The book of Revelation is a direct revealing of latter day events by Jesus Christ to John, and through John to the faithful disciples of Christ who live by every Word of God the Father.
The Book is about events FUTURE from the time these things were revealed to John.
The messages to ALL of the seven churches are instructive for the present situation and for every called out individual.
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
The prophecies were sealed until the end time, when the time of their fulfillment is at hand (Dan 12), Revelation 5 will confirm this.
At the very End Time the Sealed Books will be unsealed and spiritual knowledge and understanding will be increased (Dan 12) for the faithful to God. We have the promise of God in Daniel 12, confirmed by Revelation 5. The books of the prophecies will be opened to the understanding of the faithful when their redemption is at hand!
We are not only to hear and understand, we are to KEEP the words of the book of Revelation! A blessing is pronounced on those who faithfully KEEP the words of Revelation including the messages to all seven churches, by correcting their faults as identified by Jesus Christ.
1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
ALL of the seven churches existed together at the same time in the first century when John wrote this, and ALL seven attitudes, strengths and issues have always existed at the same time together through history from the first century to today; and all seven attitudes, strengths and issues exist together at the same time today!
All of these seven churches existed together at the same time and all of these messages are for us today.
The seven churches are about seven different attitudes, strengths and problems in the Ekklesia and are written to the WHOLE of the Ekklesia, to each one of us; and all of these messages were written for the guidance of the entire New Covenant Ekklesia through the centuries from the first century to today, so that each and every one of us may examine ourselves as to our own spiritual condition.
Of course different attitudes may dominate organizations at different times therefore these seven can be successive, however we must not use this successive era concept designed to try to justify ignoring most of the messages by claiming that they are for others: When we should be taking every message personally and applying ALL of the scripture to ourselves for our own benefit.
Brethren, as verse 3 makes clear, ALL of this Book was written for EVERY PERSON in the Ekklesia at all times!
Nowhere does John record that this was on some mail route and that these churches represent seven successive consecutive eras! That thought is not in the scriptures and such an assumption amounts to obscuring the meaning by adding something which is not there: When the meaning is that EVERY message applies to EVERY person
ALL seven churches existed at the same time together in the first century; and all of these problems have existed in the Ekklesia throughout history since the first century, and they all exist in the Ekklesia today!
The true Ekklesia has always been a mix of people with every one of these attitudes! In today’s corporate or scattered Ekklesia; ALL of these messages are applicable because each group is a mix of all of these different attitudes in its individual brethren, as well as many tares and many wrongfully baptized outright briers and brambles.
In fact this situation is climaxing today at the end time, fulfilling the prophecies of a great falling away from true godliness!
The problems of all of these seven churches exist in the Ekklesia at the same time today, just as they have existed throughout the period from the first century to today.
Every one of these messages from Jesus Christ is a personal message to each and every one of us, alerting us to what we should look out for, and warning us what to examine ourselves for.
All seven church attitudes exist today and ALL of these messages are for every one of us today! Each of us needs to examine himself honestly to see if we have any of these problems. We all need to remember that NO corporate church is a true church of God at all, and that the true Ekklesia is made up of every called out person!
1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat [the Word of God]; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink [in the physical sense; just as we must do in both the physical and the spiritual sense]: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters [referring to today’s spiritual idolatry], as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
10:8 Neither let us commit fornication [Pornea, means any disloyalty to our spouse; today referring to following any other than the whole Word of God as inspired by Jesus Christ our espoused Husband], as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ [by not being faithful to His Word and so challenging his authority as our head], as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10:10 Neither murmur ye [We are not to complain against and blame Christ and the Father for our trials and we are not to try to mitigate trials by compromising with God’s Word; instead we are to run to God and cry out to our Mighty Deliverer for salvation: Remember Job.], as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
The Seven Churches
Each one of the seven spirits is the spirit overseer [angel spirit] of one of the seven churches, helping Jesus Christ who is over all.
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed [the sincerely repentant] us from our sins in his own blood,
The reward of those chosen to be changed to spirit at the early harvest is to be made eternal kings and priests of the order of Jesus Christ [Melchizedek] unto God the Father.
As kings [rulers] and priests [teachers of godliness] it will be our mission to bring many to the righteousness of understanding and zealously living by every Word of God!
Most tend to think that today’s terrible example of elders dominating the brethren is the right way to go, and look forward to dominating others in the Kingdom.
NO, NO, NO, Absolutely NOT. This attitude of the Nicolaitane which allows men to come between the brethren and God and dominate the brethren is an abomination to Jesus Christ.
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father [Did you catch that? The resurrected Jesus Christ is here referred to a God and with God the Father!]; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Very soon now Jesus Christ is coming from heaven and will be seen in the skies of the earth, and all who live at that time will see him. Later in their own time of physical resurrection, those who killed him will also see him and will weep and deeply repent.
When Christ comes all humanity alive after the last battle, when the political and spiritual rulers of spiritual Babylon are destroyed and Satan with his demonic followers are imprisoned; will sincerely repent and turn to live by every Word of God the Father, and the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28).
