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Wally

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Lesson 2 *January 5-11



Among the Lampstands



Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon







So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--1st Quarter 2019--Among the Lampstands
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 11:25:02 AM »
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Rev. 1:9-18; Acts 7:54-60; Matt. 12:8; Exod. 20:11; Dan. 10:5-6; Rev. 1:20; Rev. 2:1-7.

Memory Text: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

Psalm 73 describes the psalmist’s bewilderment as he observed the boastful pride of the ungodly. They lived in abundance and ease, in contrast to the suffering of the righteous. This injustice greatly troubled the psalmist (Ps. 73:2-16), who, in his perplexity, went to the sanctuary (Ps. 73:16-17). There, in the presence of God, he was given a deeper understanding of the matter.

"Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Philippians 1:29. Suffering while abiding in Christ produces a character like that of Christ. It is the most weighty trust and highest honor to partake of the sufferings of Christ (Desire of Ages, pg 225).


Centuries later, an aged apostle found himself on a rocky prison island because of his faithful witness. In his distress, he got the news that the churches under his care were suffering. Yet, at that critical moment, he was given a vision of the resurrected Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. Here, as with the psalmist, the Lord revealed to John some mysteries of this life and the struggles it brings. This sanctuary scene provided him with the assurance of Christ’s presence and care - an assurance that John was to pass on to these churches and to the succeeding generations of Christians throughout the centuries until the end of this world’s history.

This week, in addition to introducing Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, we will begin looking at the first of His seven special messages to His church, addressed collectively to the seven churches in Asia, but which also have meaning for us today. Next week, we will look at His messages to the other six churches.

Amen. Does one of the seven churches apply to our church today? If so which one?


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 12.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--1st Quarter 2019--Among the Lampstands
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 12:01:38 PM »
Sunday        January 6

On Patmos

Read Revelation 1:9. What does John tell us of the circumstances in which he received the visions of Revelation?

Patmos is a barren, rocky island in the Aegean Sea; it is ten miles long and six miles across its widest part. The Romans used it, together with other surrounding islands, as a penal colony for banished political offenders. Early Christian authors living relatively close to the time of the writing of the book of Revelation state unanimously that Roman authorities had banished John to Patmos because of his faithfulness to the gospel. On Patmos, the aged apostle surely endured all the hardships of Roman imprisonment. He probably was treated as a criminal, chained in fetters, given insufficient food, and forced to perform hard labor under the lash of the whip of merciless Roman guards.

“Patmos, a barren, rocky island in the Aegean Sea, had been chosen by the Roman government as a place of banishment for criminals; but to the servant of God this gloomy abode became the gate of heaven. Here, shut away from the busy scenes of life, and from the active labors of former years, he had the companionship of God and Christ and the heavenly angels, and from them he received instruction for the church for all future time”. - Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 570, 571.

What other Bible characters have endured hardship, even despite (or maybe even because of) their faithfulness to God?

All who are faithful will suffer great hardships. And, yes, it is because of their faithfulness to God. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Tim 3:12.


See Dan. 3:16-23, Acts 7:54-60.

The followers of Christ should never forget that whenever they find themselves in circumstances similar to those of John, they are not left alone. The same Jesus who came to John with the words of hope and encouragement in the midst of his hardship on Patmos still is present with His people to sustain and support them in their difficult situations.

How can we understand the difference between suffering for Christ’s sake and suffering for other reasons, including our own wrong choices? Or what about suffering for reasons we cannot fathom? How can we learn to trust the Lord in every situation?

We learn best by experience. It is true that when we love Jesus with the whole heart, we trust Him. But, the temptations and trials are measured for us. When we abide in Christ (fully surrendered), we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. It is a promise, but only to those who have given the whole heart to Christ. Many question what true conversion is because they think we are saying there can be no growth if we are perfect when converted. The heart is perfect, we walk in all of the light we have been given. But, there is room for growth in that we will learn more of God's ways. We may at first break the fourth commandment because we don't know the Sabbath is the seventh day. We also grow in our strength of character. How does this happen?

