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Trivalee
Mar 29th 2016, 10:28 PM
I have often wondered why God allowed the seven churches he addressed to in Revelation 1-3 to disappear and be swallowed up by Islam?

The seven:

1. Ephesus
2. Smyrna
3. Pergamos
4. Thyatira
5. Sardis
6. Philadelphia
7. Laodicea

All in present-day western, Turkey, now a Muslim country with about 1 percent Christian population. We should remember that the messages were to the Christians worshipping in these respective cities and not limited to the congregation of the specific church. This thread is not an evaluation of the conduct of the churches in their day, but how they resonate with the Body of Christ today. All their strengths and weaknesses are evident in our churches today - from their humility and obedience to their susceptibility to false apostles (Ephesus) and prophetesses (Thyatira).

The most outstanding are the church in Laodicea which the Lord described as neither 'hot' nor 'cold'. I can only ascribe this to political correctness as most orthodox churches in the west has become today in other to be relevant in a world that hates the truth! But the Lord warned that unless they repented, he would spew them out of his mouth (Rev 3:15-16).

As the word of God is forever alive, the demise of these ancient churches does not in any way diminish the warnings as they serve as guidelines to the present, I suppose. Will it be fair to attribute their demise as the punishment the Lord promised if they failed to repent?

Tony P
Mar 30th 2016, 04:34 PM
I have often wondered why God allowed the seven churches he addressed to in Revelation 1-3 to disappear and be swallowed up by Islam?

The seven:

1. Ephesus
2. Smyrna
3. Pergamos
4. Thyatira
5. Sardis
6. Philadelphia
7. Laodicea

All in present-day western, Turkey, now a Muslim country with about 1 percent Christian population. We should remember that the messages were to the Christians worshipping in these respective cities and not limited to the congregation of the specific church. This thread is not an evaluation of the conduct of the churches in their day, but how they resonate with the Body of Christ today. All their strengths and weaknesses are evident in our churches today - from their humility and obedience to their susceptibility to false apostles (Ephesus) and prophetesses (Thyatira).

The most outstanding are the church in Laodicea which the Lord described as neither 'hot' nor 'cold'. I can only ascribe this to political correctness as most orthodox churches in the west has become today in other to be relevant in a world that hates the truth! But the Lord warned that unless they repented, he would spew them out of his mouth (Rev 3:15-16).

As the word of God is forever alive, the demise of these ancient churches does not in any way diminish the warnings as they serve as guidelines to the present, I suppose. Will it be fair to attribute their demise as the punishment the Lord promised if they failed to repent?

The fact that these seven churches are directly addressed by Jesus is interesting. I can only guess that these seven represent a picture of most churches throughout history, including today. As far as why they were erased by Islam, I have no answer. Jesus had to know they would be long gone before his coming, so why are they written within the book of Revelation? What do they have to do with the coming revealing of Jesus Christ? I can only guess that Jesus' praise and warnings to the churches will be the way he deals with us as individuals as well when he returns.

Slug1
Mar 30th 2016, 04:57 PM
I have often wondered why God allowed the seven churches he addressed to in Revelation 1-3 to disappear and be swallowed up by Islam?

The seven:

1. Ephesus
2. Smyrna
3. Pergamos
4. Thyatira
5. Sardis
6. Philadelphia
7. Laodicea

All in present-day western, Turkey, now a Muslim country with about 1 percent Christian population. We should remember that the messages were to the Christians worshipping in these respective cities and not limited to the congregation of the specific church. This thread is not an evaluation of the conduct of the churches in their day, but how they resonate with the Body of Christ today. All their strengths and weaknesses are evident in our churches today - from their humility and obedience to their susceptibility to false apostles (Ephesus) and prophetesses (Thyatira).

The most outstanding are the church in Laodicea which the Lord described as neither 'hot' nor 'cold'. I can only ascribe this to political correctness as most orthodox churches in the west has become today in other to be relevant in a world that hates the truth! But the Lord warned that unless they repented, he would spew them out of his mouth (Rev 3:15-16).

As the word of God is forever alive, the demise of these ancient churches does not in any way diminish the warnings as they serve as guidelines to the present, I suppose. Will it be fair to attribute their demise as the punishment the Lord promised if they failed to repent?These 7 churches are used as examples of the spiritual condition THAT the Body of Christ can find themselves in. It's the leadership (as revealed as "angels of the church" in the letters) in the Body of Christ today to disciple properly so the examples we are given in those letters, the Body does NOT find themselves falling into the conditions revealed in those letters. Those conditions are MANY examples of people in the Body, FAILING to abide in Christ.

Christians tend to deviate from a proper relationship, and this deviation is the cause of lacking in abiding in Christ and through those letters, we are given specific examples of what "to lack" in abiding means.

What happens to those who fail to abide in Christ? They are overcome by the world... just as those actual churches were.

Trivalee
Mar 30th 2016, 08:31 PM
The fact that these seven churches are directly addressed by Jesus is interesting. I can only guess that these seven represent a picture of most churches throughout history, including today. As far as why they were erased by Islam, I have no answer. Jesus had to know they would be long gone before his coming, so why are they written within the book of Revelation? What do they have to do with the coming revealing of Jesus Christ? I can only guess that Jesus' praise and warnings to the churches will be the way he deals with us as individuals as well when he returns.

I see the letters to the 7 churches as symbolic. The word of God is enduring: we see how Christ' encouragments and stern warnings to them has continued to resonate over the ages to the present and even until his return. A closer look at the peculiarities of each church is evident today. E.g., the Lord praised the church in Smyrna for their perseverance and diligence in the face of persecution despite their abject poverty. While suffering these outside persecutions, their troubles were further exacebated by the false Christians among them who were undermining the work of the ministry.

Rev 2:8 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, but thou art rich, and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are The Synagogue of Satan.

On the contrary, the Ephesian church boasted very rich members who were not fooled by false apostles, remember that Paul complained several times in his letters about the harm done by these false apostles to the sound doctrine he gave to the churches? Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

To orchestrate the power of satan, we see that over time they became affected by these contradictory doctrines nonetheless, and began to wane in the word. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

I personally see these letters as a standard from the Lord for every church to evaluate their standing and it's another reminder of the dire consequencies of false worship. Like then, the Body of Christ today is inundated with every concievable vice found in those early churches!

newnature
Mar 31st 2016, 04:00 AM
As we read the letters, which are addressed to us through the Apostle Paul; and, on turning to the Book of Revelation, in chapters two and three we are at once conscious of a striking change. We find letters suddenly removed from the ground of “Grace” to the ground of “Works”. 


The Book of Revelation contains a record (by vision and prophecy) of the events, which shall happen in the Day of Yahweh, after the Body of Christ shall have been removed from the earth. The whole Book of Revelation is concerned with the Israelite, the Gentile, and the Earth, but not with the body of Christ. 


There will be a people for Yahweh on the earth during those eventful years, who are believing in Christ as the Messiah, who know nothing of him as the Savior. Will not these need special instruction? The Pauline letters will of course be of use as an historical record of what will then be past, just as we have the record of Israel’s history in the Old Testament now. 


Yahweh indeed, has provided for their instruction, and warning, and encouragement, in the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation. Right at the beginning, they are the first subjects of Divine remembrance, provision, and care. 


Their needs must be first provided for, before anything else is recorded of the things which John saw; and there they will find what is specially written for their learning. We may so read them now, ourselves, and apply them, so far as we can do so consistently with the teaching for this dispensation of grace, contained in the Pauline letters. 


Applying these thus, we leave the full and final interpretation for those to whom it will specially belong hereafter. If these “churches” are future assemblies of Israelite believers on the earth, after the Body of Christ has been caught up to meet Jesus, then all is clear, consistent, and easy to be understood. 


The real difficulty is created by attempting to read the Body of Christ into the Book of Revelation, where it has no place. As to the “seven lamp-stands,” ought not this expression at once to send our thoughts back to the one golden lamp-stand of the Tabernacle, one lamp-stand with seven lamps, indicative of Israel’s unity in the Land and in the City. 


Here, the scattered condition of the nation is just as distinctly indicated by the fact that the seven lamps are no longer united in one lamp-stand. The nation is no longer in the Land, for Jerusalem is not now the center; but the people are “scattered” in separate communities in various cities in Gentile lands. 


So that just as the one lamp-stand represents Israel in its unity, the seven lamp-stands represent Israel in its dispersion; and tells us that Yahweh is about to make Jerusalem again the center of his dealings with the earth. We find nothing in our Pauline letters that fits into what is said to these assemblies. 


But those readers will be at once be reminded of the various stages of their own past history, and they will find in almost every sentence some allusion to the circumstances in which they will find themselves as described in these letters in the Book of Revelation. They are written to the People supposed to be well-versed in the history of the Old Testament, and well-acquainted with all that had happened to their fathers and had been written for their admonition. 


Instructed in the past history of their nation, they will readily understand the relation between the testings and judgments in the past with which they are familiar, and those similar circumstances in which they will find themselves in a yet future day. As we read these letters, the references to the Old Testament in the seven letters correspond with the historical order of the events, so it is with respect to the promises contained in these letters. 


While the historical events connected with the rebukes are carried down from Exodus to the period of the Minor Prophets, the promises cover a different period; commencing with the period of Eden, and ending with the period of Solomon. The subjects of the rebukes follow the order of the departure of the People from Yahweh. Their decline and apostasy is traced out in the historical references contained in these letters. 


But when we turn to the promises, then all is different. Thy proceed in the opposite direction. The order, instead of descending from Israel’s highest ground of privilege (Exodus) to the lowest stage of destitution (Minor Prophets), the order ascends from tending a garden to sharing his throne. The seven promises are all intensely individual, there is no corporate existence recognized as such. 


Each one of the seven promises commences with the same words, “to him that overcomes.” Such phraseology is foreign to the Pauline letters.

Trivalee
Mar 31st 2016, 01:30 PM
As we read the letters, which are addressed to us through the Apostle Paul; and, on turning to the Book of Revelation, in chapters two and three we are at once conscious of a striking change. We find letters suddenly removed from the ground of “Grace” to the ground of “Works”. 


The Book of Revelation contains a record (by vision and prophecy) of the events, which shall happen in the Day of Yahweh, after the Body of Christ shall have been removed from the earth. The whole Book of Revelation is concerned with the Israelite, the Gentile, and the Earth, but not with the body of Christ. 


It is a bit difficult to follow your case as your arguments are all over the place. The Book of Revelation (a picture of the End Times) concerns all, Jew and Gentile. Your mistake here is in claiming that the Body of Christ (the church) will not be "concerned" by events of the Tribulation. Are you, therefore, suggesting that the church will be raptured before these events occur? You appear to overlook the fact that the saved (BoC) are made up of both Jew and Gentile.


There will be a people for Yahweh on the earth during those eventful years, who are believing in Christ as the Messiah, who know nothing of him as the Savior. Will not these need special instruction? The Pauline letters will of course be of use as an historical record of what will then be past, just as we have the record of Israel’s history in the Old Testament now. 


Messiah to Israel automatically denotes "saviour", (Luke 2:11, Acts 13:23) so how can they believe and accept Christ as Messiah without recognising him as saviour?


Applying these thus, we leave the full and final interpretation for those to whom it will specially belong hereafter. If these “churches” are future assemblies of Israelite believers on the earth, after the Body of Christ has been caught up to meet Jesus, then all is clear, consistent, and easy to be understood. 


I fear you took a clear message from the Head of the church (Jesus Christ) to his churches and turned it into what it's not. The 7 churches addressed are not figurative, they're literal and their instructions remain relevant to us today. The churches are not a "future assembly" of Israel. The strengths and weaknesses highlighted in those churches by our Lord and his subsequent encouragements and warnings to them to put their "house" in order serve as a clear model for the church (BoC) from then to now and to the end! Twisting it into something else is dangerous and misleading.


The real difficulty is created by attempting to read the Body of Christ into the Book of Revelation, where it has no place. As to the “seven lamp-stands,” ought not this expression at once to send our thoughts back to the one golden lamp-stand of the Tabernacle, one lamp-stand with seven lamps, indicative of Israel’s unity in the Land and in the City. 


How so? A scripture or two would have persuaded me to accept your view that the church has no place in the End Times of the Book of Revelation.



Here, the scattered condition of the nation is just as distinctly indicated by the fact that the seven lamps are no longer united in one lamp-stand. The nation is no longer in the Land, for Jerusalem is not now the center; but the people are “scattered” in separate communities in various cities in Gentile lands. 


So that just as the one lamp-stand represents Israel in its unity, the seven lamp-stands represent Israel in its dispersion; and tells us that Yahweh is about to make Jerusalem again the center of his dealings with the earth. We find nothing in our Pauline letters that fits into what is said to these assemblies. 


The above true as it is has no place in the letter to the 7 churches of Revelation. The letter pure and simple is the Lords final instructions to his church set up by Paul. The Lord commended them where they excelled, bemoaned them where they were lacking, encouraged them to repent and above all, reminded them of punishment for non-repentance! In as much as most of the Revelation prophecies are shrouded in misery, the letters to the churches, on the other hand, are plain as day.


But those readers will be at once be reminded of the various stages of their own past history, and they will find in almost every sentence some allusion to the circumstances in which they will find themselves as described in these letters in the Book of Revelation. They are written to the People supposed to be well-versed in the history of the Old Testament, and well-acquainted with all that had happened to their fathers and had been written for their admonition. 


