Chuck Missler Revelation Session 09 Ch-3 14-22 The Letter To The Church Of Laodicea

But we’re in the book of Revelation and we’re concluding what some people would consider unit 1 of this study we’re concluding a major segment of the book by dealing with the seventh of seven letters to the seven churches the letter to church at Laodicea and so just by way of review for newcomers also just to get warmed up here it’s the revelation that’s singular it’s the unveiling it includes the consummation of all things it’s the only book of the Bible it has a commitment to give you a special breast a blessing if you read it nor other book of the Bible to my knowledge has the audacity to say read me I’m special a lot of admonitions read the Bible in general this one says read me and you are guaranteed a special blessing that’s what we’re going to claim tonight as we both read and hear and of the 404 verses of the book of Revelation there are over 800 allusions from the Old Testament alone so that’s part of the challenge here the reason that may sound strange to many years is because we haven’t done our homework in the Old Testament and we’ll try to repair some of that as we go it does present the climax of God’s plan for mankind but that sounds awfully impersonal let me say it presents the climax of God’s plan for you and me and thus gets our uncompromising attention and let’s read the first sentence is astonishing how many people who have never paid attention to what it how it opens the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto whom unto Jesus Christ why to show unto his servants things which must suddenly come to pass and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John who bare record of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ and of all the things he saw one of the things we’re going to be need to be very conscious of especially as we go forward in the coming sessions is to realize John was there he saw felt heard what was going on it wasn’t just some kind of intellectual dream vision or dream state or something he was there and we’re going to that’s going to be increasingly exciting as we go but that’s the third verse of that chapter I want to highlight that 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 we have the outline in Chapter one we have the outline of the entire book John is instructed to write the things which thou hast seen the things which are and the things which shall be meted outta here after or after these things and the things which thou hast seen when he gets to the end of chapter one is chapter one a personal vision abilities it’s a physical description of Jesus Christ is resurrection body and that’s chapter one then write the things which are and the things that are in existence at that moment of course are these seven churches which we’re concluding tonight and after that comes the things that comes after the churches meta thousand and that will have many surprises for you but let’s finish the main section that we’re dealing with tonight the things which are the seven churches that chapter closes with a one of the first identities Jesus is explaining some of the symbols that have already been reduced during chapter 1 he says the mystery of the Seven Stars which thou sawest my right hand and the Seven golden lampstands the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands which thou sawest are what seven churches I want you to notice where they are they’re there with them in Chapter one they are going to be in heaven in Chapter four we’ll notice that as we go the seven churches why these seven this is this is a question that should haunt us as we study the Bible because we encounter probably a hundred different churches in the New Testament period why did Jesus pick these particular this particular group as to send special letters to the seven implies completeness so in some sense at least in some sense these seven churches illustrate the complete church he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches that’s the concluding phrase of each of the letters and from that we can draw some inferences there are four levels of application of these of these letters the first is local a number of people including Sir William Ramsay researched this thoroughly way way back and we’re astonished to discover that these seven churches in history actually had problems that the letters relate to so these there is a local or might say historical application of lychees letters and we’ll touch on that as we go but it also it says he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches that’s plural each letter was intended to be read by each of the seven letter H seven churches so in some sense each letter applies to every Church don’t assume that a given Church is all Fiat IRA or all Smyrna or whatever rather a more accurate perception would be that every Church has some measure of each of the seven churches in them that’s a mixture of good news and bad news and so all seven apply to all churches to varying degrees but then we also notice that it says he that hath an ear how many of you brought in the ear lobe this morning or this evening sorry okay in other words that’s about 50% I better pay more attention here okay no II that happen here in other words this is also intended by Jesus Christ to be a personal letter to each of us he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says the churches so there is a homiletic as some people would say our personal application each one of these there are lessons for each of us individually in each of the letters no matter what church we’re going to and so let’s keep that in mind but so far so good you say gee that sounds like good pastoral packaging except there is a fourth level that many would consider very conjectural and I’m going to present it to you and let you come to your own conclusions but it seems and it’s held by many conservative scholars that these seven churches also happen to lay out a history of the church at large the book of Acts covers about 30 years the first 30 years of the church the book of Revelation appears to cover a 2,000 of the subsequent years and so we’ll take a look at that now each of these letters has seven design elements I always emphasize this for a couple of reasons one as we go through any study one of the things I hope you carry away is an appreciation for the architecture of these 66 books we call the Bible this architecture transcends any particular book in fact it’s the integrity of that design that establishes our foundation for our basic hermeneutics that is our basic understanding of the scripture 66 books penned over 40 guys over thousands of years that clearly have been designed in advance their elements of each of the books all the way through the Bible that anticipate things before they happen which means the origin the real author of those 66 books is from outside the dimensionality of time so we emphasize architecture all the way we go through these seven letters there are many good scholars that study seven letters that miss some of the points because they haven’t taken the time to notice that there is a design structure of each of the letters so we’re going to focus on that there’s the name of the church that turns out to be significant but the title that Christ chooses of himself and each one of these are a clue as to what is the letter really all about and there’s a competent and there’s a report card the good news the commendation then an expression of concern this is the good news there’s the bad news and then what should you do about it the exhortation these three elements are the core of the message accommodation I know your works