March 20, 2012
By: John Barnett
Read, print, and listen to this resource on our website www.DiscoverTheBook.org
*OUR WORLD IS DESPERATE FOR ANSWERS. DID YOU KNOW THE BOOK YOU HOLD
IS OUT OF THIS WORLD?*
A while back Congress “pulled the plug on NASA’s elaborate search for radio signals from alien life”. SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence project) has been an American scientific community priority for many years. Because of the evolutionary belief system so prominent in our culture there is also a desire to find even higher evolved life forms.
And now with the increasing situations where there is an uncontrollable rampage like the murderous acts of 15 year old Kip Kinkel in Oregon this week. People are looking for some insight or explanation to give them help.
The newspapers at that time reported: “Some speculate that alien intelligence might beam vast streams of coded information, a virtual encyclopedia galactica, with insights into THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE AND IMMORTALITY.”
SUCH AN ABSOLUTE DISREGARD FOR THE INDISPUTABLE FACT THAT SUCH A STREAM OF INFINITE KNOWLEDGE HAS ARRIVED IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE! The Intelligence of the Universe HAS beamed us about our origin and offered immortality freely to all.
Thus we have here this morning not only crystal clear details on the opening day of the Cosmos but also:
• THE SECRET OF HOW TO LIVE FOREVER
• THE SECRET OF HOW TO HAVE A JOYFILLED MARRIAGE (PROVERBS 5)
• THE SECRET OF HOW TO EXPERIENCE REAL LOVE (I CORINTHIANS 13)
• THE SECRET OF HOW TO BE PROSPEROUS AND SUCCESSFUL (JOSH 1)
• THE SECRET OF HOW TO NEVER FEAR THE FUTURE (JOHN 14)
• THE SECRET OF HOW TO RESIST SATAN (I PETER 5)
THE ANSWER IS HERE. DID YOU KNOW JESUS WROTE SOME LETTERS TO YOU ?
Two thousand years ago Jesus wrote letters to His beloved church. He sent it by way of the last living Apostle, John. These letters were a group message, customized for seven churches representing all of the churches then and now.
Ask any Bible student how many epistles (letters) are in the New Testament. He will probably answer 21 : 13 authored by Paul, plus Hebrews, which appears anonymous; and the seven "general epistles" by Peter, James, John, and Jude.
We usually overlook the seven most important letters: the seven authored by Jesus personally. For many reasons, these seven letters, comprising Chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelation, are probably the most important part of this book for you and me.
DID YOU KNOW THE BIBLE IS SUPERNATURALLY ENGINEERED?
The Bible is like many textbooks in school, all the answers are found at the end of the book. The end of the Bible is of course the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John.
The Bible is made up of 66 books, written by 40 authors over 15 centuries yet possessing a supernaturally engineered message. Every word, every letter, every name, every place and every number was placed there by the guiding hand of God through the Holy Spirit inspiring each human author. Thus every detail of God's Word was planned by God for revealing Himself and His plan.
And nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Each of its 404 verses which hold allusions to over 800 Old Testament verses and passages tie the entire Bible together in a grand finale.
JESUS WROTE TO SEVEN SO WE ALL WOULD HEAR!
There were many other churches at that time that would seem to be more historically significant than the seven that Jesus addressed: the churches at Jerusalem, Rome, Galatia, Corinth, Antioch, Colossae, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Miletus, to name a few. Why did Jesus select just these seven Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea? Simply because these seven represent four levels of His message.
⇨ 1st : JESUS GIVES A SPECIFIC MESSAGE: First, “to the church at . . .” He spoke to the local churches that were in those geographic places then. Jesus still is interested in His local, geographic churches. He speaks to individuals by name, He knows what they are doing at church, at work and at home.
⇨ 2nd : JESUS GIVES A UNIVERSAL MESSAGE: Second, “Hear what the Spirit says to the churches . . . “ This is plural and speaks of an admonition to all churches throughout all the history of the church. Here Jesus addresses His divine expectations of all churches for all of history!
⇨ 3rd : JESUS GIVES A PROPHETIC MESSAGE: Thirdly, Jesus was describing the seven types of Christians that would make up the visible church throughout all the church age. This is perhaps the most fascinating part of the book as Jesus describes with divine precision the seven successive eras the church would pass through from Pentecost to the last days of Apostasy.
