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james423

The Church Militant

Overall Question: What do the seven churches of Revelation have to tell us about the Great Controversy?

Memory Text: Revelation 3:20 Common English Bible Look! I’m standing at the door and knocking. If any hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to be with them, and will have dinner with them, and they will have dinner with me.

 

Sunday – The Church at Ephesus

Revelation 2:1-7 New Century Version  1 “Write this to the angel of the church in Ephesus:  “The One who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands says this: 2 I know what you do, how you work hard and never give up. I know you do not put up with the false teachings of evil people. You have tested those who say they are apostles but really are not, and you found they are liars. 3 You have patience and have suffered troubles for my name and have not given up. 4 “But I have this against you: You have left the love you had in the beginning. 5 So remember where you were before you fell. Change your hearts and do what you did at first. If you do not change, I will come to you and will take away your lampstand from its place. 6 But there is something you do that is right: You hate what the Nicolaitans do, as much as I. 7 “Every person who has ears should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To those who win the victory I will give the right to eat the fruit from the tree of life, which is in the garden of God.

Revelation 2:6 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES Neander (History of the Christian Religion, as translated by Torrey, i. pp. 452, 453)… supposes that the passage relates simply to a class of persons who were in the practice of seducing Christians to participate in the sacrificial feasts of the heathens, and in the excesses which attended them--just as the Jews were led astray of old by the Moabites, Numbers 25.

 

Monday – Smyrna and Pergamum

Smyrna - Revelation 2:8 New Century Version “Write this to the angel of the church in Smyrna: “The One who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again, says this.

Smyrna – Revelation 1:18 Modern English Version I am He who lives, though I was dead. Look! I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Pergamum – Revelation 1:16 Modern English Version He had in His right hand seven stars, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. His appearance was like the sun shining brightly.

Pergamum – Revelation 2:12 Lexham English Bible “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: “This is what the one who has the sharp double-edged sword says.

Revelation 2:8-17 Common English Bible 8 “Write this to the angel of the church in Smyrna: These are the words of the one who is the first and the last, who died and came back to life: 9 I know your hardship and poverty (though you are actually rich). I also know the hurtful things that have been spoken about you by those who say they are Jews (though they are not, but are really Satan’s synagogue). 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are going to suffer. Look! The devil is going to throw some of you into prison in order to test you. You will suffer hardship for ten days. Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Those who emerge victorious won’t be hurt by the second death. 12 “Write this to the angel of the church in Pergamum: These are the words of the one who has the sharp, two-edged sword: 13 I know that you are living right where Satan’s throne is. You are holding on to my name, and you didn’t break faith with me even at the time that Antipas, my faithful witness, was killed among you, where Satan lives. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have some there who follow Balaam’s teaching. Balaam had taught Balak to trip up the Israelites so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 15 In the same way, you have some who follow the Nicolaitans’ teaching. 16 So change your hearts and lives. If you don’t, I am coming to you soon, and I will make war on them with the sword that comes from my mouth. 17 If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. I will give those who emerge victorious some of the hidden manna to eat. I will also give to each of them a white stone with a new name written on it, which no one knows except the one who receives it.

Revelation 2:14-15 New International Reader’s Version 14 ‘But I have a few things against you. Some of your people follow the teaching of Balaam. He taught Balak to lead the people of Israel into sin. So they ate food that had been offered to statues of gods. And they committed sexual sins. 15 You also have people who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

“Nicolaitans.” SDA Bible Dictionary – “Nicolaitans of the 2d cent. seem to have continued and extended the views of the 1st-cent. adherents, holding to the freedom of the flesh, and teaching that the deeds of the flesh had no effect upon the health of the soul and consequently no relation to salvation.”

 

Tuesday – Thyatira and Sardis

Revelation 2:18-3:6 Modern English Version 18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: “The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like fine brass, says these things: 19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience, and that your last works are more than the first. 20 “But I have a few things against you: You permit that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, but she did not repent. 22 Look! I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will put her children to death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the hearts and minds. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this teaching, who have not known what some call the ‘depths of Satan,’ I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold firmly what you have until I come. 26 “To him who overcomes and keeps My works to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 He ‘shall rule them with a rod of iron; like the vessels of a potter they shall be broken in pieces’— even as I myself have received authority from My Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 3:1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: “He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars says these things: I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain but are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfected before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not soiled their garments. They shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments. I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 2:20 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY It would appear that, as Jezebel sponsored the worship of Baal in Israel (1 Kings 21:25), so in John’s day some false prophetess was attempting to lead astray the church at Thyatira. The message indicates that here, even more than at Pergamum (Rev. 2:14), apostasy was openly and defiantly rampant. As applied to the Thyatira period of Christian history, the figure of Jezebel represents the power that produced the great apostasy of the medieval centuries… Commit fornication … eat things sacrificed. This doubtless had, first, a local application to the church at Thyatira. Applied to the Thyatira period of church history, this would represent an admixture of paganism with Christianity. This process was accelerated greatly under Constantine and his successors. Medieval Christianity absorbed, to a great extent, pagan forms and practices.

 

Wednesday – The Church at Philadelphia

Revelation 3:7 Holman Christian Standard Bible “Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia: “The Holy One, the True One, the One who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and closes and no one opens says.

Revelation 3:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible I know your works. Because you have limited strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name, look, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close.

Revelation 3:8 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY the “open door” may be thought of as an invitation to enter into an experience of even greater strength. The church at ancient Philadelphia was apparently neither large nor influential, but it was pure and faithful. The Philadelphia period of church history, with its increased attention to God’s Word, particularly the prophecies of Daniel and of the Revelation, and to personal godliness, represented a much more encouraging picture than the preceding period.

 

Thursday – The Church at Laodicea

Revelation 3:14-22 Common English Bible 14 “Write this to the angel of the church in Laodicea: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler[a] of God’s creation. 15 I know your works. You are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I’m about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 After all, you say, ‘I’m rich, and I’ve grown wealthy, and I don’t need a thing.’ You don’t realize that you are miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked. 18 My advice is that you buy gold from me that has been purified by fire so that you may be rich, and white clothing to wear so that your nakedness won’t be shamefully exposed, and ointment to put on your eyes so that you may see. 19 I correct and discipline those whom I love. So be earnest and change your hearts and lives. 20 Look! I’m standing at the door and knocking. If any hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to be with them, and will have dinner with them, and they will have dinner with me. 21 As for those who emerge victorious, I will allow them to sit with me on my throne, just as I emerged victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

Revelation 3:15 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY Neither cold nor hot…this figurative expression must have been particularly meaningful to the Christians at Laodicea. One of the chief landmarks of that vicinity was a waterfall over which a stream from the hot springs at Hierapolis flowed, leaving mineral deposits. Laodicea’s water source was not these hot springs or a cold one, but a water tower filled by an aqueduct that shows deposits from similar mineral water, probably warm. Lukewarm water was thus a familiar phenomenon to the Laodiceans, and fittingly characterized their spiritual condition. The tepid spiritual condition of the Laodicean church was more dangerous than if the church had been cold. Lukewarm Christianity preserves enough of the form, and even of the content of the gospel, to dull the perceptive powers of the spirit and renders men oblivious to the earnest effort necessary to the attainment of the high ideal of a victorious life in Christ. The typical Laodicean Christian is content with things as they are and proud of the little progress he has made. It is almost impossible to convince him of his great need and of how far he is from the goal of perfection.

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