and you did this really well I have these concerns and by the way you better do this that the other thing that’s that’s basically the structure of the message then there’s a special little promise to the overcomer to the individual involved and each one’s different and then we have this peculiar closing phrase he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches now last time just by way of warm-up here we talked about the church in Philadelphia and we noticed that it had seven commendations I know thy works have set before thee an open door no one can shut it that has too little strength that was kept my word though it’s not denied my name but the seventh one was is a real grabber and that’s one reason I want to make sure we included this time because it’s going to be relevant to our whole our total overview we’re going to try to real take overlook of all of the seven this evening when we finish with the layers here God promises Jesus Christ promises to the Philadelphians I will because I was kept the word of my patience I will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth that’s one of the most important verses for you and me in the New Testament because it will answer a lot of issues it’s a much stronger prophecy than would appear on the surface because thou has kept the word of my patience I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world that will try them and dwell upon the earth I will keep thee from the hour of the tribulation the word V in the Greek there is a definite article in the Greek that’s very emphatic I will keep thee from the hour of the temptation or trial that’s specific the specificity is very very crucial that will come upon Israel Jerusalem No upon all the world and why to try them that dwell upon the earth those that identified with the earth now there are many that will argue that well that what this really means is that the Lord promises to protect his church through that tribulation well that’s bad news for the Gentiles because the only ones protected in the tribulation are certain not all Jews Gentiles in the tribulation are killed every one that takes every one that doesn’t take the mark of the beast is going to be slaughtered beheaded and they show up in the revelation will talk about them no this is not what it’s saying that’s not what G is he’s saying I will keep you not from a tribulation from the time of the tribulation he’s going to extract you out of here that’s the implication the earth dwellers by the way all through the book of Revelation we talked a lot about them they are a distinctive group they’re the people that are identified with the earth you and I may be here we’re pilgrims we look for a city whose maker is God now is this removal or immunity that’s the big debate the word in the Greek to take is ech out of it reapplies removal and the definite articles of the hour the temptation are specific and that’s that’s crucial upon all the world revelation 6 through 19 is going to emphasize that as we go forward and the purpose of the tribulation is to try them that dwell upon the earth and realize that try means that Gentile believers will accept Jesus Christ commit themselves to Christ under penalty of death during that period and so let’s understand that distinction well we went through each one of the churches obviously each one had a name and their names were irrelevant we will go through all Philadelphia it really means friendly fellowship by the way filet filet means that to be friendly toward and and delphine the people so it’s it’s a friendly fellowships with the term enemies it’s usually translated brotherly love but that’s in terms of filial affection that’s fine too and and the title that Jesus Christ takes it each one of these is relevant the commendation is there what was very distinctive about Philadelphia is that it had no bad news there are only two churches that had no concerns expressed by Christ Smyrna in which all he said is just hang in there and Philadelphia likewise all good news no bad kind of interesting we also noticed while comment on this the first three letters had the promise to the overcomer appended to the body of the letter and the last four will have it in the body of the letter that suggests the distinctive that will trade on when we look at the prophetic implications of this and so as we look the prophetic thing we have the seven churches Ephesus Smyrna Pergamum Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia and Laodicea and we suggested because of the nature of the the structure of the letter the Apostolic Church which was very diligent about the doctrine but had lost their first love they were shy on devotion and following that was the persecuted church Smyrna means murder which speaks of death and we saw the the emphasis of the whole letter deals with the suffering Church pergamus what Satan could not accomplish by persecuting a church he accomplished by having the world marry the church and we have the married church when constant versus the converted so-called conversion of Constantine and the the establishment of state supported churches the pergamus being the perverted marriage and so on that leads of course to what we might classify or label a medieval church a church in which we have a prominent figure of Jezebel that we talked about at that time and if Fayette IRA is the Roman Catholic Church is most commentated Protestant commentators like to emphasize then they got a big problem with artists because Sardis would be the denominational Church and the summary of Sardis was they have a name only and they are dead so that’s a little disturbing to really look at that we went through all that that previous time and of course we have Philadelphia from last time the Missionary Church everybody of course realizes we’re all philadelphians I’m sure but don’t we wish that really was true and now we have late Asiya let’s take a look at oh by oh it might point out that the first three are distinctive in that the promises are post scripted the last four have the promises to the overcomer put in the body the letter and they also have another distinctive that each one of the last four letters has an explicit reference to the second coming of Jesus Christ and that would suggest to us then that while they all they there’s a historical profile and in view here the last four in some form another survived to the end and one of those four Thyatira has a explicit comets coming to it that if it doesn’t change its ways it’s going to be cast into the tribulation the flipside of that is is that they do repent they won’t be so think of that one through now of course we also had Sardis is an enigmatic Philadelphia who was promised to be removed so that’s our going in position here let’s talk about some other things we could talk about Laodicea so the church at Laodicea is our primary target tonight let’s jump in this is where the seven churches are I’ve labeled them here I’ve got Patmos with a little circle around up there near the center bottom Athens to the left Istanbul in the upper right and gives you a perspective of Asia Minor that these seven churches were prominent in and of course we are in the seventh of those Laodicea which is some 40 miles south east of Philadelphia by distance it’s in a very key Road system to the rest of the province so it’s going to be a very proper prosperous place the the history of this little town goes back to 2000 BC small town so forth about 19th century the Hittites added to their expired about 900 BC was captured by the Phrygians and soon afterwards by the Lydians that brings us to the tip time that most these others are around about 250 BC was taken by the Sirians