(Day 49—2020)

The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches

Fred R. Coulter—May 30, 2020

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Day 49! This is going to be quite a day when we really understand the Word of God.

The Word of God is so great, because it's the Truth of God, and it's written in such a way that it is inspired spiritually, and there are meanings that are layered one on top of another. God has made it very simple to begin to understand. It is difficult to understand some very hard parts of the Bible, but it's like everything else, you must learn the basics first.

The key to even having the spiritual blindness removed from your eyes began when you started keeping the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. That is God's day!

IF you do it in sincerity and truth, you do it to find out about the Truth of God, and you begin to obey what you learn—when you first start it's the simple things—THEN God will reveal His Truth to you!

When it came time that we were going to translate the New Testament, which was translated first, the key to that was the Truth of God from the Word of God, from the Received Text, the standard that was brought out for the Word of God.

Of course, God made sure that it was taken care of. We have to be faithful to the Truth. We did the same thing with the Old Testament. Michael Heiss knows all about the Hebrew, and he gave us the understanding that we needed for the Old Testament. He was very diligent in it, and we appreciate what he did so that we could have the whole Bible, The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version with Commentary {afaithfulversion.org}

There's something else about the Word of God and the Scriptures that very few people even understand. We're going to look at that first, as we come to this Day 49, and see how that fits in.

Dan. 10—here we find that Gabriel came to Daniel to give him some understanding of the things that he had written. This was right when Cyrus issued the order to have the Jews begin to leave Babylon to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the city of the temple.

Daniel 10:19: "[Gabriel] said, 'O man greatly beloved, do not fear. Peace be unto you; be strong; yea, be strong.'"

That's what we need to do, be strong in the Lord! Strong in the Word of God! That' is the Truth!Jesus said that 'Your Word is Spirit and Life.' Keep that in mind!

Verse 20: "And when he had spoken to me [Daniel], I was made stronger, and I said, 'Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.': "Then he said, 'Do you know why I come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia. And when I go forth, lo, the prince of Greece shall come.'"

That actually took several hundred years! But time as determined by God, to spirit beings and angels is entirely different than what it is for us.

Verse 21: "But I will show you that which is written in the Scripture of Truth…." I want you to think about that! There is in heaven above the Scriptures of God written down called "…the Scripture of Truth…."

It's so imperative that when any translation goes on that you stick to the Truth of the Word of God, and you do a lot of praying. You keep your own personality and self out of it, because whenever we handle the Word of God and preach the Word of God we are only custodians of it to make sure that it is the Truth going to the brethren.

  • not what we desire to do
  • not what we want to do

but

  • what God says
  • what God wants done
  • in the way that He wants it done
  • in the time that He wants it done

I think you will understand this even a little more, and these are Scriptures that we have covered many times. With this in mind, that everything is written down in "…the Scripture of Truth…." or the Scroll of Truth' in heaven. We will see that God intended everything necessary for us as human beings to be written down!

Matthew 5:17: "Do not think… [don't let it enter into your mind] …that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets…"

Always remember that Jesus Christ was the Lord of the Old Testament. So, He knows all about the Law and the Testament because that's what He inspired to be written, which was previously written in "…the Scripture of Truth…." in heaven above.

"…I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill" (v 17)--to complete, and here's why: They could burn every single Bible on earth and destroy ever digital copy of the Bible on earth, but let's apply Dan. 10:21 to it:

Verse 18:"For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled."

Think about this, the Greek behind "…no way…" is a double negative—'me ou' or 'ou me'—it's expressed both ways. When you have a double negative that means it's never going to happen!

Even if they did what I just described, guess what? The Scriptures are written"…the Scripture of Truth…." in heaven above, and God is in charge of that! This is something! God intended all of these things to be written down!

Let's verify that by Psalm 119:89: "Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in the heavens."

That's where it's recorded; the official copy is in heaven. We have official written copies. Why do we have it all written down? I want you to think of a Scripture in Matt. 4.

  • Why do we have it all written down?
  • Why do we have so many Bibles? Billions of them!

It's the most widely published book in the world. Now multiplied over and over again through all the digital hi-tech means that we have. Some of you out there, you have a digital version on your NotePad or your computer, or your smart phone. The whole Bible, everything there! Think of that!

Verse 89: "Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in the heavens." Therefore, it can never be abolished! Never! Who is going to go to heaven and do that? No one!

Let's see some other things that are important. Why did God want it written down? We'll answer that in a bit, but I'll let you think on it! It's very important for us, and very important for Jesus!

