And now John records the addresses to the seven
churches of Asia Minor. Ephesus is name
first, because if you leave the island on which John was being held prisoner,
then Ephesus would have been the first city that the messenger delivering this
letter, would arrive at. And then the
messenger would travel on to the rest of the seven in clockwise order. Ephesus was also the launching platform for
the formation of the other churches, Acts 19:10.
We studied the seven churches (the seven golden lamp
stands), in the first chapter. There
were many more than seven churches in the region, but the churches are not the
issue here, it is their number, seven, which refers to the completeness of the
Church which will be developed during our dispensation. And so by this, this book is addressed to all
believers, throughout our dispensation.
It is the complete Church that is being addressed,
as though this dispensation has already been completed, and now Christ is
putting all believers through their evaluation, so to speak. This is not the Judgment Seat of Christ evaluation,
but an overall look at how believers have and will behave throughout our era.
Five of the seven churches will be rebuked for
tolerating sin, from waning love to total apostasy.
The letters to all seven churches demonstrate the
varying attitudes, successes and failures, of all believers, including you, and
therefore form the pattern of behavior and attitude that will be displayed
throughout our era.
All seven churches are addressed with seven
components – first, the speaker, second, the church, third, the city, fourth,
the commendation, fifth, the concern, sixth, the command, and seventh, the
Keep in mind that this letter is addressed to
believers, not to unbelievers. And
though all believers are saved and will go to heaven, not all believers will
have the same level of interest in their spiritual life. Most in fact border on the pattern of hating
Christ, which pattern applies to any believer who is not obedient to Gods
Forewarned, if you see yourself, in any of these descriptions,
then do not get defensive, just change your ways.
The spiritual life is a serious matter, not
something to be taken lightly, and certainly not something that can be lived by
any casual means.
You were placed in this world to grow up to
spiritual maturity and therefore to fulfill your life’s meaning and purpose to
completion. Most folks live their lives
as nothing more than historical filler, because they refuse to be taught, and
they refuse to dedicate their lives to a daily study.
Most will say that they love Christ. Most will say that they would obey Christ,
but most only talk, and never follow through, pretending that they are doing
enough (in their own mind) to fulfill that obligation, when they are not. The
simple test is their failure to comply with Gods mandates. Sometime ago we put together a spiritual
checklist. You might want to review that
Now here is the first test for you. How many are going to look for that
And now to the Church of
The one who holds the
seven stars, and stands among the seven lampstands, is Jesus Christ. He is the leader of the Church. There is only one God, one Lord, one faith,
and one membership, and that membership is the Church, which refers to all of
The seven stars, refers to the messengers of Gods Word. They are the instructors of doctrine, Gods Word,
which is the Word of Christ, and controlled by Christ. They are not angels, for
these messengers are included in Gods complaint of human behavior. The instructors or messengers are totally controlled
by Christ, and His word, if they are legitimate messengers.
The world will be filled with false messengers, but
Christ sorts out His own word, and makes it clear through the ministry of the Holy
Anyone who is genuinely interested in truth, will receive it.
Anyone who is genuinely dedicated to a daily study,
will sooner or later be able to sort through the false to get at the
truth. God provides that discernment.
This is not something that you can sort out for
yourself, on your own. God gives you the fundamental intuition to be suspicious,
but it takes repeated learning to be able to make the correct discernment
between truth and lies.
The lampstands are the body of believers. Christ is the center of their
existence, and the reason for their existence, and the means of their
existence.No person is an
island, and no person can make it through life by means of their own effort.
Christ, doctrine, instructors, and your interest in
learning, form the basis for establishing your
Remember our study in 1 Tim, regarding prayer? What were a couple of the required prayers?
I think I will leave you with that question for the