"And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5.
Our trials, when converted, make us more patient, and they give us and experience that better prepares us for trials that are more difficult. And, in this we are His witnesses of the power of grace to transform sinners into saints.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--1st Quarter 2019--Among the Lampstands
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 12:14:50 PM »
Monday         January 7

On the Lord’s Day


Read Revelation 1:10 along with Exodus 31:13, Isaiah 58:13, and Matthew 12:8. According to these texts, what day is clearly specified in the Bible as the Lord’s? How meaningful must this day have been for John in the midst of his hardships?

“It was on the Sabbath that the Lord of glory appeared to the exiled apostle. The Sabbath was as sacredly observed by John on Patmos as when he was preaching to the people in the towns and cities of Judea. He claimed as his own the precious promises that had been given regarding that day”. - Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 581.

"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet."
Revelation 1:10 clearly suggests that the apostle John received the vision on the seventh-day Sabbath. Although looking with anticipation toward future events, even to the second coming of Christ (compare with Rev. 1:7), which is called “the day of the LORD” (Isa. 13:6-13; 2 Pet. 3:10), John was talking about the time at which he, himself, had the vision of these future events, and that was on the Sabbath, the “Lord’s day”.

No question that amid his sufferings this vision-filled Sabbath must have become to him a foretaste of a life free from suffering, which he and the faithful of all ages will experience after the Second Coming. Indeed, in Jewish thinking the Sabbath is deemed as a foretaste of the olam haba, “the world to come”.

“The Sabbath, which God had instituted in Eden, was … precious to John on the lonely isle …What a Sabbath was that to the lonely exile, always precious in the sight of Christ, but now more than ever exalted! Never had he learned so much of Jesus. Never had he heard such exalted truth”. - Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 955.

Compare the two versions of the fourth commandment of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:11 and Deuteronomy 5:15. These texts point to the seventh-day Sabbath as a memorial of both Creation and deliverance, reminding us that God both made us and redeemed us. How can we, each Sabbath, resolve to keep before ourselves the reality of God as our Creator and as our Redeemer? Think about this, too: What good would it be for Him to be our Creator without His being our Redeemer, as well?

When we understand how God redeems us, the question is easy to answer. The Sabbath reminds us of God's creative power and His love for us. The Sabbath is more important to us than to Adam before the fall. We need the creative power of God to change us, to recreate us. Which is easier, to create man from the dust of the ground, or to recreate sinners? The answer comes from realizing that many are called, but few choose to be transformed. When God converts a sinner into a saint, it is the greatest of all miracles. God cannot recreate all sinners, for it requires the sinners cooperation and not all will cooperate with God. They value the things of this earth more than God and the future life without sin.

How about you and me, what do we value more? Are the things we can see more valuable than the things which we cannot see, which are eternal? Why would someone choose to give up eternity in a world where there is no sickness, sorrow, tears, or death?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--1st Quarter 2019--Among the Lampstands
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 12:40:41 PM »

Tuesday         January 8

John’s Vision of Christ on Patmos


Read Revelation 1:12-18.

 1:12   And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 
 1:13   And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 
 1:14   His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire; 
 1:15   And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 
 1:16   And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength. 
 1:17   And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 
 1:18   I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 


Compare John’s portrayal of Christ with the divine being in Daniel 10:5-6. How does Jesus appear in John’s vision? What is He doing?

Jesus has a two-edged sword. What is a two-edged sword, and what does it represent in this verse? Is it for our good, or will it be used to kill?


John sees Jesus dressed as High Priest, walking among the lampstands. The picture of Jesus walking among the lampstands points to God’s promise to ancient Israel that He would walk among them as their God (Lev. 26:12). In Revelation, the lampstands represent the seven churches in Asia to which Revelation was originally sent (Rev. 1:20), and (as we will see on Wednesday) the lampstands also symbolize God’s church throughout history. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ watchcare continues to be over His church on earth. He will be continually with His people until He brings them to their eternal home.