that is the seleucid empire attackers ii rebuilt the town and named it after his wife whose name was ladies and so in 190 BC it became part of the kingdom of Pergamus ultimately passed in the hands the Roman Empire and according to Josephus by the way there was a large Jewish colony there which fits a lot of things we’re talking about but the economy is important to understand it’s going to be important to understand the letter we understand the economy of Laodicea it was a city of merchants bankers and refiners it was at a junction of roads leading from Ephesus and Smyrna so most of the wealth in the region would pass through Laodicea to the to the inland they had Caravan trade as far east as the Yellow River and Punjab by the China Sea it’s hard to imagine this year you don’t think of these early days as being that you know prolific but we do know that the at Stonehenge in Great Britain they enjoyed commerce worldwide strangely enough and way back in the Bronze Age period so anyway the economy here was a substantial factor Cicero held court there and ended his banking there now there was an earthquake in 62 AD that devastated the city but one of the main events of that period was that the wealthy citizens citizens of Laodicea build it without getting help from Rome in several of the other cities that had problems in the past with earthquakes Tiberius whoever would extend support to help rebuild it and ingratitude those those cities would adopt you know ways of celebrating of the Caesar here because the wealthy citizens did it themselves it’s pretty obvious that they get driven by pride they’re wealthy and had need of nothing this is the Beverly Hills of the district if you will or whatever Tacitus those annals talks about this so they are known for their prosperous neutrality see it was never militarily defendable so its posture was always one of compromise they’re sort of like the Switzerland of the area if you will okay and they were they were a very highly successful commercial center and there is to this day remains of aqueducts baths gymnasium stadiums other things all testify to its early luxury the principal products are worth mentioning because they will echo in our letter one of the main things they did there was textile manufacturing it turns out they were well known for a breed of sheep the head wool that was incredibly soft very very glossy and it was black unusual for sheep of course so they had the merchandised a form of black wool for both carpets and textiles and so forth and that was was very famous another aspect of Laodicea is they had a medical school there that was well known for an ophthalmic ointment there’s some kind of mixture of oil and colorum powder that even Aristotle makes reference to it calls it Phrygian powder bridging to be the general area but the specific place that it came from was Laodicea I mentioned this because Jesus is going to make reference to this presumption the people on the street all understood this that they obviously knew their primary one of the primary manufactured products was this black wool and the the eye salve that was merchandised was known all over the world it apparently had some kind of properties that would bring relief to all kinds of eye problems the water supply Laodicea is part of a three city a tri-city area there’s kalasa late Asiya and hierapolis all within three four five miles of each other and at late Asiya was near her office which is six miles away renowned for its hot springs hierapolis was by the way the Turkish government is trying to harness some of this geothermal power but the point is by the time this water got to layer to see it was lukewarm see it was midway between hierapolis and the cold waters of kalasa so the lukewarm the warmness is better you know you and i when you drink if you have hot water that tastes good it’s a weak tea it’s good speaker or something cold water is obviously drinkable either hot or cold you can deal with lukewarm water is an emetic that makes you wanna spew it out and that and Jesus is going to use that as an idiom that’s widely misunderstood we’ll get into that and so the main point is that Laodicea is known for now when you visit Laodicea there’s also some chalk rifts and there’s some waterfalls that have sulfur water and it also is lukewarm but it’s taste bad but that’s a different issue to people that you they’ll always introduce you say that’s the that’s the lukewarm water I mentioned revelation I don’t think so I think the lukewarm water in Revelation is water that’s lukewarm not sulfur water but that’s new here there anyway the church history it possibly the Church in Laodicea may have been founded by a path for us because there’s a reference to him in the letter of colossi and Paul also addressed a letter to lay it Asiya that has not been preserved it may have been a circular letter I mean lot of these letters were intended to be circulated among the churches and the Bissell of the Ephesians maybe that letter but that’s speculation Paul’s first letter Timothy was written by him from Laodicea and it intrigues me that many commentators say Paul never visit late Asiya because they misunderstand another argument he obviously did because he wrote Timothy from there and says so but anyway there’s also a tradition that our chippers who had become head but was the bishop of Laodicea because some thirty years earlier Paul warns our cheapest that to be more diligent in his ministry that’s in Colossians chapter 2 in chapter four and one of things that I want to get across here is kalasa and Laodicea are so close they are instructed to exchange letters and so many people the letter to kalasa also deals with issues that of latest and vice versa but in any case the weakness the apparent anticipated weakness of our chippers may have been one of the reasons why Laodicea is not a strong Church as well soon find out so let’s jump into the letter under the Angel of the Church of Laodicea isn’t the Laodiceans write in other word again let’s start with the name of the letter lay oh means people right remember the Nicolaitans the rule over the people here we have people as rulers this is ruled by the people some people say gee it’s a word that sort of suggests democracy well maybe it does maybe it doesn’t but the real point is who is supposed to be ruling the church I haven’t heard anyone give me the right answer the son of God you bet you Jesus is drool the Church the title of Christ this is how Jesus takes of himself then in each of these letters a title typically drawn from chapter one one of the one of the seven elements there these things saith the Amen the faithful and true the faithful drew it is the beginning of the creation of God there’s three epithets here and the it’s interesting how Jesus just draws upon his foundational character he’s going back to basics here in this letter he is the Amen that’s a word that’s a Hebrew word by the way it means true verily and we find it all through the Bible we also find passages where it speaks of that which is true and often the Amen isn’t necessarily at the end we use it like a salutation at the end of a prayer now sometimes right in the middle of of Paul’s letters you’ll say the Amen you know and it’s also a style in many fellowships that when you find when the when the speaker says something that strikes a responsive chord we get a spontaneous Amen and that’s a style that is not in scriptural but that means true verily it Jesus Christ is the one the true one amen he is the faithful and true witness both these phrases by the way are drawn from chapter 1 but they also echo throughout the whole scripture I was originally going to go through some