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Monthly Archives: April 2019

Jesus’ Boast of the Faithful in Sardis

Watch

from Google Images

Revelation 3:1 shows us that the church at Sardis had a name (G3586) that was undependable. At times they were ready to represent Jesus, but at other times it was as though they hadn’t even known him. Jesus claimed, however, there were a few names (G3586) in Sardis who had not soiled their garments (Revelation 3:4).[1] That is, these names were ready both in season and out of season to reprove, to rebuke and to exhort with patience and instruction (cf. 2Timothy 4:2). They proved themselves that they were not ashamed of the name of Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Repairing the Damage at Sardis

Remember

from Google Images

In a previous study I demonstrated that the church at Sardis allowed herself to fall in disrepair, just as the ancient city did, before it was conquered. Her works weren’t perfect before God, and she failed to watch and pray, which placed her in a dangerous position. Jesus told the church to do three things: 1) remember how they had both received and heard; 2) hold fast; and 3) repent (Revelation 3:3). How would attending to these three matters affect the dangerous state in which Christ found her in Revelation 3? Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

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The Seven Spirits of God

Seven Spirits of God - 2

from Google Images

Jesus mentioned that he has the Seven Spirits of God (Revelation 3:1). Some have thought these seven spirits are the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, none of the writers of the New Testament ever mention that the Holy Spirit sends grace to believers or even sends his greeting to them. Why would he, if he indwells the believer? Why would John need to bring a message of grace from the Holy Spirit (Revelation 1:4), if, indeed, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer? Therefore, I don’t believe the Seven Spirits of God could represent the Holy Spirit. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Church of Sardis

Sardis

from Google Images

The city of Sardis, as we have come to understand in this study of the churches mentioned in Revelation, chapters 2 & 3, is a city in Asia Minor, now western Turkey. It was situated along an ancient Roman mail route beginning in Ephesus and going north to Pergamum and then south through Sardis to Laodicea, and then back to Ephesus. Sardis was a very old city, perhaps dating back to 2000 BC, boasting of being the ancient capital of the Lydian Empire (1200 BC). The city was a walled city that sat atop of a hill, about 1000 feet high, and for centuries it was considered impregnable. However, in its latter years its walls became cracked through lack of vigilance and effort to repair the damage. Therefore, Cyrus the Great was able to capitalize upon Sardis’ failure to be vigilant and tend to its weaknesses. Cyrus conquered the city, reportedly taking $600,000,000 worth of gold and precious stones. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Ruling with Christ Through the Gospel

Boss and leadership

from Google Images

In this study of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3, I have been demonstrating that the church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) had been doing well in the business of preaching the Gospel. However, Jesus did find fault with them in the fact that they had been permitting Jewish teachers (Jezebel in the text) to seduce Jesus’ disciples into believing the doctrines of the Jerusalem authorities, whose doctrines, if practiced, made the word of God of no effect upon his people. In so doing, the leaders in Thyatira were permitting those under their care to be removed from the authority and protection of Christ and placing them under the authority of Christ’s enemies at Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

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Rebuke the Adversary Until I Come!

Adversary

from Google Images

Presently I am involved in a study of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3, specifically at this time with the church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:29). Thyatira was the smallest of the seven cities, but it received the largest of Jesus’ letters. The church there was commended for several good things it had been doing, and Jesus even mentioned they were doing more or greater works in their latter ministry than they had been doing in the beginning (Revelation 2:19-20). Nevertheless, they were guilty of permitting a false prophetess, Jezebel (the Jerusalem authorities), to seduce his disciples, removing them from his protection and authority. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Jezebel’s Judgment and Killing with Death

Kill with Death

From Google Images

In Revelation 2:21 the Lord is still speaking to the leader of the church at Thyatira, and he is speaking about that Jezebel he mentioned in the previous verse. Jezebel is a name for those who claim to be Jews, but are not. That is, they claim to be the people of God, but they don’t obey him. They are the Jews who crucified the Lord. She was given time to repent, probably the time between Jesus’ resurrection and Stephen’s death (cir. 3 1/2 years), but they didn’t. This period was a period of relative safety granted the elect believers, as mentioned in Revelation 12:14. It culminated in spilling righteous blood, so the Jerusalem authorities simply wouldn’t repent. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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What Do We Do with Jezebel?