Exo. 34—this was after the children of Israel rebelled by worshipping the golden calf. Remember what happened when Moses came down and found that all the children of Israel and Aaron had succumbed to worshipping the golden calf. He took the Ten Commandments written on the slate of stone and threw it to the ground.

God wanted it written in stone! You can't erase that very well, can you? So, to make sure that they had it, let's see what God told them:

Exodus 34:1: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Cut out two tablets of stone like the first ones. And I will write upon the tablets the words that were in the first tablets, which you broke.'"

Amazing! Stop and think about that! God expects us to also write, because that's how we learn. God made and created us this way so we could learn. The Greek word for read is 'anaginos,' which means uptake knowledge to your mind! It's a perfect description of what the Bible is: uptake knowledge to your mind!

Verse 27: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Write these words for yourself, for in accordance to these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.'" Then Moses was there for 40 days and 40 nights! All the statutes and ordinances are written down! Why? Why does God want that?

Deuteronomy 10: 1: "At that time the LORD said to me, 'Cut out two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to Me into the mountain, and make for yourself an ark of wood. And I will write on the tablets the words that were in the first tablets which you broke, and you shall put them in the ark'" (vs 1-2).

That's quite a thing! God wanted it there for as long as He was going to have the temple, that the words written by the finger of God would be there. All the statutes and judgments that are written down are based on the Ten Commandments!

Now let's look at the Prophets, because there are some things concerning the Prophets that are very interesting.

We have all of these things of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and all of them have this in common: The Word of the Lord came to…—whichever Prophet it was, and he was to write it down. There's a copy of that in heaven in the Scripture of Truth! What's written in there for us after we're resurrected? I'll just let you think on that!

Jeremiah 30:1: "The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 'Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying, "Write all the words that I have spoken to you in a book. For, lo, the days come," says the LORD, "that I will turn back the captivity of My people Israel and Judah," says the LORD. "And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave their fathers, and they shall possess it."' And these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah" (vs 1-4).

All right there! Quite a thing! Think about that for a minute! Let's see what God told Jeremiah to do, and this is why we have the Old Testament, which is history, teaching, everything we need to know going back especially to the time after the Flood. The time before the Flood we know very, very little, yet, we have enough knowledge that we know that it took place.

Jeremiah 36:1: "And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 'Take for yourself a scroll of a book, and write in it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, even to this day'" (vs 1-2). Everything was written down and inspired by God!

Why do you suppose that God did that? We'll answer it in just a bit! We find the same thing all the way through the Bible; that's why we have it. Why did God have it written down? We'll see!

Isaiah 41:4: "Who has planned and done it, calling forth the generations from the beginning? 'I, THE LORD, AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST; I AM HE.'" That's quite a statement! Remember, this is the One Who became Jesus Christ! This tells you that God is in charge of everything, from the first to the last!

  • that's why He's given it to us
  • that's why He's given free moral agency
  • that's why He's told us to choose and love and serve Him

It's written down! That's important to realize. Think of all the languages that it's written in. And if it's properly translated—yielding to the Truth, yielding to the Spirit of Godit has the same authoritative meaning as if it were from The Scripture of Truth in heaven above!

Isa. 44 has to do with Day 49, and again: Why did God go to all this trouble? So that He could eventually save the greatest majority of all human beings!

Isaiah 44:6: "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer even the LORD of hosts, 'I AM THE FIRST, AND I AM THE LAST; and besides Me there is no god'"—on the earth! We know there is The Most High!

Verse 7: "And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people?…." He has done all of these things through:

  • the power of His Spirit
  • the power of His angels
  • the power of Satan the devil and the demons

The good and the evil!

Verse 8: "…So, you are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Yea, there is no other Rock; I know not one. Those who make a graven image are all of them vanity; and the things in which they delight shall not help; and they are their own witnesses. They do not see nor know, that they may be ashamed. Who has formed a god, or melted a graven image that is profitable for anything?" (vs 8-10)—Nothing!

Let's see what God says about Himself; Isaiah 45:5: "I am the LORD, and there is none else. There is no God besides Me; I clothed you, though you have not known Me."

God has done all of these things when people do not know anything about God. Yet, He does things for them!

Verse 6: "That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is none else; I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil. I the LORD do all these things" (vs 6-7).

Written down so we may know! That's how we can have faith. When we know, prove and understand that God is God and that He has written this down for our own good.

Verse 18: "For thus says the LORD the Creator of the heavens, He Himself is God, Who formed the earth and made it; He has established it. He created it not in vain, but formed it to be inhabited. 'I am the LORD, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret…'" (vs 18-19)—because it is written down!

