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Letters to Ephesus and Smyrna (2 of 26)
Series: The Book of Revelation
A Verse by Verse Study
October 5, 2008
INTRODUCTION: Last week, we began our study of Revelation with John's introduction to the book and his greeting to the 7 churches in Asia. John was a prisoner on the Island of Patmos for his witness and testimony of Christ. While there, the Lord appeared to him. John heard a great voice, and as he turned to see the see the One who spoke to him, He saw the glorified Christ, standing in the midst of seven candlesticks. The Bible says He had in His right hand seven stars. We later find in vs. 20 that the seven candlesticks represented the seven churches of Asia and that the seven stars were the seven angels or messengers (pastors) of the seven churches.
Then in vv. 12-15, we were moved by John's description of the post-incarnate Christ. He said, "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters." One can only imagine the scene.
This evening, we move to chapter two, with our study of the 7 letters or 7 messages given to each of the 7 churches that existed in John's day. Now, there are those who say that the 7 churches, although, literal churches existing in the time of John, also represent churches in prophetic history. As we are now able to look back in history, we would have to agree that there were 7 distinctive periods in church history, distinguished by certain happenings that do seem to have all the characteristics of the churches mentioned in Asia.
a. For example; the last church, the church of Laodicea (3:14), is rebuked by our Lord for apostasy and lukewarmness. They were increased with riches and felt they had need of nothing; but were, in realty, poor, wretched and blind. In other words, they had a form of godliness, but ha ...
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