Instructed in the past history of their nation, they will readily understand the relation between the testings and judgements in the past with which they are familiar, and those similar circumstances in which they will find themselves in a yet future day. As we read these letters, the references to the Old Testament in the seven letters correspond with the historical order of the events, so it is with respect to the promises contained in these letters. 


While the historical events connected with the rebukes are carried down from Exodus to the period of the Minor Prophets, the promises cover a different period; commencing with the period of Eden, and ending with the period of Solomon. The subjects of the rebukes follow the order of the departure of the People from Yahweh. Their decline and apostasy is traced out in the historical references contained in these letters. 


But when we turn to the promises, then all is different. Thy proceed in the opposite direction. The order, instead of descending from Israel’s highest ground of privilege (Exodus) to the lowest stage of destitution (Minor Prophets), the order ascends from tending a garden to sharing his throne. The seven promises are all intensely individual, there is no corporate existence recognized as such. 


As interesting as your Jewish historical narrative is, it, unfortunately, has no relevance to the letters to the churches of Revelation.


Each one of the seven promises commences with the same words, “to him that overcomes.” Such phraseology is foreign to the Pauline letters.

I am not clear what the "seven promises" are, but what is clear in these letters is Christ' reminder to all (to him that overcomes) that the church may suffer collectively, but judgement and rewards are meted out individually!

newnature
Mar 31st 2016, 03:16 PM
It is a bit difficult to follow your case as your arguments are all over the place. The Book of Revelation (a picture of the End Times) concerns all, Jew and Gentile. Your mistake here is in claiming that the Body of Christ (the church) will not be "concerned" by events of the Tribulation. Are you, therefore, suggesting that the church will be raptured before these events occur? You appear to overlook the fact that the saved (BoC) are made up of both Jew and Gentile.



Messiah to Israel automatically denotes "saviour", (Luke 2:11, Acts 13:23) so how can they believe and accept Christ as Messiah without recognising him as saviour?



I fear you took a clear message from the Head of the church (Jesus Christ) to his churches and turned it into what it's not. The 7 churches addressed are not figurative, they're literal and their instructions remain relevant to us today. The churches are not a "future assembly" of Israel. The strengths and weaknesses highlighted in those churches by our Lord and his subsequent encouragements and warnings to them to put their "house" in order serve as a clear model for the church (BoC) from then to now and to the end! Twisting it into something else is dangerous and misleading.



How so? A scripture or two would have persuaded me to accept your view that the church has no place in the End Times of the Book of Revelation.




The above true as it is has no place in the letter to the 7 churches of Revelation. The letter pure and simple is the Lords final instructions to his church set up by Paul. The Lord commended them where they excelled, bemoaned them where they were lacking, encouraged them to repent and above all, reminded them of punishment for non-repentance! In as much as most of the Revelation prophecies are shrouded in misery, the letters to the churches, on the other hand, are plain as day.



As interesting as your Jewish historical narrative is, it, unfortunately, has no relevance to the letters to the churches of Revelation.



I am not clear what the "seven promises" are, but what is clear in these letters is Christ' reminder to all (to him that overcomes) that the church may suffer collectively, but judgement and rewards are meted out individually!

The Great Tribulation, which is the central subject, but Daniel is not permitted to do much more than make known the fact of the Great Tribulation out of which Daniel’s people, the Israelites were to be delivered. The particulars and the circumstances of that day, were not to be made known at that time by Daniel. 


We take it therefore that the opening of the seals of this 7-Sealed Book is the enlargement and development of the Book of Daniel, describing, from Yahweh’s side, the judgments necessary to secure the fulfillment of all that he has foretold. However, there is something more in this 7-Sealed Book then the mere continuation of Daniel’s prophecies, but there must be that which calls for all these judgments and requires the putting forth of all this power. 


If this 7-Sealed Book has to do with the whole subject of prophecy, with its causes, and not merely with its consequences and its end, then it may well take us back to the beginning when man was driven out from Paradise, when Adam forfeited his inheritance; and the promise of a coming Deliverer and Redeemer was given. 


Who has the right to redeem the forfeited inheritance, the lost Paradise? Satan is in possession of this world now, and as such Satan was able in a peculiar way to tempt him who had come to redeem it, in the only lawful way in which it could be redeemed. Who is worthy, who will act the Goel’s (or Redeemer’s) part for man and for Israel, and recover his lost estate. 


This 7-Sealed Book was given to the one worthy to open the seals, in connection with such a transaction for a much weightier Redemption of Creation, both by unanswerable right and unequalled might. For the Goel was an avenger as well as a redeemer. 


The themes which form the whole Books subject: The removal of the curse from creation, the redemption of the purchased inheritance, the ejection of the great usurper; and all accomplished through the payment of the redemption’s price by the merits of the promised coming Deliverer, and the putting forth of redemption power. 


But the payment of the price is only one part of the work of redemption. If the price be paid and there be no power to take possession and eject the holder, the payment is in vain. And if power be put forth and exercised in casting out the usurper, without the previous payment of the redemption price, it would not be a righteous action. 


So that for the redemption of the forfeited inheritance, two things are absolutely necessary, price and power. What ought we to look for as the first thing which has the end of the “many days” and “the time of the end”? The price has been paid in the shedding of the precious blood of the promised Deliverer; and now, the necessary power is to be exercised so as to secure all its results, in wresting the inheritance from the hand of the enemy by ejecting the present usurper, and forcibly taking possession. 


We see this power put forth in the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls, which fill up the active judgments of Yahweh in accomplishing this, and which end with the coming of the promised Deliverer himself. As the 7-Sealed Book begins to be opened, six seals are separated off from the seventh; as though to point out to us that the seventh is not immediately consecutive on the sixth, as the other seals are consecutive one on the other, the sixth seal evidently carries us forward to the time of the end. 


The Day of Yahweh will be a prolonged period; it must not be confined to “seven years,” as is so often done. These events may occupy a period of thirty-three years; and if to these we add the seven years of the last week of Daniel, we have a period of forty years. Matt. Chapter 24, “What shall be the sign of your coming, and of the sunteleia of the age?” 


Jesus describes four of those seals, and adds, “All these are a beginning of sorrows.” This fixes these first four seals as the “beginning” of the sunteleia of the Day of Yahweh. This “beginning” may be spread over some years before the Great Tribulation, proper, comes on. Not one of these seals has yet been opened, nor can any period of history be pointed out in which these first four seals have been in operation simultaneously.

Moose
Mar 31st 2016, 03:35 PM
I have often wondered why God allowed the seven churches he addressed to in Revelation 1-3 to disappear and be swallowed up by Islam?

The seven:

1. Ephesus
2. Smyrna
3. Pergamos
4. Thyatira
5. Sardis
6. Philadelphia
7. Laodicea

All in present-day western, Turkey, now a Muslim country with about 1 percent Christian population. We should remember that the messages were to the Christians worshipping in these respective cities and not limited to the congregation of the specific church. This thread is not an evaluation of the conduct of the churches in their day, but how they resonate with the Body of Christ today. All their strengths and weaknesses are evident in our churches today - from their humility and obedience to their susceptibility to false apostles (Ephesus) and prophetesses (Thyatira).

The most outstanding are the church in Laodicea which the Lord described as neither 'hot' nor 'cold'. I can only ascribe this to political correctness as most orthodox churches in the west has become today in other to be relevant in a world that hates the truth! But the Lord warned that unless they repented, he would spew them out of his mouth (Rev 3:15-16).

As the word of God is forever alive, the demise of these ancient churches does not in any way diminish the warnings as they serve as guidelines to the present, I suppose. Will it be fair to attribute their demise as the punishment the Lord promised if they failed to repent?

The letters had nothing to do with 1st century churches/regions, they are addressed to the people who will exist in the end times and they are found in the book about end times (revelation). The words used therein are about end times like "i will come soon".
The letter is not even about the church but about everyone during those days the church being represented by 2 groups -Philadelphia and Smyrna.

Philadelphia represents the group of people who discerns the times and understand what God wants - actually God himself will guide them and they are represented as Judah in the OT -where you see remnants in Judah always escape.

Smyrna represents believers who don't understand the time of their visitation and these group God Himself will refine them through the fire (great tribulation). They will have to hold on to their testimony about Jesus and will die for their faith. They are represented by Jerusalem in the OT. Jerusalem doesn't know her time of visitation and it has to be always flattened out.

The rest of the groups failed and will be on the side of the antichrist but whoever believes or maintains their testimony from these groups will automatically be of Smyrna and will die for their faith.

When God calls His people out of babylon, do you think they know/understand? only the wise will heed the call and escape the tribulation in babylon and that is Philadelphia/Judah.

Old man
Mar 31st 2016, 03:58 PM
Personally I believe they are in regards to Christ's judgments toward the church and the criteria by which He has, is and will judge the church form the beginning until we are caught up with Him.

Just as Peter wrote:

1 Pet. 4:17-18 "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (18) AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?"

Jesus' directing John to include those letters in Rev indicates that that judgment had started and reveals how and by what standards He is (and will continue) judging the churches (including other ministries and individual believers) until the end.

newnature
Mar 31st 2016, 04:08 PM
It is a bit difficult to follow your case as your arguments are all over the place. The Book of Revelation (a picture of the End Times) concerns all, Jew and Gentile. Your mistake here is in claiming that the Body of Christ (the church) will not be "concerned" by events of the Tribulation. Are you, therefore, suggesting that the church will be raptured before these events occur? You appear to overlook the fact that the saved (BoC) are made up of both Jew and Gentile.

You forgot the land, never forget about that land. The Gentiles were never promised a particular territory upon earth as an everlasting possession, only Israel had been given that promise, they were promised a messiah. The gentiles were never promised a messiah. You appear to have overlook the fact about God setting his program with the sign nation aside for a time as he ushered in a new program through a new dispensation for those for whom he has prepared a heavenly habitation. The Body has not been promised that earthly kingdom, an earthly inheritance, those in the Body of Christ, their citizenship is in Heaven.

Messiah to Israel automatically denotes "saviour", (Luke 2:11, Acts 13:23) so how can they believe and accept Christ as Messiah without recognising him as saviour?

Jesus Christ’s death is historical fact, but what does his death by itself have to with you? In order to be saved, a person must believe that Christ’s death accomplished something on that person’s behalf, where that person’s sin debt is concerned. But where the Mosaic covenant was contracted between Yahweh and the nation, the Davidic covenant is contracted between Yahweh and a single individual, the king. The Davidic covenant is an eternal and unconditional covenant between Yahweh and the House of David, or the dynasty of David. Yahweh says that David and his descendants may be punished for sin. They certainly will be punished for sin, but Yahweh will not take the kingdom away from them as he did from Saul. Yahweh’s unconditional and eternal covenants with the patriarchs and with David do not prelude the possibility of punishment or chastisement for sin as specified in the conditional Mosaic covenant. 


The covenant with David, it’s a covenant of grant, it’s a grant of a reward for loyal service and deeds. Yahweh rewards David with the gift of an unending dynasty, in exchange for his loyalty. Yahweh’s oath to preserve the Davidic dynasty, would lead eventually to a popular belief in the invincibility of the Holy City. The belief in Israel’s ultimate deliverance from enemies, became bound up with David and his dynasty. When the kingdom fell finally to the Babylonians, the promise to David’s House was believed to be eternal. The community looked to the future for a restoration of the Davidic line or Davidic king or messiah. 


The messiah simply means anointed, one who is “meshiach” is anointed with the holy oil, That is a reference to the fact that the king was initiated into office by means of holy oil being poured on his head. So King David was the messiah of Yahweh, the king anointed by or to Yahweh. And in the exile, Israelites would pray for another messiah, meaning another king from the House of David appointed and anointed by Yahweh to rescue them from enemies, and reestablish them as a nation at peace in their land as David had done. The Israelites hope for a messiah; it involved the restoration of the nation in its land under a Davidic king. 


The 12 apostles preached the reality of the resurrection of Jesus ‘the messiah’. The 12 apostles had preached the necessity of Jesus ‘the messiah’ being raised from among the dead, in order to sit on the throne of David in the promised kingdom.

I fear you took a clear message from the Head of the church (Jesus Christ) to his churches and turned it into what it's not. The 7 churches addressed are not figurative, they're literal and their instructions remain relevant to us today. The churches are not a "future assembly" of Israel. The strengths and weaknesses highlighted in those churches by our Lord and his subsequent encouragements and warnings to them to put their "house" in order serve as a clear model for the church (BoC) from then to now and to the end! Twisting it into something else is dangerous and misleading.

So-called Christendom today fails to rightly divide the word of truth, because they have mixed God’s program with Israel and his program with the Body of Christ and mixed dispensations together; dispensations that do not mix together, and as a result, they think they have taken on Israel’s role from the point where Israel left off.

How so? A scripture or two would have persuaded me to accept your view that the church has no place in the End Times of the Book of Revelation.

Are we to study the Word of God as though it were a hodge-podge assortment of instructions that are all the same for all the people of all the ages? Some people study it that way, and then wonder why they can not make sense of it.


The above true as it is has no place in the letter to the 7 churches of Revelation. The letter pure and simple is the Lords final instructions to his church set up by Paul. The Lord commended them where they excelled, bemoaned them where they were lacking, encouraged them to repent and above all, reminded them of punishment for non-repentance! In as much as most of the Revelation prophecies are shrouded in misery, the letters to the churches, on the other hand, are plain as day.

