Chuck Missler Revelation Session 03 Chapter 2 1-7 The Letter To The Church Of Ephesus

We should never enter these sacred places without going opening a prayer so let’s bow our hearts our word of Prayer well father we thank you for who you are we thank you that you’ve allowed us this privilege of gathering together in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to open your word to us we pray father that you would open your word to us and more importantly open us to your word that in all these things we might behold Jesus Christ that we might grow in grace in the knowledge of him and doing it in all this become more fruitful stewards of the incredible abundance you’ve allowed each of us as we commit our this evening and ourselves into your hands in the name of Yeshua our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ amen well we are in session three of our study of the book of Revelation chapters two and three of course are the seven churches so we’re going to focus on each one specifically but just a few background items for to get warmed up here notice first of all it’s singular the word revelation the Greek word apocalypsis means the unveiling it’s not a collection of visions it’s an unveiling of a person the person of Jesus Christ it’s singular it’s the consummation of all things everything started in Genesis is tied off in a revelation and it’s the only book of the Bible that has the audacity to say read me I’m special no other book of the Bible to my knowledge promises a special blessing to the reader of it lots of admonitions to read the Bible collectively the Word of God only one book has the what the Jews might call hutzpah to say read me I’m special and we’re going to claim that blessing tonight the book contains 404 verses but the important thing to understand is that those 404 verses contain over 800 allusions to the Old Testament so if it sounds strange to your ears it’s because we all haven’t done enough homework in the Old Testament and will provide actual catalogue of all those illusions as part of the notes that will accompany the study and of course this presents that this presents the climax of God’s plan for mankind now notice the first couple verses the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto whom unto him that shocks many people they read that they don’t pay attention the revelations news Christ which God gave unto him to Jesus Christ to why to show unto his servants things which must suddenly come to pass shortly the word in the Greek is tax ayat it means very rapidly once they start I think the closest English word is really suddenly once they start they’ll be quick and he sent and signed the fighted signified it rendered it in two signs by by his angel unto the servant john who bare record of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ and of all the things that he saw you’re going to if you watch carefully as you go through the book you see John sees things he hears things he feels things he falls in the ground this is a very very dynamic physically interactive experience that John is going to experience okay let me sign a find it render it into science and verse three is has the equivalent several places in the book we’ll just grab it here while we’re here it’s a blessing that you and I are going to claim right now 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 and then he goes on of course John to the seven churches which are in Asia you’ll understand the book itself is like a a package that’s being sent not to one church to all seven each of the seven churches will have a part of it but they’ll also get the whole thing if you will John to the seven churches which are in Asia the word Asia of course is not the continent as we use the term it’s the if proconsular Asia it’s a province of the Roman government it’s the area that you and I think of today is Turkey grace be unto you and peace from him which is which was and which is to come from the seven spirits which are before his throne and from Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness the first begotten of the Dead and the Prince of the kings of the earth on him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood here we have a trinity illusion from him which is which was and which is to come which many of us would visualize as the Father and from Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness and then we have between these two this interesting phrase the seven spirits which are before his throne some scholars think that seven key angels that are going to show up later but most of us I think see that as a Sevenfold holy spirit as detailed in Isaiah chapter 11 first couple of verses but in any case this is just by way of review and Worman the key thing that I want us all to be sensitive to as we go that we’re dealing with an integrated design the New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed and in this case it’s the other way around the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed we’re dealing with a single book and our whole premise however our approach this book is the recognition that every detail is there deliberately that’s true of the whole Bible but it’s especially true book of Revelation every subtlety every detail even the structure will tell us things that are below the surface and we’ll try to highlight some of those as we go now in Chapter 1 we had an introduction than the salutation occasion then the main core of chapter 1 is a vision of the risen Christ that we went through last time but just to go through it quickly I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day that is not some day many people assume it’s Sunday it’s the day of the Lord it’s a very common phrase in the Old Testament and the Joe of mothers talked about I was in the spirit on the day of the Lord and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet what kind of a trumpet is important but we’ll talk about that when we get to chapter 8 and following saying I am Alpha and Omega the first and last and what they’ll see us bright in the book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia to Ephesus and Smyrna and pergamus and unto Thyatira and to Sardis in the Philadelphia and unto Laodicea seven churches now one of the questions that should lurk in your consciousness as we go through all this why these seven 63 years since Pentecost and the giving the Holy Spirit they’re now over a hundred churches around and many of those were in proconsular Asia not just these seven why not Rome Jerusalem Antioch colossi philip i Galatia Iconium Lystra Derby mellitus and so on and so forth you yourself familiar the New Testament can list a whole bunch of church as many of which you would think are far more prominent than b7 why were these seven chosen don’t answer now keep that keep your options open as we go forward I think you’ll be startled to realize how uniquely these churches fit a some very complex models John says I turn to see the voice that spake with me and being turned I saw seven golden lampstands now lamp stands are light bear is not the source of light and we will before the chapter is over they’ll be explaining what the actually are and the