walls built, "traditionally". You justify it in your mind thinking, "This must be what he wants, everyone else does it this way."

When the boss comes along and asks "What in the world is this mess? Where's the magnificent building I ask you to construct? This doesn't even resemble it. Haven't you read my plans?", you say, "But I thought this is the structure you wanted me to build". You're then hurt and crushed when he fires you saying "get away from me" because he has no use for you.

The point is, you may have "wanted" to please your boss, but you didn't "care enough" to take the time to learn what it was that he wanted done. Such is the case with those in five of the seven churches.

I'd like to quote two paragraphs from the work of one of the greatest Bible scholars of our modern era, E. W. Bullinger, in his work titled "How to Enjoy the Bible", American Christian Press, pg. 6.

When we come to ask ourselves, and say "Where did I learn this?" "How did I get this?" "Who taught me this?" it is astonishing to find how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.

All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God. Where we find it is true we must learn it over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination.

These two profound paragraphs are the essence of what Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are all about. It is the reason we are testing the churches, shall we say it's "the purpose of the exercise". To be able to do that which we just read requires great courage and discipline. Most would rather take the easy road and follow traditions. That road does not lead to our Father, nor does it please Him.

The apostle Paul was able to sum it up in one short sentence that we all need to live by:

1 Thes. 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
And now on to the church in Sardis.
Rev. 3:1
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.
Remember, Jesus Christ knows all of our works, the good, the bad and the ugly. This church in Sardis is Christian in name only because they are spiritually "deader than a door knob". They probably don't even know where the plans are.

Sardis, if you care to research it's history, was a wealthy merchant town and the capital of the ancient Lydia (which Homer called Moeonia), once the "Queen of Asia". How interesting. Not too many years ago there were 6, and there are still 2 standing, of the pillars of Cybele (60 feet high). Those with eyes and ears will take note of the 6's and multiples thereof.

Cybele, also known as Rhea, was the goddess of the growth of natural things in Greek mythology. She was also called the mother of the gods. Hmmm, this sounds like something that could be mixed in with Christianity, don't you think? Hey, people will love it! We'll add some eggs and bunnies.

[2] Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
How much impact does it have upon your mind to realize that these are the very words and instructions from Jesus Christ Himself, as if He were standing talking directly to you, face to face?
[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.
You see, if you don't watch, then you'll be in the dark! And if you don't know when the day of the Lord comes, you'll worship the false messiah, guaranteed! Paul told us the exactly same thing as Jesus just told us in verse 3.
1 Thes. 5:2-9
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

[3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Hey, the Berlin wall has fallen, the Big Bear (Russia) has gone to sleep, supposedly. The USSR no longer exists. And if you think they aren't saying peace and safety, you haven't got your ears on!
[4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
These brethren are "watchers".
[5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
There are no surprises to God's elect. He will do nothing lest He first reveal to His servants through the prophets. It is all written in the set of plans.
[6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

[7] For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

[8] But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

[9] For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

We completely and totally escape the wrath of God, completely and totally. He's not angry at His children who love and obey Him. Do you get angry with your children when they love and obey you?

Now there's a "dumb" question!

Let's return to Revelation chapter 3.

Rev. 3:4 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.
There are a few folks in each of the churches that have stuck to His Word. Do you suppose our Father places them there for the benefit of others, to stir the pot so to speak?

White, of course, is symbolic of purity.

[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.
White raiment is symbolic of righteous acts. When we come into this world we have nothing (and I still have most of that), but when we leave we take our works with us. Those works will be our "clothing", raiment, in the kingdom. That could be a pretty scary thought for some!

Oh yes, God keeps books. He is well organized and maintains a complete database file on everyone of His children. It's much more extensive than Big Brother, it's Big Father. Of course His technology and software far exceeds that of the PC and Windows. His Spirit is linked directly to your brain and the thoughts of your heart and He downloads everything, I mean everything.

