Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2019--Jesus’ Messages to the 7 Churches  (Read 1480 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 3 *January 12-18




Jesus’ Messages to the Seven Churches



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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Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Rev. 2:8–11, Rev. 2:12–17, Rev. 2:18–29, Rev. 3:1–6, Rev. 3:7–13, Rev. 3:14–22, Isa. 61:10.

Memory Text: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21

From Patmos, Jesus sent a letter via John with seven messages to His people. While those messages concern the churches in Asia of John’s day, they also each prophetically portray in symbols the condition of the church throughout history.

A side-by-side comparison of these messages shows that they follow the same sixfold structure. Each opens with Jesus addressing the specific church by name. The second part begins with the phrase, “ ‘ “These things says . . . ” ’ ” (NKJV), in which Jesus introduces Himself to each church using descriptions and symbols found in chapter 1. Those descriptions of Jesus were suited to the specific needs of each church. Thus, Jesus pointed to His ability to meet their different struggles and situations. Next, Jesus gives an appraisal of the church, and then He counsels the church how to get out of its predicaments. Finally, each message concludes with an appeal to hear the Spirit’s message and with promises to the overcomers.

Amen. What is an overcomer? How can we become an overcomer? What does Jesus say to Laodicea that we might become victorious over sin? When He says repent to us, what does He mean? Repent of what? When one is in a Laodicean condition, where is Jesus? Where does He want to be?


As we saw in last week’s lesson in our analysis of the message to the first church in Ephesus, and as we will see this week in our study of the remaining six messages, Jesus offers hope and answers the needs of each church in each situation. Hence, surely He can meet our needs today, as well.

Yes, He surely can. But, many will not follow His counsel. Why not?


* Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 19.

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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SUNDAY January 13
Christ’s Messages to Smyrna and Pergamum

Smyrna was a beautiful and wealthy city, but it also was a center of mandated emperor worship. Refusing to comply with this mandate could lead to the loss of legal status, to persecution, and even to martyrdom.

Read Revelation 2:8–11.

 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. 


How does the way that Jesus presents Himself to this church relate to the church’s situation? What was the situation of the church? What warning does Jesus give to the church about what was coming?

The message to the church in Smyrna applies prophetically to the church in the postapostolic era, when Christians were viciously persecuted by the Roman Empire. The “ten days” mentioned in Revelation 2:10 point to the ten years of the Diocletian persecution from a.d. 303 until a.d. 313, when Constantine the Great issued the Edict of Milan, which granted Christians religious freedom.

Pergamum was the center of various pagan cults, including the cult of Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, who was called “the Savior” and was represented by a serpent. People came from all over to the shrine of Asclepius to be healed. Pergamum had a leading role in promoting the cult of emperor worship, which, as in Smyrna, was compulsory. No wonder Jesus said that the Christians in Pergamum lived in the city where Satan’s seat is and where his throne was located.

Read Revelation 2:12–15. How does Jesus present Himself to this church? What was His appraisal of its spiritual condition?

 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. 


The Christians in Pergamum faced temptations from both outside and inside the church. While most of them remained faithful, some, the “Nicolaitans,” advocated compromise with paganism in order to avoid persecution. Like Balaam, who apostatized and enticed the Israelites to sin against God on the way to the Promised Land (Num. 31:16), these members found it more convenient, and even rewarding, to compromise their faith. Though the Jerusalem Council had forbidden “things offered to idols” and “sexual immorality” (Acts 15:29, NKJV), the doctrine of Balaam taught church members to reject this decision. The only solution Jesus can offer to Pergamum is: “ ‘ “Repent” ’ ” (Rev. 2:16, NKJV).

The church in Pergamum is a prophetic picture of the church from approximately a.d. 313–538. Although some members in the church remained faithful, spiritual decline and apostasy increased rapidly.
What does it mean not to deny “ ‘ “My faith” ’ ” (Rev. 2:13, NKJV; see also Rev. 14:12)? How can our refusal to deny our faith help us to resist compromise and be “ ‘faithful unto death’ ” (Rev. 2:10)?

To deny one's faith is to not have faith that saves. If we do not truly believe God is who He says He is, that He has absolute control over what happens in this world, then our faith will not save us. God has promised He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. Then why deny Christ? If God empowers us to bear what comes, then why desert God? It is the power of grace that will keep us faithful in all matters. If we are not fully surrendered to Christ, then we will deny our faith. We are evil by nature and our only hope is to be found abiding in Christ and He in us.