midst of the seven lampstands one like the Son of Man clothed with a garment down to the foot and gird about the the chest with a breastplate in effect now we have a physical description of Christ here in heaven and there’s there’s much to it there’s a whole section that well just summarize in a minute but he had in his right hand seven stars and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword and his countenance was as the Sun Shine it’s in his strength the sharp two-edged sword you see some artists try to literally REM that render that in the painting of this course grotesque the term is an idiom for what what’s the sharp 200 sword anyone the Word of God exactly three or four times in the New Testament exactly what it is called an accountant’s was of the sunshine earthen is strengthened that all should echo Matthew 17 the Transfiguration when Amy John says when I saw my fell to his feet is dead and he laid his right hand upon me saying unto me fear not I am the first and the last and last time we went through the seven occasions where that phrase is used of Jesus Christ in the old New Testament and so we won’t go through but that each one of these things I encourage you to have a concordance at your side and every one of these phrase that strikes your ear estrange get a concordance find out well it’s the where else they appear and it all the fog a lift but the vision at chapter one had seven features his hair on his head was white it was taken from Daniel 7 verse 9 in effect his eyes is a flame of fryer it’s bare mind it says simile we talked about that his feet which is a symbol of the walk the of judgment we talked about the brazen serpent and all of that last time he had a voice of many waters how do you argue with the Niagara Falls I mean it’s not a whisper it’s not the little still small voice that Elijah heard no this is something far more so much stronger in his right hand he has seven stars now it’s interesting these lampstands he’s in the midst of them on the one hand at the same time they’re all pictured as in his hand now that’s the paradox how can he be in among them and have them in his hand but what is it talking about that he’s among us and he is in control it him taken from John 10 and elsewhere is out of his mouth the – I just saw it we’ve talked about that which has a number of functions that judges the believers it’s mites the earth and it consumes the Antichrist and of course everything is in seven the seven elements here finish with the countless is the Sun but then we get to verse 19 the reason I’m going through this review of chapter 1 because it’s important to have this perspective Before we jump in to this the most important section of the book of Revelation which is chapters 2 and 3 I’ll show you why revelation provides its own outline and in verse 19 John is told to write the things which thou hast seen the things which are and the things which shall be Hereafter a little short verse but the things which thou hath seen we get to verse 19 what has he seen the vision of Christ in chapter 1 it’s now behind us so that’s the things that he has seen right the things which are present tense that’s the seven churches that will emerge in chapters 2 and 3 and then the faith which that which follows after the churches in chapters 4 through 22 the word hereafter in the English is actually a translation of the Greek meta tota and chapter 4 verse 1 is that key is that signal word meta Tata and goes on so we’ll show you why we hold the view by the way something else let me underscore we’re not here to try to indulge in controversies that’s weeks we’re really here to teach to encourage you to do your own study we will share what we believe and why we believe it will try to highlight the alternate the views when we as we go but we’re not here to sell a particular view as much as we put it out candidly to help you with your study but we’re assuming that you will use acts as your guide that’s where Luke tells you don’t believe anything chuck Missler tells you but search it up for yourself Speaker of the Bereans they were more noble than those who doesn’t like it in that they received the word of god with all openness of mind but they searched the Scriptures daily to prove whether those things be so but so on there are many good scholars that will not agree with some of the views that we’re going to present now I just want you to be aware of that and you should resolve it with your own study but it’s chapters two and three that we feel are the key to the book the reason is that’s the part that we are involved in we believe that we will be in heaven from chapter 4 verse 1 onward and which it’s a very strange view not held by everyone but we’ll show you why we hold that view as we go so the last verse of the chapter is really just a prep for verse chapters 2 & 3 John writes the mystery of the Seven Stars which thou sawest in my right hand and the Seven golden lamps lampstands the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands which thou sawest are the seven churches and by the way one thing you’ll notice if you peek ahead the lampstands are on the earth in chapter 1 they are in heaven in chapter 4 I’m not building a case on that there’s more more convincing issues but I mentioned that in passing so we are now going to explore the seven churches the things which are and one of the questions why these seven keep to keep that open and and jot your notes as we go forward one of the things you’ll discover is each letter has a closing phrase it has a it has a title of the church it has a title that Jesus chooses of himself it takes one of the identities from chapter 1 to reflect to refer to himself it’s a different one for each church for so it’s all consistent with the theme of the church then it’s like a report card and I’ll show you that in a minute but it’s each one closes with this strange phrase he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit to the churches well this has this these four-letter these seven letters have four levels of application the first one’s pretty obvious they were real local churches at the time and they’ve been investigated thoroughly by the experts there William Ramsay established quite clearly their existence and the fact that they had problems at this time that these letters seem to address head-on so they have a very valid local application and you could say gee that’s it that’s enough no there’s more to that you notice that the Holy Spirit says he that have an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the church as plural in other words every church was to pay attention to what was said to each of the seven so it’s an admonitory application each church every church that you can find on the planet earth will have elements of all seven in it some more than others once you understand the seven letters each one has a theme each one faced certain problems each one had certain recommendations all of them apply to all churches to varying degrees and that’s if you understand those seven you can map any church you run into as how much it has to taste two teaspoons of this one and four tablespoons of that one or whatever you follow me okay so if that makes