Summary: A powerful in-depth look into the characteristics, rebukes, exhortations, and promises to the 7 churches of Revelation.
The seven churches (1 Ephesus)
Randall LaVere II
God has truly laid the burden upon my heart, and I believe of many others to pray for a true Revival. This message has been pressing on my spirit for over a year now, and after much prayer and study we are going to dig in deep into the word of God. In order for a church to be where God wants us to be, we must first understand his letters to the churches.
When Jesus appeared unto John on the isle of patmos, the first part of his revelation was seven letters to the messengers of 7 churches in Asia.
The word of God is not just meant for the time that it was written, but is applicable to the very days that we live in now. Some will teach that these particular letters were only for the churches of those times, but The word of God tells us, and teaches us otherwise.
2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
When teaching this, it is very important, that I do not say, well I think, or I believe, so you will not hear me say any thing like this. This is serious business, and I know that God has something awesome in store for those of us who hear what the spirit says unto the churches.
Rev. 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book, and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Revelation is broken down into 3 divisions- the things which thou hast seen, the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. We will be studying in the section of the things which are. These are present things, and are going on in churches right now as we speak
It is important to note that the seven churches do not pertain to that of a dispensational application. Which means that the messages that are in the letters to the churches are for saints of God until the rapture of the church.
These letters were not just intended for study in the early church. There is a 3 fold application to the letters to the churches.
1 A local application- they were to be used for the times in which they were written.
2 A prophetical application- (from the time f their writings, until the rapture, revealing spiritual conditions in local churches, and in individuals in churches.) Rev. 1:9 says …..for the testimony of Jesus- the bible says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
3 An individual prophecy- So that the individual in any church, in any generation may be warned, and profit by the failures, and compliments of these churches. So we then being in the church need to eat the manna of the word of God, and hear what the spirit is saying to the churches.
The church of Ephesus has been named by many bible scholars and theologians, as the pre-occupied church. It was founded by Paul, and then pastured by Timothy, and then John. It was a church that was spiritually on fire for god, in one of the most pagan cities in Asia. Jesus starts out by telling them, a little bit about himself, and then a little about themselves.
1 these things saith he who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven candlesticks.
He starts out by saying that he is the one that holds the pastor, and the church in his hands. If Jesus were not holding it up, then everything that you see around you would collapse. If God were not in it, it would fall to the floor.
Jesus starts out by saying I hold the seven stars in my hand. He tells us in 1:20 that the 7 stars are the angels of the seven churches. The word that is translated from the greek for angels here means messenger, or pastor. It means someone who preaches the gospel in the new testament.
He then goes on to say, that he walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. He also told us in v. 1:20 that the candlesticks are the seven churches.