GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

08-10-2022

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

PDF: GBC08102022NOTES

Christian Soldier 93, Doctrine Of The Rapture, 21.

 

GBIBLE.ORG

 

We have now come to the end of our doctrine of the Rapture which is;

 

Y Point 15. The Rapture and the Big Genuflex and conclusion.

 

And with this in mind we are now noting verse by verse from our main passage in REV 1 which describes the reasons why we will bow down before Him when we see Him and all His glory.

 

REV 1:7 expresses the fact that Jesus Christ is the key to prophecy so the next verse expresses the doctrine that Jesus Christ is the key to history.

 

REV 1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.

 

When John writes in REV 1:8  "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

 

On Sunday morning, we began to note the fact that;

 

The Alpha and the Omega, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the author of all our prosperity.

 

Now, we never got a chance to get to these principles on prosperity on Sunday so here they are for the faithful of the Wednesday night students.

 

  1. (Y) No prosperous nation or client nation to God, as Israel was, even in prosperity, perpetuates its spiritual life if they do not obey the commands or doctrines of God; LEV 26:14-46.

 

  1. (Y)  Prosperity, for the carnal believer, inevitably results in neglect of truth or doctrine; 1CO 3:1-3.

 

Therefore;

 

  1. (Y)  Many believers take the prosperity they received from the PPOG and seek to enjoy what they gained from living in the plan of God by taking their prosperity to live in the cosmic system.

 

Since we are in the book of Revelation, look at REV 3:14.

 

REV 3:14  "And to the messenger of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

 

Now in Rev 3:15, We have an estimate of the situation.

 

REV 3:15  'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot.

 

REV 3:16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

 

Now, in verse 17, we note that these people who are in this category have certain kinds of prosperity.

 

They may have certain kinds of success and prosperity but their success and prosperity does not bring them happiness.

 

 

REV 3:17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,

 

“wretched” = no capacity for prosperity.

 

“miserable” = no happiness from prosperity.

 

“poor or impotent” = no power or strength in prosperity.

 

“blind” = no perception of truth.

 

“naked” = no uniform of honor in time and therefore no uniform of glory in eternity.

 

REV 3:18  I advise or counsel you to buy with perception of doctrine,

 

from me gold = something of value.

 

 “refined by fire” = the gold of Bible doctrine refined by fire is the inspiration of canonicity.

 “in order that you may become rich” = prosperous through spiritual wealth.

 

“and white garments” = the uniform of glory worn over your resurrection body.

 

that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;

 

The shame of your nakedness will be revealed at the judgment seat of Christ.

 

and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see or perceive spiritually with the eyes of your heart.

 

REV 3:19 'Those whom I [phileo] love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.

 

REV 3:20  'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.

 

That knock at the door is warning discipline because God loves you.

This describes believers who have a measure of wealth and they are prosperous but they have forgotten the source of their prosperity and live in the lusts of their soul.

 

JAM 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

 

Principle # 4

 

  1. (Y) In the cosmic system the believer becomes preoccupied with the results of prosperity rather than the origin of where it came from; 2TI 2:1-5.

 

His life is wrapped up in pleasure, promotion, success, status symbols, social life, sex, wealth, material things, etc.

 

  1. (Y) The issue is are you focused on the gift or the Giver.

 

There are a few passages in the OT that teach that.

 

For example,

 

DEU 6:10  "Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build,

 

This was undeserved blessings and prosperity.

 

DEU 6:11 and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be satisfied,

 

DEU 6:12 then watch yourself, lest you forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

 

Go forward to chapter 8 beginning with Deu 8:6.

 

DEU 8:6 "Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

 

DEU 8:7 "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;

 

DEU 8:8  a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;

 

DEU 8:9  a land where you shall eat food without scarcity, in which you shall not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.

 

DEU 8:10  "When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

 

DEU 8:11  "Beware lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today;

 

DEU 8:12 lest, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them,

 

 

DEU 8:13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies,

 

DEU 8:14 then your heart becomes proud, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

 

Principle # 6

 

  1. (Y) The prosperity test is the most subtle and difficult of all tests for both the individual and the nation involved.