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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MONDAY January 14
Christ’s Message to Thyatira

In comparison with other cities, Thyatira had no political or cultural significance that we know of. Furthermore, the church was obscure. In order to run a business or have a job, people in the Roman Empire had to belong to trade guilds. Thyatira was especially noted for enforcing this requirement. Guild members had to attend the guild festivals and participate in temple rituals, which often included immoral activities. Those who did not comply faced exclusion from the guilds and economic sanctions. For Christians at that time, that meant choosing between total compromise or total exclusion for the sake of the gospel.

Read Revelation 2:18–29.

 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. 
 


How does Jesus present Himself to the church in Thyatira (see also Dan. 10:6)? What were the qualities that Jesus commended the church for, and what issue troubled it?

Like the church in Pergamum, the church in Thyatira was pushed to compromise with the pagan environment. The name “Jezebel” refers to the wife of King Ahab, who led Israel into apostasy (1 Kings 16:31–33). Jesus portrays Jezebel as spiritually immoral (Rev. 2:20). Those church members who compromised the truth and adopted “unclean” pagan ideas and practices were committing spiritual adultery with her.

The church in Thyatira symbolizes the condition of Christianity from a.d. 538 to 1565. During this time, the danger to God’s people did not come from outside the church but from within. Tradition replaced the Bible, a human priesthood and sacred relics replaced Christ’s priesthood, and works were regarded as the means of salvation. Those who did not accept these corrupting influences were persecuted and even killed. For centuries the true church found refuge in wilderness areas (see Rev. 12:6, 13, 14). But Jesus also commends the church in Thyatira for their faith and love, works and service—pointing to the Reformation and the beginnings of a return to the Bible.

Think about the words of Revelation 2:25: “that which ye have already hold fast till I come.”  What do those words mean to us, both corporately and individually? What do we have from Jesus that we must hold on to?

There is a gospel truth, and there is a Savior. Do we agree we need both? What happens if we let go of either one, corporately or individually? Jesus encourages those who understand the gospel and indeed know Jesus as Savior, hold on. It is not an easy life, but the converted Christian has love, joy, and peace as long as He holds on to Jesus and the gospel of grace.

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

colporteur

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Someone sent me this. I don't have time to sift through all of it but since I am most familiar with the Scarlet Woman of Revelation 17 I took a look at the beef with Lesson 12 and Monday's Lesson. I don't get the problem that is being emphasized. Anyone else see a problem with that day's lesson ?

http://adventistdistinctivemessages.com/English/Documents/ApostasySSRevedfinal.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2fHfO7HOa8HLdXMfqRTGkFYL2ZBZTsu8--roO_4jFqzLi6FJ6FGoVDHoQ
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Are you talking about Monday in Lesson 7? If so then let's wait until lesson 7. If not, then tell us what portion of this week's lesson you are concerned with, cp. If Dr. Treiyer  has a problem with the quarterly, tell us what you think it is. I have already expressed my concern.
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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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
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TUESDAY January 15
Christ’s Message to Sardis


Sardis had a glorious history. But by the Roman period, the city had lost its prestige. While the city was still enjoying wealth, its glory was rooted in its past history rather than in present reality. The ancient city had been built on top of a steep hill and was nearly impregnable. Because the citizens felt so secure, the city walls were guarded carelessly.

Read Revelation 3:1–6 along with Matthew 24:42–44 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1–8.

 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. 


What three things does Jesus urge the Christians in Sardis to do as a cure for their spiritual condition? How did Jesus’ warning to “watch” correspond to the city’s history?

While Jesus recognizes a few Christians in Sardis as faithful, most of them are spiritually dead. The church is not charged with any open sin or apostasy (as are those in Pergamum and Thyatira) but with spiritual lethargy.

The message to the church in Sardis applies prophetically to the spiritual situation of the Protestants in the post-Reformation period, from approximately 1565 to 1740, as the church degenerated into lifeless formalism and a state of spiritual complacency. Under the impact of the rising tide of rationalism and secularism, the church’s focus on the saving grace of the gospel and commitment to Christ waned, giving place to creedal and dry philosophical arguments. The church of this period, although appearing to be alive, was spiritually dead.