So just make sure that your Father is pleased with you so He doesn't "blot out", i.e. hit the Delete Button, on your file in the Book of Life. Why? Because if you check out the word "blot out" in Greek, it means "gone", "erased", i.e. there is no recovery program available, no recycle bin. And so you will not even be history, there will be no record, no archive. It will be as if you never existed. And once again, no matter what the traditions of five out of the seven churches teach, that is Biblical! Test it yourself.

Finally, you should know what is written in the books concerning you. After all, you are writing the story of your own life even now. The question is, have you read His Book to see if maybe yours needs some serious editing?

Rev. 20:12
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
The dead referred to here are those who are spiritually dead, as in, those who don't know Christ as their personal savior!

 Now for the fifth time Jesus says:

Rev. 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Just as a reminder, and for those who have recently joined our study, we saw a Picture in chapter 1 of Revelation, where Jesus Christ, in His glorified body, was standing in the midst of seven candlesticks (churches), with seven stars (representing angels) in His right hand, and a sharp twoedged sword (the Word of God) proceeded out of His mouth.

Christ then turned to each church and began addressing them, noting their doctrines and giving to them His instructions. He uses His servant John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was taken to the day of the Lord, i.e. the first day of the Millennium, to record His words to the churches which are present THEN, even now, not in 96 A.D.

And so we have come to the Church in Philadelphia, to test its character and that which is taught there, and to see what Jesus Christ has to say. We are once again reminded that there are only two churches, this church in Philadekphia, along with Smyrna, that Christ finds no fault with.

However, before we begin, here is a quote with an interesting historical note regarding the two cities of Smyrna and Philadelphia, that ought to tell us something. It is from the Smith's Bible Dictionary under the title "The Seven Churches":

"Philadelphia was included in the message with Smyrna as deserving approbation and encouragement; and these two only out of the seven cities have continued to our day, and now possess a material prosperity somewhat equal to their importance." "Smith's Bible Dictionary", A. J. Holman Company, Philadelphia, pg. 277.
And now the words of Jesus Christ to the church in Philadelphia:
Rev. 3:7
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;
Have you been noticing carefully the opening statements Jesus makes to each of the churches. We've been pointing them out as we come to each one, because they have a "purpose" and a "message" relative to each particular church. For instance, when Christ addressed the church in Pergamos, He reminded them of His sharp sword, "He which has the sharp sword with two edges." That was it, that was all He said, because they had major problems and He was about to do some pruning.

Now notice the remarkable characteristics He presents before the church of Philadelphia; holiness, truth, and the key of David.

What is the key of David? Well first, what is a key? It is that which allows one to open up and gain entrance, in this case to the Word of God. It is also that which allows one to shut out an intruder. It is He, who came of David, out of the root of Jesse, that possesses the key and has allowed the church of Philadelphia to have it. Friends, it is the most valuable key in the universe!

But first, allow me to digress. Even though this original church of Philadelphia was in Asia Minor and was but a type, as an American I can't read "Philadelphia" without thinking about the "City of Brotherly Love", our own beloved city in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia means "brotherly love"). For it is there that Independence Hall resides and the Liberty Bell rests, the symbols of Freedom and Liberty and Justice for All. And when you are given the "key to the city", you have free, unhindered access to the entire town.

Much the same, as an analogy, applies to the Key of David. With it you have free, unhindered (by the traditions of men) access to the entire Word of God. It will unlock each and every book while at the same time locking out false doctrines.

Those who have been "Bound" by the traditions of men, lied to by the sweet talking Jezebels, can be "Set Free" with the Key of David, and can never be bound again. Why? Because it unlocks truth and the truth leads to freedom from bondage. Did not Christ tell us?

John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Jesus continues with the church of Philadelphia:
Rev. 3:8 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.
Who needs to be a big, strong, powerful person to confront Satan, when you have you have the key that can lock the sucker out? Unfortunately, not everyone has that key now. But Did you know that Christ is going to take the key and lock Satan in the "pit" for a thousand years when He returns? You don't want to wait until then, do you?

Verse 8 says that the church of Philadelphia has a "little strength". Yes, and even a "little strength" from our Father far exceeds everyone else's strength combined.

