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Thread: The 7 churches in Revelation

  1. #31
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation - roman emperors, laodicea, lampstands, etc... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aijalon View Post
    So when you meet someone on the street, and they say they believe in Jesus, what is the likelihood that this is legit? Jesus kind of means whatever you want him to mean these days, he's just molded into whatever popular opinion says he should be. He's the God who's job it is to "Bless America" to some, and to others he's just a liberal free loving mystic. Since church is just a social club were you don't have to conform to a moral code anymore, the go-along-get-along jesus is the prevailing view for many out there, and we would not really know for sure what the guy in the next pew really thinks about Jesus' teachings because we don't even know the guy in the next pew....

    Okay, I'm babbling.
    Aijalon... you can be the one in the next pew

    It's best if you first put mirrors in all the pews around you... AND THEN think what you just expressed from your heart. Raise one eyebrow while you look around... adds great effect.

    I'm not babbling.
    Slug1--out

    ~At the end of the day, the Cross we bear... is small!~

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~


    ~"It is one thing to speak God's name in a message but another to speak of God's standards in a message. The name of God is not removed from many a message today but the standards of God... ARE removed."~

    ~"Psalm 106:23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, To turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them."...
    So don't say that God never meant to destroy the Hebrews, to do so, makes God a liar.~



  2. #32

    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    You might try reading Zech. 4 before you say that it is not about the future.
    Blessings
    GB

    *[[Zec 4:1]] KJV* And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
    *[[Zec 4:2]] KJV* And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
    *[[Zec 4:3]] KJV* And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.*[[Zec 4:4]] KJV* So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
    [[Zec 4:5]] KJV* Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
    *[[Zec 4:6]] KJV* Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
    *[[Zec 4:7]] KJV* Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
    *[[Zec 4:8]] KJV* Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
    *[[Zec 4:9]] KJV* The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.
    *[[Zec 4:10]] KJV* For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
    *[[Zec 4:11]] KJV* Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
    *[[Zec 4:12]] KJV* And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
    *[[Zec 4:13]] KJV* And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
    *[[Zec 4:14]] KJV* Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.
    I'm well acquainted with that passage. And it tells me that you have no answer to my point that the 7 churches in Asia Minor were historic churches with real problems. Of course you know that. My only point is that any future application is *secondary* to the primary application, which was rooted in history.

  3. #33
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    So you still believe these churches are in the future despite our extensive discussion on this subject last year?
    Absolutely. Some of the statements to the churches could not have possibly applied to ancient churches.

  4. #34
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    You're kidding? You honestly think the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, etc. were not historical churches? You honestly think Jesus was not addressing *real problems* that existed in *those churches* at *that time?*

    The 1st principle of interpretation is to identify what is being said to whom! This is Jesus' message of correction to real historical churches. If you want to extrapolate from that messages for future churches or for all churches I have no problem with that. But to say that this was primarily and foremostly about the *future* is very clearly an error!

    I see this all the time with prophecy enthusiasts, and it does not speak well of them, quite frankly. They see clear messages of correction from ancient prophets to ancient Israel about ancient problems, and think that because it is *prophecy* that it must be about the future! And because apocalyptic language or prophetic symbolism is used they think this cannot have an historical application--no, it must be all about the Antichrist, or all about the 2nd Coming!

    Where is common sense in all this? If there are historic messages for a certain moment in history, and it is inspired by God and preserved for posterity, it is not a denial of future prophecy, nor does it mean that this ancient message cannot be for future generations! But if one is to get the real message one must begin by understanding the message in its historical context. Let's be real about this, and not put everything into the conservative/liberal camp!
    Massive assumptions not based on the actual text. Sorry to disagree, but GB is right.

    True conservatism is honest about what the Scriptures say, and does not attempt to validate itself by making all prophecy about the future!
    If you actually believe what you wrote here, then you would also realize these churches are end time churches, not ancient ones. Examine each statement and ask yourself, "could this apply to a long gone 1st century church?" Many statements cannot.

  5. #35
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I'm well acquainted with that passage. And it tells me that you have no answer to my point that the 7 churches in Asia Minor were historic churches with real problems. Of course you know that. My only point is that any future application is *secondary* to the primary application, which was rooted in history.
    I believe it is the other way around. The literal meaning is primary and the figurative historical interpretation is secondary. But, this only comes once we realize how God communicates in the Bible. God does what only God can do, He declares the end from the beginning. Every passage is a test of faith and many just do not see it no matter how plain it is written.

    As to the "evidence" that eliminates the historical churches....

    Rev 2:25 But hold fast what you have till I come.

    Do you accuse the Spirit of giving this church false hope? Do you accuse the Spirit of not knowing this church would be long gone before Jesus returns?

