Monday, February 4, 2019
I am reading a book on Revelations written by David Jeremiah called Escape the Coming Night. It belongs to a friend of “C;” and he came to me several times while reading it saying it was “scary.” I asked him why it would be scary for him since he knew the Lord. He said, “Not scary for me, but for everyone else, especially my family!” That’s the burden we should have for all lost souls, especially our loved ones.
And, like many in the seven churches, Jesus addresses in the first three chapters, so many in today’s churches are deceived. Dr. Jeremiah agrees with me that the Laodicean church is representative of the predominant church today, during these end-times, being lukewarm. God promises He will spit us out of His mouth unless we repent (Revelation 3:16-19). He stands at the door of our hearts seeking to come in and dine with us, helping us to overcome (Revelation 3:20-21).
But today, there are many similarities to the other churches. The church in Ephesus worked hard and persevered for the Lord, not allowing their doctrine to be persecuted (Rev. 2:2-3). Yet their primary sin was that they had lost their first love. Outwardly their diligence continued, but their heart was no longer in it. Their deeds were bound up in tradition and habit, perhaps – not out of a love for their Savior.
The churches of Pergamum and Thyatira had a problem with committing acts of immorality – something extremely prevalent in today’s churches, and likely, with the advent of internet pornography, more prevalent than ever before. Both churches tolerated evil, refusing to denounce or preach against it. God is giving the church today time to repent, but if it doesn’t, the consequences will be severe. For Thyatira, the punishment will commence on earth through disease and pestilence that will even affect its children.
The church of Sardis also is an admonition to many in today’s churches. They are wealthy but degenerate. They are Christian by name, but by deed they are dead. Alive but dead. Their lives are not being used for their intended purpose because they have not overcome the lures of the world’s wealth and pleasures.
Note that the church of Philadelphia stood uncondemned for any reason. They have kept God’s Word and have not denied His name or power. They are true overcomers! For this reason, God promises to keep them “from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.” Obviously, God will remove them from this world, for He follows with the promise, “I am coming quickly” (Rev. 3:10-11). He then goes on, in the next verse, to describe them as “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, and My new name.”
Note there are remnants in other churches, even in Sardis, but the only church where he promises complete removal from the trials to come is that of Philadelphia!
And after that, the focus shifts to the throne of God and the worship of God by the church. This immediately follows Christ’s depiction of the churches and the removal of the faithful who endure and persevere to the end! Those who overcome (are victorious), He “will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7), He “will give the right to sit down with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on His throne: (rev. 3:21), and those who are victorious (overcome) “will inherit all this, and I will be their God, and they will be my children” (Rev. 21:7). This reminds me of the clear sign that God miraculously gave me on the side of the building last week, a large “V” written by His hand on the wall that hasn’t been there since! This is a sign of God’s promise to me!
Also note, after chapter three the church is never mentioned. David Jeremiah notes, “The church’s favorite name for God is ‘Father.’ From Revelation 4 until the end of chapter 19, God is not addressed as ‘Father.’ He is called God, Lord, Almighty and other names by which He was known in the Old Testament.”
He also says, “In Revelation 3 we saw a door closed and Christ was seeking entrance; now in chapter 4 we see an open door through which we can view the regal splendor of our God. Revelation 4 leads us into a throne room, where the king is sitting.
“Twice in the book of Revelation we see an open door. The first time is in Revelation 4:1 when John sees ‘a door standing open in heaven,’ and the last time in Revelation 19:11 when he ‘saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse.’ The first time the door opens, somebody goes up, and the next time, somebody goes down.”
I have always noted the depictions of God’s deliverance from the destruction of His people in the Old Testament as a picture of the rapture. His miraculous deliverance of them from the Egyptians, the deliverance of Noah and his family, the deliverance of Lot, and there are many more. Only when they lacked faith did God allow them to perish. Often it was His own judgment!