We see that the folks in the "church of brotherly love" have also kept His Word. Of course that doesn't mean they have kept it on the coffee table. It means they know it, and understand it, and do it. You must first have studied His word in order to keep it, else you never had it to keep! It's the contents - not the book. In the very same chapter of John where Christ addresses the bad figs, He also says:

John 8:31
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Want to be a disciple of Christ? Get the key and start unlocking His Word and abide in it! (The Greek word for "continue" in verse 8 is meno and means to "abide" or "dwell".)

Moving right along now, let's stick the key of David into the next verse and open it up. Click...

Rev. 3:9 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.
Wow! This is the same thing that the church of Smyrna taught. (Pausing and Pondering, you say to yourself. "Let's see here. There are only two churches that Jesus Christ finds no fault with and they both teach this same doctrine about those who claim to be of Judah and are not, but are a bunch of crooked, deceitful liars. Hmmm, Momma didn't raise no fool, you know."

Note: Rather than take the space here to re-document who these imposters of Judah are, go back and read again the commentary on the church of Smyrna. Not much has changed. The creeps are still around.

Christ also says that he will make the kenites to come and worship before our feet. Of course this doesn't mean they are going to worship us, but when Christ returns EVERY KNEE will bow to Him. God's elect will be with Him, at His feet, before whom they will either worship or eventually perish in the lake of fire.

Finally in verse 9 our Lord and Savior lets His servants in the church of Philadelphia know that He loves them for what they do. If you are part of that church that will make your heart melt and bring tears to your eyes for the warmth that it brings forth.

[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
Uh, oh! I thought maybe I was doing OK until He said they have patience. Let me re-read that verse.  Oh, it says they have kept of the word of MY, i.e. His, patience. Whew! (You see, I read the verse impatiently the first time.)

What is the hour of temptation that the church of Philadelphia escapes?  The hour of temptation is that "hour" (we'll learn exactly how long that is when we get to chapter 5) when the "Tempter", Satan, is here as the false-christ claiming to be the Messiah.

Does that mean then that the church is going to "fly up in the sky" in the Rapturemobile? No, silly listener of silly preachers, it means that those with the seal of God in their foreheads, who have abided in His Word, having unlocked all the verses with the key of David, not only won't find Satan tempting, but Christ instructs Satan that he is not allowed to touch even a single hair on their heads. It is written in this Book of Revelation. We'll get to it.

These Christian "bruisers" will be right here, with their feet firmly planted on the ground, walking around with a full suit of gospel armor on and in place, giving Sword Lessons. Care to challenge one of them?

[11] Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Hey, they also have a crown (that's royalty you know) waiting for them and just let someone try to take it. Swoooosh! (That's the sound a twoedged sword makes.) This verse just let's us know how really good a tempter the Tempter is and to stay suited up.
[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.
Pillars are those overcoming, steadfast Christians that uphold and support the work and the Word of God. Imagine being one of them in the temple of God!

Now listen real carefully to what is said next and try to grasp the almost unimaginable magnitude of it. If you don't have ears to hear yet, then dig the wax out of the ones you've got and use them for a change.

Those overcomers of the church of Philadelphia will get a new name, because there is a marriage about to take place and the bride always gets a new name (the name of her husband, read verse 12 carefully), and their new address will be #1 Philadelphia Street, The Eternal City New Jerusalem, Planet Earth, Headquarters of the Universe.

[13] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Do you still want to listen to Jezebels? If so, we'll send you some postcards after the wedding.

Before we begin examining the seventh and final church, the church of Laodicea, and in as much as historically it was a type, there are some very interesting points about this church that pretty much tell the story for those with eyes to see.

The following is a direct quote from Smith's Bible Dictionary (the parenthesis are his), those were mine.