 

That what this grieving is about in verse seven of REV 1.

 

In the prosperity test, there are people have selected the wrong thing and now they are grieving because they have made an irreparable mistake.

 

That is especially true in the Tribulation.

 

 

If you are still alive there is no such thing as an irreparable mistake for you as a believer.

 

You may pay for it and you will suffer for it, but it isn’t irreparable as long as you’re alive.

 

(Pinch yourself!)

 

  1. (Y) It is subtle because it requires as much if not more doctrine for both capacity and perpetuation of prosperity.

 

It is subtle because it takes more doctrine to pass the test than anything else, and the prosperity test is difficult because you forget the origin of the prosperity.

 

  1. (Y) Too often prosperity becomes the enemy of right priorities or true scale of values.

 

LUK 12:13  And someone in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."

 

 

LUK 12:14 But He said to him, "Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbiter over you?"

 

LUK 12:15 And He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."

 

LUK 12:16 And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a certain rich man was very productive.

 

LUK 12:17 "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?'

 

LUK 12:18 "And he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

 

LUK 12:19 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."'

 

 

LUK 12:20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'

 

LUK 12:21 "So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

 

  1. This ties in with manifest destiny where there is a struggle for freedom, then there is the establishment of freedom through military victory.

 

There is capacity for freedom and the enjoyment.

 

There is the test of freedom because prosperity comes through military victory which is how we secure our freedom.

 

  1. (Y) The prosperity of the nation eventually destroys the nation.

 

(Take ours)

 

 

 

  1. (Y) When people are prosperous, they start looking for pleasure and doctrine takes a back seat and so does freedom.

 

So,

 

  1. (Y) The true expressions of prosperity are freedom and doctrine but the inevitable expressions of prosperity come from the cosmic system, and that means pleasure with problems.

 

It is possible to perpetuate prosperity under freedom but it is not probable for any length of time.

 

Start with the old sin nature and you have your first cause, but it requires a large pivot of mature believers.

 

It requires consistent positive volition toward doctrine for that prosperity to be perpetuated.

 

As goes the believer so goes the client nation, MAT 5:13-14; GEN 18.

 

 

GEN 18:16-33, is a perfect illustration of the impact that believers can have as nation even though they are in the minority, like Noah, Daniel, and Job; EZE 14:20.

 

GEN 18:16   Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off.

 

GEN 18:17  And the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,

 

GEN 18:18  since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?

 

GEN 18:19 "For I have chosen him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice; in order that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him."

 

 

 

GEN 18:20 And the Lord said, "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.

 

GEN 18:21 "I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know."

 

GEN 18:22   Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord.

 

GEN 18:23  And Abraham came near and said, "Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?

 

GEN 18:24  "Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?

 

 

 

 

GEN 18:25 "Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"

 

GEN 18:26 So the Lord said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account."

 

GEN 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, "Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes.

 

GEN 18:28 "Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, wilt Thou destroy the whole city because of five?" And He said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty five there."

 

GEN 18:29  And he spoke to Him yet again and said, "Suppose forty are found there?" And He said, "I will not do it on account of the forty."

 

 

 

GEN 18:30 Then he said, "Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?" And He said, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."

 

GEN 18:31 And he said, "Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the twenty."

 

GEN 18:32 Then he said, "Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the ten."

 

GEN 18:33 And as soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed; and Abraham returned to his place.

 

Since these things were so significant, we must have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and freedom through military victory.

 

 

Why do the Jews suffer periodically the most terrible persecutions?

 

We know through Genesis 12:1-3 and other passages of the Word of God that anti-Semitism will always be punished.

 

GEN 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you;

 

GEN 12:2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;

 

GEN 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. "

 

Notice:

 

If we bless the Jews, we will be blessed by God.

If we curse the Jews, we will be cursed by God.

 

Gentiles (not Jews) often suffer a counter holocaust because of their attitude toward the Jews.