Moreover, the picture of Jesus as High Priest among the lampstands is drawn from the ritual practice in the Jerusalem temple. The daily task of an appointed priest was to keep the lamps in the Holy Place burning brightly. He would trim and refill the lamps that were waning, replace the wicks on the lamps that had gone out, refill them with fresh oil, and then relight them. In such a way, the priest became acquainted personally with the situation of each individual lamp. In the same way, Jesus is acquainted with the needs and circumstances of His people and intercedes for them personally.

Read Revelation 2:2, 9, 13, 19; Revelation 3:1, 8, 15.
 2:1   Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 
 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: 
 2:3   And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 
 2:4   Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 
 2:5   Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 
 2:6   But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. 
 2:7   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. 
 2:8   And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 
 2:9   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. 
 2:10   Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 
 2:11   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. 
 2:12   And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 
 2:13   I know thy works and where thou dwellest, [even] where Satan's seat [is]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas [was] my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 
 2:14   But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 
 2:15   So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. 
 2:16   Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 
 2:17   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]. 
 2:18   And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass; 
 2:19   I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last [to be] more than the first. 
 2:20   Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 
 2:21   And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 
 2:22   Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 
 2:23   And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 
 2:24   But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 
 2:25   But that which ye have [already] hold fast till I come. 
 2:26   And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 
 2:27   And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 
 2:28   And I will give him the morning star. 
 2:29   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 
 

 3:1   And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 
 3:2   Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 
 3:3   Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 
 3:4   Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 
 3:5   He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 
 3:6   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 
 3:7   And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 
 3:8   I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 
 3:9   Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 
 3:10   Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 
 3:11   Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 
 3:12   Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name. 
 3:13   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 
 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 


What does the statement “I know” say about Jesus’ acquaintance with the situations and needs of God’s people?

God is all knowing. He sees all that we do, knows all that we think, and knows our motives. This is all written in the books of heaven.


Jesus identified Himself with the titles of God as “the first and … the last” (see Isa. 44:6, Isaiah 48:12). The Greek word for “last” is eschatos, from which the word eschatology (study of end-time events) comes. The meaning of this word shows that the focus of eschatology is on Jesus Christ, who has the last word on final events. He is the One “who lives” and possesses “the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev. 1:18, NKJV). By His death and resurrection, Jesus has been given the authority to open the gates of death (Job 17:16, Ps. 9:13). All who trust in Him will rise from the grave to everlasting life (1 Cor. 15:21-23). Jesus’ faithful followers don’t need to fear, because even the dead are under His watchcare. And if that is so with the dead, how much more is it with the living? (See 1 Thess. 4:16-17).

"All who trust Him..." Trust Him how much? Are these two messages to the churches of Ephesus and Sardis of importance to us today? What are we to learn from them?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--1st Quarter 2019--Among the Lampstands
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2019, 12:55:12 PM »
Wednesday        January 9

Christ’s Messages for Then and Now


Read Revelation 1:11, 19-20.

 1:11   Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 
 1:12   And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 
 1:13   And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 
 1:14   His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire; 
 1:15   And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 
 1:16   And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength. 
 1:17   And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 
 1:18   I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 
 1:19   Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 
 1:20   The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. 


Jesus also spoke seven distinctive messages for the churches in Asia. What does the fact that there were more than seven churches in the province suggest, in general, about the symbolic significance of these messages for Christians?

There are or were other church periods from that time til the end of the Earth's history that have similar characters. Thus we are given information that tells us what Jesus thinks of our church or even of ourselves. Which period represents God's church today? Why can we identify our church? Is inspiration correct? Of course it is, God does not err.


