Saturday, January 31, 2015

Revelations 6 and 7- First Six Seals January 29, 2012

SLIDE 1Revelation 6 and 7: The Seven Seals purchased copyright illustrations in PPT Pat Marvenko Smith
SLIDE 2 Before we start I would like to introduce or clarify some terms I will be using in this lecture. These are my opinions after studying several different commentaries and mostly follow the CBS view. My teaching on the Rapture comes from 1 Thessalonians.
·        Church Age-from Christ’s ascension until the Rapture
·        Rapture-When Christ’s returns for His Church
·        Tribulation-Seven Weeks (years) of Daniel- God’s judgment on unbelievers
·        The Day of the LORD- a day when God pours out vengeance on the adversary
SLIDE 3 CBS offered these teaching points. I thought they were witty.
·        Six shocking seals sentence sinners (6:1-17).
·        One single seal saves several saints (7:1-8).
·        Swarms sing songs to the Shepherd (7:9-17).
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. Our God of Love is also a God of Judgment
Do forget to read your commentary. Looking back to the Old Testament it compares these chapters to Zechariah and Ezekiel’s warning of judgment.
1Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, "Come!"
Remember each seal is opened by the worthy Lamb and announced by the four living creatures before the throne discussed in Chapter 4.
2And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
My first thought was “This is Christ.” Then I thought “Which of these is not like the other?” When we look at his companions, they are permitted to bring pestilence and famine to the earth just as Satan was permitted to test Job.
If the crown was given him, he’s probably not Christ, but a counterfeit of Christ. Remember Satan masquerades as an angel of light. Many will be deceived.
SLIDE 4 David Guzik reminds us Jesus returns on a white horse in Revelation 19:11-16; Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. …He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
SLIDE 5 A.R. Fausset “For it is the Lamb who has just loosed the first seal sending this horseman out. It violates all logic for the same person to be opening the seal and sending himself forth. If Christ rides forth here, who is it that remains in heaven to open the remaining seals?” To be fair there are other scholars who say this idea is preposterous.
This initial emergence of the antichrist could be connected with what we know about this leader in Daniel 9.
SLIDE 63When (Christ) opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" 4And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
My friends peace is a gift from God. Man left to his own devices will kill and steal and lie. When the peace of God is removed from the earth, wars will break out. God had been patient wanting that none be lost. Our God of Love is also a God of Judgment
Let’s compare Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24 with these verses of scripture.
SLIDE 7Matthew 24:5For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray.6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
SLIDE 8 Matthew 24:7 there will be famines, and earthquakes, (and pestilences,)KJV in various places.8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
SLIDE 95 …the third seal… a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. The rider on the black horse will bring famine and scarcity of the basics of life. 6 And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!"
Walvoord These prices are about twelve times higher than normal. It means that it would cost a day's wage to buy the ingredients for a loaf of bread. This describes "a time of famine and inequity when life will be reduced to the barest necessities." Oil and wine represent the nicer things of life which will be available to those who have the means to purchase.
SLIDE 107the fourth seal8 a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth,
·        to kill with sword
·         with famine
·        with pestilence and
·        by wild beasts of the earth.
Our God of Love is also a God of Judgment
SLIDE 11The word “pale” in Greek actually chloros is a sickly green-representing infectious diseases, such as MRSA, C. diff, other blood and airborne diseases.
*Power was given to the horseman by God. Though all destruction breaks loose on the earth, God is very much in control. He still holds the scroll and opens the seals.
SLIDE 12 9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.
Who are these saints? Who are these souls (martyrs)? Again the answer varies. Dr. Thomas Constable explains: CBS Th
Some believe these martyrs are all Christians who die for their faith during the entire church age, all believers who die from Christ’s ascension to His second coming. The lives of these martyrs were sacrifices as upon an altar to God.
Philippians 2:17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 2 Timothy 4:5
If you believe in the Rapture all Christians living at the time will go directly into Jesus Christ’s presence. These people John described in this verse could be those who come to faith in Christ after the Rapture. They became believers during the first half of the Tribulation and then suffered martyrdom for their faith.
Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.; Luke 21:12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake.  
SLIDE 13 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
SLIDE 13 I tend to favor the idea of the Tribulation Saints. When Stephen was martyred in Acts, he ask for God to forgive them just as Christ had done. Grace and mercy are key in the Church age. However God is meeting out judgment during the Tribulation period and it would be just for the Lord to avenge their deaths. Others say it is right to ask God to avenge in our behalf.
10They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Our God of Love but is also a God of Judgment
SLIDE 1411Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
David Jeremiah says in his book Agents of the Apocalypse the Lord provides five comforts for these martyred souls.
·        A Refuge ‘under the altar’ to be covered with the blood of Christ justified a place of close communion with God
·        A Robe covering a temporary body since they have not received the new body promised for New Jerusalem
·        Rest Revelation 14:13 rest from their labors
·        Retribution the angel with the sharp sickle mentioned in 14:18-19 will avenge them
·        Reward martyred saints will receive a martyrs crown and be honored to sit on a throne because they did not take the mark of the beast 666 during the Tribulation and during the 1000 year reign of Christ in New Heaven on earth
SLIDE 15 12When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.
Zephaniah 1:14-16  The great day of the LORD is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers.
Joel 2:10-11: The sun and moon grow dark, and stars diminish their brightness . . . for the day of the LORD is great and terrible; who can endure it?
SLIDE 16 14The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,16calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
SLIDE 16 The sixth seal concludes with a valid question: Who is able to stand? Only the believer can stand before this great judgment, the one who is justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