Let us make sure we understand that "spiritually dead" means most, like in Laodicean, do not have eternal life.


Jesus’ message to Sardis also applies to every generation of Christians. There are Christians who always talk in glorious terms of their past faithfulness to Christ. Unfortunately, these same Christians do not have much to share about their present experience with Christ. Their religion is nominal, lacking the true religion of the heart and genuine commitment to the gospel.

Keeping ever before us the great truth of salvation by faith in Christ alone, in what ways could we say that our works have not been found “perfect” before God? What does that mean, and how can we “perfect” our works before Him? See Matt. 5:44–48.

"Our works"?  Does the author mean us or me? If us, then we are talking about the seventh church. Then how have our works not been perfect? Just listen to what Jesus says. Do we love Jesus with the whole heart, is our character as a people a reflection of Christ? Are we filled with the Holy Spirit and not blind, but have spiritual discernment? Then, what can we do to "perfect" our works? Listen what Jesus tells us to do. It makes no difference whether the author is meaning the church or us as individuals. The solution to being wretched and miserable, poor, blind, and naked is the same. We are to buy gold tried in the fire, which is saving faith that comes by knowing God's grace, His unmerited love. We need His character, the wedding dress. He promises to give us His character, both imputed and imparted, that we might reflect His character, and for our blindness, we need to have the Holy Spirit, in the heart. He will come when we give Jesus the whole heart holding nothing back. Do you think you can keep one little sin back? We cannot. Jesus knows unless we make a full and whole heart surrender, we will remain dead in our sins. It is only when self dies and Christ lives in the heart that will have love, joy, and peace that passes all understanding.

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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WEDNESDAY January 16
Christ’s Message to Philadelphia


The sixth church addressed by Jesus was Philadelphia (meaning “brotherly love”). The city was located on an imperial trade road and served as the gateway—an “open door”—to a large, fertile plateau. Excavations indicate that Philadelphia was a center to which people came for health and healing. Shaken by frequent earthquakes, the city’s inhabitants moved to the countryside, living in humble huts.

Read Revelation 3:7–9.

 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. 


How does the way that Jesus presents Himself relate to the situation of this church? What does Jesus’ statement “ ‘ “ You have a little strength” ’ ” (Rev. 3:8, NKJV) say about the condition of the church?

The message to this church applies prophetically to the great revival of Protestantism during the First and Second Awakenings that took place in Great Britian and America, from about 1740 to 1844. Given the light they had, God’s people did indeed seek to keep “ ‘ “My word” ’ ” (Rev. 3:8, NKJV) at this time. There was a growing emphasis on obedience to God’s commandments and pure living. The “open door” is apparently the way into the heavenly sanctuary, because “ ‘ “the temple of my God” ’ ” is also mentioned (Rev. 3:12, compare Rev. 4:1, 2). One door being closed and another door being opened point to the change that would take place in Christ’s high-priestly ministry, in 1844.

"The 'open door' is apparently the way into the heavenly sanctuary..."  Then what door was closed? What happened in 1844 in the heavenly sanctuary? Did Jesus move from one room to another? Yes, He did. Then a door was opened that was not open before. What door to what room? Jesus went into the Most Holy Place to begin a work of judgment and to prepare a people for His second coming. Then this is not the door to the heavenly sanctuary. That door was opened when Jesus ascended to heaven after His crucifixion. It was the door to the Most Holy Place that was opened and we do not want to confuse this because so many today are teaching otherwise. It was Desmond Ford who led many astray with such heresy, even many Seventh-day Adventist pastors.


Read Revelation 3:10–13.

 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. 


What indications are given that time is short and that the coming of Jesus is drawing near? What is the significance of God’s name being written on His people (see 2 Tim. 2:19)? If a name represents a person’s character, what does Exodus 34:6 tell us about those who bear God’s name?

Great revivals took place in churches on both sides of the Atlantic. In the years leading up to 1844, the message of Christ’s soon coming was procalimed in many parts of the world. God’s promise to write His name on those who overcome indicates that God’s character will be seen in His people. Just as important as the message that Christ is coming soon is the message that Christ promises to make His people ready for that great event by forgiving their sins and writing His law in their hearts (see Phil. 1:6; Heb. 10:16, 17).