Laodice'a, an ancient city on the Lycus, in the valley of the Meander, forty miles east of Ephesus.  Its site was on seven hills, which were drained by two brooks, the Asopus and Caprus. The ruins are of a stadium, in very complete preservation, three theatres (one of which was 450 feet in diameter), bridges, aqueducts, and a gymnasium, which testify to its ancient wealth and importance.  Its original name was Diospolis (the city of Jupiter) which was changed to Rhoas, under which title it became the largest city in Phrygia (Pliny). Antiochus II gave it the name of his wife Laodice.

It became the seat of an archbishop, and in its cathedral church were gathered several councils; in one of which, a system of supplying the villages or small societies in the interior with church services by itinerating presbyters, was adopted (somewhat similar to the Methodist plan now in use), under the direction of the bishop of Laodicea.

The city was utterly destroyed A. D. 1230, since when it has lain in shapeless ruins, only visited for its marble and other materials.    Smith's Bible Dictionary, A. J. Holman Company, "The Seven Churches", pg. 277.

I thought it would be fascinating to those who are familiar with the great Book of Zechariah, especially the 4th chapter where the two olive trees, standing on either side of the candlestick, empty themselves of oil, i.e. empty into the candlestick, as in filling it up.

Whereas here, Laodicea, along with its candlestick, is being DRAINED by two brooks.

And while they are being drained, beautiful, magnificent stadiums and theatres are being built (no doubt funded by the tax payers).

Then we see a church hierarchy developed and the supplying of "church services" (ceremony and song in substitute for teaching line by line, no doubt). And so another "church system" is born. I would suppose that the birth of the Church Quarterly was instituted here also.

Then notice that Laodicea was destroyed in 1230 A.D. Shall we give each day for a year? Then that's just little short of the 1260 days in Daniel chapter 12. Looks like they didn't make it unto the end. Perhaps they had been drained too much and were a little short on oil.

We also have a quote form Davis' Bible Dictionary on the subject of Laodicea:

It manufactured cloth and garments from the black wool produced by a breed of sheep in its vicinity; and it was the seat of a medical school, whose physicians prepared the Phrygian powder for the cure of opthalmia. It numbered many Jews among its inhabitants (Antiq. xiv. 10,20). Davis Dictionary of the Bible, Baker Book House, pg. 441.
Well, it looks there were a bunch of Black Sheep running around the area of Laodicea (black no doubt because they were kept in the dark, if you know what I mean). But no matter, those presbyters sheared those suckers anyway and made merchandise of their hides! Boy, there's nothing new under the sun, is there?

In any event, verse 18 of this chapter will have more meaning by understanding the wealth and products of Laodicea. Enjoy.

Rev. 3:14
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;
The word "Amen" is of Hebrew origin and is a transliteration (a letter for letter conversion from one language to another, in contrast to a translation of the word) from the word "Amen" (Strong's #543). It's the same in English as in Hebrew and it means "truth", "sure", and when we say "amen" we are saying "so be it, truth".

And obviously, the last phrase of this verse, "the beginning of the creation of God", doesn't mean God created Himself. If you want to unlock scriptures you can't just stick the key in and open up the door and stand there and peek in. You have to go in and look around. If you are not familiar with the original languages then at least check out other translations from credible scholars. Here's how Dr. Moffat translate this verse:

Rev. 3:14
Then to the angel of the church at Laodicea write thus: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God's creation. (Moffat Bible)
Now back to the KJV and verse 15:
Rev. 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Maybe we should take a poll. Would you believe that's how some churches go about selecting their ministers? Here's an actual question from one prominent local church that did just that:

As a Christian, how important do you believe it is to study the Bible?

Extremely         Very            Somewhat         Not too          Not Important
Important      Important        Important         Important            At All

They asked the same type questions about the qualifications of the minister and after spending thousands of dollars in surveys and consulting fees (because they are rich and increased with goods) they concluded that it was more important that the minister be able to comfort and minister unto the sick and elderly, than to know and teach the Word of God. And they got what they wanted. He's a great guy. Everybody likes him.

