Summary: Week 2 in a Wednesday evening study of Revelation
“Greeting to the Seven Churches
Date: May 22, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Revelation 1:4-8
We stopped last week with verse 3, the first of seven be-attitudes in Revelation. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
I will be blessed for reading or teaching this book; you will be blessed for hearing. I’m ready for a blessing!!!
Get In Hang On & Let’s Go….
Seven churches – We are told whom the message is written to. The 7 churches in Asia. These are the churches located in modern day Turkey.
* Why 7 churches…why not 6 or 8
1). Numbers, in biblical terms, always have a significant meaning other than the quantity.
* The number 7 is seen some 40 times in the book of revelation
2) The number 7 always represents completeness.
The Israelites marched around Jericho 7 times
Naaman was instructed to dip in the River Jordan 7 times
In Joseph’s time there were 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine.
Nebuchadnezzar was insane for 7 years.
7 petitions in the Lord’s Prayer
Jesus spoke 7 times from the cross
BUT WHY WRITE TO THESE 7 CHURCHES??? WHAT’S THE PURPOSE???
I. Contemporary Purpose – Christ had a direct message to a specific church.
II. Composite Purpose – These messages are meant to be applied to all churches or all Christians.
III. Chronological Purpose – These 7 churches give us a prophetic preview of the church age from Pentecost to the rapture.
Church Meaning Time Description
Ephesus desirable 30-300AD the young church
Smyrna myrrh 100-313AD the martyr church
Pergamos marriage 314-590 time when the church married the world ( looked just like the world)
Thyatira continual sacrifice 590-1517
Sardis remanent 1517-1700 reformed church
Philadelphia brotherly love 1700-1900 revival church
Laodicea peoples rights 1900-rapture worldly church
W.A Criswall said, “This is the most beautiful greetings ever or will be written”
** Grace and peace be to you –
** peace always follows Grace; PEACE IS A RESULT OF GOD’S GRACE
Grace is the Greek word charis Peace – is the Hebrew greeting shalom
The book of Revelation reveals the grace of God and the peace of God
From Him … and the seven spirits…
This is referring to the completeness of the Holy Spirit
**Isaiah 11:1-2 tells us of the sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit
1. the Spirit of the Lord
2. The Spirit of Wisdom
3. The Spirit of understanding
4. The Spirit of Counseling
5. The Spirit of Might
6. The Spirit of Knowledge
7. The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
** It also refers to the lamp stand or the menorah, which represents the Holy Spirit
Who is and who was and who is to come – emphasizes the eternity of God. Gen 1:1 In the beginning God… but there is no beginning for God because He always has been
God’s eternal presence is not limited by time.. He has always been, He is present now and always will be present
Notice we have already seen the Trinity of God
Jesus Christ- God the Son
Seven Spirits- God the Holy Spirit
Who is, Who was & Who is to come- God the Father
Here we see three titles of Jesus…
I. The Faithful Witness –
A. Jesus perfectly revealed God the Father – if you have seen me you have seen the Father
B. So many people say I look like my dad… or my grandfathers… so when you look ay me you see bits & pieces of my family
C. That is my desire when people see me they see Jesus.
D. Why did John use this title???
*****Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever…
E. This is what I have been talking about on Sunday evenings… Some folks have spent so much time with God when you are around them you know you’ve been with God also.
II. First begotten of the dead.
A. The best news ever told was from that empty tomb, this is referring to the resurrection. He is the first to rise from the dead never to die again.
B. Firstborn = Greek word prototokos where we get the word prototype.
C. Firstborn in biblical terms always has absolute ruler ship; and is the rightful heir.
D. But also because of our relationship because of the death & resurrection of Jesus we to are heirs of the promise.
III. The ruler (prince) over the kings of the earth.
A. This speaks of His ultimate authority
B. Philippians 2:9-11, “ Therefore God also has highly exalted Him & given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow of those in heaven & of those on earth and of those under the earth, & that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”