  • Why?
  • Why did God do this? Let's think about this!
  • Have you figured out why He did it?
  • Why do we have all of this history?
  • Why do we have all of these things put together?
  • What is it for us?
  • What is it for our conversion?

It is for our having faith, and doing the will of God!

Let's see something very interesting, here is the reason in Matt. 4 when Jesus went to the wilderness to be tempted of Satan the devil.

Matthew 42:2: "And when He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was famished. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, 'If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread'" (vs 2-3). He was famished, He was weak, and Satan probably said:

Just think about it, just go ahead and make them like fresh bread coming out of the oven; smell it and see how good that is. Don't you think that would help You. Wouldn't you like to have a little more strength in dealing with me.

Here's the purpose of everything that is written down:

Verse 4: "But He answered and said, 'It is written…'" Look at that very carefully. It doesn't say, 'It was written.' It doesn't say, 'It has been written.'

Jesus says, "…'It is written…'"—present tense, meaning that the Bible is present tense active on everyone at every stage down through history as much as God's Word has been revealed to those during whatever time it was. It is written! Present tense!

"…'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God'" (v 4)—and as been written down! That's amazing! You think about that!

Now let's look at some things for the New Testament and see how they interlock with things found in the Old Testament. This is why I said that the Word of God is layered, because it is spiritually discerned! You need the Spirit of God to have those spiritual things understood, to understand what it is.

There's another ingredient that is necessary in order to understand the Word of God, and that is the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is given to those who:

  • truly repent of their sins
  • accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Master, and Savior 
  • are baptized by full water immersion
  • are conjoined to the death of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins

That is their covenant offer that they provide. Jesus' sacrifice and offering was already given. But each one of us have to likewise have an offering to give, which is our whole being immersed in water, signifying the death of the old carnal self!

But we're raised out of the water because we've got to grow in grace and knowledge. We cannot grow in grace and knowledge, which is necessary, so that we can be read for the resurrection, unless we're still living in the flesh but having the Sprit of God.

The Spirit of God is that which gives us understanding. Without the Spirit of God men cannot understand the Bible, even though it's written down. Let's see what Jesus said:

John 6:63: "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing…."

There is no way you can do the spiritual work of God by the physical means of psychology, by the physical means of the rules of men. Think about that and what Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees about their traditions!

They had with their rabbis and everything, they were looked upon as having more knowledge than what is in the Scriptures, more knowledge than what God wants to give them!

  • How can that be?
  • Is a man greater than God?
  • Do we not have the same thing with fake Christianity today? Yes!

Verse 63: "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life." That's quite a thing! That's why we have the Spirit of God, so we can understand:

  • understand the Holy Days
  • understand what God is doing
  • understand the importance of this day

Verse 65: "And He said, 'For this reason, I have said to you, no one can come to Me unless it has been given to him from My Father.'" God intervening to make it possible to understand.

  • the Father draws
  • we come to Christ
  • Christ leads us to the Father
  • Both dwell in us spiritually with the Holy Spirit

So that we can understand the Word of God!

Let's see what we are to cover and how it fits in to the book of Revelation. Remember, Jesus said, 'I am the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Ending.' God is in charge of the whole thing!

Lev. 23 is where all the Holy Days are listed. The instructions, beginning with the Wave Sheaf Offering up to Pentecost, the 50th Day, has more verses than any other Holy Day! That's quite a thing, and we'll cover some today and some of it tomorrow (Pentecost)

Leviticus 23:9: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "When you have come into the land, which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it"'" (vs 9-11).

What is the next day after the Sabbath? The first day of the week! So, this must be waved on the first day of the week during Unleavened Bread! If the first day of Unleavened Bread is on the first day of the week, that's when it is to be waved.

Then you are to number seven weeks, each ending in the Sabbath and come to the 50th day, which is the day after the 7th Sabbath. We'll cover the rest of that tomorrow.

All the seven weeks of the harvest are shown in Matt. 13. Christ is the One Who sows the seed. It shows the freewill of those who choose to love God and keep His commandments, and those who repent and receive the Holy Spirit of God.

There are a lot of 'do-gooders' who come along and they don't last. Jesus gave a parable showing that some fall where there's very little soil, some fall in the rocks, some in the weeds, and all of these don't have the staying power, because they haven't committed themselves to God!

Then Jesus said some things about that in Matt. 13, which covers various different aspects of it. Now let's come to the book of Revelation and tie this all together. The seven weeks have a special meaning, and remember: It's written in the Scripture of Truth in heaven above!

Rev. 1 is very profound, indeed! It shows that Jesus was the Lord God of the Old Testament. It shows in sequence the Holy Days and the Passover—because He died on the Passover Day. It shows the sequence of the Wave Sheaf Offering, because He was raised from the dead the third day. Then He ascended to the Father on the 4th day.