[16] So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
The Greek word for "spue" is emeo (Strong's #1692), and it means to "VOMIT". Does that tell you what our Father thinks about lukewarm?  Either "do it" or get off the pot!
[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:
This verse is totally self explanatory. It should be read from your window as you look out upon this nation which recently went through a period of  unparalleled economic prosperity, which has produced an unparalleled false sense of security.
[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.
It's your choice Laodicea! The Lord says "I counsel you to seek "spiritual gold", that has been purified in the fiery furnace whereby the slag of sin has been removed by your seeking His sacrifice... and the pure white raiment of righteous acts, instead of those black wool suits you so covet, so that when the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns, you aren't standing there stark naked before Him and the host of heaven He brings with Him, and you're scrambling to find some rocks to hide behind, wishing they'd fall upon you and end the awful shame."

And these "spiritual items" cannot be purchased by cashing in your IRA's & 401 K's, and your inflated Bonds & Mutual Funds, for all the riches of man combined cannot purchase even one soul.

It's your choice Laodicea! Anoint your eyes with a poultice (a soft, usually heated and sometimes medicated mass spread on a cloth and applied to sores or other lesions), that they might open up and now you have "eyes to see".

It's your choice Laodicea!

[19] As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
One thing is for certain. Our Father loves His children very, very much. And if they've got it coming, they're going to get it! It is for their good because He loves them. It's Corporal Punishment and repentance now, or it's Capital Punish at the judgment.

It's your choice Laodicea!

[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.
Jesus Christ is right there, at the door, right now! Knock, knock! He wishes to invite you to the wedding feast about to take place (Rev. 19). Do you have "ears to hear" Him? If you do then YOU must open the door to your heart and let Him in. YOU must open the door for the LIVING WORD to come in. And YOU must open the Book for the WRITTEN WORD to come in. They are one and the same. It won't open itself.

If you do, He promises to dine with you, and so another thing is for certain. You have "not eaten" until you have tasted the hidden manna that He has prepared for those who love Him AND answer His call, for He is the Master Chef and the meals He prepares are Exquisite!

[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.
Want some incentive? What to know "What's in it for me"? Eternal life isn't just a "religious term". The rewards and honor and glory that He will grant, and has already promised in His Testaments, is for real! And guess what? They can all be yours!

It's your choice Laodicea!

And now, for the Seventh and final time to the churches of today and tomorrow, He who is Spiritually Perfect says:

[22] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Seven times Jesus Christ has made this call and soon the Seventh Trump will sound. Are you buying fine white linen and getting dressed for the banquet, or will you be caught stark naked in front of everyone?

It's your choice Laodicea!

In chapter 4 of Revelation where John will be taken to the very throne of Almighty God and we will get to see what lies beyond the veil, into the spiritual dimension, even into heaven itself.

Imagine that! John was taken to heaven and records in detail all that he saw, and yet people run around wondering what heaven is like. Go figure! They visualize people floating around on clouds (I think the clouds are numbered because "cloud nine" seems to be the one to go for) and playing harps.

Perhaps their preacher told them they didn't have to read the Book of Revelation because they weren't going to be here when those awful events take place. That's a great "cop out" because they can't explain it anyway. Their eyes are closed and they cannot see. Isaiah said it best:

Isaiah 29:10
For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
Yep, they're sleeping. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!
[11] And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
So, let's understand this. You take the Bible to one that is "learned", whom you will recognize as "learned" because of the title he carries, like PhD or Master of Divinity, and ask him to explain what candlesticks and stars represent in the Book of Revelation. And the "learned" says (as he lowers his glasses to the bulbous portion of his nose and peers ever so intellectually out over the frames), "My child, it is a mystery of God and it can be interpreted many different ways."

He's clueless! Next.

[12] And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
So you ask a lay member of the church, one who has attended at least 35 years or more, and he says "Beats me. You'll have to asked someone who is learned".

Oh boy! You're in trouble now. What to do, what to do! (Suddenly, you realize that you went to school and you know how to read yourself.)

So let's get serious and complete our study of the Seven Churches of Revelation by taking a TEST! I used to hate tests, but in this case I'm giving it, not taking it, and that's not too bad. I get to make up all the questions and it's kind of like playing Jeopardy, start with the answers and then make up the questions.

