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October 3, 2021 6:20 am
On this Saturday edition of truth matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis. She continues the revelations years the series started in the book of Daniel several months ago and is now progressed into the book of Revelation as we study the seven churches of Asia. However, I'm Dr. Cheryl Davis I want to thank you for listening to truth matters. Every last couple weeks we have covered the book of Revelation, and particularly in our last session, we covered the church of Laodicea.
The last church in the series of the seven churches of Asia minor. I have to admit we have taken a deep dive into each church. We have examined the force by looking at each tree. Today I want to take a broad look at the forest. I'd like to get into church history and try to synthesize the first three churches of Revelation as a whole. What I call this session is the interlude history of the church age. A summary of revelations chapters 1 through three. Let me begin by saying out Revelation is a self outlined book in Revelation chapter 1 verse 19 says, write the things which you have seen and the things which are in the things which will take place after this. We have studied Revelation from the first two perspectives mainly the things which you have seen, and which are, and that is the first three chapters, John saw Jesus in chapter 1 and the things which are was the letters that were inspired by Jesus to be written by John to the seven churches of Asia minor. Over the next few weeks and getting through the rest of the chapters of Revelation, we will focus on what will take place after this. But first let's get back to chapter 1, the things which you have seen the things John Saul are those things that he wrote about in chapter 1 the great vision of the glory of Jesus Christ and the powerful description of the Lord Jesus standing in the midst of the candlesticks observing the churches with his penetrating eyes, seeing the churches for what they really are the things which are which is the second part of the outline is covered in Revelation chapter 2 verse one and ends with chapter 3 verse 22 the things which are John wrote the seven letters to the seven churches of Asia minor, which contain Jesus's evaluation of those churches and over the last couple weeks we have took a deep dive into each letter the things which are where the condition of the churches at the time that John wrote the book of Revelation and the third part of the outline the things that will take place after this are covered in future chapters of revelations chapter 4 verse one through the end of Revelation.
In chapter 22 verse 21 chapter 4 picks up after the church's rapture from the earth and describes what happens in the tribulation, which is the point from the rapture to Christ's second coming, therefore main revelations of the book of Revelation.
It can be summarized in another way, in the terms of the four revelations of John I Revelation is the revelation of God, which is chapter 1.
The second Revelation is the revelation of grace extended to the churches chapters 2 through three. I want to point out that in this Revelation of grace extended to the churches. The rapture is God's final act of grace. The rapture is the final act of grace. The third Revelation in the book of Revelation is the revelation of government. This Revelation is covered in chapters 4 through 19. In the last Revelation of the book of Revelation is the revelation of glory which is covered in chapters 20 and 21 knowing this, I'm getting back to chapters 2 and three there are three views of the churches and they and they can be studied and at least three different ways. First, practically. Second, perennially, and third prophetically.
Today I would like to mainly focus on the prophetic portion of chapters 2 and three. But before we do that, let's look in the practical and the perennial view of the seven churches of Asia minor set examining chapters 2 and three.
From a practical viewpoint. We are setting the churches in their own historical setting, and we say that one more time if we study them from the practical viewpoint we are studying the churches in their own historical setting. That means you can take these letters practically we have done that. The seven letters were actual letters addressed to actual historically based groups of Christians in Asia minor. In the first century A.D., honestly. We know from the letters they were not perfect. The churches were not perfect. Some things they did right and some they did wrong Asia minor and John's day was once a bright spot in Christianity, but today it is a dark place spiritually. It is now a Muslim country which is known as modern-day Turkey. The mistakes made by the original churches can serve as a warning to us as to what can happen if we do not win the battle for territory.
You know, speaking to my church. I'm just last Wednesday night about spiritual warfare, and the church, not being perceptive of the war that is going on. I pray that the Lord open our eyes to the battle that is an age-old war between Satan and Jesus Christ which is now sane and in the church.
Moving onto the next application is the perennial application at any time in history. There are churches Woodrow which are like each of the seven churches of Revelation at any point in history that is the perennial application at any given time in history. There are emphasis churches Smyrna churches in Pergamum's churches. Churches like each one. We have studied so far not only just churches like the letters on to the seven churches of Asia minor, but really individual Christians as well who are like them. Some Christians have lost their first love like Ephesus.