Paul was not an earthly kingdom program apostle, God had no need for an additional apostle to fulfill the program of Israel’s promised earthly kingdom. Everything related to Israel’s program comes with the number twelve, God did not add a thirteenth to that program.


As interesting as your Jewish historical narrative is, it, unfortunately, has no relevance to the letters to the churches of Revelation.

Yahweh’s salvation of his people from Egypt, not the Christian sense of personal salvation from sin; that’s anachronistically read back into the Hebrew Bible. It’s not there. Salvation in the Hebrew Bible does not refer to an individual's deliverance from a sinful nature. This is not a concept that is found in the Hebrew Bible. Salvation refers instead, to the concrete, collective, communal salvation from national suffering and oppression, particularly in the form of foreign rule of enslavement.

I am not clear what the "seven promises" are, but what is clear in these letters is Christ' reminder to all (to him that overcomes) that the church may suffer collectively, but judgement and rewards are meted out individually!

The body of Christ are not children of wrath.

Glorious
Mar 31st 2016, 04:39 PM
I have often wondered why God allowed the seven churches he addressed to in Revelation 1-3 to disappear and be swallowed up by Islam?

The seven:

1. Ephesus
2. Smyrna
3. Pergamos
4. Thyatira
5. Sardis
6. Philadelphia
7. Laodicea

All in present-day western, Turkey, now a Muslim country with about 1 percent Christian population. We should remember that the messages were to the Christians worshipping in these respective cities and not limited to the congregation of the specific church. This thread is not an evaluation of the conduct of the churches in their day, but how they resonate with the Body of Christ today. All their strengths and weaknesses are evident in our churches today - from their humility and obedience to their susceptibility to false apostles (Ephesus) and prophetesses (Thyatira).

The most outstanding are the church in Laodicea which the Lord described as neither 'hot' nor 'cold'. I can only ascribe this to political correctness as most orthodox churches in the west has become today in other to be relevant in a world that hates the truth! But the Lord warned that unless they repented, he would spew them out of his mouth (Rev 3:15-16).

As the word of God is forever alive, the demise of these ancient churches does not in any way diminish the warnings as they serve as guidelines to the present, I suppose. Will it be fair to attribute their demise as the punishment the Lord promised if they failed to repent?

If the gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church, Islam or any other religion cannot.

Note that the Church starts out spiritual: the Spirit adds us to the Church. Each of the seven spirits constituting the Spirit adds believers unto his corresponding church. That is how come we have seven churches in the fullness of the Church.

After starting out in the Spirit, the church then becomes glorious before she is finally/thirdly a preparation of/for God almighty.

Churches listed in Revelation 2 and 3 correspond to each of the seven spirits/glory/preparations of God.

Trivalee
Mar 31st 2016, 05:14 PM
The letters had nothing to do with 1st century churches/regions, they are addressed to the people who will exist in the end times and they are found in the book about end times (revelation). The words used therein are about end times like "i will come soon".
The letter is not even about the church but about everyone during those days the church being represented by 2 groups -Philadelphia and Smyrna.

Philadelphia represents the group of people who discerns the times and understand what God wants - actually God himself will guide them and they are represented as Judah in the OT -where you see remnants in Judah always escape.

Smyrna represents believers who don't understand the time of their visitation and these group God Himself will refine them through the fire (great tribulation). They will have to hold on to their testimony about Jesus and will die for their faith. They are represented by Jerusalem in the OT. Jerusalem doesn't know her time of visitation and it has to be always flattened out.

The rest of the groups failed and will be on the side of the antichrist but whoever believes or maintains their testimony from these groups will automatically be of Smyrna and will die for their faith.

When God calls His people out of Babylon, do you think they know/understand? only the wise will heed the call and escape the tribulation in Babylon and that is Philadelphia/Judah.

I disagree with your analogy. Again, this is another misinterpretation of the scripture. The claim that the letters are addressed to "people that will exist in the end times" is a fallacy. How do you reconcile the fact that the seven churches mentioned were real and active when John received the vision? Another common misconception by many is that they interpret the letters as prophecy (because supposedly everything else in the Book of Revelation is prophetic), but this is not the case. Those letters were not prophecies but as literal as any of those written by Paul. Our Lord as Spirit has to reveal them in a vision to his servant, John.

God doesn't do anything by chance; all the "seven" had exclusive messages. You described what in your estimation the Philadelphian and Smyrna church represented, but failed to articulate in the same vein what the remaining 'five' represented, instead you lopped them together as "failed" and consequently on the side of the AC. This is ludicrous and has no relevance to the actual meaning of the letters. It bothers me that some people continue to see 'future prophecies and hidden messages' in an otherwise plain instruction from the Head of the Church (Jesus Christ) to his congregations to put their acts together or face punishment for their sins.

I have stated several times that those letters serve as a "model" for the Church of God (Body of Christ) set up by Paul from then to today and to the end. No more, no less! They are the yardstick or mirror for any church (old or new) to assess where they stand. We see that everything present in today's churches were present in those 1st-century churches as well. The Laodicean church was described as neither warm nor cold (neither for Christ nor Satan) and the Lord said he will spew them out of his mouth unless they stand firmly for him.

It reminds me of some churches today who have embraced some vices (condoning same-sex marriage, gay pastors, etc.) condemned by God - that government and society deem acceptable. These churches are desperate to be seen as liberal and progressive and subsequently, fail to speak out against an apostate society that doesn't want to hear the truth.

Moose
Mar 31st 2016, 06:23 PM
I disagree with your analogy. Again, this is another misinterpretation of the scripture. The claim that the letters are addressed to "people that will exist in the end times" is a fallacy. How do you reconcile the fact that the seven churches mentioned were real and active when John received the vision? Another common misconception by many is that they interpret the letters as prophecy (because supposedly everything else in the Book of Revelation is prophetic), but this is not the case. Those letters were not prophecies but as literal as any of those written by Paul. Our Lord as Spirit has to reveal them in a vision to his servant, John.

God doesn't do anything by chance; all the "seven" had exclusive messages. You described what in your estimation the Philadelphian and Smyrna church represented, but failed to articulate in the same vein what the remaining 'five' represented, instead you lopped them together as "failed" and consequently on the side of the AC. This is ludicrous and has no relevance to the actual meaning of the letters. It bothers me that some people continue to see 'future prophecies and hidden messages' in an otherwise plain instruction from the Head of the Church (Jesus Christ) to his congregations to put their acts together or face punishment for their sins.

I have stated several times that those letters serve as a "model" for the Church of God (Body of Christ) set up by Paul from then to today and to the end. No more, no less! They are the yardstick or mirror for any church (old or new) to assess where they stand. We see that everything present in today's churches were present in those 1st-century churches as well. The Laodicean church was described as neither warm nor cold (neither for Christ nor Satan) and the Lord said he will spew them out of his mouth unless they stand firmly for him.

It reminds me of some churches today who have embraced some vices (condoning same-sex marriage, gay pastors, etc.) condemned by God - that government and society deem acceptable. These churches are desperate to be seen as liberal and progressive and subsequently, fail to speak out against an apostate society that doesn't want to hear the truth.

Revelation is an explanation of Daniel's prophesy but it is also a prophesy about the end times. The end times events are explained in 4 different stories (just like Daniel was -4 different stories about end times). One of the stories about the end times is the letters to seven churches.
Consider the letter to Thyatira:

Rev 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead.

Do you really believe that there was a church whos members went around having sexual immorality with this woman called Jezebel? and did God strike her children dead?

This letters is an explanation about the end times when the love of many will grow cold, "apostasy must come first"- do you remember?
Jesus explains the end times in Luke:

Luke 21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17Everyone will hate you because of me. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19Stand firm, and you will win life.

And He quotes this to Smyrna almost word for word

Rev 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

ForHisglory
Mar 31st 2016, 06:35 PM
I have often wondered why God allowed the seven churches he addressed to in Revelation 1-3 to disappear and be swallowed up by Islam?
The seven:
1. Ephesus
2. Smyrna
3. Pergamos
4. Thyatira
5. Sardis
6. Philadelphia
7. Laodicea
Actually these churches weren't swallowed up by Islam. It is true that Islam is the dominant religion in the country where these churches were, however as we look at the history of these places we find that NONE of these cities (except Smyrna) exist any longer.
Ephesus for example declined as a city because the harbour silted up until the city was abandoned.
Laodicea, from what I understand was levelled by an earthquake, and the issue that is highlighted about the problem of getting water to the city was such that they decided not to rebuild.

The statements to the churches remain just as valid as the letters of Paul to the Ephesians etc. We can learn how God responds to His people through these 7 short letters, and also learn the importance of the WHOLE church to respond to the message of God - NOT just the leaders. This is why it is addressed to the angel and NOT any pastor. ALL are held accountable for the state of church and to respond to what it faces as a body.

Trivalee
Apr 1st 2016, 01:34 PM
The Great Tribulation, which is the central subject, but Daniel is not permitted to do much more than make known the fact of the Great Tribulation out of which Daniel’s people, the Israelites were to be delivered. The particulars and the circumstances of that day, were not to be made known at that time by Daniel. 


We take it therefore that the opening of the seals of this 7-Sealed Book is the enlargement and development of the Book of Daniel, describing, from Yahweh’s side, the judgments necessary to secure the fulfillment of all that he has foretold. However, there is something more in this 7-Sealed Book then the mere continuation of Daniel’s prophecies, but there must be that which calls for all these judgments and requires the putting forth of all this power. 


If this 7-Sealed Book has to do with the whole subject of prophecy, with its causes, and not merely with its consequences and its end, then it may well take us back to the beginning when man was driven out from Paradise, when Adam forfeited his inheritance; and the promise of a coming Deliverer and Redeemer was given. 


Who has the right to redeem the forfeited inheritance, the lost Paradise? Satan is in possession of this world now, and as such Satan was able in a peculiar way to tempt him who had come to redeem it, in the only lawful way in which it could be redeemed. Who is worthy, who will act the Goel’s (or Redeemer’s) part for man and for Israel, and recover his lost estate. 


This 7-Sealed Book was given to the one worthy to open the seals, in connection with such a transaction for a much weightier Redemption of Creation, both by unanswerable right and unequalled might. For the Goel was an avenger as well as a redeemer. 


The themes which form the whole Books subject: The removal of the curse from creation, the redemption of the purchased inheritance, the ejection of the great usurper; and all accomplished through the payment of the redemption’s price by the merits of the promised coming Deliverer, and the putting forth of redemption power. 


But the payment of the price is only one part of the work of redemption. If the price be paid and there be no power to take possession and eject the holder, the payment is in vain. And if power be put forth and exercised in casting out the usurper, without the previous payment of the redemption price, it would not be a righteous action. 


So that for the redemption of the forfeited inheritance, two things are absolutely necessary, price and power. What ought we to look for as the first thing which has the end of the “many days” and “the time of the end”? The price has been paid in the shedding of the precious blood of the promised Deliverer; and now, the necessary power is to be exercised so as to secure all its results, in wresting the inheritance from the hand of the enemy by ejecting the present usurper, and forcibly taking possession. 


We see this power put forth in the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls, which fill up the active judgments of Yahweh in accomplishing this, and which end with the coming of the promised Deliverer himself. As the 7-Sealed Book begins to be opened, six seals are separated off from the seventh; as though to point out to us that the seventh is not immediately consecutive on the sixth, as the other seals are consecutive one on the other, the sixth seal evidently carries us forward to the time of the end. 


The Day of Yahweh will be a prolonged period; it must not be confined to “seven years,” as is so often done. These events may occupy a period of thirty-three years; and if to these we add the seven years of the last week of Daniel, we have a period of forty years. Matt. Chapter 24, “What shall be the sign of your coming, and of the sunteleia of the age?” 


Jesus describes four of those seals, and adds, “All these are a beginning of sorrows.” This fixes these first four seals as the “beginning” of the sunteleia of the Day of Yahweh. This “beginning” may be spread over some years before the Great Tribulation, proper, comes on. Not one of these seals has yet been opened, nor can any period of history be pointed out in which these first four seals have been in operation simultaneously.

There are quite a number of threads current and past discussing the 7 Seals and their subsequently judgments. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the two posts you have submitted that is remotely related to the theme of discussion here - the seven churches of Revelation. You can't interpose an unrelated subject into a topic of discussion, it's unconscionable.

Given your insightful exposition on the End Times prophesy, I am convinced that you certainly know the difference between a direct message and a future prophesy. There is nothing futuristic about Christ' message to his church which was active when John received the vision. The message to the churches started the Book of Revelations for a reason; Christ wanted to get that out of the way first before expounding on the End Times prophecies, starting from Daniel as you rightly stated. While Revelation 1-3 addressed the present (when the vision was given) you note that chapters 4 to the end was all about future events.

I, therefore, wonder why you have constantly refused to address the topic of discussion? Surely, you are not mistaking the letters to the 7 churches as the same as the 7 seal judgements?

Trivalee
Apr 1st 2016, 01:38 PM
The body of Christ are not children of wrath.

What does this mean?

Trivalee
Apr 1st 2016, 02:46 PM
Revelation is an explanation of Daniel's prophesy but it is also a prophesy about the end times. The end times events are explained in 4 different stories (just like Daniel was -4 different stories about end times). One of the stories about the end times is the letters to seven churches.
Consider the letter to Thyatira:

Rev 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead.