The messages that Jesus directed John to send to the seven churches are recorded in Revelation 2 and 3. Their meanings apply on three levels:

Historical application. Those messages originally were sent to seven churches located in prosperous cities of first-century Asia. The Christians there faced serious challenges. Several cities set up emperor worship in their temples as a token of their loyalty to Rome. Emperor worship became compulsory. Citizens were also expected to participate in public events and pagan religious ceremonies. Because many Christians refused to participate in these practices, they faced trials and, at times, even martyrdom. Commissioned by Christ, John wrote the seven messages to help believers deal with these challenges.

Prophetic application. Revelation is a prophetic book, but only seven churches were chosen to receive these messages. This fact points to the prophetic character of the messages, as well. The spiritual conditions in the seven churches coincide with the spiritual conditions of God’s church in different historical periods. The seven messages are intended to provide, from heaven’s perspective, a panoramic survey of the spiritual state of Christianity from the first century to the end of the world.

Universal application. Just as the entire book of Revelation was sent as one letter that was to be read in every church (Rev. 1:11, Rev. 22:16), so the seven messages also contain lessons that can apply to Christians in every age. In such a way, the messages represent different types of Christians in different places and times. For instance, while the general characteristic of Christianity today is Laodicean, some Christians may identify with the characteristics of some of the other churches. The good news is that whatever our spiritual condition, God “meets fallen human beings where they are”. - Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 22.

Suppose the Lord were to write a letter today to your local church, a letter written in the form of the messages to the seven churches. What might such a letter say about the challenges your church is facing as well as its spiritual condition?

It is true that there are varying conditions in different churches today. We ought to understand the condition of our local church. But, the messages to the churches identified "the spiritual conditions of God’s church in different historical periods." This is not a local church, but the condition of the people in the church as a whole. How are we to identify those periods? Which one applies to our period of time? Does God expect us to understand what He has said? Does He want us to respond to the message? Is the message to our church a good message or not?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--1st Quarter 2019--Among the Lampstands
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 01:20:42 PM »
Thursday        January 10

Message to the Church in Ephesus

Ephesus was the capital and the largest city in the Roman province of Asia, located on the major trade routes. As the chief seaport of Asia, it was a very important commercial and religious center. The city was filled with such public buildings as temples, theaters, gymnasiums, bathhouses, and brothels. It also was known for the practice of magic and was notorious for immorality and superstition. Yet, the most influential Christian church in the province was in Ephesus.

Read Revelation 2:1-4.

 2:1   Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 
 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: 
 2:3   And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 
 2:4   Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 


How does Jesus present Himself to the church in Ephesus? For what great qualities does Jesus commend this church? What concern does Jesus also express?

The church is in a very bad place, they are no longer living for Christ. But, they are correct in some of what they do. Christ encourages them and at the same time reproves them.


In their early days, the Ephesian believers were known for their faithfulness and love (Eph. 1:15). Although they experienced pressure both from outside and inside the church, the Christians in Ephesus remained firm and faithful. They were hardworking and obedient to the truth; indeed, they could not tolerate false apostles in their midst. However, their love for Christ and their fellow members began to wane. Although the church stood firm and faithful, without Christ’s love even their own lamp was in danger of going out.

The church cannot be faithful without Christ's love. We are evil by nature and unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit, even the things we do which are right are tainted with selfishness.


Read Revelation 2:5-7.

 2:5   Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 
 2:6   But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. 
 2:7   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. 


Here we read that they have not repented of their sins and they are about to close their opportunity to  be saved unless they repent quickly. It is only those that are overcomers that have eternal life, a truth many reject today.

What three things does Jesus urge church members to do in order to revive their first love and devotion to Christ and to their fellow believers? How are these three things sequentially related?

Prophetically, the situation in the church in Ephesus corresponds to the general situation and spiritual condition of the church from A.D. 31-100. The apostolic church was characterized by love and faithfulness to the gospel. But by the end of the first century, the church began losing the fire of its first love, thus departing from the simplicity and purity of the gospel.