    Rev 3:3 Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

    Do you accuse Jesus of deceiving this church? He knew good and well that His return would not come within the lifetime of this church. Did He lie for the greater good?

    Rev 3:9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

    Did Jesus do this in ancient history? If not, how can the ancient synagogue of satan worship at the feet of this church? Think this thru. Will the wicked be resurrected with these saints?

    Rev 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

    Was there a world wide hour of trial in the first century? There is at the end.

    There are many wonderfully fanciful guesses at what the Nicolaitans were, but zero evidence. Just like the Assyrian king Jareb Hosea wrote about, zero evidence of his existence in history. Because both of these do not yet exist.

    The most obvious question. What in the world are 7 letters to ancient churches doing in the book of Revelation? It makes no sense to connect these to the end times, unless they are end time churches.

  6. #36
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    Absolutely. Some of the statements to the churches could not have possibly applied to ancient churches.
    Future of when written, so dealing with the past 1900 years or so to present and INTO the future? Or future, future... that these churches don't even exist yet, future?
    Slug1--out

    ~At the end of the day, the Cross we bear... is small!~

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~


    ~"It is one thing to speak God's name in a message but another to speak of God's standards in a message. The name of God is not removed from many a message today but the standards of God... ARE removed."~

    ~"Psalm 106:23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, To turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them."...
    So don't say that God never meant to destroy the Hebrews, to do so, makes God a liar.~



  7. #37
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    Future of when written, so dealing with the past 1900 years or so to present and INTO the future? Or future, future... that these churches don't even exist yet, future?
    All scripture is useful for all times. However, there is a very specific literal meaning to a very specific point in time for prophecy. For example, when God divorces Israel. That is not an ongoing event. It was/will be a specific event at a specific time. Likewise Psalm 22 was fulfilled at Jesus' crucifixion at one specific time.

    To answer your question, all future. They do not yet exist. See post #35 for a short list of reasons why. Yes, some of Turkey will repent after seeing the rapture. That is why we do not read very much about this region throughout the end times prophesied judgments. See Jeremiah 25:15-26. Turkey, where all 7 churches in Revelation are located, is noticeably absent from this long list of nations. They, at least some, will repent.

    Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
    And He inclined to me,
    And heard my cry.
    2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
    Out of the miry clay,
    And set my feet upon a rock,
    And established my steps.
    3 He has put a new song in my mouth—
    Praise to our God;
    Many will see it and fear,
    And will trust in the Lord.

  8. #38

    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    Massive assumptions not based on the actual text. Sorry to disagree, but GB is right.



    If you actually believe what you wrote here, then you would also realize these churches are end time churches, not ancient ones. Examine each statement and ask yourself, "could this apply to a long gone 1st century church?" Many statements cannot.
    No, all of the statements fit perfectly well in the context of an address to these historic churches. If you say otherwise please provide examples of where they do not?

  9. #39

    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    I believe it is the other way around. The literal meaning is primary and the figurative historical interpretation is secondary.
    I would say the same thing, Tony! However, I find that the literal meaning is rooted in the historic churches of Asia Minor, from Ephesus to Laodicea. It would be a *symbolic interpretation* to apply these 7 historic churches to some future church ages. So, if you find the *literal interpretation* primary, then what you're doing is focusing on the symbolic and secondary application of these messages. And that's okay, as long as you predicate your symbolic interpretations on the primary meaning of these messages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    But, this only comes once we realize how God communicates in the Bible. God does what only God can do, He declares the end from the beginning. Every passage is a test of faith and many just do not see it no matter how plain it is written.

    As to the "evidence" that eliminates the historical churches....

    Rev 2:25 But hold fast what you have till I come.

    Do you accuse the Spirit of giving this church false hope? Do you accuse the Spirit of not knowing this church would be long gone before Jesus returns?

    Rev 3:3 Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

    Do you accuse Jesus of deceiving this church? He knew good and well that His return would not come within the lifetime of this church. Did He lie for the greater good?

    Rev 3:9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

    Did Jesus do this in ancient history? If not, how can the ancient synagogue of satan worship at the feet of this church? Think this thru. Will the wicked be resurrected with these saints?

    Rev 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

    Was there a world wide hour of trial in the first century? There is at the end.

    There are many wonderfully fanciful guesses at what the Nicolaitans were, but zero evidence. Just like the Assyrian king Jareb Hosea wrote about, zero evidence of his existence in history. Because both of these do not yet exist.

    The most obvious question. What in the world are 7 letters to ancient churches doing in the book of Revelation? It makes no sense to connect these to the end times, unless they are end time churches.
    Yes, I've addressed some of this several times in this forum, though you may not have seen it. I view Jesus' "coming" as being primarily an eschatological reality, and yet also a matter of judgments taking place in history. For example, Jesus "came" in judgment in 70 AD when God judged Israel. Jesus "comes" when we die. The idea of God "coming" in judgment is mentioned numerous times in the OT Prophets, and these "comings of God" were fulfilled in events like the Babylonian Judgment, or in a locust plague.