of these but I don’t think I need to read this group for two reasons first of all this is basic I’m assuming most of you either have or can track down these verses to get a flavor of what of these foundational character of Jesus Christ but I also want to preserve some time because I have a something I want to do at the end to wrap this all up and we’ll run short a time if I take too much time this area so the beginning of the creation of God this is a very strange expression too many and jiejie Jesus wasn’t created what does this mean the word RK is a really means beginning or first origin or first cause it’s also an allusion for the ruling power or the authority it’s that it’s an allusion to the creator who began the creation of God and so the term is used of rank and honor one of the reasons that wanted to catch your eye here this is a very unusual construction it occurs here in Laodicea and it also occurs in the letter to the Colossians and I’ll come back to that before we’re through this evening and Paul had specifically instructed both callosum lay to see the trade letters and because though the the Gnostic errors were emerging about that time throughout that Valley and those letters as well as Ephesians are rebuttals to the Gnostic error they deal with the the deity of Jesus Christ and so forth now we then come to the concerns did you notice something missing there no commendations normally there’s the commendations first there aren’t any I thought I was going to cert a little blank page just to make that point but you get the idea I know thy works that thou art neither cold nor hot I would that that word cold or hot so then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot I will spew thee out of my mouth now there are a lot of people that try to figure out well gee that means you should be either cold or hot and and and it’s it’s kind of fun to read some of those attempts to apply that because well gee then the ones that are lukewarm must be the carnal Christians okay then who are the ones that are hot that he doesn’t you know and who the ones are cold and you start playing with that it doesn’t work okay and I don’t think that’s but that’s the point at all well Jesus using as he’s drawing an idiom from the local scene to point out that they need to be palatable if the lukewarm he’s going to spew the right can you imagine Jesus saying of you I’m going to spew you out about that that’s as bout as really that that sounds like rejection to me I think yeah okay I know that works that you can’t hide from God is this echoes that each of the letters and so hear Jesus saying you guys at lasya are like an emetic I’m going to spew you out and not everyone let’s go to Matthew 7 to give you an echo of this not everyone Jesus says that say that any Lord Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven many will say to me in that day Lord Lord have we not prophesied the name and an i name cast out devils and an i name done many wonderful works what would you say this is that I will Professor them I never knew you depart from me ye that work iniquity so this is obviously their rejection and Jesus goes on to amplify that in verse 17 in chapter 3 because thou sayest I am rich and increased with Goods and have need of nothing by the way do you realize you know I don’t many of you probably watch Christian television and there’s a number of these guys that are on the air that are sometimes called the name it and claim it guys the blab it and grab it guys you know God wants you to be wealthy did you know I didn’t know that blood sure news to Paul the God didn’t attend you to be sick you should be if you’re in the sickest because you have enough faith in all this you know so I never realized that those guys that preach that way on television are scriptural you realize that sure the right out of Revelation 3 verse 17 they say I am rich and increased with Goods and have need of nothing really and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked and I’ll forego the temptation to give you a 17 Bible verses on each one of those to track down you can do that on your own with ink but basically obviously this is a this is another example that we see all through the seven letters where the perception of the church was wrong the churches that thought they were doing poorly were doing well the ones that thought they were doing well we’re doing terribly that should be sobering to every one of us every one of these churches needed a perspective of Jesus Christ need to be corrected in that direction so what’s Jesus’s exhortation in response to all of this as I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire there was not the kind of gold you’re trading and he’s using edenia matically of course that thou mayest be rich and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed he’s not talking about white wool either he’s using that as an idiom of course that your shame the shame of thy nakedness do not appear and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou may se now these are idioms that are were familiar to the local people because he says as many as I love I rebuke and chasten be zealous therefore and repent so the remedies their blindness and nakedness were not incurable he says you’re blind wretched so you suggest the ultimate refiner offers his gold you find that in Psalm 19 and all through the scripture the the we saw we sing a refiners fire and so forth the bridegroom offers his covering white raiment not the BLA see raven colored black wool if you will and the great physician offers his remedy to really open their eyes with he says i salve he’s using it automatically it’s not the ice age taught myself but the only spirit the anointing the only spirit so they can behold and see then we get to verse 20 now this verse is what verse that is probably one of the most quoted verses on the book of Revelation Jesus says behold I stand at the door and knock If any man hear my voice and open the door I will come into him and sup with him and he with me how many have heard that verse before sure we all heard it many many times typically by an evangelist at an altar call Jesus says behold I stand the door knock and indeed he does and If any man any one of you mister missus man hear my voice and open the door the door has owned the knobs only on the inside okay open the door I will come into him and sup with him and he with me I love that phrase you know Jesus never appears after his resurrection without eating this is one of the examples but anyway my kind of guy I will sup with him and he with me now taken out of context this is a great invitation the kind of invitation you used for an altar call get people come down and make a decision for Jesus Christ praise God that’s exciting however where this verse stands the final indictment of the Church of Laodicea why where is Jesus with respect to the Church of Laodicea he’s outside we had introduced in chapter 1 and echoed all through the chapters 2 and 3 that Jesus has the churches in his hand and he is in the midst of them Jesus is in the midst of us right now praise God not here he said behold I stand the door knock If any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him and say that praat the commitment here is not to the church it’s to that individual that just might hear and receive Christ in spite of the church not because it is my suggestion then he has a promise the overcomer to him that overcometh i will grant to sit with me in my throne Wow is Jesus on his throne right now no he’s not that says a lot here I will grant to sit with me in my throne even as I also overcame and I’m set down with my father in his throne this should