See how the world has it all mixed up because they don't believe God, they don't believe the Truth of God!

We're going to see, as we go through the book of Revelation, Jesus says to write! write! write! He wants it written down. Notice how it starts out:

Revelation 1:1: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him… [this came from God the Father] …to show to His servants the things that are ordained tocome to pass shortly… [that's on God's timetable] …and He made it known, having sent it by His angel to His servant John who gave witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and all the things he saw" (vs 1-2).

This is truly an amazing book! Now here in v 3 is what happens when you read it, believe it, understand it and have it properly put together. There's a special blessing that comes:

Verse 3: "Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand.

There's an obligation. You do a survey through all the book of Revelation and you will find every one of the Ten Commandments, either directly mentioned or alluded to. We also know that it's spiritually understood! It's not just a matter of reading it and you understand it. NO! Unless you do the things that are written in the book, you're not going to understand. You have to do the things that are written previously up to this point so that you're loving God and keeping His commandments.

Verse 4: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His throne."

The "…seven spirits…" are the seven eyes of God sent into all the earth. That's how God finds out those who are seeking Him. If they will repent and yield to the pulling of one of the seven spirits for them to come to repentance, but there's choice. There's always free choice.

Verse 5: "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to God and His Father; to Him be the glory and the sovereignty into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 5-6).

Here we have the very first part of the book of Revelation explaining an outline of the plan of God. You want to put this in a Holy Day setting: Passover and the Wave Sheaf Offering Day!

It also means this because if you believe in the death of Jesus Christ and you accept His sacrifice, then you must keep the Passover. If you believe that God meant it when He said to 'remember to keep the Sabbath,' you keep the Sabbath.

All of the fake Christianity out there in the world, as sanctimonious as they may be, can never be right with God with Sunday-keeping. Therefore, their understanding of prophecy is very spotty, indeed, because they don't have the Spirit of God, and they do not keep the Truth.

Verse 7: "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." That goes from here clear to Rev. 16 & 19!

Here's a lesson you need to understand concerning the Bible: Many times the Bible will tell you what is coming. In other words, a forecasting of what is coming. Here we have everything revealed to us:

  • the plan of God
  • our destiny
  • what we're going to do
  • what Christ has done

And He's coming!

When will those who pierced Him, see Him? They're not going to see Him in the flesh when He returns! But they will be in the second resurrection, and they will see Christ. Think of what those soldiers are going to do who took the nails and drove them into Christ's hands and feet, raised Him up on the stauros, and the soldier who took the spear and jammed it into His side clear up into His heart so that all of His blood and everything would spill out for the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God for the sin of the world.

  • think how their eyes are going to be opened
  • think about how they're going to repent

Knowing that they were instruments of God to do that! That's quite a thing!

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Remember that Rev. 1 is that you can liken it to the Passover and Wave Sheaf Offering Day. Let's see how this ties in with everything in the Old Testament.

Revelation 1:8: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega…" Why would Christ use those two terms? Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last letter, signifying that He wanted it written and caused it to be inspired to be written in Greek! Not Hebrew! Any Hebrew New Testament is a translation from the Greek, with the exception of maybe a few parts initially of Matthew when they had to write to explain to the new converts what the new Christian Passover was all about; when they had the Hebrew-speaking segment of the Church at that time (Acts 6).

"'…the Beginning and the Ending,' says the Lord…" (v 8).

So, He's tying Rev. all the way back to the beginning. How many prophecy are there all through the Old Testament and New Testament, that when you come to book of Revelation that's where their fulfillment is.

"…'Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come—the Almighty'…. [that's Christ] ….I, John, who am also your brother and joint partaker in the tribulation and in the kingdom and endurance of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ" (vs 8-9).

He was exiled all alone! This fulfills what Jesus said to Peter, when Peter wanted to know what was going to happen to John, 'What if I desire that he remain until I come?' Well, in giving the book of Revelation and the complete thing there, that's exactly what happened to John. He saw it in vision! That also shows the greatness of the Bible, and how tremendous it is!

Verse 10: "I [John] was in the Spirit on the Day of the Lord; and I heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind me, saying, 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…'" (vs 10-11)—ties the whole Bible together!

Now then, the last part of the Bible to be written by John is the book of Revelation. This is so different from the other writings of John that many of the so-called scholars say that this couldn't possibly be from John. The reason is because it's from Christ, Who received it from the Father, to John to write it down for the Church and the world!

"'…and what you see, write in a book… [God wants everything written down] …and send it to the churches that are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.' And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands" (vs 11-12)—probably in a circle, having nothing to do with the lampstand in the temple!

