Summary: Study of the Book of Revelation
Revelation, Part 3
Over-arching theme: 2 Tim 4:2 says “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” We ought to be able to give an answer – to give hope to the future and why we believe this way.
I need to point of the relevance of this book to you so that you may understand – call it a VERY quick outline of the book of Revelation.
Chapter 1 - What was:
Vision of what John saw and experienced (past tense). John was writing so that he may tell what happened to him – HIS testimony – that no one can argue with. Your testimony of what God has done for you cannot be argued with … so use it!
Chapter 2 and 3 - What is:
These Churches still exist today -- it is present tense. This proves that God’s Word is relevant to today – that it is a living document because these churches that are spoken about exist all around us, perhaps you will see our church in these descriptions.
Chapter 4 - 21 - What will come:
These are future events – prophecy. I want you to see here that after Chapter 3, the church is no longer mentioned – because it is gone. The things that happen -- happen to the earth and those who live on it, but the church is no longer talked about.
What is constant then? Heb 13:8 – Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Letters to the churches -- God’s report card of where we are today. Again, present tense means it applies now -- which one do you want to be?
This is the most important two chapters following your salvation because it talks about YOUR church house. Chapters 2 and 3 are words for right now and things to be on the lookout for and to avoid the pitfalls of where the Lord is not pleased with us.
I want you to note the lamp stands – this is a bearer of light, not the source. It is merely a platform for light to be placed on; the source of the light is Jesus himself.
The angel that is discussed is the leader of the church.
I. Church of Ephesus
Read Chapter 2:1-7
They work hard; they tested false apostles (prophets)
Endured hardships in Jesus name; have not grown weary
Paul and John have both talked about testing faithfulness at length – and this church has stood up to that.
Sounds like a solid church – now watch their number complaint God has against them
Negative – They have forgotten their first love!! They have forgotten God!
Ephesus means “darling or maiden of choice” *
Joel 2:12-13 says “"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
They need to see how far they have fallen. They are told to repent and return to worshipping God - Otherwise, the church will be destroyed (by removing the lamp stand that represents them).
Ephesus used to be a booming sea port – and now their port is 6 miles away. Their disobedience has caused this!
Hate practices – Love people … church doctrine - You can not approve, but still love
Read Verse 7 again – Reward awaits – To eat from the tree of life – which is in the center of the Paradise of God (Eden). Those that stay the course, can expect to eat from this
II. Church of Smyrna
Read Chapter 2: 8-11
Smyrna comes from the root word Smurna – which in Hebrew translates to myrrh
Myrrh was present at Jesus’ birth, as a symbol of suffering, or death. Gold meant royalty and frankincense was diety, but myrrh means suffering. At the second coming, you will note that myrrh is not presented to Jesus – but this church is reminded of its future even in the name that it has. *
Negative - Slanderers among them, but Jesus knows who they are. They claim to be faithful to God’s law (and the Jews) but are not - These are part of the synagogue of Satan. John 8:44 says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Those that are part of this church that are slandering liars, and they are of the devil. The Jews understood this because very early in church history we became anti-semitic. At this same time, we lost our Jewish roots as established in the Old Testament. And those that would oppose the Jews today are part of this church. *