Do you really believe that there was a church whos members went around having sexual immorality with this woman called Jezebel? and did God strike her children dead?

This letters is an explanation about the end times when the love of many will grow cold, "apostasy must come first"- do you remember?
Jesus explains the end times in Luke:

Luke 21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17Everyone will hate you because of me. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19Stand firm, and you will win life.

And He quotes this to Smyrna almost word for word

Rev 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

Your misinterpretation of Rev 1-3 is understandable. Sadly, you are not the first. You have based your case on the letter to Thyatira (Rev 2:20-23) to highlight your view. Let's take a closer look at the texts and see how they stand up to your viewpoint. In the preceding verse (19) Our Lord Jesus first commended them for their diligence, faith and perseverance before proceeding to warn them to desist from sexual immorality which was prevalent among them. "Jezebel" in scripture represents the apogee of corruption, immorality and everything God hates! She is the first woman described as a "whore" throughout the bible. She is often used to describe Babylon (Rev17:5-6, 18:4-8, 19:2).

The Thyatira church had a female leader described as a prophetess who had loose morals and it is not surprising that this led to a culture of sexual immorality. The members were sleeping with each other, etc. The same prophetess further encouraged the congregation to eat meat sacrificed to idols. The purpose of the letter, therefore, was Christ reminding them that their sexual escapades are not as hidden as they think. The Lord then cautioned them to repent or they will face the consequences.


Do you really believe that there was a church whos members went around having sexual immorality with this woman called Jezebel? and did God strike her children dead?

As always, bible texts rely heavily on allegory and events that people of the age can identify with. This makes sense if you consider that Jezebel died over a thousand years to the time John received the vision. There was no ambiguity in the message; Jesus was certain that the congregation will immediately understand it because the mention of Jezebel automatically conjures up rebellion, wickedness, immorality etc. which they were practising in their church.

Now as regarding Smyrna (Rev 2:10) as you quoted above, this church perhaps is the only one without many blemishes. They were financially poor (but spiritually rich v-9). Naturally they had some unsavoury members who were bent of causing trouble (I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews but are not). Nevertheless, the majority were neither fooled nor distracted by them. Most significantly as we know, all the early churches faced undue persecution and harassment at a time when paganism was the order of the day. Consequently, the letter encouraged them that though many of them would suffer death and imprisonment, but ultimately, those who persevere to the end will receive the crown of life (v-10).

This message remains relevant today as we see the church continue to suffer persecution. Many are killed (Egypt, Nigeria, Syria) because they stand for Christ. As I have said before, there is nothing futuristic about the letter to the churches because they were active at the time the vision was given to John. The Letters, however, continue to serve as a model for the church of Christ from then to the End Time.

Trivalee
Apr 1st 2016, 03:04 PM
Actually these churches weren't swallowed up by Islam. It is true that Islam is the dominant religion in the country where these churches were, however as we look at the history of these places we find that NONE of these cities (except Smyrna) exist any longer.
Ephesus for example declined as a city because the harbour silted up until the city was abandoned.
Laodicea, from what I understand was levelled by an earthquake, and the issue that is highlighted about the problem of getting water to the city was such that they decided not to rebuild.

The statements to the churches remain just as valid as the letters of Paul to the Ephesians etc. We can learn how God responds to His people through these 7 short letters, and also learn the importance of the WHOLE church to respond to the message of God - NOT just the leaders. This is why it is addressed to the angel and NOT any pastor. ALL are held accountable for the state of church and to respond to what it faces as a body.

It is refreshing to see someone who completely understood what the letters REALLY represents.

My case that they were swallowed up by Islam is that we should bear in mind that the letters were addressed to the entire "Christian congregations" in those cities and not just church building. It, therefore, follows to reason that unless the entire city was completely wiped out by disease, earthquake or war, etc. (which is not the case here) if Islam had not prevailed, the population would have continued to grow instead of decline. The church is the people, not the city - so the mere change of name from its ancient name to whatever current name it bears should not have had any bearing on the Christian population.

Moose
Apr 1st 2016, 03:37 PM
Your misinterpretation of Rev 1-3 is understandable. Sadly, you are not the first. You have based your case on the letter to Thyatira (Rev 2:20-23) to highlight your view. Let's take a closer look at the texts and see how they stand up to your viewpoint. In the preceding verse (19) Our Lord Jesus first commended them for their diligence, faith and perseverance before proceeding to warn them to desist from sexual immorality which was prevalent among them. "Jezebel" in scripture represents the apogee of corruption, immorality and everything God hates! She is the first woman described as a "whore" throughout the bible. She is often used to describe Babylon (Rev17:5-6, 18:4-8, 19:2).

The Thyatira church had a female leader described as a prophetess who had loose morals and it is not surprising that this led to a culture of sexual immorality. The members were sleeping with each other, etc. The same prophetess further encouraged the congregation to eat meat sacrificed to idols. The purpose of the letter, therefore, was Christ reminding them that their sexual escapades are not as hidden as they think. The Lord then cautioned them to repent or they will face the consequences.



As always, bible texts rely heavily on allegory and events that people of the age can identify with. This makes sense if you consider that Jezebel died over a thousand years to the time John received the vision. There was no ambiguity in the message; Jesus was certain that the congregation will immediately understand it because the mention of Jezebel automatically conjures up rebellion, wickedness, immorality etc. which they were practising in their church.

Now as regarding Smyrna (Rev 2:10) as you quoted above, this church perhaps is the only one without many blemishes. They were financially poor (but spiritually rich v-9). Naturally they had some unsavoury members who were bent of causing trouble (I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews but are not). Nevertheless, the majority were neither fooled nor distracted by them. Most significantly as we know, all the early churches faced undue persecution and harassment at a time when paganism was the order of the day. Consequently, the letter encouraged them that though many of them would suffer death and imprisonment, but ultimately, those who persevere to the end will receive the crown of life (v-10).

This message remains relevant today as we see the church continue to suffer persecution. Many are killed (Egypt, Nigeria, Syria) because they stand for Christ. As I have said before, there is nothing futuristic about the letter to the churches because they were active at the time the vision was given to John. The Letters, however, continue to serve as a model for the church of Christ from then to the End Time.

It is very sad that you don't understand Revelation and you don't understand the bible and consequently, you don't understand God- you need to open your eyes and mind. If God is what He says He is, He can not come down just for small group of individuals who have gone astray. He can not be writing letters to churches that He knows will be extinct. The letters are not even warnings but prophesy of what will happen in the end times and people will be arranged in that order as He has put.

I will just summarize the bible in a few words: The whole bible is about the end times- the stories about the kings, Israel, jerusalem, judah, all the prophesies, the law are models of what is to happen during the end times. The end times is after Jesus died and resurrected and will culminate into the Great tribulation. In the OT, we always see Judah escape and Jerusalem doesn;t- whole these stories come down to the very end where God's people will be divided into 2- Jerusalem (smyrna) and Judah (Philadelphia). Smyrna/Jerusalem will not escape because they don't understand and they indulge in idol worship yet God loves them. God Himself will use satan to refine them through the great tribulation.
Philadelphia will escape the GT because they understand.
If these Philadelphia & Smyrna were physical churches in Turkey, why does the Lord call them real Jews even though they were gentiles?

The churches are figurative just like Babylon and Jezebel are.

Neh 1:2 ..that Hanani, one of my brothers, and some men from Judah came; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped and had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. 3They said to me, "The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire."

Jer 44:28 Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand--mine or theirs.

Ezek 7:16 The fugitives who escape will flee to the mountains. Like doves of the valleys, they will all moan, each for their own sins.

Luke 21:20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21"Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains,

You must understand that Judea represents the church of Philadelphia- they will escape the GT but:

Luke 19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43"For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side,and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Jerusalem represents the church of Smyrna- no stone will be left on top of another, they will die by the sword because they don't understand.

Trivalee
Apr 1st 2016, 06:34 PM
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It is very sad that you don't understand Revelation and you don't understand the bible and consequently, you don't understand God- you need to open your eyes and mind. If God is what He says He is, He can not come down just for small group of individuals who have gone astray. He can not be writing letters to churches that He knows will be extinct. The letters are not even warnings but prophesy of what will happen in the end times and people will be arranged in that order as He has put.

Moose, I will always respect your opinion even though I do not agree with some of them. If you believe you understand the Book of Revelation better than me - glory be to God! But I'm sure you'll find out soon enough that you are the one that is out of tune with Revelation and most of the bible for that matter. I hate repetition; I have made my case and so have you, I doubt that another lengthy discourse here will make you see things differently.

Your claim that God cannot come down for a "small group who according to you "have gone astray" highlights your misunderstanding of not only who God is but the entire scripture. Remember the parable of the shepherd who left his 100 flock just to search out a missing sheep (Luke 15:4)? I am trying desperately to contain myself, but your claims are so outlandish and out of place that they are borderline ridiculous. E.g., (1) how could God write to a church he knew would be extinct? (2) The letters are not warnings (to churches that were real and lively when the message was given) but portend to some future events? Perhaps, I'll leave these for someone else with a fresh perspective to address.


I will just summarize the bible in a few words: The whole bible is about the end times- the stories about the kings, Israel, jerusalem, judah, all the prophesies, the law are models of what is to happen during the end times. The end times is after Jesus died and resurrected and will culminate into the Great tribulation. In the OT, we always see Judah escape and Jerusalem doesn;t- whole these stories come down to the very end where God's people will be divided into 2- Jerusalem (smyrna) and Judah (Philadelphia). Smyrna/Jerusalem will not escape because they don't understand and they indulge in idol worship yet God loves them. God Himself will use satan to refine them through the great tribulation.
Philadelphia will escape the GT because they understand.

Your wonderful summary of scripture from Gen to Rev as no more than the account of the End Times is fascinating, albeit, another example of your inability to grasp the most basic teachings of the bible. The problem is that so much emphasis has been on EndTime events that some have lost focus of other significant matters as well. I am dumbfounded as how the churches in Smyrna and Philadelphia turned into Jerusalem and Judah respectively. You provided no scripture to support this wild assertion and just want us to accept it on your own authority? Again, I seriously pray someone else will put you to rights!


If these Philadelphia & Smyrna were physical churches in Turkey, why does the Lord call them real Jews even though they were gentiles?

They were Jews alright. You seem to forget that many early converts to Christianity were ethnic Jews (who lived outside Israel) and gentiles alike. Or are you surprised to learn there were Jews in Turkey at that time? Paul, a Jew was born in Turkey (Acts 22:3).


The churches are figurative just like Babylon and Jezebel are.

Neh 1:2 ..that Hanani, one of my brothers, and some men from Judah came; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped and had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. 3They said to me, "The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire."

Jer 44:28 Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand--mine or theirs.

Ezek 7:16 The fugitives who escape will flee to the mountains. Like doves of the valleys, they will all moan, each for their own sins.

Luke 21:20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21"Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains,

I don't see the relevance of these verses to your argument.


You must understand that Judea represents the church of Philadelphia- they will escape the GT but:

How so, please explain in detail?


Luke 19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43"For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side,and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Jerusalem represents the church of Smyrna- no stone will be left on top of another, they will die by the sword because they don't understand.

Well, the above came to pass in AD70, but how does it relate to Smyrna, a city in western Turkey that didn't suffer Roman destruction?

Moose
Apr 1st 2016, 06:55 PM
Well, the above came to pass in AD70, but how does it relate to Smyrna, a city in western Turkey that didn't suffer Roman destruction?

This shows how you fail to see things in the bigger picture. Popular view doesn't mean it is right. The devil is working tirelessly to accomplish some events that appear as if prophesy is fulfilled but is not. When God says the world will believe in a lie -this is one of it. The events in 70AD have nothing to do with the prophesy, it is not even the worst tribulation (not more than holocaust or what is happening in syria today) and people in Judea did not run to the mountains.
You are the kind of people that is waiting for a beast to rise from a sea, a temple to be build, a man to rule the world- this things shall be accomplished for you so that you believe in a lie.

I can not boast of knowing everything but i understand what the 7 letters mean.

Moose
Apr 2nd 2016, 05:11 AM
The problem is that so much emphasis has been on EndTime events that some have lost focus of other significant matters as well.

You still need to explain to me why the Lord called the church of Philadelphia and Smyrna real Jews in the land of gentiles. Why would other members of the same church be called a synagouge of satan- is it because they were not real Jews? but it was the land of gentiles.
This would suggest racism especially in the new era where there's no jew or gentiles but only believers- you need a change in mind ASAP.

Trivalee
Apr 2nd 2016, 11:25 AM
This shows how you fail to see things in the bigger picture. Popular view doesn't mean it is right. The devil is working tirelessly to accomplish some events that appear as if prophesy is fulfilled but is not. When God says the world will believe in a lie -this is one of it. The events in 70AD have nothing to do with the prophesy, it is not even the worst tribulation (not more than holocaust or what is happening in syria today) and people in Judea did not run to the mountains.
You are the kind of people that is waiting for a beast to rise from a sea, a temple to be build, a man to rule the world- this things shall be accomplished for you so that you believe in a lie.
I can not boast of knowing everything but i understand what the 7 letters mean.



Luke 19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43"For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side,and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."


You are contradictory. You quoted the above which was part of Jesus Christ' Olivet discourse (Matt 24:2) and when I pointed out that the prophecy was fulfilled in AD70, you backtracked and claimed the destruction of the temple in AD70 has nothing to do with prophecy.