Verse 13: "And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of man, clothed in a garment reaching to the feet, and girded about the chest with a golden breastplate. And His head and hair were like white wool, white as snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire" (vs 13-14).

This is depicting Christ in a special spiritual revelation to John to show what it's going to be like to be a spirit being. God's plan is so great; we can just get a little miniscule bit of it, what God has given to us in understanding in Revelation.

But what is it going to be like at the resurrection? That's what we'll find out tomorrow, because Pentecost pictures the resurrection! Amazing, because that's the harvest! The harvest are those who are in the first resurrection!

Verse 15: "And His feet were like fine brass, as if they glowed in a furnace; and His voice was like the sound of many waters. And in His right hand He had seven stars, and a sharp two-edged sword went out of His mouth… [the Word of God] …and His countenance was as the sun shining in its full power" (vs 15-16).

Remember that Jesus took Peter, James and John up to the Mt. of Transfiguration, and they saw the vision of transfiguration. So, John knew that this was Christ, without a doubt; now with all the added details to it.

Verse 17: "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead; but He laid His right hand upon me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last…'" (vs 17-18).

Everything of God to from the beginning to the ending with everything in between, and all of it written down in the Scripture of Truth in heaven above. God the Father gave it to Jesus to give to John and told him to write it. See how all that ties together?

"…even the One Who is living; for I was dead, and behold, I am alive into the ages of eternity. Amen…." (v 18).

  • What's that going to be for all of us when we are alive into the ages of eternity?
  • What is God's plan going to be?

It's going to be so awesome that I don't believe our mind can handle it. The most we can understand is from some of the things written in the book of Revelation. Other than that there's no way we can grasp it.

But when we look out and see the stars in the universe and everything that is out there, we're told that we're going to be filled with the fullness of God, what is that going to be like? That's why we have Day 49, so we can understand that this devoted to the Church! The harvest of the Church along with the patriarchs and the kings will take place on Pentecost.

"…And I have the keys of the grave and of death" (v 18).

Think about how many people try and seek séances to get in contact with their dead relatives? They can't do it, because the dead no nothing, and the One Who has the key is Christ! He hasn't opened it yet, because that's signaling the resurrection.

Verse 19: "Write the things that you saw, and the things that are… [which He's going to tell John] …and the things that shall take place hereafter." Christ wants it written down so the Church can know!

Verse 20: "The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches… [to watch over the churches is an angel] …and the seven lampstands that you saw are the seven churches."

  • Why are there seven churches?
  • How many weeks are there to the harvest? Seven weeks!

The harvest for the resurrection is pictured by the seven churches!

When this was first given there were the seven churches in Asia literally on the mail route, beginning with Ephesus and ending with Laodicea. This was to be given to them. Now we know that in looking at the Scriptures that it is layered with understanding!

These are seven times down through history from Christ to the resurrection; seven ages of the churches! Then at the end, if you look at what's going on with the Churches of God in the world today, it is evident that the seven churches are there. God is doing so much more than we even know with so many more people, because He wants a great harvest for the first resurrection.

There are those today, who you could say are likened to those in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis Philadelphia and Laodicea. But in this age, the greatest preponderance are those in Laodicea.

Revelation 2:1: "To the angel of the Ephesian church, write: 'These things says He Who holds the seven stars in His right hand, Who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.'"

Christ is the Head of the Church, He's leading and guiding everything that is being done. There is a free moral agency that we are all given, that we must choose to do the things that God wants us to do. It shows that there's still the weakness of sin, difficulties and problems, and tribulations and challenges that all of those who are in the Churches of God will face.

If you've been in the Church a long time, maybe you can even see how some of these things happen in your life, just as an individual person, which covers many of the things connected with the seven churches.

Verse 2: "I know your works…" Christ says that to every one of them!

We're going to be judged by our works and by our faith. If you have the Holy Spirit of God, you're going to have the true works of righteousness motivated by the Spirit. We all have works!

 "…and your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot bear those who are evil; and that you did test those who proclaim themselves to be apostles, but are not, and did find them liars" (v 2). We still do that today!

Verse 3: "And that you have borne much and have endured, and for My name's sake have labored and have not grown weary… [we  must always keep at it] …nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love" (vs 3-4).

We've seen that in the Church. What is the first love? It's not when you're first converted! It is the love of God, the greatest commandment, the first commandment.

  • the first command is to 'love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being'
  • the second one is to 'love your neighbor as yourself'
  • the third one is to 'love the brethren as Jesus has loved us'
  • the fourth one 'to love our enemies'

But they lost the first love toward God! How did they do that? By doing physical activities in place of learning about God!