 

We have no right to punish the Jews.

 

The right to punish the Jews belongs to God, and in His integrity, only God can do it in perfect justice.

 

Therefore, we accept Jews into our land and they make wonderful citizens on the whole.

 

Now;

 

In REV 1:8, Jesus Christ is the key to history and the principle of Omega glory: the issue is do you accept it or reject it?

 

The omega glory of Jesus Christ enters history and becomes the key to history for us as a nation collectively and the key to your destiny individually as a person.

 

 

 

In REV 1:8, it is Israel’s failure collectively to recognize Omega glory that led to their removal as a client nation.

 

The Alpha glory of our Lord Jesus Christ is related to the fact that Jesus Christ is God, coequal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

 

The Alpha glory of Jesus Christ is related to His divine essence, His integrity, plus the fact that Jesus Christ is the creator of the world.

 

All of the attributes of deity belong to our Lord Jesus Christ and none of them were in any way compromised by the hypostatic union.

 

So,

 

When Jesus Christ says, “I am the Alpha” He is referring to the fact of His deity.

 

Omega, on the other hand, refers to our Lord Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union and is related to the First Advent.

The Omega glory is what the Jews have ignored.

 

It refers to the fact that historically He has come.

 

Our next verse from our main passage on the Rapture and the Big Genuflex from our main passage of REV 1:7-14 is verse 9.

 

REV 1:9   I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

 

In verse 9, the human author of the book of Revelation was;

 

The apostle John who was functioning as a believer priest inside the PPOG, as a one-person congregation, on a Sunday morning in AD 96, on the island of Patmos.

 

For one of the historical trends of the Church-age: where there is no tyranny;

 

 

Whoever rules the land is not the major issue but it is the system of administration and the system of government that counts.

 

At the time that John wrote this;

 

Rome was being beautifully administered by the knights of Rome but the senate had become decadent.

 

The Caesar was a very evil man at the time.

 

It is only when tyranny creeps in that what the top man has to say has significance.

 

Why?

 

Because He is a tyrant!

 

What is a tyrant?

 

 

 

 

A tyrant is a ruler who uses power oppressively or unjustly. It is any person in a position of authority who exercises power oppressively and unjustly for his own satisfaction.

 

Those who do not obey will be harshly treat as;

 

Tertullian wrote in the 2nd century when he said the apostle John was thrown into a pot of boiling oil in the Colosseum, but he did not suffer at all from what should have been a gruesome method of execution.

 

How many times did they try and boil the apostle John?

 

Some say as much as four times.

 

Finally, they threw Him on an Island for the mentally disturbed.

 

John’s persecutors sought to nullify his effectiveness by isolating him but they forgot one thing: Jesus Christ controls history.

 

And,

It was the Lord’s will for him, to be separated from his enemies so that he could get out of the routine of the messages his churches had been getting and concentrate on the future of the Church in the book of Revelation.

 

It was time for John to write.

 

The closing book of the New Testament must demonstrate everything that would happen in history by way of trends from the time of John to the end of the Church-age which is the time of historical trends.

 

This was to give believers in the Church-age [not the Tribulation] an understanding of what would happen in history after the Church was removed, and how to relate it to their lives now.

 

This is how to grow spiritually from understanding both the historical trends and the eschatological trends beginning in chapter six.

 

 

 

 

REV 1:9   I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

 

So, out of John’s pressures and persecutions from evil rulers comes blessing for him.

 

But not only blessing for John in isolation but blessing for believers in every generation for the rest of history.

 

For John was isolated under the principle of cursing turned to blessing.

 

God the Holy Spirit inspired John to present to us the history of the world from his time to the end of the world and to present it in such a understanding way and it has great application to us.

 

Out of John’s pressure comes blessing and for countless generations of the Royal Family of God who have benefited from the study of REV 1.

 

 

John, as a believer priest at the time of verse 9, was engaged in worship of our Lord Jesus Christ when this one-man service was interrupted by the sudden appearance of our Lord Himself.

