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Truth Matters / Dr. Cheryl Davis
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October 10, 2021 6:15 am


Truth Matters / Dr. Cheryl Davis

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On this Saturday's edition of Truth Matters, Dr. Cheryl Davis concludes the Seven Churches of Asia series and takes us deeper into studying the remaining chapters of the book of Revelation. From the letters Jesus writes to the seven churches, Dr. Davis and the truth train will take us in coming weeks through four additional key themes that lead up to the return of Jesus.

These four major themes are essential in gaining spiritual insight into the message of this extraordinary book, the book of Revelation. As Dr. Davis concludes with the first part of the book, the Seven Churches of Asia, she continues the prophecy series with the four remaining themes of the book, God and the church in heaven, the seven seals, trumpets and plaques, the punishment of Babylon and the destruction of pagan nations, and finally, the new creation. Now for today's lesson, here's Dr. Cheryl Davis with the last church in the series, the Church of Laodicea.

Hello, I'm Dr. Cheryl Davis, and I want to thank you for listening to Truth Matters. Over the last couple of weeks, we 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 forest 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, the history of the church age, a summary of Revelations chapters 1 through 3. Let me begin by saying Revelation is a self-outlined book. In Revelation chapter 1 verse 19, it says, Write the things which you have seen and the things which are and 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, Saul, 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. As we know, after the third letter, the fourth letter comes to the church at Thyatira, and this is known as the fourth stage of church history, which is labeled that woman, Jezebel. If you remember the letter to Thyatira, it is covered in Revelation chapter 2 verse 20.

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you. Because you allow that woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. This time frame is AD 500 to 1500, which is a thousand years. And we know Jezebel is the woman who married King Ahab and brought in pagan adulterous practices into Israel.

She became the power behind the throne and relentlessly persecuted the people and prophets of God. This is known as a period of time known as the Dark Ages, where the church was headquartered in Rome, but Rome fell in 476. A new movement called monasticism started, which was mainly monks and hermits.

A famous monk, Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation, was alive at the end of this era. Let's move on to the fifth letter of Sardis. As you know, Sardis had a name but was dead. This is known as the stage five of church history, a name but dead. And this is covered in Revelation chapter 3 verse 1. And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says he who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

I know your works, that you have a name, that you are alive, but you are dead. This time frame is covered in AD 1500 to AD 700, which is a span of about 200 years. The condition of the church at the time was under the Papal authority of Rome. But when that became unbearable, Martin Luther initiated a Reformation in 1517. This came known as the Protestant Reformation, which is from the root word protest. Martin Luther was well known for his 95 Thesis, a document listing various oppressive and unbiblical practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the father of the Protestant Reformation.

Also, at this critical time in history, the printing press was invented in 1440. Martin Luther had two main beliefs. The Bible, not the church, was ultimately an authority.

And salvation is by God's grace alone, not works. He became the father of the Protestant Reformation, which is known as the protesting church. The Protestant church had a difficult time breaking free from the ritualism it inherited from Rome. The church had a name, but little life. However, the printing press is critical, as now the Bible is able to be reproduced and not held in the hands of the priests, who are the only ones that have access to the material and also are the only ones that can read.

It's language. The Bible then later becomes translated and distributed in ways that it hasn't been before, which moves us on to the sixth stage of church history, the church at Philadelphia. The sixth letter in Revelation is through the church of Philadelphia, which the sixth stage is known as an open door. And as I said before, this is a key juncture in church history.

It's covered in Revelation chapter 3, verse 8. I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it.

For you have little strength. You have kept my word and have not denied my name. This is the timeframe of AD 700 to AD 1900. It's a 200-year period of time represented by the church of Philadelphia. This was an explosive period of revival and missionary expansion. It originated primarily in England and the U.S. Preachers like Whitfield, Charles Spurgeon, Moody, and Finney arose during this time. Missionaries answered the call.

Taylor to China, Judson to Burma, Peyton to the Hebrides. God opened the door, and the church went through it. Also, with the expansion of the word, it can be reduced with revival, the word can be distributed. And moving on from the church of Philadelphia, this gets us to the seventh and final stage of church history, the church of Laodicea. And as we know, the key word to describe the church at Laodicea is lukewarm. This is covered in Revelation chapter 3, verse 16.