sense but there’s a third level it is homiletic personal how many of you have an earlobe can I see a show of hands okay it says he that half an ear that’s you let him hear him or her hear what the Spirit says to the churches so there is a sense very clear sense in which each of these seven letters apply to us personally independent of what church you might be attending are we together so far now so far we’re on sound ground very few people will had a bunch choral with that but fasten your seat belts there’s a fourth level that’s prophetic and this is very controversial there are some that would take exception of this but I’m gonna let you draw your own conclusions but I’ll point out to you that in the order that they’re in in your Bible they will profile the history of the church from the Apostolic day to today and if they were in any other order that would not be true and so that having been said we of course will be exploring that as we go now this prophetic profile we have Ephesus Smyrna Pergamum Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia and Laodicea and what I’m going to try to show you as we go forward that each of these have an implied future and some of those futures are very very startlingly different something else I’ll try to remember to point out as we go but let me mention it right up front one of the key lessons you’ll get from this study is that every one of the seven churches was surprised by the result because each of the letters by Jesus Christ is a report card here’s what you’ve done good here’s what you need to work on just like a report card every one of the seven churches was surprised those that thought they were doing well were not those that were thought they were not doing well we’re doing a lot better than they thought so this should give us some humility so whatever you think of your church you want to hold in abeyance and measure against Jesus Christ’s report cards to thee seven and come to your own conclusions and we’ll work this as we go you’ll also discover as you go that there are seven elements of each of the church each of the seven letters if you can if you can visualize a spreadsheet with seven rows and seven columns make each column a church you’ll have seven rows the name of the church the title of Christ is commendations his concerns his exhortation well I’ll go through this first of all the name of the church discover that the name of the church is very relevant to the main theme of the church Jesus Christ chooses a title to refer to himself that’s selected from one of the titles drawn from Chapter one but each one is different because each one has a slightly different emphasis then he has a commendation here’s what you did well here’s your A’s got an A in this and an A of this and being this not bad but then he has his concerns whoops you get to this word nevertheless and you hold your breath then of course he has an exhortation gives them some specific advice then you have a promise to the overcomer in the letter there is a specific promise to the individual in that situation and then you have the last thing is the closing phrase he that hath an ear hear what the Spirit says by the way that phrase he that hath an ear occurs outside of the book of revelation seven other places so on the final exam it says how many times is he that hath an ear show up don’t say seven is 47 in Revelation seven elsewhere but that’s a hint let’s go on here so you could make a spreadsheet of these seven churches at Ephesus through Laodicea and you you could take each name what it means the title it’s used take the commendation the concerns the exhortation the prompts the overcomer and then this last phrase and what I encourage you to do in your private study is to take a large sheet of paper that can be laid out horizontally and paste in the text in all the squares to give you the spreadsheet I could head one out but I rather just do it yourself because it’ll be it’s a it’s a worthwhile exercise for yourself for your own notebook what I’d like to do at this point let’s take your Bibles and let’s read together I could have put it on the screen too but I thought I don’t want to develop bad habits here I think it’d be useful for us to actually get your Bible we’ve got the lighting improved thanks to some donations that came in so we got better light now and more comfortable seats the seats are now I can talk to three hours without getting comfortable I’m kidding I do believe in the spiritual gifts – flippancy ok chapter 2 verse 1 we just read along with me 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 the word candlesticks is the King James and more prophets Luke Anna in the Greek it’s really a lampstand verse – I know thy works and thy labour and thy patience and how thou canst not bear them which are evil and thou has tried them say they are apostles and are not and it’s found the liars and that’s born it has patience for my namesake has laboured and hast not fainted that’s the good news then you get to verse 4 nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou its left thy first love 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 lamp stand out of this place except thou repent but this thou hast that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans which I also hate 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 Paris paradise of God first seven verses constitute the letter to Ephesus well let’s just take it apart the word Ephesus in the Greek means the desired one the desired one an equivalent term is darling the one and only interesting interesting label unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus right then we have the title of Jesus Christ that he chooses of himself these things saith he that holdeth the seven stars at his right hand who walketh in the midst of the seven golden lampstands you know it’s interesting these are this is of course the phrase we just read in chapter one it’s very familiar in yours at this point but I want you to notice the paradox of the care here he is walking among us and yet we are in his nail-scarred hand the emphasis here that Jesus is present and he’s in control and that’s something that’s that’s a theme I encourage you to study as you go through your Gospels you realize that the Lord that the de portrayal of Judas was not doose’s timing the Lord precipitated it by announcing it that night they had not planned to take him on a feast day that’s expressed in Scripture because they feared the Romans but Jesus by announcing at that night controls the timing Judas had a splittin yet at Fischer cut bait so they had to throw their Arrangements together that night when you get to guess M&E who’s giving all the orders not the soldiers Jose key I said I me if I you seek let them go there get good let them go their way who’s giving all the orders Jesus is all the way through he Mel Gibson did I think a remarkable job in his film The Passion but there is a misconception that he merges by the average person seeing it the crucifixion was not a tragedy it was an achievement Jesus Christ that’s what he came to do he deliberately arranged things to fulfill hundreds of details but anyway notice he’s in control keep key