Friday 6th June 2014, The Seven churches (Joel)

Chapters 2 and 3 – The Seven Churches
Seven letters to seven churches (Rev. 2 and 3),
an introduction.
4 ways of applying the letters –
A. Individually: The letters were written to inspire
wholehearted love and obedience in individuals.
B. Historically: The letters were first written to seven
actual churches in John’s generation to address their
spiritual condition and to encourage them. Some see
parallels between the spiritual condition of the seven
churches of Asia in the first century and the spiritual
condition of successive periods of church history.
C. Universally: The letters were to benefit all churches
throughout 2,000 years of church history. They were
written to equip local churches to walk corporately in
these truths together. Jesus spoke to individuals (“he”
who has an ear), then applied it to a group
D. Eschatologically: (Eschatology is the study of end
times): The letters are to prepare the end-time Church
for the events of Revelation 6-19.
5 common elements to each letter:
1. Attribute of Jesus
2. Affirmation of the church
3. Rebuke of the church
4.Exhortation to respond
5.The reward for overcoming
1. Attribute of Jesus
V.1 – ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who
walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:’
2. Affirmation of the church
V. 2, 3 – ‘I know your works, your labour, your have tested
those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
and you have persevered and have patience, and have laboured for My
name’s sake and have not become weary.’
V. 6 – ‘But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I
[Jesus] also hate.’
3. Rebuke of the church
V. 4 – ‘Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.’
4. Exhortation to respond
V. 5 – ‘Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the
first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand
from its place – unless you repent.
5. Reward for overcoming
V. 7 – ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To
him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the
midst of the Paradise of God.’
1. Attribute of Jesus
V. 1 – ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven
2. Affirmation of the church
V. 3, 4 – in the past ‘you received and heard...You have a few names even in
Sardis who have not defiled their garments...’
3. Rebuke of the church
V. 1 – ‘”I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you
are dead.”’
V. 2 – ‘...for I have not found your works perfect [fulfilled/complete] before
4. Exhortation to respond
V. 2 – ‘Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to
V. 3 – ‘Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and
5. The reward for overcoming
V. 4 – ‘You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their
garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.’
V.5 – ‘He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not
blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name
before My Father and before His angels.’

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