The Seven Letters

If you have not yet read Synoptic Gospels on this site, please do so before reading this article.  It will make more sense if you do!

Now that you have a clearer understanding that …
  • the Tribulation is the last seven years until the promised kingdom arrives
  • it is the time where the Jews must obey Jesus’ commands found in the Synoptic Gospels in order to enter that kingdom
  • the Church has no part in the Tribulation

…I want you to look at the seven letters found in Revelation 2 and 3 with those things in mind.

I’m going to bold all the terms/phrases that I found that directly relate to preparing for entrance into the kingdom

Revelation 2 (NASB)

Message to Ephesus

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:

‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown wearyBut I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’

Message to Smyrna

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:

‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

Message to Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:

13 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.

15 So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

Message to Thyatira

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

19 ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

23-29

23 And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.24 But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you.

25 Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Message to Sardis

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:

He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthyHe who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. [Luke 12:8] He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Message to Philadelphia

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, [Isaiah 22:22] says this:

‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My nameBehold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

11-13

11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Message to Laodicea

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.

19-22

19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. [Luke 12:36 parable] 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

If these are ‘big C’ Church letters, then why all that ‘kingdom-prep’ terminology??

And why would Jesus be mentioning things like:
  • 2:5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
  • 2:10 Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.  [James 1:12 promised to Tribulation endurers.]
  • 2:16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth
  • 2:22-23 22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.  (see Revelation 18:8)
  • 3:3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and  Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 
  • 3:10-11 10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  

…to the ‘big C’ Church when these are all Tribulation events that the Church will never see?

And why would Jesus be mentioning things like:
  • Repent! 
  • 3:11 I am coming quickly;hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
  • 3:18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 

…when the ‘big C’ Church is already sinless and we’ve already received our crowns?

Notice how each letter ends with He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  Back in the Synoptic Gospels you see this phrase mentioned He who has ears to hear, let him hear when Jesus is talking about the kingdom — and nowhere else.

Look how each letter ends with a verse about he who overcomes. 

Read them slowly and carefully.
  • To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.
  • He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.
  • To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
  • He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, [Psalm 2:9, Rev. 19:15] as I also have received authority from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 
  • He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 
  • He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
  • He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 
Do you still think the generally accepted view of these letters by Christians today is right?

Maybe these overcomers are those who obeyed/persevered until the end, meaning their death or  Jesus’ return, whichever ‘their end’ was.

  • Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
  • Revelation 12:17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
  • Revelation 13:10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.
  • Revelation 14:12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
  • Revelation 16:15 (“Behold,I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”)
And two from the Gospels
  • Matthew 24:10-14 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
  • Luke 21:34-36 34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

I believe these letters might be exactly what they say they are:  letters to seven ‘small c’ churches in the Tribulation.  Not to the Church or about the Church, past or present.  Certainly not future. 

(See Church Chart for the difference between us, the Sealed and Secure big ‘C’ Church, and the small ‘c’ church of Acts.)

We might not understand all the details, but I’m guessing that’s because we’re not there.  

 

Just something to think about.

 

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