point here okay Ephesus desired one it’s a term of endearment obviously verse two I know thy works you know that can go that’s on our report card too as Jesus write your report card it might get problem sir I know thy works whatever you’re doing good and bad he knows about time till a little Branson asked his grandpa can God see me all the time he loves you so much he can’t take his eyes off you great answer great answer I know thy works and thy labour and thy patience and how thou canst not bear them which are evil and that was tried them which say they are apostles and are not and has found them liars in other words they did a good job at ding out heresy about clinging to sound doctrine they apparently did that a very good way it has born and has patience for my name’s sake it has labored and has not faded now without counting how many commendations you think they got seven good for you good guess if you go through and count them they’re seven I think it’s impossible for you to make a list of all the sevens in the book of Revelation you can get up to a hundred and get tired by then because many of them are so subtle it really takes some digging but they’re everywhere and we’ll highlight a few as we go everybody knows about the seven seals seven trumpets seven bowls hey that’s just that’s just for starters testing doctrines you know Paul gave a warning to the elders of this church Timothy was probably his first bishop and his the fair Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders in Acts chapter 20 what you should do for in preparation for this session was to read acts 18 to 20 which is a great deal of background on the Ephesian Church so Paul had his farewell warnings we’ll look at them in detail in a minute but John himself also gave some warnings in his first and second epistles and we’ll take a quick look at those in a little bit but I said there are four levels of application let’s start with a local picture there really was a church in a place called Ephesus and let’s find out a little bit about it it was founded about 1400 BC with a very early temple to an ancient Hittite fertility deity which became identified of course later with Artemis or Diana the only and colonists from Athens settle there about 1100 BC when you get up to about six century BC the Lydians captured the city and then priestess their King was routed by the Persians and Ephesus was joined to the other cities in the iron Confederation it was about this time that we see a Diana or Artemis surface in their cultural traditions and Ephesus was involved in the Peloponnesian wars – a citizen Vantage and but it’s serve as the key was a key naval base in those days it has problems later it fell to the Macedonians under Alexander and after when Alexander dies as you may recall four of his key generals took over his empire Lusa Micah’s became master of the city and tried to make it a model city really Martin you know really made it very elaborate and again emphasis seems to have a an ability to pick the wrong sides of battles they saw the unwisely side with Antiochus of Syria against the Romans eventually though do become a Roman capital of the what the Roman province of Asia the western part of correct the eastern part of Turkey is the the the proconsular Asia over the province of Asia but it did it was a free city so that meant it had its own municipal government and Senate and both Straubel and Josephus resources on background if you want to get into that it was called the queen of Asia it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the region it was the capital of Ionia and it had the chief Harbor that’s why was a naval base earlier and that’s why it it continued being key naval base however the Romans tore up all the trees which caused erosion of that rosin started to fill the harbors of the harbor became more and more problematical to where today at six miles inland and so but it was extremely wealthy and beautiful in those days he was near the mouth of the river caster which is now the meander and it was the principal line of communication between Rome and the eastern provinces there are three key roads that pass through Sardis and Galatian so forth and that made it was on it was in a very very strategic location it’s interesting how paul would always target his activities at a major crossroads he was very shrewd in his choices to give you a quick feeling of this you mean last time we talked about where Patmos was will zero in on Patmos as a frame of reference here but Ephesus is along the west coast of this of the province called Asia and we’ll talk more about that as we look a little more the geography the architecture is astonishing you have a theater there that is four hundred ninety five feet in diameter held 25,000 people there’s a marble way I’ll show you some pictures of all of this with statues and so forth through the city there’s a main way that’s almost 2,000 feet long 70 feet wide I’ll show you a picture that in a minute here and the there is apparently what some scholars field was the first bank they say in the world I’m not sure that’s true but it certainly was a major the priests at the Temple of Diana were also major international bankers in and that was one of sources of power if you go there the digs are extensive of all the seven churches to visit Ephesus the easiest one to get to and the most fruitful to visit anyway that the digs there are very extensive here’s a picture as you go down to the from the main area down to the what’s called the library that’s just a facade there the library had 200,000 volumes and that was before printing think about it what they also won’t normally tell you unless you have some access here to the right of us is the main way and down the main way our shops and the brothels and the archives archaeologists have discovered there’s a tunnel from the library to the brothels so if your husband signed out to the library girls you want to check that out there this is just swing to the right this is the main way and some of the brothels are on the right side there this is a shot of the theater and perhaps the aerial view is more revealing than the rest pretty impressive and if you get a chance its Ephesus is not hard to get to it’s worth visiting but in the days of the New Testament the most outstanding architectural feature was the temple – of Diana that presumably was the daughter of Zeus the sister of Apollo and it was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world it was in Ephesus four times as large as a Parthenon in Athens this thing’s huge it stood on a platform of 425 feet by 220 the Billy itself was 340 by 165 with 127 ionic columns each 60 feet high this was by anyone’s standards an impressive piece of architecture and but it’s very much involved with very ecstatic sexual rights that we are not in the position to discuss in the mix audience it was the largest city of its day the harbour gradually became unusable and the traffic was diverted to Smyrna which is today the city of Izmir and but F is also the Study Center for Arts and Magic and they had all kinds of occultic stuff that was of course burned in acts 1919 they may recall Paul’s first visit was brief and was