⇨ 4th : JESUS GIVES A SPIRITUAL MESSAGE: Finally, “He that hath an ear, let him hear . . .” Note the singular “ear” this is the practical and personal message from Jesus to each of us, this may be the most valuable part of the entire book.
These letters describe the unfolding of all subsequent church history. In any other order, this prophetic panorama would not be true! These letters seem to be the explanation for the interval between the 69th and 70th "weeks" of Daniel 9. Just as the Book of Acts covers about 30 years of the growth and ministry of the church; the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the Book of Revelation cover the next 1,900 years.
*1ST HIS SPECIFIC MESSAGE:LOCAL CHURCHES WITH LOCAL PROBLEMS
I ALWAYS KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU!*
CHRIST SPEAKING TO HIS CHURCH: The letters to the Churches. Finally, each letter has all or part of these seven components:
⇨ Jesus addresses each Assembly 2:1a
⇨ Jesus addresses each with Authority 2:1b
⇨ Jesus addresses each with an Approval 2:2-3, 6
⇨ Jesus addresses each with an Admonition 2:4
⇨ Jesus addresses each with an Appeal 2:5
⇨ Jesus addresses each with an Assurance 2:7
- 2ND THE UNIVERSAL MESSAGE: ALL CHURCHES THROUGHOUT ALL OF HISTORY
I ALWAYS EXPECT YOUR DEVOTION !*
CHRIST WAITING FOR HIS CHURCH: The Church in every Age: SEVEN KINDS OF CHRISTIANS. In the next place, the seven churches represent seven varieties of Christians, true and false. Every professor of Christianity is like one of these seven. This morning more than likely G has classified and found here:
⇨ Some Ephesian Christians, with a great start but a lack of that initial consuming love.
⇨ Some Smyrnaote Christians, purified by persecution, faithful at all costs to the Lord.
⇨ Some Pergamite Christians, wed to the world, a country club Christian with no standards, with a focus and grip on money, car and job, Only doing what is socially acceptible, compromising Scriptures absolutes, more concerned with fashion than with Holines.
⇨ Some Thyatiran Christains believing and following false doctrine, with a social gospel not a divine call to the new birth.
⇨ Some Sardian Christians, dead as last weeks cut flowers, cold and lifeless, in a spiritual stupor.
⇨ Some Philadelphian Christians, sound in doctrine, zealous in ministry, outreaching the world and deeply in love with the Lord Jesus Christ!
⇨ Some Laodicean, apostate, counterfeit and sickening to Christ. A member of the Christless church that will thrive in the tribulation under Satan’s leadership.
1. Ephesus had left first love: Overcomers discover Jesus is all I need. And return to Him.
2. Smyrna was in great persecution and stood fast through it. Overcomers discover Jesus is all I Have and remain faithful to Him.
3. Pergamum was drowning in worldliness; Overcomers discover Jesus is all I need and resist worldliness and looked above.
4. Thyatira was being seduced by the false teacher Jezebel; Overcomers resisted all such evil teaching and lifestyles.
5. Sardis had a big name but no life; Overcomers did not defile themselves with the corpse.
6. But no condemnation for:Philadelphia, no blame just a warming to overcome and hold on!!
It is of these seven sorts that the whole church is made up. So in a most emphatic way, if you are a born again Christian, this letter is addressed to you---REMEMBER - REPENT - REPEAT
*3RD THE PROPHETIC MESSAGE: THERE WILL BE SEVEN STAGES OF CHURCH HISTORY
I ALWAYS WILL BE WITH YOU !*
CHRIST FADING FROM HIS CHURCH: The Church throughout the Ages: SEVEN SUCCESSIVE STAGES IN CHURCH HISTORY. For just a moment, let me give you a perspective- there are seven letters in Revelation 2 - 3 that give us the church in prophetic perspective - the church from Christians ascension until He comes to take His church - from century one to the rapture. In the first place, the seven Churches represent seven phases or periods in the Church’s history, stetching from the time of the apostles to the coming again of Christ, the characteristics of which are set forth partly in the names of these churches, but more fully in the epistles addressed to them.
• There was the Ephesian period--30-60 AD a period of warmth and love and labor for Christ, dating directly from the apostles, in which defection began by the gradual cooling of the love of some, the false professions of others and the incoming of undue exaltations of the clergy and church offices.
• Then came the Smyrna period--60 -300 AD the era of martyrdom, and of the sweet savor unto God of faithfulness unto death, but marked with further developments of defection in the establishment of castes and orders, the license of Judaizing propensities, and consequent departures from the true simplicities of the Gospel.