    But the ultimate fulfillment of Jesus' "coming" is at the end of the age. And we are being prepared for that right now, and do not await that specific generation in order to get ready for it.

    As to the "hour or trial," referred to with respect to the church at Philadelphia, yes, it was some kind of historic trouble, from which this particular church was able to escape. And as to the Nicolaitans, yes, they were some cultic movement within the churches that caused trouble and moral laxity.

  10. #40
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    No, all of the statements fit perfectly well in the context of an address to these historic churches. If you say otherwise please provide examples of where they do not?
    One cannot prove something does not exist. I can at least suggest a thing did not happen, and then you would have to prove that it did happen. For example...

    Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

    Within the lifetime of the church in Philadelphia, what was the hour of trial that came upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth? If no worldwide hour of trial can be found, it seems to suggest one of two things. Either Jesus didn't know that the church would be long gone by the time this hour of trial would come, or this statement isn't for the ancient church. So again, what was the hour of trial that came upon the whole world during the time of this ancient church after 95 AD when this letter was given?

  11. #41
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I would say the same thing, Tony! However, I find that the literal meaning is rooted in the historic churches of Asia Minor, from Ephesus to Laodicea. It would be a *symbolic interpretation* to apply these 7 historic churches to some future church ages. So, if you find the *literal interpretation* primary, then what you're doing is focusing on the symbolic and secondary application of these messages. And that's okay, as long as you predicate your symbolic interpretations on the primary meaning of these messages.
    I certainly do not agree with the "church ages" interpretation of the 7 churches. It is an interesting theory, but it has no real basis in fact. The literal meaning must apply literally, and many of Jesus' statement cannot be applied literally to these ancient churches. That is my whole point.

    Yes, I've addressed some of this several times in this forum, though you may not have seen it. I view Jesus' "coming" as being primarily an eschatological reality, and yet also a matter of judgments taking place in history. For example, Jesus "came" in judgment in 70 AD when God judged Israel. Jesus "comes" when we die. The idea of God "coming" in judgment is mentioned numerous times in the OT Prophets, and these "comings of God" were fulfilled in events like the Babylonian Judgment, or in a locust plague.
    I understand your view of figurative "comings" of Christ. I just do not agree with it. Coming means coming, imo.
    But the ultimate fulfillment of Jesus' "coming" is at the end of the age. And we are being prepared for that right now, and do not await that specific generation in order to get ready for it.
    I'm not sure how you can see His coming as figurative in some places and literal in others.

    As to the "hour or trial," referred to with respect to the church at Philadelphia, yes, it was some kind of historic trouble, from which this particular church was able to escape.
    What was it? Was it a world wide trial to test all those who dwell on the earth? Because that is what Jesus said. This cannot be a small matter.

    And as to the Nicolaitans, yes, they were some cultic movement within the churches that caused trouble and moral laxity.
    Do you have evidence for this? I've heard many claims be people who are trying to prove God's word is true. I have seen zero evidence of Nicolaitans recorded in history by ECF's or otherwise. That does not mean they did not exist of course. There is zero evidence for much of history that actually happened. Jesus mentioned them twice in two separate letters. You'd think it would have been important and someone would have recorded something about them.

  12. #42

    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    I certainly do not agree with the "church ages" interpretation of the 7 churches. It is an interesting theory, but it has no real basis in fact. The literal meaning must apply literally, and many of Jesus' statement cannot be applied literally to these ancient churches. That is my whole point.
    Okay. I find the 7 church ages theory interesting. But again, it is the literal interpretation that must come first, prior to any symbolic type of interpretation. Apparently we agree on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    I understand your view of figurative "comings" of Christ. I just do not agree with it. Coming means coming, imo.
    No question that "coming" means "coming!" The whole question is, what does "coming" mean in the specific contexts? I've provided a number of verses referring to the "coming" of the Day of the Lord, or for the "coming" of Jesus. And there is not a single context for these "comings!" Some Days of the Lord take place as an historic judgment, such as during the Babylonian Judgment. Some "comings" of Jesus refer to his coming to a particular town during his earthly ministry. We cannot just assume that every "coming" of Christ in Scriptures refers to an eschatological event!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    I'm not sure how you can see His coming as figurative in some places and literal in others.
    Well, maybe you weren't involved in my earlier discussions in that respect? For example, in Luke 17 Jesus talked about the day of his revelation in the context of 70 AD. That isn't Preterism. That is what Jesus said would happen on top of his eschatological coming at the end of the age! Jesus compares his eschatological coming with a "coming of God" in 70 AD!