·         Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. (Romans 5:1-2)
·         I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received and in which you stand. (1 Corinthians 15:1)
·         Testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. (1 Peter 5:12)
The believer can stand in the face of this great wrath of God because Jesus already bore the wrath the believer deserved. We stand justified by faith through GRACE.
Our God of Love is also a God of Judgment
SLIDE 17Rev 7: 1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree.2Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea,
 SLIDE 183saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."
4And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: A Great Multitude from Every Nation
Again we are at a place of widely divergent interpretations. While other views exist, the two most prominent are that the 144,000 referred to here are (a) quite literally 144,000 Jews—12,000 from each of the 12 tribes, or (b) a figurative reference to a vast number of saved saints (Christians). In either case, God protects His own. CBS TH

SLIDE 19 9After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,10and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,12saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
SLIDE 2013Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?"14I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15"Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
SLIDE 2117For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
SLIDE 22 Will you choose to praise God through your trials, trusting God to know what is best?
Harry Ironside wrote, “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”

·        Revelation Illustrated Pat Marvenko Smith is a free-lance commercial illustrator and designer whose career has spanned over 25 years.
·        David Guzik is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara, having come to serve that congregation in July 2010.For 7 years before that, David was the director of Calvary Chapel Bible College Germany, near Siegen, Germany. 
·        A. R. Fausset, born near Enniskillen, Ireland, Oct. 13, 1821. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1843), was ordered deacon in 1847, and ordained in 1848,  “The Revelation of St. John the Divine,”
·        Community Bible Study Revelation Teaching Help
·        John F. Walvoord (May 1, 1910 – December 20, 2002), was a Christian theologian, pastor, and president of Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 to 1986
·        Photo on PPT Copyright © 1998-2014 By Tim Warner, all rights reserved. All materials on Answers in Revelation(except logos and icons) may be freely reproduced and distributed for teaching and study purposes, provided proper credit is given.