Verse 5: "Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; for if you do not, I will come to you quickly; and I will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent."

How much of that has happened with what we've experience? We don't know! But it's very possible! That happened, the Church changed!

Verse 6: "But this you have: that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate"—the top down authority of a hierarchy!

Notice how this ties in with the what Jesus said in many places in the Gospels:

Verse 7: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches…. [Who sends that Spirit? Christ! (2-Thess. 3). To the Churches, all of them!Not just one necessarily, but He takes each one of the seven and breaks them out.

"…To the one who overcomes…" (v 7). In every case its going to be, because we all have things we need to overcome, and we're not going to be in the Kingdom of God unless we overcome. Christ is there to help us!

"…I will give the right to eat of the Tree of Life that is in the midst of the paradise of God" (v 7).

As we go through each one of the seven churches here and the message to them. What Christ commends them for is that He recognizes all the good things that they do. But whatever correction is necessary, if you fit into the category, take it to yourself and then do whatever repenting you need to do to get back right with God.

Verse 8: "And to the angel of the Church of the Smyrneans write…"

If it only applied to that Church just in the first century, He wouldn't have it written down. Down through history:

  • many have suffered persecution
  • many have suffered going to jail
  • many have suffered death

We're going to see it again, because there's coming another martyrdom of the saints (Rev. 6).

"…These things says the First and the Last, Who was dead but is alive" (v 8). He wants them to understand that if you're alive now, don't fear death! There is nothing that anyone can do to you to deprive you have eternal life. IF you are martyred and you are faithful, and you have endured, you're guaranteed eternal life!

Verse 9: "I know your works and tribulation and poverty (but you are rich)… [notice the difference between that and the Church of Laodicea] …and the blasphemy of those who declare themselves to be Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan."

Remember that when anything important happens, Satan is there to try and destroy it!

Verse 10: "Do not fear any of the things that you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life."

We need to keep that in mind with everything that we have to look forward to in the future!

Verse 11: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death."

That's why we need to take these things and apply them to ourselves.

Verse 12: "And to the angel of the Church in Pergamos…" That's where Satan the devil was with the Temple of Zeus!

When you live in the middle of where all of this is going on, you're going to have some of those things affect you in what you do. We will see that that's what happened to those in the Church of Pergamos.

"…write: 'These things says He Who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know your works… [notice that he's warning them the correction is coming]: …and where you dwell, where the throne of Satan is; but you are holding fast My name, and did not deny My faith, even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.'"

They held fast, but the pressure from outside was too much. They made the mistake of accepting the church organization patterned after Satan's way; that is the Nicolaitans, authority from the top down. Now, you have to have authority but from the top down, that's from Christ; not to be ruled over by men as if the men were 'God.' That's the mistake that we all lived through!

Verse 14: "But I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication."

There is physical fornication and there is spiritual fornication. This is spiritual fornication probably, but because of the spiritual fornication the physical fornication got in with it! This is changing the Passover! That's what that was. What is the first thing that Satan always likes to change? The Passover! Look at the Churches of God today; even today it affects them and they call the Passover the Lord's Supper! When Paul said, 'You're not to eat the Lord's Supper, and if you're hungry eat at home' before you come to take the Passover!

Verse 15: "Moreover, you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate."

This is the thing that Jesus says He hates! Why? Because when you have that kind of Church organization you have:

  • politics
  • all of those seeking to please men rather than pleasing God
  • all of the sins that come in with it apply

Verse 16: "Repent!…." That's why repenting every day and being changed everyday, that's the way to keep out of trouble with these things!

"…For if you do not repent, I will come to you quickly, and will make war against them with the sword of My mouth" (v 16). Did we not have that correction come to the Church of God that we were also in? Yes! And it was like a war, and:

  • we had to live through it
  • we had to come out of it
  • we had to stay faithful to Christ under all circumstances

Verse 17: "The one who has an ear, let him hear… [you understand and act upon that] …what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes I will give the right to eat of the hidden manna; and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except the one who receives it." That will happen to all of us!

We don't know how much they repented, but we can look at the pattern of what happened in our day, and you have just about the same thing.

I got a notice from one of the Churches of God in Southern California—one of the ones who split off—and in order to keep people together, they adopted, in addition to the Holy Days, Christmas and Easter and all of that! A Church of God today! They didn't learn the lesson of the Church at Pergamos, so where is that going to lead?

Verse 18: "And to the angel of the Church in Thyatira write…"

Boy! Did they have a terrible time with the Catholic Church!! A lot of them suffered martyrdom, just like they did in Smyrna. A lot of them gave in and accepted the trinity and Sunday-worship. Sound a little like what happened today?