Some are being persecuted like a churches Smyrna at any time in history we can learn from the churches of revelations from a basis of the church. Also, on an individual basis, but like I said earlier, I would like to focus this session on the prophetic application of the letters to the seven churches of Asia minor. This is the most profound application of the lessons from the seven churches. From our perspective in history. We can look back on the entire ebb and flow of church history from the church at Ephesus of the first century to the church at Laodicea which is the present day church we get a panoramic view of the development of the Christian church. What I would like to focus on is that I want to say that there are seven stages of church history that are represented by the seven churches in the key phrase in Revelation describing each church will focus on that key phrase throughout the seven stages so that we can see their applications in history and look at where we are today. Once we get to the end. So let's begin with the first letter of Ephesus, the first letter to Ephesus I would call stage I and labeling that is you have fallen. If you go back to where the letter to Ephesus is written in Revelation chapter 2 verse five remember therefore from where you have fallen repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent this timeframe in history that we are discussing was after the resurrection of Jesus Christ after Pentecost is in the church age began, and the timeframe is A.D. 33 two A.D. 100 which is the post-apostolic church and apostolic means the time in which Christ's apostles lived, which is the eyewitness. So this is after the eyewitness. The post-apostolic church. The phrase you have fallen or the keywords you have fallen from Revelation chapter 2 verse five is indicative of the theological error which crept into the church immediately following the ministry of the apostles.
Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, to which Paul wrote the letter of the Ephesians had lost their heart of love for Jesus. Galatians and Colossians were both written and part to deal with theological heresy had raised its head, and church. Even when Paul was still alive.
Second Thessalonians debt with the error regarding the return of Christ in some way, almost all of the letters of the New Testament deal with restoring truth in the churches to which they are addressed.
I don't know if you've ever notice this really put this together but in some way almost all the letters of the New Testament deal with restoring truth in the churches to which they are addressed.
In summary, the first stage in church history is you have fallen, which hers, which is known as the post-apostolic church from A.D. 33 to 100. Let's move on to the second letter. If you member the second letter is written to the church at Sardis and this is covered in Revelation chapter 2 verse 10 as we know Sardis was the church that was persecuted and Revelation chapter 2 verse 10 reads like this.
Do not fear any of those things that you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation 10 days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
The second stage in church history is known as tribulation 10 days. The second stage is reflection of the second letter of the seven churches to the church at Sardis and the timeframe is A.D. 100 to A.D. 300 the tribulation 10 days refers to the 10 days of persecution which swept over the church during this 200 year period beginning with Emperor Nero and ended with Emperor Diocletian.
Nero became the Emperor of Rome in A.D. 54 and that lasted 14 years in 280 68 he became emperor at age 16. 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament was written during Nero's reign during Nero's reign.
Paul was confined to house arrest and Nero was the Caesar that Paul appealed to for justice in acts chapter 25 verses 10 through 12. He was a tyrant who killed many Christians. The last ways of persecution itself lasted 10 long years and ended with the Emperor Diocletian. We know that there are number of Christians that gave their lives in the early first three centuries of the church. This is a reflection of the war that is going on between Satan and Jesus Christ. Satan realized at the time of Jesus's death on the cross that he thought he had one, but he did not account for the resurrection and at that point he was defeated because he was defeated Satan then turns his wrath church because the church is the bride of Christ.
Also he turn his wrath on the Jews, which he's had a history and war against the Jews. Ever since the garden. However, at this point. This is a critical juncture in the early stage of the on early church's history of the battle with Satan one and bringing in false teachings. But then also weighs the persecution that led to a number of martyrs being killed for the sake of Christ.
Let's move on to the third stage of church history, which is the third letter to the church at Pergamum's and the third stage in history is labeled the doctrine of Baylon and if you remember, on in the third letter to the church at Pergamum's chapter 2 Revelation chapter 2 verse 14 says that I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Baylon. The top bailiwick to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. Those who hold the doctrine of Valen the time. For this is about a spanned of 200 years from 300 A.D. to 580 but if you remember our study into the church of Pergamum and how we covered the prophet Baylon in the Old Testament.
He was hired by the king of Moab to curse Israel but he ended up blessing them twice that he gave them another idea before he left on how to get Israel to lie with the Moabite women and to fall into sin. He corrupted them from the inside, rather than from the outside something similar happen to the church during the Pergamum's error after Diocletian Emperor Constantine became a professional nominal Christian and what that means is in name only. He made Christianity the state religion of Rome is an unholy union of church and state. Pagan temples became Christian churches.
The Roman Catholics on really rose out of this and 380.
This is only good if these are true conversions but if they're not true conversions. Then, this is nominal Christianity, it's not true conversions. This was enacted by the edict of Milan in 313, which granted freedom of worship changes that will lead until next time, Cheryl Davis would like to contact truth matters. You can reach us by emailing Dr. Davis Cheryl Davis project truth matters.com or writer, PO Box 159 St. Paul's, North Carolina 2834. You can connect with truth matters on Facebook or visit our website project. Truth matters.com truth matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis is a ministry of the truth project