 

They tried to kill the apostle John many times but they failed, so they tried to boil him in oil but the Lord was his wall of fire and protected him so they finally dropped him on the island of Patmos.

 

We must also remember that John did not neglect worship when alone.

 

For if ever you need Bible doctrine and its application, it is when you are alone, for what you are when you are alone determines everything else.

 

That’s who you really are.

 

If I were to give you the corrected translation of verse 9 it would sound something like this;

 

 

 

REV 1:9 “I John, your fellow believer and partner in the pressures, and the kingdom, and the perseverance [persistence in the PPOG] of Jesus, came to be on the island, the one being called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony concerning Jesus.”

 

The next verse is:

 

REV 1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,

 

The Lord’s day is on Sunday according to the

1CO 16:2.

In REV 1:10, John writes, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,

 

This was the voice of our Lord teaching the apostle Paul through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, what was about to come in the future for the Church.

 

 

 

First of all, let’s notice some principles in this verse concerning the importance of the word voice.

 

Principles:

 

  1. (Y) Since a voice is not visible to the eye it identifies with a person who has a message and therefore even with our Lord Jesus Christ it is still the importance of the message that counts.

 

  1. (Y) John refers to the person who owns the voice and he is going to see a form which he will associate with that voice.

 

And that association is found chapters two and three of the book of Revelation.

 

The voice is seen and heard from time to time throughout the rest of Revelation.

 

So, what is coming up, the form identified with that voice, is the key to interpretation of Revelation for it is  the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

Therefore;

 

  1. (Y) The voice demands attention, concentration, objectivity, poise, and good manners, everything necessary for good academic discipline.

 

On the Island of Patmos, it was a time when the apostle John began writing world history as it would occur sequentially down to the end of time.

 

Being filled with the Spirit, John fulfils his job.

 

He fulfils it under the principle of worship,

 

For there is resultant worship as John meets with himself on a Sunday morning on the Island of Patmos.

 

Worship is the function of the PPOG (protocol) and there is no legitimate worship in Christianity apart from residence and function inside the (predesigned) PPOG.

 

And when John writes that he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day it refers to the day belonging to the Lord.

 

Sunday is designated as the worship day for the Royal Family in the Church Age because it was the day of our Lord’s resurrection.

 

The “Lord’s Day” not only commemorates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ but is a new day marking a new dispensation.

 

The Sabbath or Saturday was designated the day of worship for Israel but never for the Church or the Royal Family of God. COL 2:16; 1Co 5:7.

 

The Sabbath is for the Jews not for the gentiles or the Church.

 

Worship on Sunday is the privilege of the believer and, as such, must reflect his freewill option.

 

The Day of Pentecost occurred on Sunday and therefore commemorates the day the Church began.

 

Sunday or the Lord’s Day is a reminder that the Church-age is a dispensation of privilege for believers who are the Royal Family of God.

In verse 10, we read;

 

REV 1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,

 

The trumpet was also used in the ancient world for issuing commands in the military.

 

The trumpet therefore demanded concentration, obedience, execution of commands.

 

Concentration under the ministry of the Holy Spirit is necessary for perception of the protocol plan of God (PPOG).

 

John’s service was interrupted to provide the apostle John with both the historical trends of the Church-age and the prophetical pattern of what will happen after the resurrection of the Church.

 

The trumpet is the alert signal that the trends are about to begin.

 

Therefore, look at the next verse in REV 1 which is verse 11 where the voice that Joh heard from our Lord was in;

 

REV 1:11 saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."

 

This one has a lot of information about it.

 

In verse 11 we have the divine mandate for the writing and distribution of the book of Revelation.

 

For up until the time;

 

John was banished by the evil religious rulers to the Island of Patmos when John was a face-to-face pastor with the congregation in Ephesus and a non-face to face pastor with the other six churches mentioned in this verse.

 

 

 

He is going to send this book back to Ephesus, and furthermore, being an apostle, he also had the gift to pastor more than one church and John was a pastor of all seven of those churches until he went to Patmos.