·        David Jeremiah in his book Agents of the Apocalypse

Revelation 4- The Throne Room January 15, 2015

SLIDE 1This beautiful Crown sits atop the Christmas tree at my home church. Our matron's class bought the beads and the pattern and I was given the honor of constructing it. Last week I promised to talk about Crown that Christians can earn. Our theme tonight is Crowns are for casting.
What do you miss when you miss church?
Sunday I returned for the first time in 2 week to my home church. You know what I missed the most? Of course the fellowship of Christian believers, but even more the joint Worship with piano and guitars and raising holy hands in our sanctuary. At home I listened to Praise CD's but to join with others and harmonize the hymns of old was such a joy to me. It was compelling to read of the continuous worship going on in heaven right now.
Let us Pray
SLIDE 2 Revelation 4
·        Worshipping in the Throne Room of Heaven
o   Colors of the Throne
o   24 Elders
o   Four Beasts
·        5 Crowns
Crowns are for casting.
Why do you want to go to heaven?
Is it to avoid going to hell or be united with loved ones gone before? Or do you long to worship the One who sits on the Throne? Unbelievers will share their comments about how boring it would be to sit on clouds and play harps all day. Ladies we are going to be so overwhelmed with the visions and the glory of God in heaven that we will spend all our time singing and praising the one who sits on the throne. 0, to join the heavenly choir worshiping our LORD, the Creator, Redeemer and King.
SLIDE 3 Please open your bibles to Revelation 4 and stand as we read aloud vv. l-2.
John shares Revelation 4:1After this l looked and behold a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said "Come up here and I will show you what must take place after this." 2 At once I was in the Spirit and behold a throne stood in heaven with one seated on the throne.
SLIDE 4 Imagine an invitation from Jesus Christ himself calling you up to visit Heaven, the dwelling place of Almighty God. The open door was a revealing of the continuous celebration by those in the throne room.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
Rev 4:3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.
I am rereading one pastor's account of his ninety minutes in heaven.
Ladies it will be so glorious and bright, we will have to shield our eyes when we first arrive. Remember Moses as he came down from Mt. Sinai. His face was glowing.
SLIDE 5 Since no one has seen God, John describes him as things he knows. The colors of earthy stones used on the priests' breastplate: Jasper (described as a clear stone such as a diamond, pure without blemish) Carnelian red as blood, and Emerald green for new life. In heaven's glory there will be colors we have never seen and it defies description.
4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty­four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
Crowns are for casting
SLIDE 6 Digital art by Pat Marvenko Smith, purchased from her site Revelation  This artist rendition gives us her interpretation of the throne room. To me it is highly likely. From chapter 4 the four creatures and the 24 elders spend all their time worshipping the LORD.
From commentaries I have studied, I do not believe these 24 elders could be angels. No Scripture supports angels ever sitting in the presence of God. From Daniel we know angels are God's holy messengers. They do not wear crowns.
Last week chapter 3 God promises 21    The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
Psalm 8 says God is mindful of man and v.5 For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.
Sister, we have wonderful promises in God's WORD. Read with me.
SLIDE 7 Ephesians  2:4-74But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved   us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ---by grace you have been saved---6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable  riches of his grace  in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ladies that is worth shouting about! Our choir sings, “It's shouting time in Heaven another sinner once lost is found.”  We truly have much to shout about.
SLIDE 8 Looking again at the artist's interpretation here's my thoughts the 24 Elders
1.     The number "twenty-four" is significant. In 1Chronicles 24 King David divided the Levitical priesthood into 24 orders. Each order rotated priestly functions at the tabernacle and at the temple, from Sabbath to Sabbath. In so doing, each order represented the entire priestly tribe and the nation of Israel before God. Thus, the number "twenty-four" came to be representative of a larger, complete group. Thus, the "twenty-four elders" could be a phrase which denotes more than two dozen specific persons.
2.     The elders had "crowns" (ste-pha-nous) on their heads. These are crowns gained by achievement and victory. Looking back at our lessons in Revelation believers in the churches were promised crowns
Rev. 2:10 Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Rev.3:11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
3.       The term "elder" (presbuteros) is never used of angels in the Bible. The word itself denotes maturity and growth.  Since angels do not age. Inthe epistles, believers in this church age are promised crowns for specific accomplishments:  Holy angels do not wear crowns, but believers can and will wear them. We will return to this on my last point. Dr. Tim LaHaye
4.      One commentary suggests the 24 are the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles.
What do you think?
SLIDE 9 Crowns are for casting. Revelation 4: The Throne in Heaven
Notice the activity emanating 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, (imagine what that would be like in heaven) and before  the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God,6and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, (like crystal.) We will study in Chapter 21 when heaven comes down to earth there will be no sea.)
And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
SLIDE 1 0 Here are some thoughts on the 4 living creatures
7the first  living creature like a lion, (a lion of jungle protector, Christ is the Lion of Judah and Jesus was born a King): the second living creature like an ox, (a beast of burden, Mark describes Christ as a Servant, Paul says in Philippians 2: 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.) the third living creature with the face of a man,   (this could show Christ's humanity; in Luke Christ is the Son of Man) and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. (This could represent the Holy Spirit. John writes of the Deity of Christ in his gospel.)
SLIDE 11 Amy Van Gerpen shares her understanding in this chart from Copyright © 2015. In Genesis God created every living thing.
Type of creature
Likeness of living creature
Wild beasts (Genesis 2:19)
Domesticated (Genesis 2:19)
Birds (Genesis 2:19)
2 Chronicles 16:19 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. The wings reminds of the Seraphim from Isaiah vision in chapter 6: 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"
SLIDE128And the four living creatures,  each of them with six wings, are full  of eyes  all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy,  holy,  holy,  is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" 9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and everl
SLIDE 13 10 the twenty- four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the   throne, saying,11 " Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. 11Amen and amen
SLIDE 14Crowns are for casting Paul wrote of the following crowns:
·        The Imperishable Crown: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self­ control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
·        The Crown of Rejoicing: 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 ''For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? KJV Is it not you? {the church in Thessalonica) 20 For you are our glory  and joy.
·        Crown of Righteousness: 2 Timothy 4:8Henceforth there is laid upfor me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
Not righteousness of our own but through the shed blood of Christ at Calvary.
James wrote of the "crown of life" (James 1:12). Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Ladies we know that no one cannot earn salvation, but believers can earn crowns (rewards). A song we used to sing "Will there be any stars any stars in my crown ...
Will you have any crowns to place at His feet? Crowns are for casting
Peter wrote of the unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Paul called the Philippians in the church his joy and crown. Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
Alistair Begg beautifully states our relationship to God at different times.
o      In the past, He deals with us as a sinner.
o      Once we accept His gift of eternal life-In the present, He deals with us as sons
o      But in heaven, Christ, judges us for our service to His kingdom.
Just a note to keep up from being prideful...
SLIDE 16 Matthew 25:31-46  Sheep and the Goats
2 Corinthians 5: 1 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, (the Bema) so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Christians works; Not Salvation
Revelation 20 Names not in the Book will appear before Father God Almighty at the Great White Throne of Judgment; Not for Christians.
 Praise God, Christ redeemed us with His blood so we are not judged for our sins.
Remember dear friends: We do not work for Salvation; we work from Salvation-our position in Christ. Salvation is given freely to us when we accept Christ and make Him Lord of our Life. Jesus paid the cost and redeemed us from every sin with His precious blood. Will you bring anything worthy to place at the foot of His throne?
SLIDE 17-Will you choose to serve God and earn crowns to cast before the Throne?