This is unbelievable.

Trivalee
Apr 2nd 2016, 12:43 PM
You still need to explain to me why the Lord called the church of Philadelphia and Smyrna real Jews in the land of gentiles.

Perhaps you didn't know that several thousand or even millions of Jews lived outside Jerusalem in the 1st century? There was well-established Jewish communities all over Asia minor, Rome, Greece, Macedonia, North Africa, etc. Your assumption that the Christian communities outside Israel were only gentile converts is incorrect. Don't take my words for it, let's look at scripture:

1. Remember Peter and Paul's confrontation? Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch (a border town between Syria and Turkey), I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

I'm sure you know this story; but what it also tells us is that there was a lively Jewish community in that city most of who accepted Christ. You will also remember that it was in Antioch that believers first called themselves "Christians" (Acts 11:26).

2. Also, remember the Berean Jews that received the word of God with all readiness of mind? Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea (known today as Veria or Veroia, located in Northern Greece): who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

Gentiles don't enter into synagogues. Remember the uproar when Paul took Silas, a Greek convert to Jerusalem?

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica a Greek city, (there were Jews in Thessalonica too) in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Again, from the above we learn that there was a robust and healthy population of Jews in these cities. While some Jews believed in Christ together with Gentiles as we saw when James sent some Jews from Jerusalem to Antioch where the confrontation between Peter and Paul occurred. The truth is that majority of the dissension and contradiction in the doctrine that Paul complained in several of his letters were actually from Jews because his doctrine contradicted with the law of Moses and not gentile believers who came from pagan backgrounds.


Why would other members of the same church be called a synagogue of satan- is it because they were not real Jews? but it was the land of gentiles.

To get traction, you must understand the language of the age. What Jesus meant by this phrase is that these Jews were not genuine believers of Christ. Synagogue in Greek means "an assembly", Jesus was simply saying that these although they were real Jews but are insincere in their worship and therefore not 'assembling or gathering" for him (Christ). Therefore, they were for Satan. Remember, Jesus said either you for him or you're against him?

Again, bear in mind that as believers are readily called Christians today, there is no evidence to prove that when those in Antioch assumed that title (Christians) that it spread to every other province immediately. So Jesus could not have called them "unbelieving Christians". If you look at it from this context, you can understand why the Lord would refer insincere or fake believers as the synagogue of Satan. It follows to logic that those early converts just saw themselves as Jew, Greek or whatever race they were. They didn't have modern media like the internet etc., to disseminate information quickly, so the general term of Christian must have taken several years to go round and be commonly acceptable and used.


This would suggest racism especially in the new era where there's no jew or gentiles but only believers- you need a change in mind ASAP.

I'm not sure I understand where the accusation of racism came in? Fortunately, the text was to the 1st-century community where racism didn't play a big part in their daily lives. I don't know what you are accusing me of, or why I "need a change of mind, ASAP"?

ChangedByHim
Apr 2nd 2016, 01:18 PM
I have often wondered why God allowed the seven churches he addressed to in Revelation 1-3 to disappear and be swallowed up by Islam?


I have marked in bold the flaw in your thesis.

Trivalee
Apr 2nd 2016, 01:58 PM
I have marked in bold the flaw in your thesis.

And the flaw is "God allowed"....? That's all you have to say?

Moose
Apr 2nd 2016, 02:57 PM
You are contradictory. You quoted the above which was part of Jesus Christ' Olivet discourse (Matt 24:2) and when I pointed out that the prophecy was fulfilled in AD70, you backtracked and claimed the destruction of the temple in AD70 has nothing to do with prophecy.

This is unbelievable.

I quoted to support my view of end time prophesy about Jerusalem/ Smyrna. IMO it is one and the same thing, how did i contradict? i don't support the 70AD theory.

Moose
Apr 2nd 2016, 04:09 PM
Perhaps you didn't know that several thousand or even millions of Jews lived outside Jerusalem in the 1st century? There was well-established Jewish communities all over Asia minor, Rome, Greece, Macedonia, etc. Your assumption that the Christian communities outside Israel were only gentile converts is incorrect. Don't take my words for it, let's look at scripture:

1. Remember Peter and Paul's confrontation? Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch (a border town between Syria and Turkey), I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

I'm sure you know this story; but what it also tells us is that there was a lively Jewish community in that city most of who accepted Christ. You will also remember that it was in Antioch that believers first called themselves "Christians" (Acts 11:26).

2. Also, remember the Berean Jews that received the word of God with all readiness of mind? Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea (known today as Veria or Veroia, located in Northern Greece): who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

Gentiles don't enter into synagogues. Remember the uproar when Paul took Silas, a Greek convert to Jerusalem?

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica a Greek city, (there were Jews in Thessalonica too) in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Again, from the above we learn that there was a robust and healthy population of Jews in these cities. While some Jews believed in Christ together with Gentiles as we saw when James sent some Jews from Jerusalem to Antioch where the confrontation between Peter and Paul occurred. The truth is that majority of the dissension and contradiction in the doctrine that Paul complained in several of his letters were actually from Jews because his doctrine contradicted with the law of Moses and not gentile believers who came from pagan backgrounds.



To get traction, you must understand the language of the age. What Jesus meant by this phrase is that these Jews were not genuine believers of Christ. Synagogue in Greek means "an assembly", Jesus was simply saying that these although they were real Jews but are insincere in their worship and therefore not 'assembling or gathering" for him (Christ). Therefore, they were for Satan. Remember, Jesus said either you for him or you're against him?

Again, bear in mind that as believers are readily called Christians today, there is no evidence to prove that when those in Antioch assumed that title (Christians) that it spread to every other province immediately. So Jesus could not have called them "unbelieving Christians". If you look at it from this context, you can understand why the Lord would refer insincere or fake believers as the synagogue of Satan. It follows to logic that those early converts just saw themselves as Jew, Greek or whatever race they were. They didn't have modern media like the internet etc., to disseminate information quickly, so the general term of Christian must have taken several years to go round and be commonly acceptable and used.



I'm not sure I understand where the accusation of racism came in? Fortunately, the text was to the 1st-century community where racism didn't play a big part in their daily lives. I don't know what you are accusing me of, or why I "need a change of mind, ASAP"?

Do you really believe what you are saying here- Jesus writing a letter to Jews in Turkey? You have to listen to yourself.

Trivalee
Apr 2nd 2016, 05:41 PM
Do you really believe what you are saying here- Jesus writing a letter to Jews in Turkey? You have to listen to yourself.


You still need to explain to me why the Lord called the church of Philadelphia and Smyrna real Jews in the land of gentiles. Why would other members of the same church be called a synagouge of satan- is it because they were not real Jews? but it was the land of gentiles.
This would suggest racism especially in the new era where there's no jew or gentiles but only believers- you need a change in mind ASAP.

You claimed there were no Jews in "Gentile cities" in the 1st-century and I went to lengths to prove with several scriptures that thousands or even millions of Jews were indeed living in the supposed gentile lands outside Judea at that time. Yet despite these overwhelming evidence, you still can not conceive the possibility of "Jesus writing to Jews in Turkey"? You clearly overlooked the fact that Jesus is still speaking to both Jews and Gentiles (people in general) all over the world today? So, if he's speaking to people today, why not then?

You told me in a couple of posts back that you know the scriptures and went to summarise the bible (according to your understanding anyway) from Genesis to Revelation. But sadly, in every post, you unwittingly reveal how little you really understand the bible or the God we serve for that matter.

Slug1
Apr 2nd 2016, 07:58 PM
And the flaw is "God allowed"....? That's all you have to say?Not that what I'm about to say is speaking for CbH but... God didn't allow the churches to be overcome. By warning them of their lacking in abiding, and specifically telling them where they failed in their abiding, He was attempting to prevent their overcoming by the world.

ForHisglory
Apr 2nd 2016, 09:53 PM
It is refreshing to see someone who completely understood what the letters REALLY represents.

My case that they were swallowed up by Islam is that we should bear in mind that the letters were addressed to the entire "Christian congregations" in those cities and not just church building. It, therefore, follows to reason that unless the entire city was completely wiped out by disease, earthquake or war, etc. (which is not the case here) if Islam had not prevailed, the population would have continued to grow instead of decline. The church is the people, not the city - so the mere change of name from its ancient name to whatever current name it bears should not have had any bearing on the Christian population.
I highlighted at least two places which no longer exist as places. Ephesus and Laodicea. You can go and see the ruins if you want, but NO ONE lives there any more.
As far as I am aware, NONE of the previous places EXCEPT Smyrna exists any longer.
I would further highlight that the statements made were for the congregations of that time. So though Smyrna was doing well at that time, centuries later, many may have been killed, fled etc, so the commands for the church at that time and place were just that, and NOT for a people living in the same place 1200 years later. I agree that church is the people, but the issues faced by a people changes, and sometimes God calls us to leave where we are and go elsewhere.
So for me the real question is NOT about Islam or its influence.
Have a look at modern Palestine (meaning the part ruled by the Palestinian Authority). Places like Bethlehem were 20% Christian less than 50 years ago. Now it is around 2%. This is because people have fled persecution. Are we to judge them and say it is wrong to flee for your lives?
If that is what you want to debate then do clarify.
If however you want to consider what the letters to the 7 churches are about then that is a different thing.

Trivalee
Apr 3rd 2016, 09:34 PM
As far as I am aware, NONE of the previous places EXCEPT Smyrna exists any longer.
I would further highlight that the statements made were for the congregations of that time. So though Smyrna was doing well at that time, centuries later, many may have been killed, fled etc, so the commands for the church at that time and place were just that, and NOT for a people living in the same place 1200 years later.

The above is not exactly true. The word of God is forever enduring. As you rightly pointed out, the churches and cities named in the letters are all but lost to history except Smyrna. Are we to believe that the Lord who knows the end from the beginning didn't know what the fate of those churches would be? The letters go beyond that era; they are the moral conscience of the church of God from then, now and to the end.

To say the statements were limited to the congregation of that time is like saying the gospels are limited to the generation our Lord spoke to. As you know, the gospels are alive today as they were 2000 years ago. To suggest they are not relevant to people living 1200 years later is incorrect, IMO. I mean, look at Christ' observations, encouragement where it is due, the plea for their repentance and finally reminding them of punishment for sin. Tell me a living church today that does not identify with that? Paul said that even though he's restricted in prison, but the word of God is not bound (2 Tim 2:9), the churches and the cities might have ceased to exist - yet the letters remain relevant and meaningful to the church today.



I agree that church is the people, but the issues faced by a people changes, and sometimes God calls us to leave where we are and go elsewhere.
So for me the real question is NOT about Islam or its influence.
Have a look at modern Palestine (meaning the part ruled by the Palestinian Authority). Places like Bethlehem were 20% Christian less than 50 years ago. Now it is around 2%. This is because people have fled persecution. Are we to judge them and say it is wrong to flee for your lives?

Even though you seem to disagree that Islam has a direct influence in the dearth of Christians in that region, you unwittingly provided irrefutable support to my suggestion. No doubt people's needs and circumstances change and this invariably influence their survival or otherwise. We see Christians survive untold persecutions for over 300 years until Constantine. It was remarkably worse under Diocletian who ruled Asia Minor (location of the seven) and Carthage, yet Christians persevered. I am not ruling out-migration to safer regions, but when you take the stranglehold of Islam and its perpetuity, one can understand why they declined thereafter.

Of course, no one can judge or blame another for fleeing persecution but we can't believe that they all packed up and left since they have always survived?


If that is what you want to debate then do clarify.
If however you want to consider what the letters to the 7 churches are about then that is a different thing.


Actually these churches weren't swallowed up by Islam. It is true that Islam is the dominant religion in the country where these churches were, however as we look at the history of these places we find that NONE of these cities (except Smyrna) exist any longer.
Ephesus for example declined as a city because the harbour silted up until the city was abandoned.
Laodicea, from what I understand was levelled by an earthquake, and the issue that is highlighted about the problem of getting water to the city was such that they decided not to rebuild.

The statements to the churches remain just as valid as the letters of Paul to the Ephesians etc. We can learn how God responds to His people through these 7 short letters, and also learn the importance of the WHOLE church to respond to the message of God - NOT just the leaders. This is why it is addressed to the angel and NOT any pastor. ALL are held accountable for the state of the church and to respond to what it faces as a body.


We are both agreeable that the letters remain valid - the difference is I believe that their validity remains till today and beyond. On the other hand, even though some of the cities are uninhabited now, but for the ones which are, if their inhabitants of old weathered the storm of earlier persecution, isn't it logical that their numbers would have been much higher today, save for Islam?

I have explained what I believe the letters stand for above and also, that Islam influenced the demise of Christianity there.

ForHisglory
Apr 3rd 2016, 09:46 PM
The above is not exactly true. The word of God is forever enduring. As you rightly pointed out, the churches and cities named in the letters are all but lost to history except Smyrna. Are we to believe that the Lord who knows the end from the beginning didn't know what the fate of those churches would be? The letters go beyond that era; they are the moral conscience of the church of God from then, now and to the end.