 

But there are going to be pastors of all seven of those churches in the future and he is to write the first two chapters to future pastors.

 

Because, as we have noted in the past, under typology, we all fit into the characteristics of one of those churches a believer,

 

REV 1:11 saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."

 

How do these churches fit into a prophetic book?

 

John is writing to the ministers of those churches with instructions.

 

 

Throughout the history of the church, there have been different types of churches.

 

All seven of those mentioned in verse 11 speak of the type of churches that a believer fits into.

 

In other words, as an example;

 

Are you a Philadelphia believer who is hot or a Laodicean believer who is lukewarm?

 

Which one are you?

 

Which church would you be comfortable in?

 

Which one would you fit into?

 

Basically, all churches fall into one of seven different categories, with some combination of characteristics.

 

Each of those seven types existed in John’s Day, just like in typology in our day, believers fit into one of the different descriptions described about each one of these Churches.

You say;

 

"Why did He select those seven when there were other churches in that world that he could have selected?"

 

Those seven churches exactly represent the seven different types of believers.

 

The same seven types exist today.

 

Although every individual in a church is different, churches still fall into categories that make them different from other churches.

 

You can go to one church that is totally different than another church.

 

It is the mixture of people who make them different, but they still seem to fit into one of those seven categories.

 

For example;

 

 

 

If a majority of the members running the church are Ephesian-type people, then the church will be an Ephesian-type church.

 

If most of the people are Laodicean-type people, then the church will be a Laodicean-type church.

 

Whoever rules the church will determine what type it will be.

 

John portrays the different types of churches in Revelation 2-3, and he begins with;

 

  1. (Y) The Church at Ephesus, REV 2:1-4.

 

REV 2:1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:  The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:

 

Now, right away we have problems with the translation.

 

 

 

The word angel is angeloo and it means messenger, not angel, and therefore it refers to the pastor-teacher who is to communicate these things.

 

REV 2:2 'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;

 

REV 2:3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.

 

REV 2:4 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

 

The church at Ephesus had fallen out of love with TLJC.

 

The warmth was gone.

 

The fire and flame had waned.

 

Here was a church that was doctrinally correct, but was cold.

Are you?

 

Do you fit into being an Ephesus type of believer?

 

You can be right theologically, but if you have lost your first love for Jesus Christ, then your theology is nothing but cold academics.

 

It is the beautiful combination of sound doctrine and love for Christ that makes a church what it should be.

 

The Ephesian church represents the church that is doctrinally pure, yet cold.

 

It had lost its first love because the people willingly walked away from it --- just like many have throughout the years, they got tired of doctrine.

 

If they leave to go to another doctrinal church, I understand, but we have seen that most of those who have left are going absolutely nowhere at all.

 

And, by the way,

 

For those who are following a pastor who has gone home to be with the Lord, and you justify following a dead teacher, then why don’t you study from the apostle Paul, because he has gone home to be with the Lord as well.

 

There is nothing wrong with listening and reading from those who have gone home to be with the Lord, but you still have to find a pastor-teacher who can teach you what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

 

You might as well just follow Jesus and no one else because He is in Heaven just like the others are.

 

As you can see,

 

You need someone alive today to teach you what the Spirit is saying to the churches in these last days.

 

It’s always the message and not the man.

 

The next church is;

 

  1. (Y) The Church at Smyrna.

The church at Smyrna represents the suffering, persecuted church.

 

REV 2:8   "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ¶ The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:

 

REV 2:9 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

 

REV 2:10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

 

REV 2:11 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'

 

You say, "I don't know of any suffering churches."

 

What about the church in China?

They are suffering.

 

No one knows how many tens of thousands of Christians have been martyred in Communist China or in different areas of Africa and India and Arab nations.

 

Even closer to home, missionaries suffer abuse in South America.

 

Some of the Christians who really love TLJC even suffer abuse in the United States.

 

Do you fit into that category?

 

  1. (Y)  The Church at Pergamum.

 

This is the church that married the world.

 

REV 2:13 'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is;

 

Where is Satan's throne?