clarify some confusion about Christ’s throne Christ was promised a throne Gabriel told Mary that he would get it from what’s wrong was that David’s throne he’s not in David’s throne today it never has been he will be he’s on his Father’s throne we’re going to talk a lot about Thrones next time because the next time we meet we’re going to go into the throne room of the universe and we’re going to see firsthand what’s really going on there so my father in his throne that’s next time he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches and here we have the salutation at the end that he that half a year phrase has occurred seven times the book of Revelation so far it also has occurred seven times in the Gospels and we’re going to examine where shortly in just a minute let’s remember who the overcomer is whosoever is born of God overcometh the world and this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God it’s okay we had Leah see his name their title their concerns exhortation obviously there’s something that’s scathingly omitted there’s no commendation whatsoever for two of the churches Sardis and let us see it strangely enough would be the two that most characteristic Eric touristical II describe the churches today and I don’t just mean in America you think we’ve got problems here you should go to some of these other countries where they used to have a dynamic church and today they’re empty shells of formalism and and totally devoid of the Spirit of God you would see okay there is an inscription on a church in Germany that I couldn’t resist using to wrap up late Asiya this inscription appears apparently on a church in Germany at lubeck germany thus speak of Christ our Lord to us you call me master and obey me not you call me light and see me not you call me way and walk me not you call me life and choose me not you call me wise and follow me not you call me fair and love me not you call me rich and ask me not you call me eternal and seek me not you call me noble and serve me not you call me gracious and trust me not you call me might and honor me not you call me just and fear me not if I condemn you blame me not that to me says it all well we said there’s a number of these I’ll review the prophetic thing a prophetic profile Ephesus Smyrna Pergamum Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia and of course we have Apostolic Church the persecutes the married church the medieval church did not nominal denominational Church the mission a church where are we today it would seem can I call it the apostate Church how many puppets can you go to in America where you never hear the blood of Christ which cleanses us from all sin you have lots of drama you have lots of modern music you’ve got lots of interesting things but let’s move on the first group have the promises that the individual post scripted the last four promises the overcomer are in the body of the letter and they also make explicit reference to the second coming so we have the medieval church that has a promise that they if they don’t repent they’ll be cast as a great tribulation we have the missionary church Philadelphia promised that they will not go into the tribulation and we have two that are ambiguous that leave to your own suggestions the denominational Church and the apostate Church today all these churches apply all these letters apply to all churches let’s remember that let’s not pin you know labels on any particular church so Ephesus of course the issue there was devotion not just doctrine they were doctrinally sharp but they didn’t have too busy on the business of the King to have time for the King Smyrna simply endure persecution that’s the persecuted church and it while I believe it does refer to Smyrna in that in those early centuries under Roman persecution there are more Christians on a persecution today than ever before in history and numbers they’re more Christians murdered in the 20th century than all the previous centuries put together pergamus the married church there are many churches beside the Vatican that are married in one way other to the world paganism is everywhere and the we are to stand fast against the world as a church Thyatira is also told to abandon pagan practices they had the woman Jezebel and all of that Sardis they were dead were admonished there for watchfulness and diligence to make sure that does not apply to us Philadelphia will call the missionary outreach evangelism and I think the model of that in the coming decade is the home fellowship as it always has been you know wonder what I mean by that get our baggage called the once and future church I think their God has always puts new wine in new skins and the I think we’re going to see wine now being put back in the kinds of skins they were way way back then around there’s a groundswell of home fellowships and that’s the Lord is preparing the body to go underground and then of course we have late Asiya which for lack of a better term Oh to say prosperous compromise they compromise with the world because of their prosperity and that’s an affliction that affects us all we all take comfort too much comfort and riches and our wherewithal and so forth you say well gee I’m out of a job right now yeah but you’re still better off than most people in the world let’s talk about the personal application that was the church application emphasis involves neglected priorities Smyrna satanic opposition you may not being persecuted like they were but is Satan opposing you probably is if you’re relevant Pergamus avoid worldly compromise Thyatira flee pagan practices Sardis watchfulness and diligence for drilled everything is loyal ambassadorship that actually echoes through all of these and lazy repent and be committed and not drifting under a false security of your denominational label or whatever okay I we’re we have a little time to wrap this up I’m going to take a summary of the seven letters for a very surprising place from Matthew 13 and in Matthew 13 we have Jesus making presentation he opens up by telling a parable about the sower the enforced soils you’ve all heard sermons preached on that he also talks about why he preaches in parables altogether then he explains the solar and for soils parable he apparently gives the parable in public and then explains it to his disciples in private they talked about the tares and the wheat the mustard seed the woman 11 then he brings them privately and he explains why some more about white talks in parables and then he explains the tares and the wheat then he adds three more treasure in the field the great price the dragon what I’m going to do here see that there’s two parts that the sower for that Sawyer and for soils has made one place and explained a little later he explains why he speaks in parables in two different places I’m going to bring these together I’ll show you in a minute the tares and the wheat is between verses 24 30 it is until verse 36 that explains the tares in the wheat you follow me so what and then then he gives you five others now what I’m going to suggest we’re going to do is we’re going to take the parable comments together first to understand what he’s really driving at and then we’ll take the explanation the sower that’s for soils behind that soil and for soils and then we’ll take the tares and wheat explanation behind the tears than we so what I’m going to do is rearrange those in this order follow me all I’ve done is reshuffle it so we’ll be doing dealing we can go back go at it with a little more efficiency if you will because this is just a review it’s not intend to replace your studying of these seven parables but let’s take the first one why parables in verse 10 