directed toward the Jewish community he later made a second visit it was driven from the synagogue but he settled the school of Tyrannus for two years until the uproar of 58 AD and that’s all in acts 19 and 20 and of course Ephesus later became the center for missionary operations throughout Asia there were imitators that followed but without power he may be remade remember the seven sons of sceva and all that business Timothy may have become Ephesus first bishop and it’s here that we find a killer priscilla Apollo’s all these familiar stories from the book of Acts and now according to Eusebius and some others John returned there after he finished in fatness he was in patents for about 10 years but when Domitian dies John is released and he’s the records are that he returned to Ephesus and and settings busied himself setting things in order but he fit he finished his closing years there his gospel was apparently written there from Ephesus in those closing years Timothy John and Mary’s tombs are in Ephesus after Paul left Ephesus he journeyed through Macedonia returned to mellitus which is near Ephesus I’ll show you that the map for his famous farewell to the Ephesian odours first corinthians hit paul’s epistle to the corinthians was penned during his second visit and his epistle to ephesus written when paul is later in rome four years later after he leaves now the Bishop of Ephesus was accorded rank Authority patriarch over the churches of the whole province of Asia in 431 ad we’re now showing you a little history after the New Testament period Emperor Theodosius ii called a general church council of ephesus because there’s a hot debate at the time as to whether the virgin mary should be described as the mother of god and two hundred bishops at this third ecumenical council decided in the affirmative but that’s widely misunderstood the the emperor of the East the United second and the Valu Tinian of the West both convened this council because of heresy known as Nestorian ISM and nestorius who’s a patriarch of Constantinople that isn’t East he refused to accord the title mother of God to Mary the mother of Jesus Christ but the whole point was the proponents of emphasized the separateness of the human and divine in Christ claiming in effect that he was two persons one divine and the other human and accordingly Mary was considered the mother of man Jesus not of the Divine Jesus that was the historians view but this is opposed to the accepted doctrine that Christ was a single person that one at this at once both God and man and under the leadership of st.

Cyril the patriarch of Alexander the council deposed mysterious and condemned his doctrine it declared that Jesus Christ is the true God and true man and that he has two natures human and divine joined in one person so see on that basis there on sound round what derives from that a logical extension that view then the council approved the title the arcticus for Mary which means God Bearer not the mother of god the god bearer in other words they’re saying christ was both god man and she certainly was his mother so she was the god Bearer that gets twisted later to be into the titled mother of god which of course carries a much different connotation and so that this is often misunderstood when you look at what really happened the council you can’t find fault with what they ruled but the way it’s applied is or twisted later is something else again anyway the chief rival of Ephesus was mellitus but it’s Harbor also is a subject of erosion for a while but even in the first century Paul landed mellitus after one of its many dredging I’ll show you that on a map in a minute and it gets destroyed by the Goths in 262 never never retains its earlier Jesus letter the letter were reading in book revelations is about 35 years after Paul departure now we want to understand Paul’s departure the is his famous touching farewell addressed to the elders at Ephesus let’s pick it up in acts 20 verse 16 for Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus because he would not spend the time in Asia before he hasted if it were possible for him to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost in other words the Feast of Shabbat he’s trying to get to there this is one of the three feasts in the Jewish year that was obligatory for an able-bodied Jew to be at Jerusalem and he’s trying to make that commitment so he doesn’t go to Ephesus he goes is it he goes to mellitus and from mellitus when he lands of mellitus he sends word to Ephesus and he has the elders come to see him and if you see there’s Ephesus and there’s mellitus and so the elders have to travel quite a ways I’m guessing that would be probably more than 20 miles to meet with Paul some scholars believe he Paul did this for two reasons one is that the harbor was still more useful in mellitus Ephesus starting to have erosion problems I guess silt and so forth so as mellitus for that matter but also they believed that Paul was trying to avoid the crowds he wanted to deal with just the elders and so the elders come to mellitus and that’s where Paul has his touching farewell this is when they were come to him he said to them ye know from the first day that I came into Asia after what manner I have been with you at all seasons serving the Lord with all humility of mind and with many tears and temptations which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you but have showed you and have taught you publicly and from house to house interesting phrase by the way house to house it’s interesting to realize that all the fellowships and the book of Acts were in homes even acts to churches as we think of them weren’t invented until the 3rd 4th century house the house home fellowships that was the original form of fellowship the home fellow were ostracized by the medieval church of course even the Reformers Calvin and Luther and others tried to stamp out the home fellowships and many churches today do not encourage home fellowships we happen to believe that that’s where people really grow in the 50 years I’ve been an active Christian I’ve seen most of the blossoming of people occur in small fellowships meeting during the week and we think it’s also the viable forum for the underground church which we also think is coming Jaber and mcgee predicted in america that the real body of christ is only going to go underground and the attack against him will be led by the denominational churches that was very radical 20 years ago it’s starting look very very real today let’s get back to Paul he says testifying both to Jews and also the Greeks repentance toward God and faith to our or Jesus Christ and now behold I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem not knowing the things that shall befall me there say that the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city saying that bonds and afflictions abide me in other words that they’re just full of warnings to Paul what he’s facing when he gets back to Jerusalem but none of these things move me neither count my life dear unto myself so that I might finish my course with joy and the Ministry which I received Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God and now