 

He is the prince of the world.

The church that marries the world is characterized by a country club atmosphere with no standards.

 

It is socially oriented--doing anything for the sake of social preservation.

 

It is compromising--never taking a true stand.

 

It lowers its standards to cater to compromising people.

 

It is more concerned with the fashions of the world than with the things of God.

 

There are many of those kind of churches with believers existing today.

 

  1. (Y) The Church at Thyatira.

 

REV 2:18   "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ¶ The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

 

 

REV 2:19 'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.

 

REV 2:20 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

 

That is the sinful church that teaches false doctrine.

 

Sin and false doctrine always appear together.

 

Whenever false doctrine enters into a church, sin follows.

 

For example,

 

The church at Corinth was subject to false teachers and as a result, sin became widespread throughout the church; 1CO 3:1-3.

 

 

The church at Thyatira represents the church characterized by sin and false doctrine.

 

Where there is a tolerance for false doctrine, theological liberalism begins to creep in and the gospel is watered down.

 

Everything becomes love and morality and eventually with no integrity, it turns into carnality and love for sin.

 

That is how Satan brings about sin.

 

Also, they teach what is known as the Social Gospel.

 

When the social gospel replaces the true gospel, sin becomes widespread because false doctrine removes the doctrine of Christ as taught in the Word of God.

 

It teaches different doctrines about the inspiration of Scripture, the deity of Jesus Christ, His blood atonement, and His second coming.

 

When the true gospel is watered down by false doctrine and the social gospel, sin is the natural result.

  1. (Y) The Church at Sardis.

 

REV 3:1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:   He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

 

REV 3:2  'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.

 

REV 3:3 'Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.

 

REV 3:4 'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy.

 

REV 3:5 'He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.

REV 3:6 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

 

At a Sardian-type church, someone cuts the grass, paints the walls, prints the bulletin, and stands in the pulpit, but that church isn't alive; it's dead.

 

The church at Sardis is the dead church.

 

How would you fit into that type of church?

 

I remember a particular church that was experiencing much growth, and the pastor was excited about it.

 

The church had received the building and property for free and could have had a great impact and testimony but the pastor drove people away.

 

Today it still exists!

 

People walk in and out of it, but it's not alive; it's dead.

 

A dead church is worthless to God.

Would any of you fit into that church, I don’t think so!

 

  1. (Y) The Church at Philadelphia.

 

This is a beautiful doctrinal church.

 

REV 3:7   "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ¶ He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:

 

REV 3:8  'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

 

REV 3:9 'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie   behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

 

 

 

 

REV 3:10 'Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.

 

REV 3:11 'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown.

 

REV 3:12 'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it 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 comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

 

REV 3:13 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

 

In REV 3:8, God has opened a door to the world in this church.

 

People can go through it to reach the world with the gospel.

 

This is also a church where TLJC is not denied.

 

Its strength is in God, who said, "My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2Co 12:9).

 

This is a faithful, Christ- honoring, zealous, missionary-minded church that is alive with the flame of evangelism and in love with Jesus Christ and His word.

 

This is the kind of church that brings glory to God.

 

You say, "Is it the perfect church?"

 

No.

 

According to verse 9, they had their problems, too but if ever there was a church that close to perfection, it was the church at Philadelphia.

 

It shunned sin, false doctrine, and compromise, and it kept its love alive.

 

How would you fit into that type of Church?

Finally, the seventh Church mentioned in our main passage of Rev 1 is:

 

  1. Y) The Church at Laodicea.

 

This is the apostate church where Satan dwells.

 

It is a church that has been influenced as a counterfeit.

 

REV 3:15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot.

 

REV 3:16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

 

This is the church that sickens God and makes Him vomit.

 

It is on its way to the sin unto death or to hell, whether or not.

 

It is a liberal church run by a cult that denies the true gospel.

 

It is accursed and damned, but will thrive during the Tribulation.

 

With the exception of Smyrna and Philadelphia, the churches progressed from bad to worse.

 

 

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