Imagine yourself as part of a congregation whose love is waning. The members may not be practicing any known or open sin. On one level, they are even doing what’s right; yet, they suffer from formalism and coldness. How can Jesus’ counsel here free such a church from this situation?

Jesus gave the answer in the message to the church. "Repent". The members lost their first love, it was not "waning."  There was known sin because it is only known sin that must be repented of in order to have eternal life. When we read Scripture, we must do so seeking wisdom from God. Why was it that the church had lost its first love? Why was it sinning and in need of repentance? It must be that the leadership was going along with the situation and not calling for repentance. Thus, the need for the message from Jesus. How shall we treat the message designed  for us? Will we do the same and pretend that we have life when Jesus says to "repent"?  Jesus warned the church at Ephesus they were in danger of closing their probation, and that they needed to repent or else this would happen quickly.

We have to make a decision at to whom we shall believe? What is written or what we are being told. In our church today, too many change what is written to fit their desires of what they want to be written. Simple truth is perverted in the same manner as it was in Israel of Old. They had perverted the simple truth that Jesus must suffer and die for our sins. Even Peter after three and a half years with Jesus did not understand Jesus must suffer and die that he could be saved. He tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross.

It is no different today. The simplicity of the gospel is what our people need. The message given for us tells us exactly who we are as a people and what we must do in order to be saved. Don't get into the practice of being told what Jesus is saying. The messages to the churches are simple and easy to understand.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--1st Quarter 2019--Among the Lampstands
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2019, 01:43:54 PM »

Friday        January 11


Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Patmos”, pp. 568-577, in The Acts of the Apostles.

“The persecution of John became a means of grace. Patmos was made resplendent with the glory of a risen Saviour. John had seen Christ in human form, with the marks of the nails, which will ever be his glory, in his hands and his feet. Now he was permitted again to behold his risen Lord, clothed with as much glory as a human being could behold, and live.

The appearance of Christ to John should be to all, believers and unbelievers, an evidence that we have a risen Christ. It should give living power to the church. At times dark clouds surround God's people. It seems as if oppression and persecution would extinguish them. But at such times the most instructive lessons are given. Christ often enters prisons, and reveals himself to his chosen ones. He is in the fire with them at the stake. As in the darkest night the stars shine the brightest, so the most brilliant beams of God’s glory are revealed in the deepest gloom. The darker the sky, the more clear and impressive are the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, the risen Saviour”. - Ellen G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, April 5, 1900.


Amen!! Jesus is withdrawing His Spirit from the world, but at the same time He is pouring it out upon His church!!


Discussion Questions:

    John shares with the readers what he saw and heard on Patmos. As you read Revelation 1:12-20, what do you see and hear? What words of comfort can you take from the truths revealed in this vision?
    In Revelation 14:7, the first angel urges the inhabitants of the earth at the time of the end to “worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (NKJV). This language is taken from Exodus 20:11. What does the first angel’s message tell us about the end-time significance of the Sabbath, as revealed in Revelation?

    There’s a strange irony that many Christians face. The longer they are in the church, the easier it is for their faith to grow dim or even to die out. The opposite, though, should happen. After all, the longer we walk with Jesus, the more we should learn about Him and His love for us. How, then, can we keep the fire of faith not only burning, but burning brighter and brighter, as it should?

What does Jesus say? He says that "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matt. 4:4. Then we must be feeding upon the Word. He also says that we must "drink His blood and eat His flesh." He also says that He is the manna which came down from heaven. If we want physical life, we eat bread, if we want spiritual life we feed upon the Words of our Savior. The Word was made flesh. When we read our Bibles we are reading a revelation of the character our God. Here is a simple statement that many ignore to their detriment. "It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross."  Desire of Ages, pg 83.

