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Another Revelation Hiatus Post August 14, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Ephesus, Revelation of Jesus Christ, Seven Churches of Revelation.
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Next week we will start again with the Revelation Q and A post. This will give you a chance to prepare for the discussion on Sunday night by looking at the text in light of the questions asked. The answers are then posted a day or two after the discussion. The study has really been enjoyable. In the meantime, here is a series of posts on Ephesus, the first of the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation.

http://markdroberts.com/?p=159

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While our Revelation Study is on hiatus August 7, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Acts, Archaeology, Church History, Ephesus, First Peter, Gladiator, Religion, Seven Churches of Revelation, Turkey.
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See last weeks post on Hierapolis to see something about the area of Laodicea. Below are two more links from an architectural student living in Istanbul. I was not aware of the finding of the gladiator cemetery last year.

http://didemkonuk.wordpress.com/ephesus/

Don’t feel like reading a post? At least look at this picture from a different area of Turkey. It has nothing to do with the seven churches of Revelation but could you imagine Paul traveling through this area on his way to preach the gospel in one of the cities of the region?

http://didemkonuk.wordpress.com/cappadocia-kapadokya/

The Church at Ephesus (with Answers) May 21, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Ephesus, False Teachers, Revelation of Jesus Christ, Seven Churches of Revelation.
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THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS

REVELATION 2:1-7

1. Of the many possible interpretations (taken from Robertson) for the seven (stars) angels in 1:16, 20, and 2:1, which do you think is most likely and why? The word “angel” literally means “messenger”.

The pastor of the church. It is unlikely that there were seven different messengers carrying this message but it is very likely that there was leadership in each of the seven churches addressed in this epistle/apocalypse.

2. Why is such importance given to Jesus connection with the seven stars (messengers) and the seven golden lamp stands (churches)? See Revelation 1:12-13,16,20, and 2:1. Why did Jesus not give a symbol that relates Himself to the whole body of Christ as He does later in the book in Revelation 19:7? What are the implications for the local church today?

Seven stars in His right hand – The emphasis seems to be on the word “messenger”. These messengers, whoever they might be, were responsible to make sure that the churches received the messages intended for the individual churches.

Walking in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands – The local churches themselves are of great importance to Christ. Jesus is Head of His Body but it is in the individual locations where we see Jesus dealing with the believers. There is coming a day when the whole body will be together but this is at the end of time. The local church in the New Testament is of great importance and it is there where God generally chooses to do His work in believers’ lives.

3. What characteristics in verses 2 and 3 does Jesus make clear that He is aware of and has seen?

Persecuted and doctrinally steadfast as described by the following words.

The words “labor” or “labored” are found in verses 2 & 3 as well as in 14:13 (“works” is also mentioned in this verse). Although this is not a synonym of “mourn” in 1:7, the word clearly has the connotation of great difficulty. Perhaps emotional exhaustion is involved (which would certainly be the case in persecution, which seems to be the context here). This word is used in connection with weariness in verse 3.

The word “patience” is another word indicating the difficulties in Ephesus due to persecution. See 1:9, 13:10, and 14:12.

A third word is translated two different ways, “bear” and “persevered”. It speaks of a heavy burden to be carried and is used first to refer negatively to false teachers and then positively to the persecution they were undergoing.

“Tested” refers to false apostles. See verse 6. Later the doctrine of the Nicolaitans will be addressed. Here it is the deeds that are condemned. False doctrine produces false deeds of one sort or another.

4. If a church is suffering persecution for Christ, is standing against false doctrine and teachers (see also verse 6), and is even patiently waiting for the coming of Christ, what can it mean that they have left their first love? What is the remedy? What is the penalty?

When one looks at 1 John 4:17-21 it is obvious that John equates the love of God with the love of the brethren and that these two loves are foundational to the Christian life and faith. The remedy is not to develop this love but rather to remember the love they started with and repent of the way they have become. If they do not do this, the church will be removed.

5. What connection does the Spirit in the book of Revelation have to the churches (hint: the number seven is important here)? Just as there are seven Spirits and seven churches, there are seven separate messages for the churches.

To be answered next week…Is the tree of life a literal tree in Paradise or is this a symbol? Can it be both? See also Revelation 22:2,14 and Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24. What does this teach us about reading symbolism? Is it intended to hide a meaning that we are clever enough to understand or is it intended to be obvious and through its obviousness impact our understanding of the passage?