Puppet

from Google Images

It doesn’t seem that expelling false teachers was an option in the church of God during the first century AD. The Jewish authorities considered Jesus a false teacher, but he wasn’t expelled from the synagogues until late in his public ministry. The threat against folks who confessed Jesus as the Messiah in John 12:42 seems to indicate that Jesus must have been excommunicated late in his ministry. Luke 13:14 is the last time Jesus is mentioned teaching in a synagogue, and this occurred sometime in the third year of his ministry. The fact that the ruler of the synagogue didn’t rebuke Jesus, but did rebuke the people, seems to indicate that Jesus was being shunned by the authorities, except when it was absolutely necessary to speak to him. Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

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Deception in Thyatira

Jezebel - 1

from Google Images

Thyatira was the smallest of the seven cities on an ancient Roman mail route. Beginning in Ephesus one would travel north to Smyrna and then to Pergamum. At this point the mail rider changed to a southerly direction and came to Thyatira on the left of the road from Pergamum to Sardis.[1] The church of Thyatira is sometimes called the corrupt church, but I believe this has more to do with a forced historical interpretation of the seven churches than anything else. The idea that these churches represent seven eras of church history is completely false. It is eisegesis rather than exegesis. Jesus had some very good things to say about this church, and to conclude that it was a corrupt church in order to fit it into a corrupt era in church history is simply ridiculous. There is absolutely no good reason to do so. In fact, it is slanderous to do so, in my opinion, and that against brethren whom Jesus commended for their labor. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Church of Thyatira

Thyatira-Ruins

from Google Images

The fourth church in Jesus’ exhortation to the churches of Asia was located in Thyatira, a city located about 40 miles southeast of Pergamum on the ancient Roman mail route. We first learn of this city in Acts 16:14 when Lydia, a woman from Thyatira, believed Paul’s Gospel and offered her home as a base for his operations in Philippi. Thyatira is situated in the district of Lydia near the border of Mysia and is famous for its purple and scarlet dyes. It was the smallest of the seven churches, but it received the largest letter from Jesus. It had a large number of trade guilds in the city, which may indicate social and economic pressures to conform to local religious and political celebrations, if one hoped to gain employment or survive in business. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Hidden Manna

Hidden Manna

from Google Images

In Revelation 2:17 Jesus changes his general address in order to speak directly to believers who have ears to hear. That is, he is addressing those who have not closed their hearts and minds to his word (cp. John 1:11-12; 3:32). However, the promises he makes are made only to those who endure to the end and overcome the attacks of the enemy both from within and from outside the church. In other words, out of the church of Pergamos, Jesus singles out those who have not closed their hearts and minds, but out of this smaller group, Jesus addresses a yet tinier group of believers who endure all things for his namesake. Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

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The Wrong Way to Preach the Gospel

Legalism - 1

from Google Images

Jesus told the church at Pergamos to repent (Revelation 2:16). That is, repent of believing and perhaps acting on the belief that they needed to join pagans in worship in order to gain them for Christ. Such a practice would end their persecution, but it would take away their witness. How could they testify of what it means to have Jesus as Lord, if they acted as though the pagan gods were lords as well? Mere doctrine saves no one. Jesus, not a better argument, saves people from their sins. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Who Were the Nicolaitans?

Nicolaitans - 1

from Google Images

In Revelation 2:15 Jesus claimed there were also among the believers at Pergamos those who held to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, but who are the Nicolaitans and what was their doctrine? Some scholars believe they were similar to those who held to the doctrine of Balaam, having an antinomian[1] theology. While it would be easy to conclude the doctrine of Balaam was ‘antinomian’ in nature,[2] I don’t believe it is logical to hold that the theology of the Nicolaitans was ‘antinomian’ as well, because, if that were true, why would Jesus speak of them as though they were different. There was the one group, and there was the other. Why would it be necessary to speak of the two, if they were so much alike? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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