Let’s stand and sing verse 4 of  the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Revelation 3 Letters to Three Churches January 8, 2015

SLIDE 1 How many have started projects and not completed them? My craft room is filled with beads and wire and stamps and paper from projects left unattended for years. Now in Cramerton we have been looking at the incomplete bridge over to Goat Island. Monday three men stood on the bridge looking at the water. I thought of Sardis and Jesus’ remark, ”I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” and their unfinished works.  A bridge that stops short of reaching the other side is not a bridge at all.
SLIDE 2 Wednesday however four concrete slabs connected the Town Center with Goat Island. Each piece is 3' x 80' and weighs 50,000 pounds each.
Ladies I don’t know about you but I do not want to be judged on my unfinished works. As Christians we are commanded to spread the gospel, to love one another, to care for widows and orphans. Are any of these on your checklist of things to do this New Year?
SLIDE 3 Tonight we will discuss three examples of churches that are very similar to churches today.
  • ·        Sardis the lifeless church
  • ·        Philadelphia the faithful church
  • ·        Laodicea the lukewarm church

“6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”
"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: 'The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
SLIDE 4 Sardis Ancient Sardis was the capital of Lydia an important city, center of trade. Manufacture of woolen garments (white as wool.) Sardis physical location was almost impossible to reach, located on a plateau 1500 feet above the main roads. They were over confident in their physical placement and became careless and lax. that twice enemies infiltrated their perimeter and defeated them.
SLIDE 5 Jesus message:
  I know your works and reputation;  but you are dead
  Wake up! And strengthen what remains
  Your works are incomplete
  Remember! Repent! Be watchful!
  Those few who are worthy
      Names to stay in the book of Life
      Shall wear white with me

Steven P. Wickstrom (Christian writer and author) “There weren't any false apostles, or prophets or teachers trying to destroy this church: there was no persecution. Even the Nicolations and pious Jews were ignoring this church. No one was being cast into prison or put to death for serving Jesus. It is almost as if this church is so ineffective, that the devil is not wasting any of his time with it. All he has to do is keep the church thinking that they are alive, when he knows all the time that they are actually dead.”
3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
Matthew 24:42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief….., and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
SLIDE 6 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
In my study I found 19 verses regarding garments of white, the majority in the New Testament; many referring to Christ at the transfiguration, and in Daniel when we studied the Ancient of Days.  Other verses referred to angels at the tomb, or heavenly messengers at Christ’s resurrection, and those surrounding the throne in heaven. It is impossible to live a sinless life, perfect as holy. How can we ever be good enough to “be clothed in white garments?”
Isaiah 24:6 our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.
5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments,
Only by the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross for the redemption of our sins. How wonderful to know that Jesus will present us to His father and before the angels.
v. 5 and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.
SLIDE 7 Some commentaries say this could be referring to the book of the living. From creation God has written every person’s name in the Book of the Living. As unbelievers die without accepting the free gift of pardon from Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, their name is removed or blotted out from this book.
Psalm 64:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.
Think about your church are you resting in the works of your past, Are you alive or dead. Don’t we all hope we can say “I have finished course, I have won the race.”Jesus reveals that Sardis has not completed her work.  The church was dead because it was not growing. They were complacent. True faith must produce life and works. They were not an aggressive witness.
6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