of this chapter he says the disciples came and said remember why speakest thou unto them in parables and the answered and said unto them because it is given to you to know the mysteries of kingdom heaven but to them it is not given what that’s backwards no it isn’t and I was a parable too aren’t to explain something they wouldn’t understand it’s to make sure they don’t you got to be kidding what’s he talking about let’s go on cxeh because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom having done to them it is not given for whosoever hath to him shall be given and he showed more abundance but whosoever hath not from him shall be taken away even that which he hath see what Jesus does he gives you a little bit of truth and depending on what you do with that truth he’ll give you more if you’re disparage you don’t use it he takes away the little you had strange person principle is it that’s exactly what Jesus is saying here parables are packaging to to give preference to the people who are looking at it through the Holy Spirit therefore I speak unto them in parables Jesus says because they seeing see not and hearing they hear not neither do they understand and in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which saith by hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand and seeing you shall see and not perceived for this people’s heart is waxed gross and their ears are full of hearing and their eyes they have closed lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with the ears and should understand with their heart and should be converted and I should heal them but blessed are your eyes for the agency and your ears for they hear Wow that’s pretty wild it’s a little bit more coming later on in the chapter yalta’s for verily I say to you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see and have not seen them and to hear those things which ye hear and have not heard them we’re going to discover that when you get to near the other chapter do you can say all these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables and without a parable spake he not unto them by the time you get to chapter 12 and they accuse him of doing his miracles by Beelzebub from that day on he speaks publicly only in parables that’s what it says right here he without a spare ability we all know he spoke in parables you don’t realize that he didn’t he only spoke to them in parables why that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet saying I will open my mouth in parables get this a very important phrase I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world Wow the subject of these parables are things that you will not find in the Old Testament it’s not like he’s illuminating something from you often does that too but these things says I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world now what secret in the Bible is conspicuous these primary secret that was kept out of the Old Testament revealed the new and Paul it’s his privilege in Ephesians chapter 3 to tell us about it Paul says Ephesians 3 start about worse for wear by when you read you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ which in other ages was not made known under the sons of man as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit what is that secret that Gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel the secret is not that Gentiles would be saved isaiah is full of that know the secret is this mysterious entity called the church one of your most important studies as you learn in your Bible is not necessarily see a legija to understand the mystery of the church is not just a group of believers is much more than that that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel okay so that’s the why parable is part clustered together let’s go to the first first parable he gives him and we’ll also look at his explanation of this one to make many things out of the parable isn’t saying behold a sower went forth to sow and when he sowed some seeds fell by the side and fowls came and devoured them up for a soil we’re gonna talk about four different soils for a soil they they fell by the way and birds came and took the seed away remember those birds it’s going to be important some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth and forthwith they sprung up because they had no deepness of earth and thus when the Sun was up they were scorched and because they had no root they withered away that’s the second soil right some fell among thorns and the thorns sprung up and choked them another fell on good ground brought forth some brought forth fruit some one hundredfold some sixtyfold some thirtyfold who hath ears to hear let them hear why there’s an interesting phrase what a trigger huh dogs we have the four soils now interesting you notice the fruit bearing of the fourth soil was one hundredfold some sixty some thirty there seems to be declined I think that’s kind of interesting too so later on in the in the chapter he will explain when they’re privately he’ll explained that parable to them we’re not guessing here he lays it on him here are you there for the parable the sower when any one heareth the word of the kingdom and understandeth it not then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart this is he which received the seed by the way side that first soil then is a failure in a sense because the seed has snatched away by whom the birds how do are the birds in that print whether the birds represent the evil one strange let’s remember that there is a principle in hermeneutics that the scholars call the principle expositional constancy a fancy phrase for simply saying that there’s a tendency of the holy spirit to use idioms consistently that’s all it really means but then he contrasts the first grunt but he that received the seed in stony places the same is he that heareth the word and anon with joy receiveth yet he hath no root in himself but dureth for a season for a while and when the tribulation or persecution arises because of the word by and by he is offended so some that just don’t hang in there don’t get it he also that received the seed among thorns is he that heareth the word and the care of this world and the seed fulness of riches choke the word and he becomes unfruitful so it takes care of three of the four done it each one slightly different all of them approval but he that received the received the seed into good ground that’s condition of the heart in other words is he that hear the word and understandeth it which also beareth fruit and bringeth forth some one hundredfold some sixty and some thirty so we don’t have any problem for so ever you’ve heard sermons on that and and and they should pretty much been on track okay so that one’s explained for us that’s great you see three of these are explained the others aren’t that’s the problem then we get to the next one the tares and the wheat another parable he put forth a time saying the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which soweth good seed in this field and while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way and when the blade was sprung up and brought forth fruit then appeared the tares also okay now be careful here the sower in the parable is asleep i’m not going to suggest I think the sower is the Lord but I don’t think he sleeps so don’t don’t this is an example where you can take an allegory and overwork it you know either keepeth Israel either slumber nor sleep so oh by the way tears are as in Xenia seed that’s prevalent in in the Israel area and while it’s growing it looks just like wheat but it later turns when it matures it turns black which is its true color if