Amen! In 1844 Jesus when entering the Most Holy Place began the work that was symbolized on the old Day of Atonement. That is to say we live in the anti-typical Day of Atonement. What needs to happen before Jesus can return? It is not just a matter of forgiving sins. That happened in the Holy Place as well as in the Most Holy Place. Something is different now. Jesus is working at putting an end to sin. For when He throws down the censor and walks out of the Most Holy Place, His kingdom will never see sin within again. Those living saints will not ever sin again. How can this be? It is not an easy matter. Israel wandered around for 40 years in the wilderness. We have been wandering around for 175 years. Jesus wants to put an end to sin, suffering, and death, but we have not done our part. The Laodicean Church remain in a lost condition, but has now entered into a period of revival and reformation. Listen carefully and you will hear the gospel message being proclaimed in the church. And, the leading edge of truth is sounding once again.


What does the hope of Christ’s soon coming mean to you? How does Christ’s promise to complete the work He has begun give us assurance?

That promise was made to our church in 1844. Why the delay? His coming will be very soon. When we have spiritual discernment we see a change taking place in the world and in the church. Have you noticed a separation taking place in the church? Have you noticed that Babylon is suffering under judgment? America is no longer a Protestant nation and therefore God has been allowing the winds to blow. The destruction of the Trade Towers was only the beginning of the end for America and the world. Jesus is coming very soon!

Christ will complete the work He began in 1844. He will soon leave the heavenly sanctuary and there will be no more Intercessor, no Mediator, and no more forgiveness of sin. Are you ready?
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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THURSDAY January 17
Christians in Laodicea


The last church addressed by Jesus was in Laodicea, a wealthy city situated on a major trade road. It was famous for its woolen manufacturing industry; its banks (which held a vast quantity of gold); and a medical school, which produced eye salve. The prosperity of Laodicea filled its citizens with self-sufficiency. Around a.d. 60, when an earthquake destroyed the city, the citizens declined an offer of assistance from Rome, claiming to have all they needed to do the job. Because the city lacked water, it was supplied through an aqueduct that came from the hot springs at Hierapolis. The source was distant from Laodicea, so the water became lukewarm by the time it got there.
Read Revelation 3:14–17 along with Hosea 12:8.

 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. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 

12:8   And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: [in] all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that [were] sin. 


How did the self-sufficient spirit of the city pervade the Laodicean Christians?

Jesus did not rebuke the Christians in Laodicea for a serious sin, such as heresy or apostasy. Rather, their problem was complacency leading to spiritual lethargy. Like the water that reached the city, they were neither refreshingly cold nor hot, but lukewarm. They claimed to be rich and in need of nothing; yet they were poor, naked, and blind to their spiritual condition.

The church in Laodicea symbolizes the spiritual condition of God’s church near the close of this earth’s history, as certain links with end-time portions of Revelation show. One such link, as given in Jesus’ parenthetical warning in Revelation 16:15, refers back to the “ ‘ “white garments” ’ ” of Christ’s righteousness needed by spiritually naked Laodicea (see Rev. 3:18, NKJV). The warning to keep one’s garments and not walk naked appears in the midst of a reference to the spiritual battle of Armageddon. The timing of Jesus’ warning may seem rather strange, at first, because it is no longer possible to receive these garments. After all, probation already will have closed for everyone. But the warning to keep one’s garments appears in connection with the sixth plague and Armageddon because Jesus wants to remind Laodicea to be ready now in advance of that terrible conflict—before it is forever too late. Thus, Revelation 16:15 warns Laodiceans that if they fail to heed Jesus’ counsel and instead choose to remain naked (Rev. 3:17, 18), they will be lost, and ashamed, at His coming (see 1 John 2:28–3:3).

If church members refuse to acknowledge the truth revealed here, they will remain deceived. The lesson tells us the Laodicean condition if not repented of and Christ received into the heart will mean the loss of eternal life. To be in the Laodicean condition is to be without salvation. But, it is not a hopeless case. Jesus not only reproves the Laodicean, but encourages the church and individuals that they may yet be converted and be saved. He gives the solution to the problem and the solution is to do something. What must the unrepentant sinner do in the church today in order to be saved, to be converted? He must buy of Jesus gold tried in the fire which is faith that comes by love, the love of Jesus.