We are all instructed by our Father, through His servant Timothy, to study ourselves (because obviously asking the "learned" and the unlearned yields the same Babel). Our Father likes us to study His letter, it pleases Him. Yes, it's work. That's why "studiers" are called workman.

2 Tim. 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
One of the reasons we study is obviously to learn, but another reason we study is so that we can remember what we've learned, for then can we help others with answers to their questions. We are "reminded" to "remember" many times in the New Testament.

We realize that not everyone has the same ability to recall information. For some it is a gift and comes naturally, for some they must study and work hard, and still for others they simply cannot recall very well that which they have learned. But, our Father knows, and so we do that which we are able and try our best.


Multiple Choice

1.) The word "revelation" means to:

a) ignore, while waiting for the rapture
b) uncover, take the lid off
2.) The Book of Revelation is the revelation of:
a) John the Revelator
b) Jesus Christ
3.) John was exiled to the isle of:
a) Patmos
b) Malta
4.) John was taken in spirit to the "day of the Lord" which is:
a) Sunday
b) The Millennium
5.) The sharp twoedged sword is:
a) the Word of God
b) an actual sword like the one Peter used
6.) John described Christ's feet as being like unto:
a) Iron mixed with miry clay
b) Brass
7.) Candlesticks symbolize:
a) Churches
b) Angels
8.) The seven stars were in which of Christ's hands?
a) His Left Hand
b) His Right Hand
9.) How many of the seven churches did Jesus find no fault with?
a) 5
b) 2
10.) The churches Christ found no fault with both taught about:
a) those who claim to be of Judah but are not
b) the Nicolaitanes
11.) Christ spoke the words "He who hath an ear let him hear" how many times?
a) 5
b) 7
12.) The church of Ephesus:
a) lost it's first love and are Biblically illiterate
b) are rich and increased with goods
13.) The church of Smyrna:
a) is admonished for celebrating Easter
b) Christ finds no fault with
14.) The church of Pergamos:
a) has preachers who teach for the money
b) tries those who say they are apostles
15.) The church of Thyatira:
a) is about to lose its candlestick
b) teaches false doctrines such as rapture
16.) The church of Sardis:
a) is dead (spiritually)
b) has no one who has not defiled their garments
17.) The church of Philadelphia:
a) has the key of David
b) holds the doctrine of Balaam
18.) The church of Laodicea:
a) is rich an increased with goods
b) Christ finds no fault with
Fill in the blanks.

19.) Which two churches did Christ find no fault with?

  __________________ & _________________
20.) Which of the Seven Churches most resembles the one you attend, and why?
__________________ because _________________________________
Bonus Question   (Yes or No)

21.) Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear?  NO _____  YES _____

You can correct your own papers by looking up the answers* in the Word of God. Get used to it! That's where all the answers are. When you have a question, don't run to some "learned" person. Go directly to Jesus Christ, the Living Word. He will answer you in the Written Word.

*Question 20 is a test of honest evaluation and is subjective, subject also to your honesty.

Question 21 is intuitive.

I sincerely hope you've enjoyed this section of Revelation concerning Christ's message to the Seven Churches. He obviously thought it was important for us to evaluate what we believe and what our church may be teaching! For that which they teach either aligns with His Word, or they are just following what tradition has laid before them, never waking up from their slumber, never anointing their eyes with the poultice, and thereby robbing the people of their crowns.

The blind leading the blind, the "learned" leading the "unlearned". And so it has continued until we now find ourselves in the midst of the great famine of the end time that Christ warned us about in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. The famine is for hearing the truth of His Word!

Amos 8:11
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
[12] And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
From sea to shining sea they run. They enter into the House of God as hungry sheep in the dark. But they are not fed and the light is not turned on. Instead, they are sheared and left to stand naked without honor. It's a serious matter. It's a matter of eternal life and death.

We ask our Father's help as we search our hearts and minds, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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