So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. The timeframe for this period in church history is AD 1900 to the present, which currently is 121 years. This is the age in which we live today. As we know, the main church on the scene, the main spiritual condition of the modern-day church today is lukewarm. It is sickly, it is wretched, it is blind, it is naked. Torn by cults, it's been kept off balance by offbeat theologies, too weak to work a remedy in remedying the world's ills. The church that lives in the world and is of the world, it is consumed with itself and its comfort.

I'd like to talk about another aspect of looking at this. If you look at seven stages, each stage has its own letter. But really, in looking in the seven ages, you can divide these seven ages into two groups.

In chapters 4 through 19, we will encounter seven seals, seven vials, and seven bowls. In each group of seven, they were divided into subgroups. And in group one, there are four churches or four stages. In group two, there are three.

Let's get at group one. So group one, I'm describing as a successive period. The first four periods of church history followed one another, meaning as the first period rise and falls, then the second period starts, rises and falls. The third period rises and falls, and the fourth period rises and falls.

They come in succession, one on the end of the other. Ephesus, which is the post-apostolic, was followed by Smyrna, which was the period of persecution, which was followed by Pergamos, which is the time of Rome, which was followed by Thyatira, which is the time of the Dark Ages. But I'd like to really spend more time on group two, as I believe these churches exist contemporaneously, meaning that they exist around the same time. Because the height of these churches may differ in their time frames. What I mean is that currently in modern day, I believe there are elements of Sardis.

There are elements of Philadelphia. There are elements of Laodicea. Laodicea is the most prominent church at this time, but I believe they all coexist together. As you remember, Sardis was the church that was dead but had a name.

Laodicea was alive with an open door and Laodicea is sickly. What I mean by contemporaneous is that when the door to ministry was opened in the Philadelphia period, the previous Sardis period, the dead church did not end. We still have the Roman church today and churches bogged down in deadness and apathy. When the expansion of the church began, the Reformation period did not end, it continues today. The effects of the previous periods are still around, but the Laodicean characteristics are dominant. I believe we had three forms of church on the scene today.

The Sardis form, the Philadelphia form, and the Laodicean form. Our challenge is to recognize that the Lord could come today. So what is keeping us from laying our sins down?

We are on the threshold of the end of the age. Luke 18 8 says, Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, will he find faith on the earth? And according to the three contemporaneous forms of churches that are on the scene today, as we said before when we studied the church of Philadelphia, Philadelphia is the remnant in which the Lord is coming back for in the rapture. The letters to the seven churches are God's x-rays given to us so that we might examine our own lives and our own ministries. Knowing that your church or even your Christian life could fall into these three categories, dead, name only, alive and thriving or sickly, sinner, righteous or ungodly, which one do you fall into? Have you even taken the time to survey your own life and even your own church? Speaking to pastors, what is the spiritual condition of your church?

Is it more like Philadelphia or is it more like Laodicea or Sardis? 1 Peter 4 and 17 says, For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins with us first, where will the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? I hope that you've gleaned some information and really realized and have opened our eyes to the spiritual condition of the modern day church by examining its history.

History is important because we need to be knowledgeable of history and the mistakes that are made in the past so that we don't repeat them. I hope that this study has given you a viewpoint into the spiritual landscape of today. Like I said before, now we will begin to study those things that will be.

In Revelations chapter 4 through 19 describes the coming judgment to the world, and we will begin with chapter 4 next time. I pray that you are well. Thank you for listening to Truth Matters.

I'm Dr. Cheryl Davis. Thank you for joining us today for our lesson. We pray that it has not only been informational but also insightful as we study conditions existing in the world prior to the return of Jesus.

The church in Laodicea was greatly influenced by popular culture of its day, having one foot in the world and one foot in the faith. We hope you'll continue to listen to Truth Matters as Dr. Davis takes us deeper in our study into the world's most profound and extraordinary book, The Book of Revelation. Truth Matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis is a division of The Truth Project, a conservative Christian ministry committed to the teaching of sound biblical doctrine and Christian theology. Learn more about The Truth Project and Truth Matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis by visiting our website at or contact us by email at or connect with us on Facebook. You can also write Dr. Davis and the Truth Team at P.O. Box 159, St. Paul's, North Carolina, 28384. We would appreciate hearing from you. This has been Truth Matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-12 15:33:54 / 2023-08-12 15:39:43 / 6

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