SLIDE 8 3:7-13 Philadelphia The city of Philadelphia in the Roman province of Asia (present-day western Turkey), struggling physically, financially and spiritually. Philadelphia was an important commercial and cultural gateway from the western Roman empire to the eastern provinces. Because the city was built near a volcano, its soil was very fertile so it was renowned for its vineyards and wines. But being near a volcano also had its drawbacks: the city was often hit by powerful earthquakes. In A.D. 17, a massive quake so severe they were not required to pay taxes.
This was not a letter from John but from Jesus “the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.”
Jesus not only holds the “key of David” to let faithful believers into the kingdom of heaven. He also holds“the keys of Death and Hades

Jesus not only holds the “key of David” to let faithful believers into the kingdom of heaven. He also holds“the keys of Death and Hades” 
Matthew Henry Lord Jesus has the keys of government and authority in and over the church.
·  He opens a door of opportunity to his churches;
·  he opens a door of utterance to his ministers;
·  he opens a door of entrance, opens the heart.
J V McGee believes this is the door of knowledge of the scriptures. It is an invitation for us to open His word and study and learn. Not for our own gratification but to witness and share the blessed gospel message. We must enter the open door evangelize the lost.
8      "'I know your works. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
SLIDE 9 Seven is key number in Revelation symbolizing completion. McGee finds seven commendations for the church of Philadelphia.
1.     Their works
2.     The open door to witness
3.     In their weakness He is strong
4.     They kept His Word with patience endurance
5.     Did not deny His name
6.     He will make her enemies bow down and learn His love for the church
7.     They kept the word in patience; keep them from the Great Tribulation

Philadelpia was called the missionary church, the serving church, a Bible-believing church. This church sent our missionaries to India and the remnant had left the church by this time. v. 9 refers to the unbelieving Jews that remained in the synagogue teaching a false religion.
We should be passionate and joyful regarding our freedom to read and study God’s word. We should invite others to enter into the sweet fellowship with have with our LORD and Savior.
10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial the Great Tribulation that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Refers to the suddenness of His appearing
Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
What a promise!
SLIDE 10 Three of the six pillars of the ruins of the Church of St John the Theologian in ancient Philadelphia photo
12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. I can hardly wait.
Philadelphia represents the revived church, the church that returned to the Word of God; the true church that is to be raptured. This is the church we should choose to model.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”
SLIDE 11 Revelation 3:14- 22Laodicia Of all the churches Laodicea is the one that remains in my memory. The lukewarm church that Christ would spew out of his mouth. A city of compromise.
Ladies we are living in a time of compromise, political correctness, tolerance for things reviled by the Lord.
14            "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation.
15    "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
SLIDE 12 J. Vernon McGee tells the location of the church of Laodicea is a perfect illustration of being lukewarm. They build massive aqueducts used to pipe in water to the city, she was totally dependent on external water supplies. The citizens of Laodicea were well-aware that the cold refreshing water of its near neighbor Colossae came from snow-and-rain-fed streams that rushed down from the peak of nearby Mount Cadmus.
Hierapolis, was famed for its the medicinal properties of the calcium carbonate in the thermal springs. The 95 degrees hot water from the springs was lukewarm by the time it arrived in Laodicea.
17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

SLIDE 13 Laodicea was a wealthy city gaining wealth from the textile industry especially famous for the production fine black wool of its sheep. 
They were a major banking center but they had lost their vision. Spiritually they were bankrupt.  Laodicea was well known for her medical school. Aristotle spoke of a powdered medicine made from Phrygian stones that had curative power for the eyes. But this medicine could not cure their spiritual blindness. We must seek these things from Jesus instead of relying on them ourselves.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.

The Lord did not accuse the church of apostasy, following false teachers or emperor worship.  He loves them and those He loves, He disciplines.
19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent
SLIDE 14 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
The Lord was outside the church trying to get in. This is an invitation for individuals. Christ stands patiently at the door of the sinner's heart.  We must repent of pride and self sufficiency. Each of us must decide to give time to the LORD. We need to take time to put our own activities on the back burner and open the door and allow Christ to enter our homes and our hearts. To spent intimate time with him. To be fed by the One who is the bread of life and the living water.

21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
"The hardest indictment given the seven Churches, and yet the most eminent of all the promises are made to it, showing that the worst may repent, finally conquer, and attain even to the highest state of glory." (Clarke)

 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”

SLIDE 15 Will you choose to hear, listen, and act upon the messages given to these three churches?