"…'These things says the Son of God, He Who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass. I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your endurance, and your works; and the last are more than the first'" (vs 18-19).

It's quite interesting that the Seventh Day Adventist Church traces its roots back to this. Look at what has happened to them. The Jesuits have infiltrated and changed almost everything! They have the Lord's Supper on the first Sabbath of every quarter. Amazing! They also keep Christmas, New Years, these things because that's the way they get along with the world, rather than telling the world to repent. Where is the Seventh Day Adventist Church today?

Sidebar: All the radio programs in the past that were put out by WCG (Worldwide Church of God) many of those people were excited to learn about the Sabbath and the first place they looked—because it was convenient—was the Seventh Day Adventist Church. So the preaching of that program did a lot to build up the Seventh Day Adventist Church. They have a lot of works today!

Verse 20: "But I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel…" The daughter of the high priest of Baal, or sun-worship! The Catholic Church is Baal-worship! So, here we have the interaction of the Catholic Church coming right into the Churches of God.

Note DVDs—Jesuit Agenda for the SDA Church—request them. You need to see those and see what happened to the SDA and what you will get out of that is exactly what happened to WCG. You can see how these seven churches are intermixed in all ages.

"…who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants into committing fornication… [another Jesus, another day of worship which spiritual fornication] …and eating things sacrificed to idols" (v 20)—the Eucharist, the Lord's Supper!

Verse 21: "And I gave her time to repent of her fornication, but she did not repent." Read that in Rome's Challenge to the Protestants right in Appendix N in the Faithful Version Bible.

Sidebar: We have all of these things in Bible because those are necessary to study to understand how we got to where we are today.

She didn't repent, v 22: "Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation… [sounds a little like what's coming down the road, churches together] …unless they repent of their works. And I will kill her children with death… [if you kill them, they're dead; you don't kill them to life; so this must mean the second death] …and all the churches shall know that I am He…" (vs 22-23).

Think about your life and what you're doing. Think about the church that you are in. Think about all of these things together and take it before God and see what you're doing.

"…Who searches the reins and hearts…" (v 23). God knows! Human nature likes to deceive itself and say, 'I'll just do this to get along, God will understand.' Yes, He will understand!

"…and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to you I say, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan…" (vs 23-24).l

There were those who knew the depths of Satan; what's going to happen to them? Second death! "…kill her children with death…"

"…as they speak; I will not cast upon you any other burden, but hold fast what you have until I come. And to the one who overcomes and keeps My works…" (vs 24-26).

If you're doing the works of God, those aren't yours (Eph. 2:10); it's works that are ordained that we walk in them. Speaking of salvation by grace to do the works of God, you do it through grace.

"…unto the end… [the end of their life] …I will give authority over the nations. and he shall shepherd them with an iron rod, as vessels of pottery are broken in pieces; as I have also received from My Father" (vs 26-27).

He's going to take that rod of iron and He's going to do some correcting. When the Millennium begins, believe me, there's going to be a lot of correcting that needs to be done, a lot of teaching that needs to be done. Think about what the world is today. We're the ones living at the end of the age, the last shall be first. We're the ones who are going to have to really help all the rest of the resurrected saints who have come through the ages understand what is happening in this modern age.

Verse 28: "And I will give him the morning star…. [the resurrection in glory] …The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (vs 28-29).

Revelation 3:1: And to the angel of the Church in Sardis… [after Thyatira the Church is now really beaten down and small] …write: 'These things says He Who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your works, and that you have a name as if you are alive, but are dead.'"

Notice what Christ tells them to do. Here they have been so pitiful and so beaten up and persecuted that those who were keeping the minimum bare things, God recognized and told them:

Verse 2: "Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, which are about to die. For I have not found your works complete before God. Therefore, remember what you have received and heard, and hold on to this, and repent. Now then, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you shall by no means know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments…" (v 2-4).

That's why there needs to be repentance, to get rid of the defilement on their garments. Remember that those who are going to marry Christ have to have the white linen of the saints, which is their righteousness.

"…and they shall walk with Me in white because they are worthy. The one who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life…" (vs 4-5).

Whoa! How many have had their name blotted out of the Book of Life down through time, because they weren't faithful? They didn't hear the warning of God!

"…but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (vs 5-6).

Verse 7: "And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write:…" The church of brotherly love; everyone wants to be that church.

But there's a church today that's called 'the church of brotherly love' that's anything but, because they are told they can't have fellowship with even unconverted members of their own family and Church members in other Churches of God. That's not the Church of Philadelphia. Isn't it amazing that every time that someone professes that their church is the Philadelphia Church, things come out that no it is not!