To say the statements were limited to the congregation of that time is like saying the gospels are limited to the generation our Lord spoke to. As you know, the gospels are alive today as they were 2000 years ago. To suggest they are not relevant to people living 1200 years later is incorrect, IMO. I mean, look at Christ' observations, encouragement where it is due, the plea for their repentance and finally reminding them of punishment for sin. Tell me a living church today that does not identify with that? Paul said that even though he's restricted in prison, but the word of God is not bound (2 Tim 2:9), the churches and the cities might have ceased to exist - yet the letters remain relevant and meaningful to the church today.
There are eternal truths in the NT, however certain things in those letters are specific to those people. We learn from how God deals with those people, but that doesn't mean it is the same words that are for our church. The people involved have been dead almost 2,000 years. I have not said they are irrelevant, but aspects of them are indeed NOT directly for us, but only indirectly. Are we to greet the people Paul wrote to here:
Rom 16:3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,
Rom 16:4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.
Rom 16:5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.
Rom 16:6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.
Rom 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.
Rom 16:8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
Rom 16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys.
Rom 16:10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus.
Rom 16:11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus.
Rom 16:12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord.
Rom 16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.
Rom 16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them.
Rom 16:15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

No of course NOT. they are also all dead. Yet what they did and why they were to be greeted is important. Each church today may identify with parts addressed to Ephesus and other parts spoken to Laodicea.


Even though you seem to disagree that Islam has a direct influence in the dearth of Christians in that region, you unwittingly provided irrefutable support to my suggestion. No doubt people's needs and circumstances change and this invariably influence their survival or otherwise. We see Christians survive untold persecutions for over 300 years until Constantine. It was remarkably worse under Diocletian who ruled Asia Minor (location of the seven) and Carthage, yet Christians persevered. I am not ruling out-migration to safer regions, but when you take the stranglehold of Islam and its perpetuity, one can understand why they declined thereafter.
Actually the main decline of most of the Middle East wasn't until the last century.


Of course, no one can judge or blame another for fleeing persecution but we can't believe that they all packed up and left since they have always survived?
Have the persecutions become worse, or has it become easier to know where to flee to?
Is God calling His people out of those places?
We can make all sorts of speculations without any real support.


We are both agreeable that the letters remain valid - the difference is I believe that their validity remains till today and beyond. On the other hand, even though some of the cities are uninhabited now, but for the ones which are, if their inhabitants of old weathered the storm of earlier persecution, isn't it logical that their numbers would have been much higher today, save for Islam?
I believe they are valid always, but not specifically to those churches (which don't exist anymore anyway.)
Islam didn't destroy most of those cities (if any), so I am not making Islam the culprit. In fact I believe God is doing a new work in Muslim countries. But that is another topic.

Moose
Apr 4th 2016, 05:28 AM
You claimed there were no Jews in "Gentile cities" in the 1st-century and I went to lengths to prove with several scriptures that thousands or even millions of Jews were indeed living in the supposed gentile lands outside Judea at that time. Yet despite these overwhelming evidence, you still can not conceive the possibility of "Jesus writing to Jews in Turkey"? You clearly overlooked the fact that Jesus is still speaking to both Jews and Gentiles (people in general) all over the world today? So, if he's speaking to people today, why not then?

You told me in a couple of posts back that you know the scriptures and went to summarise the bible (according to your understanding anyway) from Genesis to Revelation. But sadly, in every post, you unwittingly reveal how little you really understand the bible or the God we serve for that matter.

I never claimed there were no Jews in Turkey why would i do that? I have a problem with your doctrine- You reduce the God of all creation to writing letters to a group of Jews in Turkey just to tell them how they are real Jews and others are just pretending to be Jews. This statement from whichever angle you look at has some element of racism which is not one of Lord's attributes. God is God of all flesh and there's no Jew or gentile in the new covenant. God used Jews/Jerusalem/Israel as a model of what was to be he new covenant, Smyrna is in the new covenant and the word Jews here means believers (Jews & Gentiles alike) and the opposite (Pretenders/synagouge of satan) are unbelievers.
It is really sad to say that the verse here means there are real Jews while the others are a synagouge of satan.

Trivalee
Apr 4th 2016, 11:57 AM
I never claimed there were no Jews in Turkey why would i do that? I have a problem with your doctrine- You reduce the God of all creation to writing letters to a group of Jews in Turkey just to tell them how they are real Jews and others are just pretending to be Jews. This statement from whichever angle you look at has some element of racism which is not one of Lord's attributes. God is God of all flesh and there's no Jew or gentile in the new covenant. God used Jews/Jerusalem/Israel as a model of what was to be he new covenant, Smyrna is in the new covenant and the word Jews here means believers (Jews & Gentiles alike) and the opposite (Pretenders/synagouge of satan) are unbelievers.
It is really sad to say that the verse here means there are real Jews while the others are a synagouge of satan.

I don't know to respond to you. Your argument is all over the place. I have addressed every issue you raised with scripture so, if you want to accuse God of racism, perhaps you should take it up with him.

Moose
Apr 4th 2016, 12:14 PM
I don't know to respond to you. Your argument is all over the place. I have addressed every issue you raised with scripture so, if you want to accuse God of racism, perhaps you should take it up with him.

I also don't know how to tell you nicely but letter to Smyrna was not a literal letter to Jewish members of a church in Turkey.

Trivalee
Apr 4th 2016, 12:45 PM
There are eternal truths in the NT, however certain things in those letters are specific to those people. We learn from how God deals with those people, but that doesn't mean it is the same words that are for our church. The people involved have been dead almost 2,000 years. I have not said they are irrelevant, but aspects of them are indeed NOT directly for us, but only indirectly. Are we to greet the people Paul wrote to here:
Rom 16:3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,
Rom 16:4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.
Rom 16:5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.
Rom 16:6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.
Rom 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.
Rom 16:8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
Rom 16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys.
Rom 16:10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus.
Rom 16:11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus.
Rom 16:12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord.
Rom 16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.
Rom 16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them.
Rom 16:15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

No of course NOT. they are also all dead. Yet what they did and why they were to be greeted is important. Each church today may identify with parts addressed to Ephesus and other parts spoken to Laodicea.

To my understanding, there is no winners or losers when scripture is discussed. You confirmed in your first post on this OP that the letters are relevant today but contradicted yourself in another post by claiming that the content of the letters are limited to the 7 churches and, therefore, has no relevance to congregations living 1200 years later. I duly pointed out why your assumption is wrong. I cited the various gospels of Jesus and how even though he addressed Jews 2000 years ago, yet the messages continue to resonate with the Body of Christ today. It is no different with the letters, therefore to argue whether they influence the church today directly or indirectly is beside the point. I leave you to decide whether the gospels inffluence the church today directly or indirectly - whatever you choose is the same with the letters.

I have often conceded that I am wrong when my previous stand on certain scriptures are proved to be wrong, there's no shame in that. To throw a bunch of greetings and felicitations from Paul to some deserving members of the church just to justify your erroneous claim is unbecoming. You should have said you got it wrong, end of.


Actually the main decline of most of the Middle East wasn't until the last century.

The previous persecutions against Christians lasted as long as each emperor lived. The Romans lived very violent and treacherous lives where assassination and murder were never far behind. Most of their emperors lived but short lives on the throne. Secondly, not all of them persecuted Christian severely. Conversely, the Ottoman persecution lasted 600 years - it is impossible for Christians to have persevered in large numbers for that long.


Have the persecutions become worse, or has it become easier to know where to flee to?
Is God calling His people out of those places?
We can make all sorts of speculations without any real support.

While I agree that there are no scriptural base to explain their decline, common sense however points to a protracted and sustained persecution from Islam. There is also nothing in the bible to suggest that there are places God would not like Christians to be on this earth. Christians have lived and thrived in that region for generations, I therefore cannot conceive that God suddenly called them all out to new places.


I believe they are valid always, but not specifically to those churches (which don't exist anymore anyway.)
Islam didn't destroy most of those cities (if any), so I am not making Islam the culprit. In fact I believe God is doing a new work in Muslim countries. But that is another topic.

You have previously presented a straightforward case, but suddenly your argument seem all over the place. You agree in one place and disagree in another. I don't need to say more, I urge you to go back and read your posts in the OP and see how your position has shifted from every post.

Trivalee
Apr 4th 2016, 09:10 PM
I also don't know how to tell you nicely but letter to Smyrna was not a literal letter to Jewish members of a church in Turkey.

Do you have any scripture to support this?

ForHisglory
Apr 4th 2016, 11:22 PM
To my understanding, there is no winners or losers when scripture is discussed. You confirmed in your first post on this OP that the letters are relevant today but contradicted yourself in another post by claiming that the content of the letters are limited to the 7 churches and, therefore, has no relevance to congregations living 1200 years later. I duly pointed out why your assumption is wrong. I cited the various gospels of Jesus and how even though he addressed Jews 2000 years ago, yet the messages continue to resonate with the Body of Christ today. It is no different with the letters, therefore to argue whether they influence the church today directly or indirectly is beside the point. I leave you to decide whether the gospels inffluence the church today directly or indirectly - whatever you choose is the same with the letters.
I haven't contradicted myself. I have NOT said the content of the letters are of no relevance to congregations living 1200 years later. What I have said is that the individuals in view and the specific circumstances those people faced, will NOT be the exact same circumstances faced by people of even the same church in that location. You don't seem to be following my point. Every single letter in the NT, including Romans and Ephesians etc were written to real people facing real tests and needing specific guidance for their lives. In that respect the letters are specifically, directly for them. We however learn from those letters many things about how God works, teachings that were given and things we need to know ourselves. So we learn indirectly from them.


I have often conceded that I am wrong when my previous stand on certain scriptures are proved to be wrong, there's no shame in that. To throw a bunch of greetings and felicitations from Paul to some deserving members of the church just to justify your erroneous claim is unbecoming. You should have said you got it wrong, end of.
As I am not saying I got something wrong, I don't follow why you think I should say that.


The previous persecutions against Christians lasted as long as each emperor lived. The Romans lived very violent and treacherous lives where assassination and murder were never far behind. Most of their emperors lived but short lives on the throne. Secondly, not all of them persecuted Christian severely. Conversely, the Ottoman persecution lasted 600 years - it is impossible for Christians to have persevered in large numbers for that long.
Sorry, but though the Roman persecution was only for a couple of hundred years, the actual ending of that persecution led to a major change in the church and the formation ultimately of the RCC. So was the persecution the big problem or something else?
Further the Ottoman persecution was often far more benign than persecution that was happening in "Christendom". Just think of the inquisition. There is a false understanding of what happened in the Islamic World. Mostly it was a repression rather than outright persecution, though there were some rulers who were as violent as some of the Roman emperors. It is actually more since the fall of the Caliphate that the numbers of Christians have declined in that part of the world. A bit like we saw with the fall of Saddam, that Iraq is an even more messed up place than then.


While I agree that there are no scriptural base to explain their decline, common sense however points to a protracted and sustained persecution from Islam. There is also nothing in the bible to suggest that there are places God would not like Christians to be on this earth. Christians have lived and thrived in that region for generations, I therefore cannot conceive that God suddenly called them all out to new places.
So now you say they thrived, yet also say protracted persecution leads to decline? Which is it?
Further does not Rev 18:4 say, "Come out of her..." Is Babylon found in the Middle East?


You have previously presented a straightforward case, but suddenly your argument seem all over the place. You agree in one place and disagree in another. I don't need to say more, I urge you to go back and read your posts in the OP and see how your position has shifted from every post.
My case is fairly straight forward, but you seem to be taking the OP in all sorts of directions. I am responding as best as possible, but perhaps if you were to restate what the OP is, that might help bring focus.

ewq1938
Apr 5th 2016, 03:26 AM
I have often wondered why God allowed the seven churches he addressed to in Revelation 1-3 to disappear and be swallowed up by Islam?

Because he didn't want or need them to remain there? Christians have long moved around and sought out countries where they could have religious freedom to practice Christianity...same reason so many came to settle the USA.

Trivalee
Apr 5th 2016, 12:47 PM
I haven't contradicted myself. I have NOT said the content of the letters are of no relevance to congregations living 1200 years later. What I have said is that the individuals in view and the specific circumstances those people faced, will NOT be the exact same circumstances faced by people of even the same church in that location. You don't seem to be following my point. Every single letter in the NT, including Romans and Ephesians etc were written to real people facing real tests and needing specific guidance for their lives. In that respect the letters are specifically, directly for them. We however learn from those letters many things about how God works, teachings that were given and things we need to know ourselves. So we learn indirectly from them.

I will copy your previous posts to highlight how you have contradicted and shifted your ground from post to post: In the post below, you concurred that the letters "remain valid" as they allow us to learn the importance of how the WHOLE (Body of Christ in general) church respond to the message of God. There is no indication from you that the letters are limited to the congregation named in the letters. Your statements further suggest strongly that the validity of the letters remains to the present.


The statements to the churches remain just as valid as the letters of Paul to the Ephesians etc. We can learn how God responds to His people through these 7 short letters, and also learn the importance of the WHOLE church to respond to the message of God - NOT just the leaders. This is why it is addressed to the angel and NOT any pastor. ALL are held accountable for the state of church and to respond to what it faces as a body.

Let's look at your contradiction of the above:



I would further highlight that the statements made were for the congregations of that time. So though Smyrna was doing well at that time, centuries later, many may have been killed, fled etc, so the commands for the church at that time and place were just that, and NOT for a people living in the same place 1200 years later.

So for me the real question is NOT about Islam or its influence.

