Revelation 2 The First 4 Churches

When we dig into Revelation 2 and what the Lord had to say to the first four churches we see warnings. God not acknowledged good things about the churches but things they needed to change.

It is not just about the good and bad but we are given additional information such as a church can leave their first love as Ephesus did. We also learn there is a test you can give to people who claim to be an apostle. And the church at Ephesus we learn, hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans. So we need to ask two questions:

Who are the Nicolaitans?
What were the deeds of the Nicolaitans?

If God hates their deeds, shouldn’t we learn what the Nicolaitans deeds are?

According to the 1828 dictionary,  the Nicolaitans were a sect in the church. They were named after Nicolas, a deacon of the church at Jerusalem.  They held that married women should be common to prevent jealousy.  The Nicolaitans were not charged with erroneous opinions respecting God, but with licentious practices. See Acts 6:1-7 KJV.

Smyrna
God had nothing “bad” to say about Smyrna, just be faithful. The interesting thing here is God tells them the devil shall cast some of you into prison. Why? That you may be tried. God tells them they will have tribulation 10 days. Be faithful unto death.

They could count the days and know after 10 days went by they would either die or be let go. No matter what happens, be faithful.

Pergamos is an interesting one to me because God reveals where Satan’s seat is located. Government has what we call a seat, a place they are operating from. In America, each state has a capitol which is the seat for each state. That is where the state’s congress is located, the state’s supreme court and the governor’s house is located. All state business comes from the capitol.
We also have county seats for each county in a state. That is where local government operates.

So when Revelation 2:12 tells us where Satan’s seat is, well, we learn a lot. So Pergamos here is where Antipas, God’s faithful martyr was slain “where Satan dwells”.

This Pergamos also holds the doctrine of Balaam, a false doctrine God says. Plus that church has those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

According to my 1859 Bible Dictionary, Pergamos here is now called Bergamo, a city of Mysia, in Asia minor and residences of “Attalian princes”.

There are 3 mountains in Pergamos and it was the birthplace of Galen and contained a famous temple of Esculapius, the “god of medicine” who was worshipped under the form of a living serpent. I believe, that is why the medical community has a serpent on a pole for their logo. How many people rush to “medical people” before they take the matter to God.

The modern city of Bergamo has 3 mountains and a large castle in ruins stands. An interesting study about Pergamos and how that church was located “in Satan’s seat” and that church had the doctrine of Balaam.

Thyatira
God tells us Thyatira allows Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, teach and seduce God’s servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

Fornication is not only unmarried people engaging in impurity, but it is also apostasy, idolatry, heresy and infidelity.

We know Jezebel was Ahab’s wife during the time of Elijah. She followed idolatry ( 1 Kings 16:32,33 ) she destroyed God’s prophets ( 1 Kings 18:4-13 ) she planned Elijah’s death ( 1 Kings 19:1,2 ). Everything Jezebel did, in relation to God’s people, was to destroy them and bring paganism to the people.

The church of Thyatira were engaged in paganism and when the believers would admonish other believers, like Elijah did, the church did not want to hear it. Just like today. There is a Jezebel spirit in churches today and if believers speak out against the paganism, they are made fun of or mocked and told to shut up. Need an example?

God has 7 holidays, what are they? How many of them does the church celebrate?

Pagan holidays the world celebrates, that is what the church celebrates. Oh the church may change the rules or names of the celebration, but it is still paganism. Halloween is not even in the 1828 dictionary but it is in the 1977 dictionary. Halloween means by definition sacred, holy expectation an imagination. Imagination is soul related, not spiritual towards God.

What about Christmas trees in churches? Christmas is a pagan celebration, check it out. What does God say about Christmas trees?

Jeremiah 10:1-8 KJV  “Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
[2] Thus saith the Lord , Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
[3] For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
[4] They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
[5] They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
[6] Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord ; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
[7] Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
[8] But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.”

And “Easter egg hunts” most people already know the egg represents fertility of the “goddess of love”.

And believers and churches are practicing the Jezebel spirit today. They engage in idolatry and could care less if God approves or not. They are going to do what they want.

Why not practice God’s holidays?
We will look at the last 3 churches starting Revelation 3 next time. Until next time.

image

.