it gets mixed up with the wheat and you make bread with it it’s poisonous it’s poisonous so the service of the householder came and said unto him sir this sound not so good seed in thy field from whence cometh it have tears it’s none of them an enemy have done this the service animal will foul then that we go and gather them up no he said nay lest you while you gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them let both grow together until the harvest and in the time of harvest I will say the Reapers gather you together first the tares and bind them in bundles and burn them but gather the wheat into my barn that’s pretty clear in it so Jesus sent the multitude away and went in the house and his disciples came in and was saying declare unto us the parable of the tares in the field ok good he answered send them he is so if the good seed is the son of man the field is the world see that you notice it’s exactly like the first parable same idioms are being used again the sower is the son of man in each case the field is the world the good seed are the children of the kingdom see the and the tares are the children of the wicked one the enemy that sowed them is the devil the harvest is the end of the world and the Reapers are the Angels seem fairly straightforward ok and he goes on explaining therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire so shall be at the end of this world the Son of man shall send forth his angels and shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and then which do iniquity and shall cast them into a furnace of fire there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth then shall the righteous shine forth as the Sun in the kingdom of the Father who have ears to hear let them hear there’s that phrase again it’s very interesting now because of this the pro post-trib guys see this go shows that the bad guys are going to gathered first and then we doesn’t say that it’s summarizing but if we didn’t have other illumination I could see them come to that conclusion ok so we have this one explained so far so good now we get down to the mustard seed now the several of these now are just little one verse jewels that are without explanation and I have heard more preaching on the next several that are absolutely contrary to the Word of God I believe another parable he put forth on saying the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field which indeed is the least of all the seeds but when it has grown it is greatest among the herbs and becomes a tree so the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof that’s I’ve heard many people say oh it’s a Word of God the church is going to grow and and and and everything’s gonna be wonderful the problem is this when you visit Israel as you drive in your busses you’ll see the hillsides full of these yellow flowers they’re about a foot foot and a half sometimes maybe two three feet high that’s the mustard seeds the seed is the tiniest little seed and they normally grow to two or three feet high have you seen bushes rest at have you seen the birds rest in bushes 2 or 3 feet high not very often this particular one becomes a tree that’s so big that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches of it what’s not obvious here unless you live in Israel is that this one is weird this one is grotesque this one has become a tree it wasn’t intended to it’s such a nice tree that guess who is resting in the branches the birds well wait a minute who are the birds in chicken first parable so if you’re looking for ministers of the EU and don’t overlook the pulpits don’t overlook the pulpits ok let’s let’s move on let’s see it let’s do that let’s take a look at other one this is probably more important the woman in 11 another parable spake he unto them the kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened that’s all he says and there’s no explanation but remember he’s a Jewish rabbi talking to Jewish disciples leaven is always an idiom both old and new Testament for sin if you symbolize that’s why past that’s what you have to understand for Passover it’s it’s all for the leaven is a symbol ADEA matically of sin why because it corrupts by puffing up that’s why God hates pride it’s the source of all sin well in this case a woman who’s making meal that’s usually what they did the first thing in the morning they ground the meal for the day here we have the kingdom is like a like as like at eleven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened and I’ve heard preachers preach that gee the leaven is like the word of God and just put a little in there pretty soon it’ll all be great you know and so forth no it’s just the opposite if you’re Jewish and you hear this you gasp in horror because three measures of meal from Genesis 18 on becomes the symbol of the fellowship offering the three measures of meal why three measures because you had the Lord and to angels visit Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre and and Sarah made the the three measures of meals start from there and so the game had like under leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal if you’re Jewish you gasp in horror you don’t put leaven in the fellowship offering come on you know until the whole was leavened well I’ll come back to this as we go let’s take a couple more here the treasure in the field it’s another one the king of heaven is like a treasure in a field the which when a man hath found he hideth and for the joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath and buys that field and everybody the man that’s buying the field is not the believer who’s discovered Christ that’s what sometimes applied no no the field was what earlier the world right within that world a treasure is hidden and it’s so precious that he gave all that he had to buy it who’s doing the buying here Jesus Christ is doing the buy absolutely right absolutely right now the next parable is sounds like the same thing let’s take a look at it again became to him is like a merchant man seeking goodly pearls who when he had found one pearl of great price he went and sold all that he had and bought it sounds like a similar parallel situation doesn’t not exactly there’s another problem here boy stirs are not kosher Jews do not prize pearls they may trade in them with Gentiles because it’s profitable trade but they themselves don’t prize pearls because oysters are not kosher here’s a case where we have an idiom that’s drawing on a gentile idiom in a sense it’s like merchant man seeking goodly pearls when he’s found one pearl grape he went and sold all that he had and bought it why is this one different the previous one the oysters not kosher well the pearl is unique among jewels in that it is a response to an irritation it grows by accretion and then it’s removed from its place of growth to become an item of adornment boy you talk of manage a Gentile jewel you want an idiom of the church that’s a dandy that’s a dandy well let’s go and then the last one is the dragnet this one is explained in its in the very verse that’s given again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea and gathered of every kind which one it was full they drew to shore and sat down and gathered the good into vessels but the best they cast away and so shall it be at the end of the world the angel shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just and shall cast them into the furnace of the fire and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth okay now by the way we have right at the end some people think this is a you know an eighth pair of parable I think it’s just a figure of speech we’ll see here do you say to them have you