Would you say hands on heart, that your view in the second post is consistent with the first? Don't you see a total shift from your initial view?

The next copy highlights how after I pointed out your contradiction, you tried vainly to correct it:


There are eternal truths in the NT, however certain things in those letters are specific to those people. We learn from how God deals with those people, but that doesn't mean it is the same words that are for our church. The people involved have been dead almost 2,000 years. I have not said they are irrelevant, but aspects of them are indeed NOT directly for us, but only indirectly.

Your second post claimed the issues raised in the letters was no longer relevant to people living 1200 years later. Yet, above you backtracked "I HAVE SAID THEY ARE IRRELEVANT". So which is it - relevant or not? See below:


[QUOTE=ForHisglory;3304871] I believe they are valid always, but not specifically to those churches (which don't exist anymore anyway.)

Have you seen how you keep going forward and backwards? I am satisfied that I've made my case; you either accept that your views are conflicting and clarify where you stand or you can continue to deny it.


As I am not saying I got something wrong, I don't follow why you think I should say that.

Really, despite the above evidence?


Sorry, but though the Roman persecution was only for a couple of hundred years, the actual ending of that persecution led to a major change in the church and the formation ultimately of the RCC. So was the persecution the big problem or something else?
Further the Ottoman persecution was often far more benign than persecution that was happening in "Christendom". Just think of the inquisition. There is a false understanding of what happened in the Islamic World. Mostly it was a repression rather than outright persecution, though there were some rulers who were as violent as some of the Roman emperors. It is actually more since the fall of the Caliphate that the numbers of Christians have declined in that part of the world. A bit like we saw with the fall of Saddam, that Iraq is an even more messed up place than then.


Now we come to the persecutions. My focus is the fate and decline of the church in Asia Minor (Turkey) or the Eastern Church as they were later known. I'm not looking at the wider church, so the inquisitions in the west are not relative here. At least, you agree there was "repression" than "persecution" but conveniently overlooked the fact that such repression sustained over 600 years ultimately had an irreversible effect on the eastern church? You said the Ottoman persecution was rather benign, but what about the millions of Armenian Christians massacred by the Ottomans? Is there anything benign is that atrocity? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide


So now you say they thrived, yet also say protracted persecution leads to decline? Which is it?
Further does not Rev 18:4 say, "Come out of her..." Is Babylon found in the Middle East?

I'm sure you understand what I meant. Despite the Roman persecutions, their numbers continued to thrive and grow compared to the decline we see when Islam took over.


My case is fairly straight forward, but you seem to be taking the OP in all sorts of directions. I am responding as best as possible, but perhaps if you were to restate what the OP is, that might help bring focus.

I don't think anyone reading the above will agree that your case is anything but, straightforward.

On the other hand, my argument has been concise and straightforward. I have not the taken the OP "in all sorts of directions" than just two - (a) revelance of the letters not only to those addressed but to the church of God today and (b) the role of Islam in the decline of a hitherto vibrant eastern church.

ForHisglory
Apr 5th 2016, 05:40 PM
I will copy your previous posts to highlight how you have contradicted and shifted your ground from post to post: In the post below, you concurred that the letters "remain valid" as they allow us to learn the importance of how the WHOLE (Body of Christ in general) church respond to the message of God. There is no indication from you that the letters are limited to the congregation named in the letters. Your statements further suggest strongly that the validity of the letters remains to the present.
The validity of the letters does remain to the present. I have not said anything contrary to that.


Let's look at your contradiction of the above:
Would you say hands on heart, that your view in the second post is consistent with the first? Don't you see a total shift from your initial view?
Yes without a single problem.


The next copy highlights how after I pointed out your contradiction, you tried vainly to correct it:
Your second post claimed the issues raised in the letters was no longer relevant to people living 1200 years later. Yet, above you backtracked "I HAVE SAID THEY ARE IRRELEVANT". So which is it - relevant or not? See below:
You seem to have a problem understanding what the word relevant means. Everything in scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching etc. So it is ALL valid and ALL relevant. However it is NOT ALL directly for us. This is what you don;t seem to follow.


Have you seen how you keep going forward and backwards? I am satisfied that I've made my case; you either accept that your views are conflicting and clarify where you stand or you can continue to deny it.
Sorry, but I don't see any case made. Nothing I have put is contradictory. I am not sure it is also helpful to take this line.
The question was surely its relevance for churches today.


Really, despite the above evidence?
What evidence?


Now we come to the persecutions. My focus is the fate and decline of the church in Asia Minor (Turkey) or the Eastern Church as they were later known. I'm not looking at the wider church, so the inquisitions in the west are not relative here. At least, you agree there was "repression" than "persecution" but conveniently overlooked the fact that such repression sustained over 600 years ultimately had an irreversible effect on the eastern church? You said the Ottoman persecution was rather benign, but what about the millions of Armenian Christians massacred by the Ottomans? Is there anything benign is that atrocity? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide
Boy, you highlight one act of persecution and somehow make that be true for 600 years. There were in fact multiple localised persecutions throughout the Caliphate, not just during 600 years but basically from the start of the Caliphate.
The church was not wiped out in Turkey by the Armenian genocide. It was affected of course.


I'm sure you understand what I meant. Despite the Roman persecutions, their numbers continued to thrive and grow compared to the decline we see when Islam took over.
Actually was it thriving during the Eastern Roman Empire, or was it in fact stagnating, and when challenged there was no foundation to it so it withered and died.
Jesus spoke of such a truth in the parable of the Sower. The important thing for Jesus wasn't the source of tribulation, but the lack of roots / good soil for the plant. Your focus is on Islam, my focus is on the failing of the church.


I don't think anyone reading the above will agree that your case is anything but, straightforward.
On the other hand, my argument has been concise and straightforward. I have not the taken the OP "in all sorts of directions" than just two - (a) revelance of the letters not only to those addressed but to the church of God today and (b) the role of Islam in the decline of a hitherto vibrant eastern church.
Your basic assumption is that the eastern church was vibrant before Islam came. I would challenge this and say Islam simply highlighted the lack of life in the eastern church in that place at that time.

Trivalee
Apr 6th 2016, 09:11 PM
he
The validity of the letters does remain to the present. I have not said anything contrary to that.

Yes without a single problem. You seem to have a problem understanding what the word relevant means. Everything in scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching etc. So it is ALL valid and ALL relevant. However it is NOT ALL directly for us. This is what you don;t seem to follow.

Sorry, but I don't see any case made. Nothing I have put is contradictory. I am not sure it is also helpful to take this line.
The question was surely its relevance for churches today.

What evidence?

Looks like you'll never accept your mistakes. The letters are relevant, but not to people living 1200 years later? I hate to repeat myself, so let's move on.



Boy, you highlight one act of persecution and somehow make that be true for 600 years. There were in fact multiple localised persecutions throughout the Caliphate, not just during 600 years but basically from the start of the Caliphate.
The church was not wiped out in Turkey by the Armenian genocide. It was affected of course.

I'm delighted you are making my case for me:thumbsup: I cited just one incident at the tail end of the empire - common sense will suggest that for a hostile empire that lasted for 600 years, there must be much more probably undocumented similar attacks on Christians. This is another example of your contradiction. In your previous post you said the Ottoman persecutions were "benign" yet, you are now singing my song now "There were in fact multiple localised persecutions throughout the Caliphate, not just during 600 years but basically from the start of the Caliphate".

I never said the church was "wiped out" by the Armenian genocide, I cited it as only one incident.


Actually was it thriving during the Eastern Roman Empire, or was it in fact stagnating, and when challenged there was no foundation to it so it withered and died.
Jesus spoke of such a truth in the parable of the Sower. The important thing for Jesus wasn't the source of tribulation, but the lack of roots / good soil for the plant. Your focus is on Islam, my focus is on the failing of the church.

Looks like you write without checking facts! How was it stagnating when it thrived from the 1sr century and well into the end of the Byzantine period in the middle ages? Do the maths to ascertain how long that was. Built the biggest church that rivalled the Vatican, the Hagia Sofia? You claimed that when challenged, it withered and died; again, this, unfortunately, shows how little you know of the history of the Eastern church. It didn't die for lack of faith (Foundation) or numbers. It was because of Islam! Ever heard of the crusades in the middle ages? When the Knights Templars lost out to Saladin's army in their quest to capture and retain Jerusalem for Christians, that was the beginning of the end for the eastern church. When Saladdin quashed and conquered the Christian crusaders and ultimately expelled them out of the east, it allowed Islam to blossom and laid the foundations for a strong united caliphate like the Ottomans.

Please gather your facts before you argue a case, don't just throw conjecture here and there, and when I corner you, you spin things to wriggle out.


Your basic assumption is that the eastern church was vibrant before Islam came. I would challenge this and say Islam simply highlighted the lack of life in the eastern church in that place at that time.

I would have thought you would provide something; scripture, history, anything, to support your "challenge". Sadly, you provided nothing! So the mere fact you challenge my assumption should suffice?

Trivalee
Apr 6th 2016, 09:22 PM
I also don't know how to tell you nicely but letter to Smyrna was not a literal letter to Jewish members of a church in Turkey.

I am disappointed that despite my asking for scripture or anything you can provide to support your wild claim, you have failed to do so. So I should take your word as Holy writ on such an important matter?

ForHisglory
Apr 8th 2016, 06:45 PM
Looks like you'll never accept your mistakes. The letters are relevant, but not to people living 1200 years later? I hate to repeat myself, so let's move on.
Repeating yourself seldom helps or improves things. I see no point repeating my statements as you can read them again, but would note that what is written specifically for one person, is useful for another, but that other is NOT the one being written to.


I'm delighted you are making my case for me:thumbsup: I cited just one incident at the tail end of the empire - common sense will suggest that for a hostile empire that lasted for 600 years, there must be much more probably undocumented similar attacks on Christians. This is another example of your contradiction. In your previous post you said the Ottoman persecutions were "benign" yet, you are now singing my song now "There were in fact multiple localised persecutions throughout the Caliphate, not just during 600 years but basically from the start of the Caliphate".
I never said the church was "wiped out" by the Armenian genocide, I cited it as only one incident.
You don't seem to have a good grasp of history. I am not making a case for you, but highlighting what seems to be the truth of the situation at the time.
When was Israel conquered from the Eastern Empire?
Most place the date around 637 AD. This is when the Islamic Caliphate defeated the Byzantine Empire in this part of the world. The Ottoman Empire came at the END of 800 years of conquest of the Byzantine Empire. Most of Turkey was taken by about 1200 AD. Mongol invasions changed the character for a period of time, but then the Turks adopted Islam.
My point which I made and you seemed to ignore was that the rulership of this land was sometimes with persecution and sometimes benign, whether under the original Roman overlords, Islamic, Mongol or later Islamic.
So I am not singing YOUR song, but the stating the story of what happened, which for me is important to be understood.
Taking Ephesus as an example, it was a town which stagnated BEFORE Islam existed as its harbour silted up. It was much reduced by the time of the Ottoman Empire (1299 AD) and was destroyed by them in 1304 AD.
Laodicea was basically destroyed by an earthquake in the 5th century, though it did have a church when a council was held there in 363 / 364 AD.
So it was gone BEFORE Islam existed.


Looks like you write without checking facts! How was it stagnating when it thrived from the 1sr century and well into the end of the Byzantine period in the middle ages? Do the maths to ascertain how long that was. Built the biggest church that rivalled the Vatican, the Hagia Sofia? You claimed that when challenged, it withered and died; again, this, unfortunately, shows how little you know of the history of the Eastern church. It didn't die for lack of faith (Foundation) or numbers. It was because of Islam! Ever heard of the crusades in the middle ages? When the Knights Templars lost out to Saladin's army in their quest to capture and retain Jerusalem for Christians, that was the beginning of the end for the eastern church. When Saladdin quashed and conquered the Christian crusaders and ultimately expelled them out of the east, it allowed Islam to blossom and laid the foundations for a strong united caliphate like the Ottomans.
Please gather your facts before you argue a case, don't just throw conjecture here and there, and when I corner you, you spin things to wriggle out.
I am quite happy with FACTS. I love history. Does building the biggest church, rivaling the Vatican mean a thriving and vibrant church. By this measure the RCC was a thriving vibrant church. You confuse the effects of state religion with that of a living faith.
The Eastern Church is STILL alive and does have some vibrant people in it.
However the crusades was late in the fall of these churches from Revelation. the crusaders sacked Constantinople, and that was the beginning of the end for state Christianity.
I suggested you read the facts of the last century.


I would have thought you would provide something; scripture, history, anything, to support your "challenge". Sadly, you provided nothing! So the mere fact you challenge my assumption should suffice?
What challenge? You were asking a question and I responded with some points. You agree with me and then see it as a challenge. IF you research the history you will see it is from the last century when the church declined throughout the Middle East and not much before that. However it is also in the last 20 years that the church has seen a resurgence in the Middle East, but these are Christians from Turkish, Iranian and Arabic backgrounds coming to Christ, and not the descendants of those who believed so many centuries ago.

Trivalee
Apr 9th 2016, 04:49 PM
Repeating yourself seldom helps or improves things. I see no point repeating my statements as you can read them again, but would note that what is written specifically for one person, is useful for another, but that other is NOT the one being written to.

You took my "words" and made it your own as usual. Bravo!