*2

.

Advertisements

Revelation 2 Quiz

Revelation 2 addresses four of the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos and Thyatira. The Lord mentions different areas of good and areas that need to be corrected for each of these churches. The Lord also mentions the remedy to correct areas needing improvement.

Fill in the blanks.

1 – Jesus identifies 5 things he noticed about the church at Ephesus, what are the 5 things?

2 – Because Ephesus had left their first love, Jesus had somewhat against them, true or false?

3 – Jesus complimented the church at Ephesus for hating the deeds of what people?

4 – The church at Smyrna was noticed for their works, their tribulation and their poverty and for recognizing those who claimed to be Jews. Jesus said those who claimed to be Jews and were not Jews, were of the synagogue of who?

5 – Jesus tells the believers at Smyrna that some of them will be put into prison – Who will put them in prison?

6 – How long will some of these believers at Smyrna be put into prison?

7 – Why will some of the believers at Smyrna  be put into prison?

8 – Jesus tells the angel of the church at Pergamos that they dwell where Satan’s seat is, true or false?

9 – Jesus mentions those at Pergamos have those who have false doctrine there. What is the false doctrine Jesus mentioned?

10 – The church at Thyatira was noted for their works, true or false.

11 – Jezebel was hundreds of years earlier than Jesus. Yet Jesus mentions Thyatira allowed Jezebel to teach and seduce God’s servants. What two things was Jezebel seducing God’s servants to do?

12 – God says he will kill Jezebel’s children with death, true or false.

image

.

*2

.

Revelation 2

Notice Revelation 2 opens with a letter – addressed to whom? The church? No, the message was sent to the angel of the church. Angels are not perfect as
Job 4:18 KJV  ” Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:” tells us.

And angels can sin see,  2 Peter 2:4 KJV
” For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”

So the Lord gives the messages to the churches, to the angel of each church and not to the churches directly. It is not a letter to pastors of a church because angel is singular meaning an angel to one specific church.

People often say Revelation chapters 1 through 3 are letters to the churches but technically, that is incorrect. The letters are to the angel of each church and only to seven churches.

To me, this shows a chain of command. God sets an angel up over a church (believers) and that angel is the messenger of God to those believers. The angel is not sent to unbelievers, only to believers.

Why is this important?  Because the scriptures clearly identify unseen things, things in heaven and how heavenly beings interact with mankind. Angels appear to have a divine order. Understanding their order helps us understand God and how he does things.

We read in:
Isaiah 6 – about seraphims in heaven. More than one. These are celestial beings. Paul mentions these celestial beings in 1 Corinthians 15:40-49.

Ezekiel 10: we read about cherubims and these are the beings that have wings.

Revelation 12:7 we read about Michael an archangel and how he fights with the dragon, Satan.
And we know it was Gabriel, an archangel who came to Daniel and came to Mary and Joseph.

Their name indicates their agency and they act as messengers or agents of God. Scripture says we believers have ministering angels Matthew 18:10; Luke 16:22; Hebrews 1:14 and they share heaven with us as –

Hebrews 12:22-26 KJV ” But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
[23] To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
[24] And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
[25] See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape , if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
[26] Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.”

We read about fallen angels in 2 Peter 2:4
Angels led people out of bond age in Exodus 14:19
Michael is mentioned in Daniel 10:13 and Jude 9 too.
Gabriel also came to Zachariah to announce John the Baptist’s birth.

God gives his angels charge over believers Psalm 91:11
And God makes his angels spirits, his ministers as Psalm 104:4 says.
Believers will judge angels and the world according to 1 Corinthians 6:1-3.
We can entertain strangers who are really an angel and we would not know they are an angel according to Hebrews 13:2.
God spared not the angels that sinned according to 2 Peter 2:4 and angels can sin per Jude verse 6.

So the 7 angels over the 7 churches, receive a message from God. And the church has to hear the message.

Revelation chapter 2 provides 4 of the 7 messages.