understood all these things now let’s take the Taleo they explain three of the seven right and we are left to sort of guess about the other four just have you understood all these things as I’ve said yay lord I could punch him could you could you could you just explain those other four please then he said of them therefore every scribe which is instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a man that is a householder which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old so there’s a mix of old old and new here but some of the things are obviously the new secrets so let’s take a look at these seven kingdom parables and let’s lay them against the seven churches we just went through we have Matthew 13 we have the sower the forest soils we could argue that’s the early church we have the doctrines that we talked about being introduced Gnosticism and Caesar worship the other things the tears of the week then we get to the mustard seed which grows so big that it even allows the birds of the air to come in its branches does that like does that sound like Church when it gets married to the world we have the state churches and then we get to Thyatira which is prominent because of the woman jezebel introducing false doctrine then we have the fourth kingdom parable where the woman is introducing leaven you see a parallel here some people don’t I do I know if you do great Sardis the treasure in the field Philadelphia the pearl of great price which one of the churches is the raptured church Philadelphia which which of these idioms emphasize the rapture I think India matically program price and of course Laodicea is the final clean up and that’s what the dragnet is all about so there’s Pergamus I think that one’s really fits especially well if I attire than 111 Philadelphia the others I’ll let you chew on and come your own conclusions I think they fit but I don’t to oversell this but I like to give you one more you ready for this Paul wrote some epistles how many knew that 30% oh boy we’re in trouble Romans first cent Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 4 exact vessel means for his net chemita is Philemon I won’t quarrel with Hebrews right now that’s a whole nother story but the point is these are the ones that usually attributed Paul its issuing that three of them are pastors right Timothy Titus Philemon that means he wrote ten others three from thirteen is a win we have now seven churches right that’s kind of interesting Paul wrote seven churches is it possible that Paul’s letters would fit the seven churches of Jesus in John in Revelation well the first one’s pretty easy if we want to list Paul’s I think Ephesus would fit Ephesus we’re okay so far okay is now Smyrna was the suffering Church who is there a letter of Paul’s letters that particularly focuses on joy through suffering anyone okay then we get to Pergamus the one married to the world is there one of the churches that Paul wrote that was the worldly Church first Corinthians good for you or Corinthian yes you bet you okay fire at IRA a is a call out of religious externalism Galatians we have Sardis I’m going to look for the definitive gospel the Gospel according to Paul the definitive statement of doctrine in the entire New Testament book of Romans is there one of the epistles that’s uniquely tailored to the rapture to the second coming Thessalonians that leaves you one leftover that happens to be in the same neighborhood and is instructed to exchange the Laodicea now are these intentional or the accidental you’ll never resolve that debate you’ll either look at that and say wow isn’t that interesting is that a fingerprint of the Holy Spirit here I think it is it’s not so convincing as to be a proof of anything don’t misunderstand me I share it just for your own sensitivity as you read the scripture don’t to just never lose sight of the fact that the real author isn’t Paul or John it’s the Holy Spirit and from time to time we encounter things that would certainly seem like the fingerprint of the Holy Spirit so okay we’ve been through the main section second section the seven churches chapters two and three we’re now going to go to the things which shall be meted out after these things the word hereafter is meted out after these things and when you get to chapter four verse one John says after this the word there is met at outta I looked and behold a door was opened in heaven and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet imagine that does that sound like some Paul’s epistles I think so talking with me which said come up here and I will show the things which must be meta Tata and we’re now at the a watershed point I believe that the church at this point is behind us and we’re going to go forward to see those things that happen after the rapture and we’re going to see it from the throne room of the universe now a few verses later you’ll also incur occur in verse 5 of chapter 4 and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne now the lamps of fire were introduced for you in Chapter one what were they what were the lamps what the lamp stands the churches holding the Holy Spirit so we have both in view here but they’re in heaven in the throne room kind of fun okay so for the next session I’d like you to read two chapters I’d like you read chapter four and you’ll be treated to being in the throne room of the universe I also want to read chapter five the short chapter will probably take them together if we can and I also want you to do some background if you get a chance for a little shoot for chapter book called the Book of Ruth I’m going to suggest you you will not understand chapter five unless you have studied chapter four Junia the little four chapter book of Ruth and the question your exam question so to speak for next time session who are the twenty-four elders you can prove who they are and it’s going to be one of your most very controversial I understand that but we’ll show you why we believe you can clearly identify who they are they identify themselves quite well and we’re going to talk about that but it’s going to be one of the most important things of the session and the question that goes with that then why is that important to you and I and I think is gonna be very very important to each one of us so with that let’s stand for a closing word of Prayer let’s bow our hearts a father we thank you for who you are we thank you for this time together we thank you that you have given us this appointment and we know that there no accidents in your kingdom we pray father that your purpose would be accomplished in this appointment father we need the searchlight of your word to shine into our own hearts as we reflect on the seven letters of seven churches because we do understand they’re written each one of them has written to each one of us we pray father that the lessons not be wasted that we might understand perceive discern what it is you’d have in our lives that need a corrected set of priorities that there’s baggage we need to shed that there’s things we need to put behind us that there’s things that we need to stop now there’s also things that we need to begin father we do seek devotional time with you we do pray father that you would help us understand more thoroughly what you would have of each of us personally in the days ahead as we commit ourselves without any reservation to be your ambassadors to represent you before a pagan and dying world help us father give us that discernment give us that resolve as we do commit ourselves into your hands in the name of Yeshua our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ amen you

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