The Bible tells us that by beholding Jesus we become changed into His character. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--1st Quarter 2019--Among the Lampstands
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 02:48:22 PM »
FRIDAY January 18

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “The Revelation,” pp. 578– 592, in The Acts of the Apostles.

The seven messages to the churches show spiritual decline in the seven churches. The church in Ephesus was still faithful, although it had lost its first love.

We are going to have to redefine "faithful" if one can be faithful and still not love Jesus with the whole heart. One may be faithful to not lie or kill, but when self is alive, then we surely are not being faithful to our calling and our baptism. The Bible says about Ephesus "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent..."  This is not being faithful and we have no idea if Ephesus repented.  But, the spiritual decline in the seven churches does not appear to have effected Philadelphia as it did the others. And, we know the last church will repent.


The churches in Smyrna and Philadelphia were largely faithful. Pergamum and Thyatira compromised more and more until the vast majority of believers in those churches had completely apostatized from the pure faith of the apostles. The church in Sardis was in a very serious condition. The majority of Christians in this church were out of harmony with the gospel, while Philadelphia represented the faithful few. The church in Laodicea was in a condition of such spiritual lethargy and complacency that there was nothing good to be said about that church.

In concluding each message, Jesus makes promises to those in the churches who accept His counsel. One might observe, however, that along with the evident spiritual decline in the churches, there is a proportionate increase in promises given. Ephesus, to whom Jesus gives the first message, receives only one promise. As each church follows the downward spiritual trend, each one receives more promises than the previous church. Finally, the church in Laodicea, while given only one promise, receives the greatest promise of all: to share Jesus’ throne (Rev. 3:21).

That is really nice that those who repent and are overcomes will get to share Jesus' throne. But, sadly, there is a large number who will not even enter heaven from the Laodicea Church. More time needs to be spend on knowing who we can tell our status before God and how to be transformed that we might glorify our God and Savior.


Discussion Questions:

    How does the increase in promises to each successive church, along with the spiritual decline in the churches, reflect the statement that when sin increases, grace abounds even more (Rom. 5:20)? Think of that promise in light of the statement that “the church, enfeebled and defective though it be, is the only object on earth on which Christ bestows His supreme regard. He is constantly watching it with solicitude, and is strengthening it by His Holy Spirit.”—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 2, p. 396.
    Often Christians say that it is hard to be a Christian in industrial, commercial, and metropolitan cities. In the prosperous cities in Asia there were Christians who remained loyal to the gospel and unswerving in their allegiance to God amid the pressures exerted upon them by their pagan environment. What can we learn from this fact? Think of those Christians in Asia in light of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:15–19. How does the concept of being in the world but not of the world apply to Christians today, particularly those living in metropolitan cities?

God can save people anywhere, but it is much harder when they live in vile and wicked cities. Think of the poor children who are influenced by the wicked in the cities. It would be good for those who still have opportunity to be saved to move from the cities. Daniel is an example of how God can not only save, but be glorified by one who lived in the middle of the world and was a leader in the Babylon. Let us consider how he could have done this? He was thoroughly grounded, was not a child in the wicked city, was probably home-schooled, and very consecrated. He also left the world in the middle of his day, went home and on his knees made sure his connection with God was solid.

Out of the large cities is the counsel we have. If you are still there, then pray for God to open the door so you can leave. The large cities of the world are evil, a bad influence and trouble is already there, but will increase shortly. God is removing His protecting hand from the nations who once worshiped God. We saw the first stroke when the Trade Towers came down in New York City. Not long other cities will see similar disasters, some by earthquake, some by fires, some by Muslim Terrorists, and some by tornadoes or hurricanes.


    How can we, as Seventh-day Adventists, better heed the words given to us in the message to the Laodiceans?

We have been given three messages of great importance to be given in the church. The health message, the Laodicean message, and the three angels message. Let us do so and heed all three. Then Jesus can come. The Laodicean message when given correctly will bring about a revival and reformation in last of the seven churches revealed in the Book of Revelation.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.