Revelation 2:1-29 KJV  ” 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;
[2] I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
[3] And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
[4] Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
[5] Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
[6] But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
[7] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
[8] And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
[9] I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
[10] Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
[11] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
[12] And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
[13] I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is : and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
[14] But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
[15] So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
[16] Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
[17] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
[18] And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
[19] I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
[20] Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
[21] And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
[22] Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
[23] And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
[24] But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
[25] But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
[26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
[27] And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
[28] And I will give him the morning star.
[29] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Write down what each message was to each church. Until next time.

image

Revelation 1 Quiz

All the answers to the quiz are in the chapter of the quiz. So the answers to Revelation 1 Quiz are in chapter 1 of the book of Revelation. Feel free to print the quiz and pass it out to your students and Bible Study groups. The quiz will have yes and no, true or false, and fill in the blank questions. Time to apply critical thinking skills. Enjoy.

Quiz

1- The book of Revelation is the revelation of whom?

2- Who was the revelation given to?

3- What was the purpose of giving the revelation to John?

4- Where was John when he received the revelation?

5- An angel gave the revelation to John, true or false.

6- John was to write the revelation in a book and send it to 7 churches. What are the names of the 7 churches?

7- The angel tells John that Jesus Christ is coming back. Who will see Jesus come back?

8- Jesus has how many candlesticks in his hand?

9- What do the candlesticks represent?

10- Jesus had how many stars in what hand?

11- What do the stars in Jesus’ hand represent?

12- Each church has an angel, true or false.

Provided freely by Heavensrecord.
Email: theheavensrecord@gmail.com

Footnote:
When we read a story we examine who the characters are in the story and what roles they play throughout the story. In Revelation 1 we can identify: God, Jesus Christ, 7 Spirits before the throne, an angel, the servants of Christ, the kingdoms of the world and John.

We also see “things” that represent something. We see candlesticks and stars. And Jesus tells us what these “things” represent. The 7 Candlesticks represent 7 churches. The 7 stars in Jesus’ right hand represent 7 angels of the 7 churches. Keep this in mind as we go through the rest of the book.

Until next time.

image

.

*1
.

Revelation 1

Teachers help students find answers. Teachers are not suppose to indoctrinate students but show them critical thinking skills to help them come up with the answers. Sometimes,  there can be more than one answer.

When it comes to scripture, there can be layers of truth in one verse. As we go through Revelation, we will look at face value of verses and encourage you to seek out the wisdom in the layers. Feel free to comment. Let’s get started.

Revelation 1:1-3 KJV  ” The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
[2] Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
[3] Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

Look at Revelation 1:1-3 and tell me:
Whose revelation (revealing) is it?
How did they get the revelation?
Why were they given the revelation?
How was the revelation sent?
Who was the revelation sent to?

Revelation 1:4-11 KJV  ” John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
[5] And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
[6] And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
[7] Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
[8] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
[9] I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
[10] I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
[11] Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.”

Who is speaking to John?
Who is this book or message sent to?

Revelation 1:12-20 KJV  ” And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
[13] And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
[14] His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
[15] And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
[16] And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
[17] And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
[18] I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
[19] Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
[20] The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.”
Are you ready to take the Revelation 1 Quiz? Our next post will be the Quiz. Until next time.

image

.

*3

.

Revelation A Different Approach

As I have said before, I write about the scriptures and what the Lord puts on my heart to write. People struggle with the book of Revelation but if we read, hear and keep the things in the book of Revelation, God promises a blessing.  So over the next few weeks or months, the Lord has put it on my heart to go through the book of Revelation.

I certainly do not have all the answers and there are many questions I have about the book of Revelation and the scriptures. But I do know who has all the answers, God. I also know it is the Holy Spirit’s job to help us understand the scriptures so prayer is key to understanding.

Let me encourage you to be like the Bereans – Acts 17:10-11 KJV
” And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
[11] These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Search the scriptures to find truth, then hear and obey truth.

The next several posts, Lord willing, will be designed as a study so you can print it out and use it for your study groups. Feel free to copy and hand out the study. No need for my permission, you already have it. Just note MADE AVAILBLE FREE BY HeavensRecord If you have a question, feel free to email us at theheavensrecord@gmail.com

The plan is to take one chapter at a time and go through all 22 chapters in 22 days. That’s the plan anyways. Scripture has a lot of symbols and I don’t plan on explaining the symbols unless scripture defines the symbol clearly. The promises God makes us is if we read, hear and obey what the book of Revelation says, not if we understand everything in the book.

