Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Unveiled: Week 3

The Mount of Olives-1

Write the things which are. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 1:19, 2:17

As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelation:1:20

If this is your first time to visit, Stones of Remembrance, I want to redirect you to the beginning of this series call, The Spirit of Prophecy. We are going through the Book of Revelation so each post builds on itself. I'm so glad you joined us.

Last week we saw John was to write three things. 1. The things which he has seen 2. The things which are 3. The things that take place after these things. Revelation 1:19.
Today we are going to look at, "the things which are," the seven churches of Revelation.

As I have mentioned before our purpose in studying the Book of Revelation is to grow in our love for Jesus and to see Him as He reveals Himself in this powerful book. The book itself means the unveiling of Jesus Christ. Some of these verses are wrapped in mystery but I do believe that as things start to take place and as the time becomes near these verses will make more sense. Jesus throughout this book tells us, "The time is near." In the Book of Matthew he talks about "the beginning of birth pangs." The purpose of this study is not to try and predict the time of Jesus' return, for we do not know the day or the hour, but we are to understand the season. Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem saying "They didn't regonize the time of their visitation". Because they failed to regconize Him as Messiah there was no hope for the people and the city. In AD 70 the city was destroyed along with the temple. But God in His faithfulness to His people and His land has brought them back into the land and has reestablished the nation. This amazing and miraculous event happened in 1948.
Jesus in Luke 19 says, "If you had known this day the things that would make for peace but now they have been hidden from your eyes." Jesus is the Prince of peace and now is the favorable year of the Lord. Revelation is the unveiling of Him. Let's take a moment to pray for God to open our eyes to who He is and to show us His glory as we study this powerful book and learn about the churches in Revelation.

He who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches...
These churches were specific churches doing specific things during a specific time but what God has to say to these churches He has to say to us. God's truths are eternal. God never changes, He is the same yesterday today and forever. I also believe they represent the types of churches throughout the church age. I also believe they speak to each of us individually and corporately. Take a moment to ask God to give you a repentant heart as you learn the specifics of each church. He longs to forgive you and draw you deeper into His grace.

The Church of Ephesus:
Read out loud Revelation 2:1-7

  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 1? 
  • How does Christ commend the church of Ephesus in verse 2 and 3? 
    • John MacArthur states that the deeds of Nicolaitians was similar to the deeds of Balaam. Nicolas was made a deacon in Acts 6 but proved to be a false believer and became apostate; because of his creditials he was able to lead many astray. Like Balaam he led the people into immorality and sensual temptations. The name Nicolas means "one who conquers the people."- John MacArthur Bible Commentary pg. 1996
  • What is the rebuke in verses 4-6? 
    • What do you think it means to leave your first love? As we begin to put our focus on ourselves and how we are doing instead of on Christ and what He has done we sever ourselves from His perfection and love. We must daily abide IN Him. Remembering His work on our behalf. Growing in our love and knowledge of the gospel, that Jesus came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Daily walking in the grace of the Gospel. 
  • What does Christ promise to those who overcome in verse 7?
The Church of Smyrna:
Read out loud Revelation 2:8-11
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 8?
  • How does Christ commend the church of Smyrna? What is about to happen to some of His beloved and for what purpose and for how long? God foreknows and prepares us for what He allows. It is always for His glory and purposes. 
    • Read 2 Corinthians 4:17 and 1 Peter 5:10? What does Paul  and Peter write about suffering?
  • How does Christ rebuke the church of Smyrna? He doesn't!
  • What does Christ promise to those who overcome in verses 10 and 11?
The Church of Pergamum:
Read aloud Revelation 2:12-17
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 12? Compare this verse to Revelation 1:16 and 19:15. What do you learn about the two edge sword from these verses? What is also referred to as a sword in Hebrews 4:12?
  • How does Christ commend the church of Pergamum verse13? 
  • What is Christ's warning to the church verses 14-16? To learn more about Balaam read Numbers 22-25.
  • What is promised to those who overcome? Hidden manna, a white stone and a new name!! A name that is so personal that only the believer will know what it is. God is intimately aquainted with all your ways and lavishly loves those who are His. 
The Church of Thyatira:
Read aloud Revelation 2:18-29
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 18?
  • How does Christ commend the Church in 19?
  • What is His warning in verse 20? A woman like Jezebel. To learn more about Jezebel read 
    • 1 Kings 16:31, 21:25
    • 2 Kings 9:7, 22, 30
  • What does Christ promise to those who overcome?
The Church of Sardis
Read aloud Revelation 3:1-6
  • How does God describe Himself in verse 1?
  • What is Christ's warning in verse 1? I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive but you are dead!! These verses remind me of 2 Timothy 3:5.
    • Read 2 Timothy 3:5 and write down this verse. 
  • What does Christ tell the people to do in verses 2 and 3?
  • What is promised to those who overcome?
The Church of Philadelphia
Read aloud Revelation 3:7-13
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 7?
  • What is God's commendation and what has He promised his beloved and why? 
  • Read verse 10? What is God going to keep them from experiencing? Do you think this hour has come? Is this event still future? What does God remind them in verse 11?
  • What does Christ promise to those who overcome? What specifically will be written on His beloved in verse 12?
The Church of Laodicea
Read Revelation 3:14-22
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 14? How do these descriptions of God speak to you right now? The Amen, Faithful Witness, the Beginning of Creation...
  • What do we learn about this church in verses 15-17. How are the people described? How did the people see themselves? How did God see them? What does God tell them to do in verse 18?
  • How does God treat those He loves? What is the purpose of His discipline? How should we respond to His discipline?
  • What does God promise to those who overcome?
If you made it this far, I'm so proud of you!! One last thing before we end our time together. Which church could you relate to the most in this season of life? What commendation spoke to you personally and what warning rebuked you and why? Take a moment to fall on your knees before your Father in heaven and thank Him for giving you a Savior who longs to receive you and restore you to Himself. His disciple is ALWAYS for the purpose of restoration. 

BTW: This post is not going to be proof-read before posting. Thank you for overlooking all grammatical errors.
The Church-1

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