"…'These things says the Holy One, the One Who is true; the One Who has the key of David, Who opens and no one shuts, and Who shuts and no one opens'" (v 7).

Christ is directing His Church and what is done. That's why the churches are not to run down the road and do things that they think is going to help them get numbers of people into the Church. What you have to do is have the Church in the spiritual condition so that God can add more to it. That's the way it needs to be, because God will open the door! He has shut a lot of doors! What do we do when the doors are shut?

  • we draw close together
  • we study the Word of God
  • we grow in grace and knowledge

That's what we do!

Verse 8: "I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it because you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name."

Here's the lesson from here: under all circumstances:

  • love the brethren
  • keep the Word of God
  • keep the Truth of God

It is the Truth, the Truth, the Truth!

Verse 9: "Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who proclaim themselves to be Jews… [the ones really of God, how great they are] …and are not, but do lie. Behold, I will cause them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you." They're going to worship God at our feet!

Verse 10: "Because you have kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep you from the time of temptation…"

Note sermon: Temptation to Try the Whole World, which is the coming mark of the beast and the Tribulation follows that.

"…which is about to come upon the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth" (v 10). Think about that! Think about how close we are getting to that!

Verse 11: "Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have so that no one may take away your crown." There are a lot of men out there wanting to come in and take away your crown! Don't let them do that!

Notice the great promise given here, v 12: "The one who overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall not go out anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from My God; and I will write upon him My new name." Three names! That's fantastic!

Verse 13: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Verse 14: "And to the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, write…"

We're not going to spend a lot of time here, because we've spent a lot of time here before. But let's see what it is:

"…'These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginner of the creation of God. I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you be either cold or hot'" (vs 14-15). They are lukewarm or cool!

Verse 16: "So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth."

  • Why? Because the Laodiceans talk back to God!
  • What do they say?

Verse 17: "For you say, 'I am rich… [grown rich; started out small, but]: …and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'…" We need:

  • God every day
  • God's Spirit every day
  • mercy and forgiveness every day
  • growing and overcoming every day

There can never be a time when we say that we have 'need of nothing.' Look how quick it can be taken away. Look at what has happened with this Coronavirus thing! Look at what that has done; it came from Wuhan, China, and has affected 184 nations in the world. What did it do? It shut everything down! It can come 'just like that!'

When everything is nice and smooth, you really don't see yourself for what you really are. That's what Christ says here:

"…and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (v 17). You don't see it! You don't understand it! In other words, you're spiritually blind!

Verse 18: "I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire… [pure spiritual righteousness] …so that you may be rich… [spiritually] …and white garments so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see."

In other words, there's a spiritual blindness that has come upon Laodiceans, and they cannot see what their real problems are. Notice that God still loves you:

Verse 19: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent…. [notice what is necessary]: …Behold, I stand at the door and knock…." That door is the door of your mind! God is knocking! Christ is knocking so that you can see your life the way it really is!

"…If anyone hears My voice and opens the door… [repentance] …I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (v 20).

That is God will reinvigorate you with His Spirit! This is really telling us that some of the Laodiceans are not converted. We hope that going through with all of these lessons of the seven churches, as it applies to each one of us today, that:

  • we will repent
  • we will return
  • we will overcome

Notice Jesus' final admonition to the churches:

Verse 21: "To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne."

He wants us to do great things in the Millennium! That's why when the Spirit of God is knocking on the door of your mind, and giving you thoughts that you need to repent and come to God, you better do it!

Verse 22: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Seven weeks to the harvest and the day of the harvest comes next, and we'll see that tomorrow!

Scriptural References:

  • Daniel 10:19-21
  • Matthew 5:17-18
  • Psalm 119:89
  • Exodus 34:1, 27
  • Deuteronomy 10:1-2
  • Jeremiah 30:1-4
  • Jeremiah 36:1-2
  • Isaiah 41:4
  • Isaiah 44:6-10
  • Isaiah 45:5-7, 18-19
  • Matthew 4:2-4
  • John 6:63, 65
  • Leviticus 23:9-11
  • Revelation 1:1-20
  • Revelation 2:1-29
  • Revelation 3:1-22

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 13
  • Revelation 16; 19
  • Acts 6
  • 2 Thessalonians 2
  • Revelation 6
  • Ephesians 2:10

Also referenced:

  • DVDs—Jesuit Agenda for the SDA Church
  • Booklet: Rome's Challenge to the Protestants
  • Sermon: Temptation to Try the Whole World

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 5/3/20

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