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Monthly Archives: February 2019

Trouble in the Church of Ephesus

Trouble in Ephesus

from Google Images

When he left Ephesus for Macedonia Paul left Timothy behind with authority to oversee the church there (1Timothy 1:3). So, Timothy was left to confront certain believers who had a tendency to teach in a manner contrary to the way of Paul (1Timothy 1:3). Later Paul met with the leaders of the churches of Asia, including Ephesus, when he was making his final voyage to Jerusalem. He told the elders to really consider the positions they had been given in the church by the Holy Spirit, and feed those entrusted to them (Acts 20:29). Paul warned that after he left, men would enter the church who would have no love for the brethren. Rather, they would scatter the church, abuse the brethren and become a burden to them (Acts 20:30). Even men of their own number would arise to teach false doctrines in order to gather a following after themselves (Acts 20:30). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Importance of the Church of Ephesus

Good Works

from Google Images

It seems that John recorded the very words Jesus dictated to him, so it is Jesus who is actually speaking in Revelation 2:1-7. There are 1822 words accredited to Jesus in the book of Revelation – three times as many words as in the rest of the New Testament outside the Gospel narratives  (Acts is next with 514 words). To put this in perspective, there are 2971 words attributed to Jesus in his table discourse in John 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17. There are 2441 words attributed to him in Matthew’s “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5, 6 & 7), and there are 2296 words in Jesus’ lengthy discourse in the Gospel of  Luke at Luke 14, 15, 16, & 17. Therefore, it seems to me that, if one places special importance upon what is considered the actual words Jesus said over the rest of Scripture, the Apocalypse comes in second in importance only to the Gospel narratives. So, if this is a valid assessment, we should pay particular attention to what Jesus says to these seven churches in Asia Minor. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Church of Ephesus

Church of Ephesus

from Google Images

Ephesus was made the capital of the Province of Asia in 27 BC by Caesar Augustus, and it was the home of the Temple of Artemis (Diana), which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Its Temple was 450 feet long by 225 feet wide.[1] It was 60 feet high and had at least 127 columns, four times larger than the Parthenon at Athens. The city was situated on the Cayster river, which emptied into the Aegean Sea, and trade from the Cayster Valley, whether by road or by river, went through Ephesus. In fact, according to William Barclay, all Roman trade coming from the Cayster and the Maeander Valleys of Asia, and from Galatia and even as far off as Mesopotamia, went through Ephesus.[2] For all intents and purposes the city was the highway to Rome from both Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. Four important Roman roads that went through Asia converged in Ephesus, prompting Strabo, an ancient geographer and contemporary of Jesus, to call Ephesus ‘the market of Asia.’ Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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An Outline for the Apocalypse

Outline for Apocaly[se

from Google Images

According to some scholars, Revelation 1:19 represents a brief outline of the whole book of Revelation, and I quite agree. However, I do not agree with how many of those scholars have interpreted the brief outline we find here. John is first given the command to write in Revelation 1:11. Then, he turned to see who was speaking to him, and at that time he saw a heavenly Being (whom later we understand is Jesus – Revelation 1:18; 2:8) in the midst of the seven golden lampstands (Revelation 1:12-17). Then this heavenly Being spoke again and reiterated his command for John to write. Literally, this Being tells him to write about three things. First, John is told to write about what he saw, and the text describes what John saw, namely a Being in human form (Jesus), who stood in the midst of seven golden lampstands, and this Being held seven stars in his right hand (Revelation 1:10-20). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Keys of Hell and Death

Keys

from Google Images

Jesus told John that he had the “keys to hell and death.” A key, of course, is able to open or lock something. It is often used in Scripture as a symbol of authority or power. For example, the scribes and Pharisees had the authority or power to allow the Jewish populace to enter into the Kingdom of God by permitting them to believe in Jesus (Luke 11:52; cf. Matthew 23:13), but they hindered the people. Not only did they reject Jesus, but they slandered him before the people (Matthew 12:23-24; Mark 3:20-22), in order to cause them to be afraid of placing their trust in him. Moreover, these same authorities threatened the people, saying anyone who trusted in Jesus would be cast out of the synagogues (John 12:42-43; cf. 9:22, 28-34). So the “key of knowledge,” which Jesus attributed to the scribes and Pharisees, does not mean they possessed such knowledge. However, it does mean they had the authority to open the door to knowledge or at least not lock it so others could possess it, even though they, themselves, rejected it. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Glorified Christ as God