behold I know that ye all among whom I’ve gone preaching the kingdom of God shall see my face no more wherefore I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God boy that’s a key phrase the whole counsel of God that’s our protection against EC take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers to feed the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood for I know this get this now here he starts hitting it that after my tea party shall Grievous wolves enter in among you not sparing the flock Grievous wolves enter in among you it’s interesting to realize that these elders heeded his warning because 35 years later when Jesus Christ gives them the report card they did well in this regard they were listening he goes Bob goes on it also of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them therefore watch and remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears now brethren I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified interesting warning also of your own selves shall men arise that’s exactly what Jesus compliments them for he commends them for being diligent Metra guard Paul continues I have coveted no man’s silver or gold or apparel yea you yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities and to them that were with me I have showed you all things how that’s so laboring you ought to support the weak and to remember the words the Lord Jesus how he said it is more blessed to give than to receive how many heard that before hey can you find it anywhere in the Gospels meshach you’d realize that you won’t find that in the Gospels here’s a quote from Jesus Christ that’s bye from Paul I know that you I don’t think you’ll find it the Gospels I somebody correct me if I’m wrong but anyway let’s move on and when you just spoke and he kneeled down and prayed for the with it all and they all wept sore and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him sorry sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake that they should see his face no more and they company him onto the ship so ends that chapter now we get to John John wrote in addition to a gospel in the book of Revelation he also wrote three epistles first John which is an extensive profound epistle was to Ephesus by the way second John we believe was a personal note to Mary and I won’t make in to that whole case here you can just read it the first sentence pretty makes it pretty clear and so let’s just look up of quotes in 1st John for John’s letter to Ephesus beloved believe not every spirit but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world hereby know ye the Spirit of God every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God and this is the spirit of the Antichrist whereof ye have heard that it should come and even now already it is in the world John uses the phrase Antichrist twice but he doesn’t use it of that to which we usually apply it he’s very he’s speaking here of the spirit of Antichrist the the one that we call V Antichrist is coming world leader has 33 different titles in the Old Testament 13 in the new and this isn’t this and John John the one that uses the word Antichrist doesn’t use it of him we get revelations he uses a different phrase altogether so we’ll get into that but anyway that’s John’s warning to the church at Ephesus again echoing the same thing Paul dealt with in his letter to Mary he has uh some strange remarks in here for many deceivers are entered into the world who confess not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh this is a deceiver and an antichrist look to yourselves that we lose not those things which we have wrought but that we receive a full reward whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God he that abideth the doctrine of Christ he hath both the father and the son it’s very interesting as you read the second John that he is giving both encouragement and exhortation to the one that he was charged to take care of at the cross and I challenge you to take a look at that come to your own conclusions about that letter let’s move on oh if there come in you and bring not this doctrine receive him not into your house neither bid him Godspeed for he that a bit of him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds he’s warning Mary not to take a false teacher under her roof why we’re advised to have show hospitality why could she not do that because for her to do it would be sanctioning their doctrine see the difference many people try to apply this in generally I think it applies to her but let’s move on let’s get back to the letter we had the good news Jesus commends the the church and Ephesus for their trying those that say their apostles are not and found them liars right then we get to verse 4 nevertheless I have somewhat against the because thou hast left thy first love this is the key line of this entire letter because thou hast left thy first love the word first is proto’s it means first in rank influence honor the chief or principal the superlative love that’s what he’s talking about they have left their first love they’re too busy on the business of the King to have any time for the King God would prefer to have devotion rather than doctrine that’s the message here I should say in addition to doctrine we’re talking here the love of a spousal all through the scripture old and new Testament we have the joy associated with salvation the joy of their salvation is all through Psalm 51 Jeremiah 2 and so on the first name fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 is what love of course it goes deeper than just these admonitions God uses the marriage to communicate his most intimate truths and we’re going to see more about that when we get into the harpazo the rapture and all of that and that’s the most intimate truth of God and it’s going to be the most startling linkage to the Jewish wedding of a structure and if you want to get into this in more depth I strongly encourage you some books that have been taught in five continents that have changed lives wherever they land that’s my wife’s books called the Whale agape and that really they will speak for themselves there are 20 references to this particular grace found in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians the Paul’s epistle of Ephesians is full of this of course now it’s interesting what were we asking what Jesus in effect is saying he wants Mary’s as well as Martha’s you may recall Luke ken there’s the famous incident with Mary and Martha and Luke 10 sorry about verse 38 now it came to pass as they went that he entered into a certain village at a certain woman named Martha received him into her house and she had a sister called Mary which also sat at Jesus feet and heard his word but Martha was cumbered about with much serving and Cana and said Lord dost thou not care that my sister have left me to serve alone bitter therefore that she help me jesus answered and Senator Martha Martha thou art careful and troubled about many things but one thing is needful and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her interesting that Jesus sanctions the fact that Mary said his feet to learn and he’s looking for devotion that outranks