Not all in the church are in a Laodicean condition, not all will remain in this condition. Those who know they are not right with God, are not Laodicean. They have had their eyes opened to their condition. It does not mean one is converted, but at least they are not lukewarm. Like the man in Romans seven, if they cannot obey, but know they must obey, then begin to seek a solution. The solution is just what Jesus told the Laodicean, Nicodemus, come to me all ye that labor and I will give you salvation. Learn of Jesus, behold Him uplifted on the cross. This is what we must do in orfer to be saved. We must fall in love with Jesus. We must see our constant need of His righteousness, of His presence in our hearts. When we love Jesus with the whole heart, then we have eternal life.


Jesus assures the Laodiceans that He loves them. He appeals for them to repent (Rev. 3:19). He concludes His appeal by picturing Himself as the lover in Song of Songs 5:2–6, standing at the door and knocking and pleading to be let in (Rev. 3:20). Everyone who opens the door and lets Him in is promised an intimate dinner with Him and, ultimately, to reign with Him on His throne (see Rev. 20:4).
Read Revelation 3:18–22.

 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 

What counsel does Jesus give to the Laodiceans? What do gold, white garments, and eye salve symbolize (see 1 Pet. 1:7; Isa. 61:10; Eph. 1:17, 18)? What does this counsel say to us as Seventh-day Adventists, who recognize ourselves as the Laodicean church?

It reveals why it is that Jesus has not come. He cannot come until He prepares a people who can stand without a Mediator. We appreciate the author telling the church it is in a lost condition. But, it is not fair to leave the church in that position. To ask the Laodicean Church what the symbols are, is to leave them dependent upon themselves who have no spiritual discernment to come to a right knowledge of that which they do not understand, and do not have. In other words, the solution to their lost condition is given by Jesus in those three things to be bought. Why not tell the church what we must do in order to be saved?

I have already discussed gold tried in the fire. It is faith that works by love. Why? Because saving faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. We cannot have saving faith without trusting Jesus with the whole heart. How can we trust someone we do not know very well? We cannot. But, if we spend time with Jesus in His Word, we will learn of Him and see that He loves us. He loves us not when we are converted only, but He loved us while we were yet sinners. This is called grace, and it is grace that saves. It is the revelation of His love that transforms the character.

That brings us to "white raiment."  This is His character, His righteousness. He wants us to have it. He not only wants us to be saved from past sins and unknown sins, but wants us to cease sinning. He gives us two kinds of white raiment. His righteousness stands in place of ours for our past sins and our unknown sins. More than this, He imbues us with His attributes. His character, His righteousness is imparted to all who love Him supremely. When  the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart, He brings with Him all of the fruits of the Spirit, not one is missing. The repentant sinner becomes a partaker of God's divine nature and will not be tempted beyond what he can bear (2 Peter 1:4, 1Cor 10:13) .

None will obtain holy flesh this side of the second coming. But, all who are truly converted will reveal the righteousness of Christ. Their hearts have been purified and their motives are pure and holy. This is what it means to have white raiment, to reflect the character of our Savior.

And, last "eyesalve." It sounds like a medicine for the eye. Is it possible that God wants to heal the blind? Yes, the Laodicean may be healed of his blind condition. Eyesalve is the Holy Spirit that opens the eyes to God's truth. Without the Holy Spirit we can not come to a right understanding of spiritual things, for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Jesus promised He would send the Comforter and He would lead us into all truth. If a father wants to give good gifts to his children, how much more does our heavenly Father want to give us the Holy Spirit! Ask and ye shall receive eyesalve to open blind eyes. What a loving God we serve!

Thus the Laodicean message from Christ is not only a stern rebuke to our church, but it comes from a heart of love that also encourages us to turn from self and sin to Him who loves even the worst of humanity. He spells out what is that we must do in order to be saved and give honor and glory to our God. Let us choose to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Christ, for by beholding His glory (character) we are changed into His image (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.

colporteur

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Are you talking about Monday in Lesson 7? If so then let's wait until lesson 7. If not, then tell us what portion of this week's lesson you are concerned with, cp. If Dr. Treiyer  has a problem with the quarterly, tell us what you think it is. I have already expressed my concern.

It's lesson 12 but we can wait on that as you wish
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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.

