The same exhortation is stated here again, ‘he who has an ear,’ is an expression which emphasizes the
responsibility of the individual Christian to heed Gods Word in scripture.
Some might even be skipping this study because I
repeat so much of what has already been said.
God has issued you a mandate in this verse, now for
the sixth time, to heed, to listen, to hear, to learn, to understand, and to
grow up as a result. If you are not
interested in doctrine, then you are in violation of this mandate. If you do not pursue your daily study, then
you are in violation of this mandate.
So, you as a Christian, have an obligation to learn
truth. You should want to learn
truth. It should not be forced on
you. And if your interest is not in
truth, then your interest is in other than truth, namely lies. For that is all that is
left, when truth is rejected.
And unless you are an instructor, or unless you
know it all already, then your mandate is to be a student and to listen and to
learn. Even instructors are students at
some point in their life, and should approach their studies objectively and
thoroughly for their entire life.
But this is directed toward the entire church of
believers.Have an ear, listen, be
objective, do not bind yourself with false notions or wives tales, and
certainly do not restrict your spiritual education because of an adherence to
things that are not true.
Let the Christian, hear what the ‘Spirit says to
the Churches.’This did not say what
Christ said to the Churches. This did
not say what Christ said to the Spirit.
It said, what the Spirit says.
Your spiritual life functions only when you are in
fellowship. In order to get into
fellowship you must confess your sins to God the Father. You are to do this on a regular basis in
order to remain in fellowship as much as possible. The study of confession and fellowship is
more detailed in the 1 John study.
When in fellowship, the Holy Spirit has control
over your soul.When out of fellowship,
your sin nature has control over your soul.
When in fellowship, all communication from God,
through doctrine, is transmitted into your human spirit, and into your soul, by
means of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all
doctrine is taught by the Holy Spirit.
He is the primary communicator of truth.
Therefore, you are to listen to the Spirit, which
means to be in fellowship so that the ministry of the Holy Spirit will function
properly for your spiritual life. You do not have any unusual feelings or
sensations, for you cannot sense or detect anything of a spiritual nature from
this temporal world. Those who say they
have Spirit ecstatic moments are frauds.
The word for Churches is plural and therefore, is a
message to all Christians.
And so we now review briefly.
The seventh and last church is yet to be studied,
but it is the worst of the worst, of the churches.
The church at Laodicea represents the worst of the apostate
churches that have existed throughout history. It is the last and worst of the seven churches
addressed. The downward spiral that
began at Ephesus, continued through Pergamum, Thyatira, and Sardis, reached the
bottom at Laodicea. But, as far as can
be determined, the church at Laodicea was a totally unregenerate, false church.
It has the grim distinction of being the
only one of the seven for whom Christ has no positive word of commendation. Due to the drastic nature of the situation at
Laodicea, this is also the most threatening of the seven letters.
As for the first six churches here is the summary
of what we have studied thus far.
The seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum,
Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
Their failures or accomplishments:
Ephesus, they abandoned the mandate to pursue
doctrine, but pursued the habits (deeds) of activity instead of doctrinal study. They forgot their priorities.
Smyrna, there will be those who will suffer great
persecutions in life, even a premature death which prevents them from living a
long and full life. Do not ever be
Pergamum, many chose to compromise Biblical
principles and co-mingle worldly values into their life.
Thyatira, a greater
compromise with worldly influences.
Sardis, spiritual indifference, failure to function
properly in their spiritual life.
Philadelphia, failure to pursue ones spiritual
life, but that door, that opportunity is never closed until you leave this
world, do not lose your eternal rewards (crowns).
Laodicea – yet to be
The rewards offered:
Ephesus, an eternal blessing package designed
specifically for the mature believer (tree of life), and an exclusive access to
a phenomenal Paradise in heaven.
Smyrna, there is a special reward (crown of life)
for those who die early in life (war, accident, crime, etc), but have been
faithful during their short time in this world.
Pergamum, advanced doctrine (hidden manna), sole
ownership of a blessing designed specifically for you and only you (white
stone), a greater personal identity (new name).
Thyatira, authority or rule over the millennial
nations with complete fairness and justice, a unique possession of Christ
Sardis, assurance of the guarantee of salvation and
a place in heaven, despite ones miserable failure in their spiritual life, on this
Philadelphia, exclusion from the tribulation, stability
and strength in doctrine (pillars), the security of Gods ownership of your
life, the permanent foundation of doctrine within you (new city), and a
blessing that is yet to be identified (new name of Christ).
Laodicea – yet to be
And so, many threats exist to distract you away
from your spiritual life, but there are many promises, rewards and blessings
that are there for the taking, if you will only commit your life to God, to
Christ, to doctrine, and to your daily spiritual life. You just have to decide how badly you want
your (beyond imagination) eternal life.