• Then followed the Pergamite period, 300-500 AD in which true faith more and more disappeared from view, and clericalism gradually formed itself into system,and the church united with the world, and Babylon began to rear itself aloft.
• Then came the Thyatiran period-- 500-1500 AD the age of purple and glory for the corrupt priesthood, and of darkness of truth; the age of effeminacy and clerical domination, when the church usurped the place of Christ, and the witness of Jesus were give t dungeons, stakes and inquisitions; the age of the enthronement of false prophetess, reaching to the days of Luther and the Reformation.
• Then came the Sardian period--1500-1800 AD the age of separation and return of the rule of Christ; an age of many worthy names, but marked with deadness withal, and having much of which to repent; an age covering the spiritual lethargy of the Protestant centuries before the great evangelical movements of the last hundred years.
• Next was the Philadelphian period 1800-1950 AD is a time of great missionary fervor, evangelistic outreach and devotional godliness. in this time the world was penetrated with the gospel like no time since Pentecost.
• Which brings us to the Laodicean period, 1950 AD - present they is lukewarmness, self-sufficiency, empty profession, and false peace, in which the day of judgment is to find the unthinking multitude who suppose they are Christians and are not.
4TH THE SPIRITUAL MESSAGE: JESUS HAS A WONDERFUL PLAN FOR EVERY TRUE BELIEVER I ALWAYS OFFER THE BEST TO YOU !
The last message Jesus has for us this morning is His wonderful plan. He has spelled out what He wants us to be like. He has detailed how He by His grace will enable us to live! This morning Jesus is here. CHRIST SEEKING OUT HIS CHURCH: Our Lord Jesus Christ came to give so much. Have you received what Jesus came to give every one of His own born again children?
1. TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (KJV) = Has infinite life in paradise regained - John 3:16
• AN OVERFLOWING LIFE: John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (NIV)
• AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE: John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. [perissos exceeding some number or measure or rank or need, over and above, more than is necessary, superadded, exceeding abundantly, supremely something further, more, much more than all, more plainly, superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon, pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent]
2. TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE AN INDESTRUCTIBLE LIFE Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (KJV)
• SECURE FROM ANY PHYSICAL ADVERSARY: John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand. (KJV)
• SECURE FROM ANY SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV)
3. JESUS CAME TO GIVE HIS OVERCOMERS AN INEXAUSTIBLE SUPPLY Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]. (KJV)
• ALL SPIRITUAL NEEDS MET: John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (KJV)
• ALL SPIRITUAL DESIRES FULFILLED: John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (NIV)
4. TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE AN INEXPRESSIBLE FUTURE Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: (KJV)
• GOD WILL REWARD US WITH UNMEASUREABLE TREASURES: Mark 10:29-30 So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, 30 "who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time -- houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions -- and in the age to come, eternal life. (NKJV)
• GOD WILL OVERWHELM US WITH UNBELIEVABLE PLEASURES: Second Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. (KJV)
5. TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE INCREDIBLE COVERAGE Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (KJV) WE have Christ as our garment, Advocate and our relative:
• CHRIST AS OUR GARMENT! Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof]. (KJV)
• CHRIST AS OUR ADVOCATE! Hebrews 7:24-25 But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (KJV)
• CHRIST AS OUR RELATIVE! Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. (KJV)
6. TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE AN INESCAPABLE DESTINATION Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name. (KJV)
• A PILLAR, BECAUSE WE ARE SECURE: John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if [it were] not [so,] I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, [there] you may be also. (NKJV)
• A NAME, BECAUSE WE ARE A LOVE GIFT FROM THE FATHER TO THE SON! John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (KJV)
7. TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE INTIMACY WITH GOD Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (KJV)
• INTIMACY IS A PROMISE: John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (NKJV)
• INTIMACY IS A PERSON: John 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (NKJV)
• INTIMACY IS PERMANENT: Revelation 21:7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (NKJV)
So Jesus came to give. Have you received what He offers today?
I. CHRIST CALLING TO SINNERS: How to become an overcomer? (Rev. 3:20)
A. Admit lost, open eyes, turn from darkness to the light, and from the power of Satan. Acts 26:18
B. Believe only Christ saves unto God, receive forgiveness for sin and in the saving faith of Christ.
C. Confess with your mouth Jesus Christ. Romans 10: 9- 10
Hymn # 350 “’Tis so sweet”
#274 “Break Thou