So our approach is to identify, in each chapter, who is speaking, what is the message, who is the message directed at, plus any unusual or specific issues. This helps us to know the who, what, where, when and how of each chapter.

So why do this? Because prophecy by definition speaks of future events. So the book of Revelation is about the future. And because we are living in the end times, I believe these events are closer than most think. Therefore, if God is promising us a blessing, I’m all in.

I also hope by laying out the who, what, where, when and how of each chapter it will help teachers of the word of God learn how to prepare an effective Bible study. Often people read scripture and two days later don’t remember what they read. By putting it into a study where they ask questions and get answers from scripture, it helps people remember more.

We will provide a quiz after each chapter and we will try to organize each study in the category section of our blog, under Scripture Studies which we will set up. Most chapters in Revelation have between 11 and 21 verses but there are a couple with 24 or 27 verses. So if we take one chapter at a time, I think it will help everyone. I would recommend you get a notebook and set a time aside every day to spend alone time with God.

We will get started with our next post. In the mean time, let’s get a sample. Look at Revelation 1:1-3 and tell me:
Whose revelation (revealing) is it?
How did they get the revelation?
Why were they given the revelation?
How was the revelation sent?
Who was the revelation sent to?

Revelation 1:1-3 KJV
” The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
[2] Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
[3] Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

Until next time.

image

.

*1
.

Life Is Seasonal

Whether we look at earthly parents or spiritual parents, parenting is temporary. Parenting is the time mothers and father’s teach their children foundational truths. Time for children to know God, to learn right from wrong, to learn how to make decisions and how to apply critical thinking skills.

But the time comes when that child grows up that parenting comes to an end. Parenting is seasonal just as our own lives are seasonal.

Scripture says a time for, (season) in Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 KJV  ” To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
[2] A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
[3] A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
[4] A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
[5] A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
[6] A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
[7] A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
[8] A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
[9] What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
[10] I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
[11] He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

Parents sometimes think they can tell their children what to do when their child is 10 years old, 15, 20, 30, 40 and that is not parenting. Train up a child in the way he should go. Not drag him through life.

You see, you are a parent for maybe 20 years, then you are a mother and a father. Sure, you are a mother and father from the day your child is born but you have a responsibility to parent, to guide, to steer your children in the way of God, and in righteousness. But the time will come when the child grows up and does what they want.

That is when your role as a mother and father comes into play and the parenting deminishes. Then as a mother and father you become a counselor for your children. I remember telling my mom one time, Mom, if I ask you what would you do? I am looking for ideas, direction, but if I say Mom, help me, I will do as you say.

I was trying to explain to my mom just because I ask you for input does not mean I am going to do as you say. She could not understand why her children would talk to her about things but her children did not always handle “issues” the way she would or what she said.

She didn’t understand the time and season principle taught in Ecclesiastes.  A time and a season for everything. Her time and season to parent us or as some say, boss me around, was over. Now her role as a mother was predominant. She would see how well she parented each of her children by the decisions her children make as grown ups.

When you look back at your life and your parents parenting you, you can examine where their heart was in teaching you specific topics.

My mom did not know God or how Jesus offered us salvation, so she focused on teaching us how to make it in life by working hard. She taught us how to make it through life, but without God. I look at my parenting and see I taught my son about God. My focus was on God and his word. But I did not teach my son about how to make it in life through this world.

Where my mom worked in a factory for 32 years, my son does not understand that mentality. My son told me one day, I do not live to work, I work to live. Maybe it is a millennial thing but my son is willing to job hop until he gets something he enjoys. We were taught to have job stability. My son could care less about that.

And honestly, none of my mom’s children work in a factory. We all followed our own gifting from God and we all now have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And my mom? I had the honor of leading her to the Lord and she got saved when she was 56 years old. 

Life is seasonal. Just as we handle different seasons in this world and we react to spring differently than we do to autumn. Or we react to winter differently than summer, so is our lifetime. Parenting is for a season. A mom and dad are for a lifetime. Until next time.

image

.

*9
.