    There is another Scripture in which Jesus said his disciples would not be able to visit every town in Israel before *his coming.* Again, this is not an eschatological coming. This is a warning that Israel would remain inadequately prepared for the judgment that awaited them in 70 AD.

    Finally, I would point out that in the book of Revelation the 7 churches were warned that if they didn't properly obey Jesus would *come* to them in judgment. Again, this refers to historical judgments, and not to Jesus' eschatological coming. Again, these "comings" of Jesus in history are like the historical Days of the Lord. Although they happened in history they do not preclude the ultimate coming of Christ at the end of the age.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    What was it? Was it a world wide trial to test all those who dwell on the earth? Because that is what Jesus said. This cannot be a small matter.
    I agree. It was a big matter. But since they did not know international travel, planes, international communications, and modern geography, they certainly used language that was local. Their idea of "everywhere" was "as far as the eye can see." They weren't thinking globes and world maps!

    A persecution that was "everywhere" or "world-wide" likely referred to the scope of the Roman Empire. That was their whole world in that time. They certainly knew the world was bigger than Rome, but their language would've viewed Rome as the "whole world."

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Do you have evidence for this? I've heard many claims be people who are trying to prove God's word is true. I have seen zero evidence of Nicolaitans recorded in history by ECF's or otherwise. That does not mean they did not exist of course. There is zero evidence for much of history that actually happened. Jesus mentioned them twice in two separate letters. You'd think it would have been important and someone would have recorded something about them.
    Yes, but this is an argument from silence. Many Christian liberals in history have denied certain parts of the Bible simply because they had not yet received any definite evidence for some of the towns and events mentioned in the Bible! Later the evidence emerged. We should therefore not base an argument on silence. Rather, we should assume these people really existed since the Bible mentions them. I think it much more likely this is speaking of an actual group of people in the historic churches rather than assume they speak of future churches.
    Last edited by randyk; Aug 15th 2017 at 11:49 PM.

  13. #43
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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation - roman emperors, laodicea, lampstands, etc... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    Aijalon... you can be the one in the next pew

    It's best if you first put mirrors in all the pews around you... AND THEN think what you just expressed from your heart. Raise one eyebrow while you look around... adds great effect.

    I'm not babbling.
    Slug I was not talking about any one church in particular, but rather a creeping liberalism that is seeing the church agree to same sex marriage, universalism..... There are saints in these churches, and a large number in the pews near them that really have no idea.....

    Let's not be sanctimonious about what we think to be in the heart of the man next to us, there is nothing intrinsically good about the heart of man my friend (though there is good in it).
    As the "thief" in the night, Christ is going to suddenly appear on the throne of Israel - not the antichrist.

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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation - roman emperors, laodicea, lampstands, etc... :)

    With that said though, Slug, I would have to say that you're right. I am - we all are - the guy in the pew, that is, unless one knows the other well enough.....

    the whole thing I'm driving at though is limited in regards to our doctrine. Doctrine very very important, and causes a lot of slipping away from the church, and then there is slipping away from faith.

    You can remain in church, yet have no faith. That's the social club experience. We are not saved by doctrine, as bad as our doctrine is, it also doesn't doom us to hell. We are saved by faith.
    As the "thief" in the night, Christ is going to suddenly appear on the throne of Israel - not the antichrist.

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    Re: The 7 churches in Revelation - roman emperors, laodicea, lampstands, etc... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aijalon View Post
    With that said though, Slug, I would have to say that you're right. I am - we all are - the guy in the pew, that is, unless one knows the other well enough.....

    the whole thing I'm driving at though is limited in regards to our doctrine. Doctrine very very important, and causes a lot of slipping away from the church, and then there is slipping away from faith.

    You can remain in church, yet have no faith. That's the social club experience. We are not saved by doctrine, as bad as our doctrine is, it also doesn't doom us to hell. We are saved by faith.
    Let me tell you a little secret... if someone walks up to you on the street and mentions Jesus and you think this:
    So when you meet someone on the street, and they say they believe in Jesus, what is the likelihood that this is legit?
    The little secret is... God won't be using you to help them because God KNOWS you aren't right in your heart. Such a "thought" is NOT of Christ, thus no light to be shared with the person.

    Go on... keep attempting to back peddle from your previous fruit you posted.
    Slug1--out

    ~At the end of the day, the Cross we bear... is small!~

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~


    ~"It is one thing to speak God's name in a message but another to speak of God's standards in a message. The name of God is not removed from many a message today but the standards of God... ARE removed."~

    ~"Psalm 106:23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, To turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them."...
    So don't say that God never meant to destroy the Hebrews, to do so, makes God a liar.~



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