Glorified Christ in Revelation 1.14 - 2

from Google Images

When John saw the vision of the glorified Christ, he retained no strength for fear (Revelation 1:17; cf. Daniel 10:8-12), and he fell at Jesus’ feet, as though he were dead. Jesus, however, touched John, as if to impart strength to him, and told him not to be afraid (Revelation 1:17: cf. Daniel 10:10-12). In the Scriptures fear is the fruit of doubt (cf. Matthew 14:25-31), and in Matthew 14 Peter’s fear in verse-30 is called doubt in verse-31. Notice also in Mark 5:35-36 when the ruler of the synagogue was told his daughter was dead, Jesus told him not to fear, but believe. Fear is the fruit of doubt. In Revelation 1:17 John was so afraid of what he saw, and he was unable to stand. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Glorified Christ as Judge

Judge

from Google Images

It is assumed in the Bible that folks are right-handed. Anyone whose dominant hand is his left is noted in Scripture (Judges 3:15; 20:16). In Revelation 1:16 John gives us a picture of the Lord’s power in protecting the leaders of his church. In his right hand, Jesus holds seven stars, which are the angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20; 2:1, 3:1). However, the word angel (G32) doesn’t necessarily mean a heavenly being. Rather it is often used of human messengers. It was used of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27). It was used also of men John had sent to Jesus (Luke 7:24), and it is used of men Jesus had sent out to secure accommodations for his party, while they went on the way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:52). So, the seven stars that Jesus holds in his right hand probably point to the human leadership of the seven churches (cf. Malachi 2:7; Daniel 12:3), and John’s mention of Jesus’ right hand points to his power to protect them (cf. John 10:28). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Glorified Christ as One Like God

Like God

from Google Images

As we continue in John’s description of the glorified Christ, he tells us that Jesus’ hair was like wool and as white as snow, while his eyes were like flames of fire (Revelation 1:14). Jesus’ white hair is an emblem of wisdom (Job 12:12), and, since Daniel 7:9 describes God with hair as white as wool, and Jesus’ description is similar, it seems John is describing a human who is like God in wisdom. Moreover, John says the eyes of Jesus were as a flame of fire. The eyes are illustrative of the mind which brings light or understanding to the whole body (cf. Matthew 6:22), so John is expressing the mind of Christ in symbolic form. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Glorified Christ as High Priest

High Priest

from Google Images

John tells us that he saw a human figure in the midst of the seven golden lampstands (G3087; Revelation 1:12).[1] This same Greek word is used for the candelabra that was found in the Holy Place of the Temple (Hebrews 9:2), and is, indeed, the same candelabra described in the Septuagint at Exodus 25:31-35 and other places in the Old Testament. The single candelabra with its seven branches represented Israel, but the seven individual lampstands, which may also be candelabras themselves, represent the seven churches in Asia, to whom John writes (cf. Revelation 1:20).[2] Jesus said the candle or lamp (G3087) was to be placed in an area in the house where its light would benefit all (Matthew 5:15; Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Great Voice Is the Glorified Christ

trumpet - 2

from Google Images

John heard a great voice like a trumpet in Revelation 1:10. This scene recalls an event during Moses’ day when the voice or sound of a trumpet was heard and the people trembled (Exodus 19:16). It was the voice of God that they heard. John mentions the sound of a voice, which is associated with a trumpet, only twice more in this book. The second occasion tells John to ascend (to heaven) and see the things after the things he saw (Revelation 4:1). The third and final time John hears this voice is the occasion of the seventh trumpet (Revelation 10:3-8; 11:15), when Christ begins to reign. This is the occasion of both his coming and the time the righteous dead are resurrected and are caught up to be with Jesus (Matthew 24:31; 1Thessalonians 4:16; 1Corinthians 15:52). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Why These Seven Churches?

asia

from Google Images

It is interesting that only seven churches are mentioned, and only these in the province of Asia. There were certainly more churches even in that province than the one’s mentioned in Revelation 1:11. Therefore, we need to ask, why did the Lord pick out these seven churches, and why only from the Roman province of Asia? First of all, it may prove significant that the seven churches seem to be situated in an ancient Roman mail route to various distribution centers. Beginning in Ephesus, the capital of Asia, the mail would have traveled north to the other distribution centers: Smyrna and Pergamum, then southeast to Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. So, communications would begin in Ephesus and go inland to the other cities (churches), and, considering the direction (inland) of the communication, it might be inferred that important news would spread until the whole province (taken for the world) would be reached. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day

lord's day

from Google Images

John tells us that he was in the Spirit in Revelation 1:10. Being in the Spirit does not refer to John having the Holy Spirit. The text literally says “I came to be in the spirit,” meaning he “came to be” in a trance (cp. Acts 10:10; 22:17). It is not the normal spiritual condition of a believer who is characterized as being in the Spirit instead of being in the flesh (Romans 8:9). Rather, it is an extraordinary condition, whereby a believer is able to witness spiritual phenomena that he could not ordinarily see and hear. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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