1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail [sincerely repent] because of him. Even so, Amen.
Jesus Christ existed from the beginning and will exist until the end. Of God’s family there will be no end; and all of the wicked will have their end in the lake of fire by the power of Jesus Christ! He will NOT tolerate any willful sin, but will cast the unrepentant who will not stop sinning into the fire of eternal destruction.
1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
John had been exiled to the island of Patmos because of his preaching of Christ.
1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
John was in spirit; that is, he saw a vision.
The term Lord’s Day refers to the latter day “Day of the Lord” when Christ comes, so the vision regarding the seven churches was a vision that the end time seven churches would all together at the Day of the Lord when Christ comes, and the issues being revealed are the issues in the Ekklesia TODAY!
This vision was about seven contemporaneous churches in the first century which all existed at the same time, this is NOT about any first century mail route which is NOT scriptural and is a false assumption of men added to the scriptures! The vision is dual using the conditions in the first century seven churches to reveal that these same conditions would exist today!
The vision is about seven church problems which existed then and would exist during the latter days, our time today: the Day of the Lord’s coming!
1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
The whole Book of Revelation is addressed to the seven brother churches as types representing the seven primary issues of the end time Ekklesia.
1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
The whole Book of Revelation was to be sent to every one of the seven churches of Asia in John’s time; and while a particular problem might dominate a specific organization, the specific messages to each of the seven churches did apply at that time to all of them!
In John’s time the seven churches all existed at the same time; and in this latter day; all seven messages are applicable for the instruction of EVERY individual converted person!
The Lamp Stand
In King James England the use of candles was the common method of lighting in the land, so they improperly translated oil burning lamps [lamp stands] as candlesticks; and olive oil lamps as candles. When you see the terms candles or candlesticks: read oil burning lamps or oil lamps [Menorah].
The olive oil represents the Holy Spirit which is available to the Ekklesia and to every truly converted individuals; which if used, like the oil in a lamp being burned to produce light, will produces the light of a godly example for all others to see.
Today, the flow of the oil of the Holy Spirit has been quenched because the Ekklesia is spiritually asleep; and must be awakened and must fill their lamps with the oil of the Holy Spirit in sincere repentance so they can be resurrected to life eternal: Remember the Ten Virgins.
It is explained in Zechariah 4 that the latter day Ekklesia has quenched God’s Spirit and is about to die, and it is God’s merciful correction of great tribulation which God will use to revive them, bringing them to sincere repentance and turning them to a passion for godliness and reviving them so that the oil of God’s Spirit might make them to shine brightly in passionate godliness.
In Zechariah 4 the golden lamp or menorah is presented, which is a single lamp stand with seven branches, each branch representing one of the latter day churches of Revelation. God’s correction and the instruction of God’s two servants will revive all seven branches of the lamp stand.
1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [Oil Burning Lamps] one like unto the Son of man,
Jesus Christ and the Seven Spirits
. . . clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars [The seven spirits of the seven latter day churches in his hand, serve Jesus Christ, each church represented by a branch of the Menorah lamp stand.]: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword [The sharp sword if the TRUTH of God; which most of the brethren reject today to maintain their false traditions.]: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
John worshiped the resurrected Jesus Christ and fainted in awe of him.
1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Jesus Christ was given the keys of judgment to serve God the Father and save the godly faithful as God’s ONLY mediator, reconciler and High Priest of the restored order of Melchizedek, and to correct the wicked who stray away from a zeal to live by every Word of God and instead follow idols of men.
1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
John is commanded to write what he sees.
1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks [the seven oil burning lamps; Menorah] which thou sawest are the seven churches.
The Seven Churches
ALL the words of this Book are for the instruction of ALL of God’s people.
Each one of us needs to take a very serious look at every one of the messages and examine ourselves closely as to whether we can learn from them about our own condition; and so profit from these messages in our own personal spiritual growth.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Brethren, How long will we cherry pick scripture to arrogantly claim that the good things are about us and any correction is about others; refusing to examine ourselves by the WHOLE Word of God? How long will we justify our sins by claiming that certain instructions apply only to others and not to ourselves?
ALL of these messages are for EVERYONE who reads the Book. That means that EVERY message is a personal message to each one of us today!
Saying that these messages are for sequential periods and not for us today is rejecting the loving instructions of Jesus Christ as he works to save us!
Jesus Christ speaks directly to those who have lost their first love and zeal to live by every Word of God.
Do you remember the passion of your first love for God and the scriptures? Do you remember how we eagerly rushed to the scriptures to see whether some new thing we were learning was true? Do you remember how we tested many things to discern right from wrong and the joy of discovery which we had at finding some truth new to us?
Do you remember how we lay awake at night trying to understand God’s Word and meditating on the Word of God every moment we could?
Did we not Hunger and Thirst; BURNING with passion to learn – to understand – to know the whole Word and Will of God? Did we not want to learn the things of God; to be like God our Father and passionately, joyously, wholeheartedly follow God’s every Word?