You don't seem to have a good grasp of history. I am not making a case for you, but highlighting what seems to be the truth of the situation at the time.
When was Israel conquered from the Eastern Empire?
Most place the date around 637 AD. This is when the Islamic Caliphate defeated the Byzantine Empire in this part of the world. The Ottoman Empire came at the END of 800 years of conquest of the Byzantine Empire. Most of Turkey was taken by about 1200 AD. Mongol invasions changed the character for a period of time, but then the Turks adopted Islam.
My point which I made and you seemed to ignore was that the rulership of this land was sometimes with persecution and sometimes benign, whether under the original Roman overlords, Islamic, Mongol or later Islamic.
So I am not singing YOUR song, but the stating the story of what happened, which for me is important to be understood.
Taking Ephesus as an example, it was a town which stagnated BEFORE Islam existed as its harbour silted up. It was much reduced by the time of the Ottoman Empire (1299 AD) and was destroyed by them in 1304 AD.
Laodicea was basically destroyed by an earthquake in the 5th century, though it did have a church when a council was held there in 363 / 364 AD.
So it was gone BEFORE Islam existed.

Given the 3 days or so it took you to respond, I see you've taken my advice for once and read up on history before replying! The problem with you is that you always forget your previous claim and when I point out your inconsistencies, you try to justify it. Take your highlighted claim above for example; "sometimes with persecution" is a new addition to your previous general view of a benign Muslim approach against the church. Your inability to accept your mistakes is ungentlemanly I must say.


Actually was it thriving during the Eastern Roman Empire, or was it in fact stagnating, and when challenged there was no foundation to it so it withered and died.


Another example of your ever-shifting view is the above claim. Again, thanks for taking my advice to check facts. So let's use your "facts" for a change. According to you, most of Turkey became Muslim by 1200 AD, even though not everybody was Christian, but the majority were, so Christianity reigned supreme from the 1st century to 1200AD. An incredible 1,200 years of continuous Eastern Christianity which didn't diminish until the extra 600 year Ottoman repression! So does this support your previous view of a "stagnating church with no foundation, that withered and died when challenged"? Furthermore, take Ephesus and Laodicea as you rightly pointed out that the cities were abandoned, naturally their inhabitants must have moved to other cities. Remember that Christianity (people's faith) is not rooted to their locality, so when they move they go with their faith and belief. So the demise of those cities should not be taken as the end of their inhabitants Christianity. So while Christianity ceased in these two cities, it continued to thrive in other places.


I am quite happy with FACTS. I love history. Does building the biggest church, rivaling the Vatican mean a thriving and vibrant church. By this measure the RCC was a thriving vibrant church. You confuse the effects of state religion with that of a living faith.
The Eastern Church is STILL alive and does have some vibrant people in it.
However the crusades was late in the fall of these churches from Revelation. the crusaders sacked Constantinople, and that was the beginning of the end for state Christianity.
I suggested you read the facts of the last century.

You are the one that is confusing facts. Buildings of every nature cost money, so yes, to build such an icon as the Hagia Sofia at that time, required a large congregations contribution even though the majority came from the church's rich and noble patrons. The discussion is not an assessment of the "spirituality" of the eastern church. Pointing out that RCC ostensibly thriving and vibrant is not a "living faith" is irrelevant. If the argument is about their spirituality (living faith) then we will require different indices to ascertain where they stand.


What challenge? You were asking a question and I responded with some points. You agree with me and then see it as a challenge. IF you research the history you will see it is from the last century when the church declined throughout the Middle East and not much before that. However it is also in the last 20 years that the church has seen a resurgence in the Middle East, but these are Christians from Turkish, Iranian and Arabic backgrounds coming to Christ, and not the descendants of those who believed so many centuries ago.


Your basic assumption is that the eastern church was vibrant before Islam came. I would challenge this and say Islam simply highlighted the lack of life in the eastern church in that place at that time.

So there was "lack of life" in a church that flourished for over 1000 years before Islam took over? Really?

ForHisglory
Apr 9th 2016, 09:58 PM
You took my "words" and made it your own as usual. Bravo!
:huh:
If it makes you feel better....


Given the 3 days or so it took you to respond, I see you've taken my advice for once and read up on history before replying! The problem with you is that you always forget your previous claim and when I point out your inconsistencies, you try to justify it. Take your highlighted claim above for example; "sometimes with persecution" is a new addition to your previous general view of a benign Muslim approach against the church. Your inability to accept your mistakes is ungentlemanly I must say.
So, if I don't respond immediately it is that I am reading up on history? History is one of my hobbies. I was away on holiday hiking up mountains and walking under them. I do usually try to check any statements I make as to the veracity of them before I post them.
I, do wonder at what supposed mistakes I have made. I also did not say the Muslim rule was ONLY benign, but this seems to have passed you by.


Another example of your ever-shifting view is the above claim. Again, thanks for taking my advice to check facts. So let's use your "facts" for a change. According to you, most of Turkey became Muslim by 1200 AD, even though not everybody was Christian, but the majority were, so Christianity reigned supreme from the 1st century to 1200AD. An incredible 1,200 years of continuous Eastern Christianity which didn't diminish until the extra 600 year Ottoman repression! So does this support your previous view of a "stagnating church with no foundation, that withered and died when challenged"? Furthermore, take Ephesus and Laodicea as you rightly pointed out that the cities were abandoned, naturally their inhabitants must have moved to other cities. Remember that Christianity (people's faith) is not rooted to their locality, so when they move they go with their faith and belief. So the demise of those cities should not be taken as the end of their inhabitants Christianity. So while Christianity ceased in these two cities, it continued to thrive in other places.
No, I didn't say most of Turkey became Muslim by 1200 AD. I stated that the most of Turkey was conquered by 1200 AD. That is not the same thing. Nor did I say that it was conquered in one year. The conquest of Turkey took hundreds of years beginning in the 8th century and ending in the 13th.
Further were the majority of people in that country Christian at the time? Christianity was the state religion, which so people associated themselves with Christianity, but did that make them Christians? You seem to like taking a statement and twisting it to make a claim which if examined isn't supported. Mexico is a Catholic country as is Ireland. Would you say they are all Christians? They have Christian culture, but is that the same thing?
Christianity continued to exist in Turkey right up to the present time. What happened to the Laodiceans, did they migrate to Greece or some other part of the world? You can speculate, but the point is that the letter for the church of Laodicea only has a broad application now and not the specific one it had back when first received.


You are the one that is confusing facts. Buildings of every nature cost money, so yes, to build such an icon as the Hagia Sofia at that time, required a large congregations contribution even though the majority came from the church's rich and noble patrons. The discussion is not an assessment of the "spirituality" of the eastern church. Pointing out that RCC ostensibly thriving and vibrant is not a "living faith" is irrelevant. If the argument is about their spirituality (living faith) then we will require different indices to ascertain where they stand.
So you aren't interested in whether they were really Christians?
:confused


So there was "lack of life" in a church that flourished for over 1000 years before Islam took over? Really?
You claim it flourished, so by what do you measure a flourishing church? Are you saying one that builds big buildings is flourishing because the Emperor of the richest nation in Europe wants to build a big Cathedral? Well if that is your point, then I am not sure what else can be said. May be rethink what the OP is about?

Trivalee
Apr 10th 2016, 07:19 PM
No, I didn't say most of Turkey became Muslim by 1200 AD. I stated that the most of Turkey was conquered by 1200 AD. That is not the same thing. Nor did I say that it was conquered in one year. The conquest of Turkey took hundreds of years beginning in the 8th century and ending in the 13th.

It's unfortunate you forgot to tell who "conquered Turkey supposedly from the 8th century to the 13th"? Don't tell me it's the Mongols because their empire only started in the 13th century and according to your "facts" by then Turkey's conquest had already completed (1200 AD). The Mongols started from 1206 AD!


Further were the majority of people in that country Christian at the time? Christianity was the state religion, which so people associated themselves with Christianity, but did that make them Christians? You seem to like taking a statement and twisting it to make a claim which if examined isn't supported. Mexico is a Catholic country as is Ireland. Would you say they are all Christians? They have Christian culture, but is that the same thing?

I pointed out earlier that the focus of discussion is not their spirituality or "living faith" according to you. Apparently, you ignored that. I wonder why you chose Mexico and Ireland? The truth is that the same question can be asked of all western democracies that claim to be Christian? How do you assess their faith? Bible says that not all that call Jesus are his! Take my country (UK) for example, the present generation has turned their back from the Christian principles of past generation. Darwinism and advancements in science have turned many away from God today and don't tell me the USA is any different? Does the fact that USA and Europe profess to be Christian nations really make every one of their citizens Christians? Whatever is your answer should be attributed to the eastern church as well.

The modern generation may not sacrifice or bow down to idols like generations over 1000 years ago, but they still worship idols nonetheless. Christianity has not changed much from the 1st century to now in terms of belief and rejection of Christ because as many didn't believe then, so it is now. So to answer your question whether the eastern church were Christians in living faith is no different in comparison to the church today! The same difficulties is evaluating "living faith' today is applicable to then, that's why it's not the topic of discussion.


Christianity continued to exist in Turkey right up to the present time. What happened to the Laodiceans, did they migrate to Greece or some other part of the world? You can speculate, but the point is that the letter for the church of Laodicea only has a broad application now and not the specific one it had back when first received.

I wish you would go back and read what you wrote before. Naturally, like every scripture, its relevance lies in its broader application than limiting it to the initial audience. Remember you said not long ago that the letter is no longer relevant to people 1200 years later? If only you are consistent, we would have made progress.


So you aren't interested in whether they were really Christians?

I have answered this.


You claim it flourished, so by what do you measure a flourishing church? Are you saying one that builds big buildings is flourishing because the Emperor of the richest nation in Europe wants to build a big Cathedral? Well if that is your point, then I am not sure what else can be said. May be rethink what the OP is about?

Should I say more after everything I've explained? What's the point of an Emperor building a big church if they don't have the congregation to fill it?

ForHisglory
Apr 11th 2016, 05:50 PM
It's unfortunate you forgot to tell who "conquered Turkey supposedly from the 8th century to the 13th"? Don't tell me it's the Mongols because their empire only started in the 13th century and according to your "facts" by then Turkey's conquest had already completed (1200 AD). The Mongols started from 1206 AD!
Actually the Mongols were late to the party and a large proportion of their army was actually Turkic peoples.
The Arabs (who themselves are a mixed people) started conquering bits of the Byzantine Empire was at the start, and it was through the loss of this that led to the first crusade.


I pointed out earlier that the focus of discussion is not their spirituality or "living faith" according to you. Apparently, you ignored that. I wonder why you chose Mexico and Ireland? The truth is that the same question can be asked of all western democracies that claim to be Christian? How do you assess their faith? Bible says that not all that call Jesus are his! Take my country (UK) for example, the present generation has turned their back from the Christian principles of past generation. Darwinism and advancements in science have turned many away from God today and don't tell me the USA is any different? Does the fact that USA and Europe profess to be Christian nations really make every one of their citizens Christians? Whatever is your answer should be attributed to the eastern church as well.
So if living faith isn't the focus, what is?
And yes I do use the same answer for the Europe and the US as I do for the Eastern church of that time. Pockets of vibrancy and life in a nation nominally Christian.


The modern generation may not sacrifice or bow down to idols like generations over 1000 years ago, but they still worship idols nonetheless. Christianity has not changed much from the 1st century to now in terms of belief and rejection of Christ because as many didn't believe then, so it is now. So to answer your question whether the eastern church were Christians in living faith is no different in comparison to the church today! The same difficulties is evaluating "living faith' today is applicable to then, that's why it's not the topic of discussion.
So what is the topic? I thought from the OP the question was about the relevancy of the letters for the church today as it was for them then, and as a side point you went on about Islam.


I wish you would go back and read what you wrote before. Naturally, like every scripture, its relevance lies in its broader application than limiting it to the initial audience. Remember you said not long ago that the letter is no longer relevant to people 1200 years later? If only you are consistent, we would have made progress.
Why do you misquote me? I have not once said it is irrelevant. I have stated that it is NOT directly relevant, but IS indirectly relevant, which is the same statement you are making in terms of a broader application. I haven't once disagreed with that view, and you even said you were glad I agreed with you.


Should I say more after everything I've explained? What's the point of an Emperor building a big church if they don't have the congregation to fill it?
Why does anyone build big buildings, except to show how great they are, how humble they are, the power they have etc. It can be a distraction and many other things too.
Also have you ever attended an Eastern Service?

Geoff Primanti
Apr 13th 2016, 10:32 PM
I think that God warns, not only the church at Ephesus, but any church that leaves its first love, that if they do not repent and return to first love He will remove their lampstand out of their place.

I don't know if Philadelphia survived in Turkey but I would say that it was the basis for evangelism that spread throughout the world, so that in a sense every church that now exists is an offshoot of Philadelphia. Therefore, at least Phiadelphia survived.

John 8:32
Apr 17th 2016, 12:59 AM
The fact that these seven churches are directly addressed by Jesus is interesting. I can only guess that these seven represent a picture of most churches throughout history, including today. As far as why they were erased by Islam, I have no answer. Jesus had to know they would be long gone before his coming, so why are they written within the book of Revelation? What do they have to do with the coming revealing of Jesus Christ? I can only guess that Jesus' praise and warnings to the churches will be the way he deals with us as individuals as well when he returns.

Church eras of the Church of God. This was a prophetic type of the eras of the church until the end.