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Introduction to the Seven Letters to the Churches

Addressed To the Ministers

Revelation 2:1--Unto the angel of the church…

Angel means messenger, Rev. 22:8-9

Revelation 22:8--And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

It is A Revelation of Ministerial Responsibility

To hear from God, Eze. 3:17

To receive from God, Gal. 1:11-12

To speak for God, Isa. 58:1

To answer to God, II Cor. 5:10

It Is A Revelation of Ministerial Distinction

They are a part of the Church, I Cor. 12:28

I Cor. 12:28--And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Yet a separate part of the Church, Phil. 2:25,29; I Thess. 5:12,13

Philippians 2:25,29--Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: [dear; more honorable] I Thessalonians 5:12-13-- And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

It Is A Revelation of Ministerial Protection

Revelation 2:1--…He that holdeth the seven stars…

Keeps for Himself, John 10:27-28

John 10:27-28-- My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Keeps from the Enemy, II Tim. 4:16-18

2 Timothy 4:16-18--At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

It Is A Revelation of Ministerial Authority

Revelation 2:1--…In His right hand…

The place of authority, Luke 22:69

It is delegated authority, Luke 9:1

They are His representatives, II Cor. 5:20

Directed To The Churches

Revelation 2:1--…Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks…

Seven is the number of completeness

To the whole Church

To the whole Age

Seven Gentile churches

No letter for the church at Jerusalem

He will have a Gentile bride

Seven churches Paul wrote to

Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians

Personal letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon

Believe to have written Hebrews to the people

Seven letters John wrote to the Seven Churches

Ephesus,Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea

He wrote the Gospel of John, the three Epistles and Revelation, Not addressed to the churches as such

Seven distinct parts in each letter

An address -- "Unto the church in…"

A citation -- "These things saith He…"

A statement of knowledge -- "I Know thy works"

A description of moral status -- "Thou art…"

A personal application to the individual -- "he that hath an ear…"

A command -- "Remember", "Repent" etc.

A promise -- "To him that overcometh will I…"

Out of the seven, Christ finds fault with five

One of these He finds nothing to commend (Laodicea)

Two alone pass inspection (Pergamos and Philadelphia)

Pergamos--thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith. Philadelphia--hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Yet they are in contact with elements which He condemns

Church Time Commendation Condemnation Counsel Challenge
Ephesus Apostolic Faithful in service; Hated deeds of Nicolaitanes Left First LoveRepent Eat of the Tree of Life
Smyrna Persecution Faithful in persecution; poor, but rich. NoneFear not; be faithful Not hurt of the second death
Pergamos Imperial Favor Did not deny the faith inspite of satan Doctrine of Nicolaitanes, BalaamRepent Eat hidden mannah, white stone, new name
Thyatira Papacy Good works, charity, service, faith, patience Wicked Woman JezebelHold fast till I come Power over nations; Morning Star
Sardis Reformation Faithful few are worthy Dead works; not perfectBe watchful; hold fast; repent White raiment; Confessed before Father
Philadelphia Present Day Kept His Word; Did not deny His name NoneHold fast which thou hast Pillar in the Temple; New name
Laodicea Present Day None Lukewarm; blind, nakedBuy of me gold, raiment, eyesalve Sit with Christ on His throne