everything else well let’s get to the back to the Jesus’s letter get the renowned at first the chapter two verses five and six 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 lamp stand out of this place except thou repent now it’s interesting the remember repent and then repent again is in the error is tense that’s intending to envisage no delay do it now and where is the lamp stand of exodus assume Aviva where is the lamp of Ephesus today it’s gone it’s gone there’s another little thing that he mentions here but this thou has he has a positive here he throws in but this the house that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans which i also hate norse he hates the deeds she doesn’t hate the Nicolaitans and these deeds here will become doctrines in the next letter we’ll talk about there more in more depth but Nicolaitans some scholars suggest the possibility that there was a first century set claiming apostolic authority for their opinions they take this from the name of one of the seven deacons of Acts six that we got the name of Nicholas that he formed a sect that was claiming apostolic authority and there’s some scholars that cling to that there are others that believe that this word is an untranslated word it comes from the Greek nação which means to conquer or overcome and lathi or Leo’s lady or people that this this the the deeds here that was offending Christ is a tendency for the clergy to rule over the laity creating hierarchies and Jesus gave us an organization chart the way he saw the church and he did that in John 13 remember he washed their feet you all know the story when he says then if I then your Lord and Master have washed your feet ye also ought to wash one another’s feet for I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you verily verily I say indeed a servant is not greater than his Lord neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him so Jesus was that humble actually gives us the pattern we should follow and this whole idea of the clergy over the laity is something that apparently offends Jesus Christ well okay we talked about local now let’s talk about too how can this apply to all churches well see Jesus is acknowledging they did well and having docked no purity he hasn’t abhorrence for heresy of course but the key thing that they were lacking was devotion to the king they had left their first love or primary love to business on the business too busy on the business of the King to rather than for the king himself Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians deals with this whole issue was written from Rome four years after his farewell and the pistil Ephesian is very similar to the Epistle of Colossians they’re both written about the same time but Colossians it very much has to do with theosophy but Ephesians is simply a letter expressing Paul’s love to the church there and he has this intense desire that they be fully instructed in the profound doctrines of the gospel so his letter the Ephesians would be an appropriate appendix to all of this I encourage you to it’s a little you know for chapter book read it in in concert with this letter that brings us to the personal application this letter you ever study the difference in David and Solomon David pervades the scripture Psalm is mentioned only with adverse comments to lily of the field was not a raid like like these and so forth you know he there’s always a back of the hand aspect the comments about Solomon well Solomon sought wisdom very appropriately on the one hand but yet he later became apostate through his foreign wives he apparently didn’t love the Lord the way David did David simply sought fellowship to dwell in the house the Lord forever the contrast between the two is in two psalm was very wise but still blew it in the end of his days david blew it too with Bathsheba and what-have-you but he repented and his heart was focused on the Lord the primary admonition he wants devotion not just doctrine the first commandment thou shalt do what love the Lord thy God with all the heart soul strength like this in the Old Testament Shama Deuteronomy first Corinthians 13 should be read here no thought of self if I speak of it with the tongues of men and of angels and so forth you know the passage first love is the abandonment of all for a love that it has a bed at all that’s what God is after so speaking other personal applications I mentioned the third commandment thou shall not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain I think it’s ambassadorship not vocabulary I’ve mentioned that before and I think that God would have our first priority on a devotional life and here again if you want a very astonishing book a startling book I encourage you to look at my wife’s latest book private worship the key to Joy it’s a cup of commitment not melodies and encourage you take a look at that then we get to this closing phrase he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says in the churches but notice something strange here the promise of the overcomer is like a after an afterthought a postscript if the he that hath an ear phrase closes the letter we see to him that overcometh I will as a phrase that is like a an appendage I got like a PS and that we’re going to discover that’s true the first three letters but not the last four and I’m going to suggest you there’s something very interesting about a difference in structure of the different seven letters that will out when we’ve gone through all of them but in any case to him that overcometh will I give to the eat of the Tree of Life which is the midst of the paradise of God we all recognize that from Genesis one but let’s just take a look at the we have Ephesus the first of these the first three retaining and we’ve got the we’ve had the name the title of commendation the concerns the exultation of problems overcome we except when we got to item six we notice that it’s a postscript it’s underneath the closing and that doesn’t seem to tell us anything yet but I think it’ll tell us a great deal as we go forward and this Tree of Life of course we know it from the Genesis one it’s also though the subject of a lot of myths of the heathen the Persians have their dreams about it the Hindus the Arabs the Greeks and Assyria it’s interesting that echoes of this of Genesis still echoes even through pagan myths and so forth there’s adenomas Advan Paul’s warning in acts and John’s letters warned the Ephesian Church where is their lamp stand today however they’re it’s obviously going emphasis now six miles from the sea it’s not approachable by ship what was Major Harbor is now Marsh tents with reeds and what was once the key city in Asia is now a desolation worth visiting for the ruins but it’s a desolation well that leaves us the last one and I’m just going to suggest as we close on this that this prophetic profile that we talked about Ephesus Smyrna Pergamum Thyatira they’ll be more meaningful I’m just going to suggest that Ephesus appears to be a profile of the Apostolic Church very diligent on doctrine and yet lacking in devotion and will see a Smyrna it will be a totally different situation that we’ll explore next time in our next session I’d