Our burning love for our God and his Word was like the passion of a starving man for food, or a thirsty man for water; Or as a man and his bride yearning to be one with each other on their wedding day!
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Can you remember how we loved good and hated evil and tested all men and all things, seeking to live by every Word of God? Can you remember the joy we felt in our study of God’s Word at every truth we discovered and how we rushed to embrace it and to keep it? Do you remember how we eagerly rushed to repudiate sin and turn to truth as soon as we learned the Will of God in some matter?
Remember how we tested the words of all those who made claims of godliness and rejected all error for the truth of God?
Remember how much we endured for our love of God? How we were made a laughingstock by our friends, family and neighbors? Yet we patiently endured the pain and the disgrace heaped upon us, because of our passionate love for God and his Word!
2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s [to exalt the authority of God] sake hast labored [to grow in knowledge and an understanding of true godliness], and hast not fainted.
2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Brethren, generally in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia we have grown weary with well doing and have fallen away from our first passionate love and zeal for godliness! We have fallen spiritually asleep content to follow idols of men, false traditions and corporate institutions in place of following our espoused Husband and living by the Will and by every Word of God the Father.
We have lost our fire of passionate love for God the Father and for our Husband Jesus Christ; we have turned to other lovers by embracing idols of men and calling the promised latter day advances in knowledge and understanding contemptible.
Jesus Christ admonishes us to REMEMBER our first love and passion for Him, God the Father and His Word.
Our Husband stands and calls out to his bride: Remember me and return to me, rekindle your burning fire of passion for me [Jesus Christ], God the Father and his Word!
So many of us have lost our first passionate zeal to search out and live by every Word of God and have turned to a zeal for corporate idols, idols of men and false traditions.
Oh, how we loved God and his Word! But deceitful men came in and taught us that they were between us and God, and that we should blindly obey them without question as the supposed chosen leaders of God; and so we became passionate for men, being deceived that this was the same as a passion for God! Today we love our corporate assemblies and leaders, elders and our friends in the congregation: MORE THAN WE LOVE OUR GOD!
Today many gladly do what men say, even in contradiction to God’s Word! We no longer have a zeal to run to the whole Word of God to prove all things, instead we look at only the out of context scriptures given to us by deceivers trying to justify the sins of men!
Brethren, the vast majority of brethren TODAY have left their first love! We have left off from any zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God, and we have left off from any zeal for the TRUTH of God, to follow idols and false traditions of men.
Jesus Christ admonishes us to REPENT from turning away from our zeal for Him, His Father and His Word. He commands us to run back to our first passionate zealous enthusiasm for the righteousness of searching out and living by every Word of God to follow the espoused Husband of our baptismal commitment!
Jesus Christ warns each one of us that if we do not quickly and sincerely repent: He will remove our Light [the Holy Spirit in us] and reject us [into the great correction of tribulation] for turning away from our zeal for God’s Word to follow idols of men and ungodly traditions.
Today our sins are many; such as calling the Sabbath and High Days holy and then openly polluting them; or rejecting the newly revealed knowledge of God’s Biblical Calendar, for the unscriptural Rabbinic calendar; even knowingly lying to justify making an idol of the unconverted Rabbinate. We even say that it is a sin to postpone God’s Sabbath to Sunday as we willingly postpone God’s annual Sabbaths, what hypocrisy!
2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Yet, even today a few faithful hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes; which is the domination system of the Nicolaitane Babylonian Mysteries form of church governance adopted by most of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia. The ministry are to be helps for the brethren to focus us on God; they are not to place themselves between the brethren and God in order to dominate and demand that the brethren follow their false traditions instead of being zealous for God.
2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
Brethren, IF we sincerely repent and turn back to our first love the whole Word of God to prove all things by the whole Word of God and make God’s Word our ultimate moral authority: and if we overcome our tendency to exalt anything else to love it as much or more than we love the whole Word of God: We shall be saved into the promised land of a change to spirit and eternal life by our sincere repentance from this terrible sin.
2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
If only the brethren, leaders and elders of today’s Spiritual Assemblies who ignore much of the scriptures and instead of saying the first five messages to the churches, or Ezra and Nehemiah, or such and such saying that they do not apply to us but apply to others: We would apply EVERY WORD of God to ourselves!
If we would only teach that ALL scripture is for everyone’s instruction, warning us that we NEED to wholeheartedly REPENT of polluting the Sabbath and Holy Days and teach us that we NEED to STOP cooking and paying other to cook for and serve us on God’s holy Sabbaths and that we NEED to stop marrying outside the faith and that we need to STOP idolizing men and the false traditions of men and turn with passionate zeal to the Word of God: We would have a good relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ!
If such a thing were to be done; the whole heavens would erupt with uncontainable rejoicing!
As Paul told Timothy, all scripture is for OUR instruction. These scriptures apply to us: and if we will only acknowledge that and correct ourselves, we would be saved.