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cp, if the lesson has significant error in lesson 12, it may have an impact on our current lessons. Where does he feel this quarter's lesson is off?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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cp, if the lesson has significant error in lesson 12, it may have an impact on our current lessons. Where does he feel this quarter's lesson is off?

Many places

http://adventistdistinctivemessages.com/English/Documents/ApostasySSRevedfinal.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2fHfO7HOa8HLdXMfqRTGkFYL2ZBZTsu8--roO_4jFqzLi6FJ6FGoVDHoQ

He has issues with the Trumpets etc.. Regarding Lesson 12 He seems to indicate that the lesson skirts the application of the Scarlet Woman being the papacy and directs it more to the Sanctuary priests and to a proligate woman. Personally, though the lesson does not punch the application of the Scarlet Woman being the papacy like it could I believe that the application is made. I believe he is majoring in minors here. His issues with the application of the Trumpets and such I have not looked at.
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Richard Myers

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He makes many good points and speaks of apostasy in the Sabbath School Quarterly. He appears to be correct in regards to the seven trumpets and is very concerned that the lessons move away from doctrine which was understood and they rejects the Spirit of Prophecy and points exactly to where they reject inspired truth. Thanks for sharing. It is a warning to the church who look at the lessons as if they were not teaching error.  Very sad indeed.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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I don't agree with his concern regarding the scarlet woman and purple and scarlet are indeed sanctuary colors howbeit adopted by the papacy.  I notice in the lesson for this week it is said that the 24 elders are redeemed from the earth. I'm thinking SOP says that these are representatives from other worlds. It is interesting that the verse in the lesson from Eze. 1:26-28 says that the  color of sapphire  ( blue) surrounds the throne. This comes into play in lesson #12 where the papacy takes on purple and scarlet but not blue as she wars against the law of God as written in stone the color of blue.
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Marelis

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Tonight I had the privilege of studying the Laodicean message with fresh eyes. In Rev 3:20, it hadn't quite struck me as it did tonight that the door is shut. And that Jesus is locked outside. He is not inside the heart. (Perhaps, even, not inside the Laodicean church?) Furthermore, the Laodiceans, don't even know He is outside (!) They think all is well. So lovingly and patiently - yet with the clock of time ticking away - for this is the very last church in earth's history, Jesus is waiting for anyone to open the door. And He promises to come in and sup with them. The image is of Jesus coming in and personally spending quality one-on-one time with them. Teaching. Instructing. Listening. Communing with them. Healing them of their Laodicean condition. And being there to help them to overcome. For in verse 22 is the beautiful image of the overcomer (who comes out of Laodicea and overcomes through Jesus) sitting with Jesus in His throne even as Jesus sat with His Father in His throne after He had overcome and ascended to His Father. What a promise! Now I am pondering further verse 14 in chapter 3 the names of Jesus. Here Jesus is: The Amen. The Faithful and True Witness. The beginning of the creation of God. And this is food for another whole study.

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

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Yes, dear Sister, Jesus is not in the heart. But, He is very near. And, not just quietly watching. It is vital that we teach where Jesus is in relationship to the Laodicean. He tells us where He is. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." He is at the door of the heart calling to the Laodicean, the blind Seventh-day Adventist who is in a lost condition, not inviting Jesus in. There is great danger as Jesus said. He is ready to "spew" out the Laodicean. What means this? Probation is almost closed for the Laodicean. But, the message is not only a warning, but encouraging because Jesus is actively working for the Laodicean and He tells the Laodicean what he must do in order to be saved.

So, it is not good enough to know one is lost, he must be instructed as to what he must do. This is the testimony of the "True Witness."  It harmonizes with the testimony of Jesus to the Jewish Laodicean, Nicodemus. What must Nicodemus and the Laodicean of today do in order to be saved?

And, there are converted Christians today in the last church before Jesus comes. They are not blind, they have Jesus in the heart. They manifest His character of love and justice to the church and to the world. And very soon, the whole church will be converted Christians who have ceased to sin. Probation for all is soon to close and only the 144,000 will be living saints without a Mediator. But, they have a Savior who they love supremely.

Adding another thought, the man of Romans seven is neither a Laodicean nor saved. He is in a much better place than the Seventh-day Adventist Laodicean. Why is this?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.