like you as you do for each of these sessions read chapters 2 and 3 it doesn’t take long read the whole bunch but I’d like you outline the letter to Smyrna take those seven elements and see if you can identify the seven elements the letter to Smyrna I’ll give you a clue two of them are missing and if you don’t outline it with that structure you won’t notice that they’re missing you follow me but check it out but I might have you do something else that may surprise you in preparation for as we go forward most of you are aware of the fact that there that four disciples came to Jesus for a confidential briefing on a second coming occurred on the Mount of Olives we call that the Olivet discourse it’s recorded in three Gospels Matthew 24 Luke 21 and Mark 13 and I think most of us tend to lean on the matthew account for two reasons it was a Jewish issue and he was Jewish but more important he took shorthand so most of his discourses are more thorough than the others because he was he had that as a job a job skill you find most commentaries will tell you that Matthew chapter 24 and the recording in Luke chapter 21 are the same thing and I’m going to ask you to read it not just in Matthew 24 but in Luke 21 and compare them closely and see if they are the same thing and I think you may discover that they’re not they are different and there are different in some non-trivial ways now rather than leave that just hanging I got a few minutes you have you throw it in here the the in Matthew 24 verses 4 through 10 it mentions false Christ’s wars famines death martyrs and global chaos Luke does the same thing in chapter 21 4 through the end of the chapter what makes this interesting to us when we finish the seven churches as we’ll discover in the book of Revelation chapter 6 we have the four horsemen and so forth we’ll notice the pattern of the four horsemen and what follows parallels the false Christ’s wars and rumors and famines and death in the martyrs or of both of the Olivet discourse in both Matthew and Luke you with me so far there’s a parallelism it’s widely recognized by most scholars except there’s something else that’s kind of interesting it seems that Luke and Matthew have a different focus Luke mentions that cluster of signs but he says in verse 12 but before all these certain things are going to happen Matthew mentions those same cluster signs as all these are the beginning of Sorrows then shall they in other words after this in other words there seems to be these signs false Christ’s wars famines earthquakes what Luke talks about comes before them and what Matthew talks about comes after them Wow are they talking about the same thing are they talking about different things see ones before these ones after then Shelly well let’s try and take another look at this if that’s Luke 21 and that’s Matthew 24 the wars famines earthquakes and so forth are a cluster of events that sound very much the same in both accounts no problem so far but Luke talks about things that happened before those signs and Matthew after Luke talks about the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD very clearly and that occurs before these signs Matthew talks about destruction I’ll call that desolation number two that’s not only after these signs is after an event that Luke doesn’t even mention the abomination of desolation and it has a destruction of Jerusalem it has a specific label given to it by Jesus Christ the Great Tribulation so suddenly begin to realize that in this discussion Luke seems to a focused on the fall of Jerusalem and he there’s two different desolations he’s focused on the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD clearly and that’s what it causes so many scholars who presume that they’re just crunched together as one account they saying well gee that but what what the what the Bible talks about happened back 780 that did the other hasn’t happened yet understand the difference if you if this is an example of where I believe precision is valuable because there are all kinds of good scholars stumbling over this issue by not recognizing that Luke’s talking some of the things looking to talk about is before those signs and what Matthews talk about is after those signs and the reason I bring this up here is that by the way see Matthew is Jewish and he’s talking he’s focusing on the time of Jacob’s trouble after these signs you got the abomination then let them wish to be in Judea flee to the mountains and so forth if the fall of Jerusalem under Luke it was very similar again Jerusalem surround by armies but there was an unexplained relaxation of the siege and the Christians in Jerusalem were able to slip out that’s well documented in Josephus tells were and that was reestablished of course they had over a million 100,000 people slaughtered in those nine months now it’s all we have eyewitness accounts you can check that out but the point is that is not the same event as occurs after the abomination of desolation which comes after the same list of signs you with me so far so check it out and I think it will clear a lot of misunderstandings that are going on but the other thing reserving them in the seven eight or seven churches are focusing on a period of time after the fall of Jerusalem but before the war the before Revelation chapter 6 verse 1 so I thought that would be useful at this point because you’re going to want to understand that Before we jump in to Smyrna to see where they fit in so read chapters 2 and 3 for next time outline the letter to Smyrna which is you know 8 and it’s only 4 verse 4 or 5 verses long every long and then if you get time you want to study this Olivet discourse thing because you’ll find this sort of an undercurrent and all the rest of it Matthew 24 and Luke 21 and also Daniel 9 are really essential background aspects to a serious study a book of Revelation and so with that let’s stand for closing word a prayer let’s borrow hearts father father we do thank you for your word we thank you that word became flesh and dwelt among us father we also ask you to help us to keep the great command and help us to love you with all our heart soul strength and mind help us father to put you ahead of everything else as we look at our national horizon as we look at our personal horizon a overwhelmed as we realize how far we fallen as we just begin to get a glimpse of the extremes that you’ve gone to that we might have life and life eternal Oh father how that should Eclipse everything else on our list of priorities as we recommend his father the clouds and the horizon that are coming we do pray father that you would illuminate for each of us specifically what you would have of each of us in the days that remain not only that we might grow and grace the knowledge of Lord and Savior but that we might be more fruitful stewards of the opportunities that you put before us Oh father that we might just love you more we just commit ourselves this night without any reservations whatsoever into your hands to do with us as you will as we commit ourselves into your hands in the name of Yeshua our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ amen you

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