(There is a special message at the end of this article for those who do not have Jesus in their life and are looking for peace and a way to better understand the present-day insanity and confusion)
A few thoughts on the end of the program of the True Church on earth in human history.
The book of Revelation, I believe, concerns the terminus of the plan of God for humankind prior to the execution of God’s plan in Glorious Eternity (and even some revelations of God’s plan in the Eternal Kingdom for all those who love Him [Ch 22:1-5]).
It is also the full revelation of Jesus Christ in all of His Glory and as the completion, in execution, of the Word of God, as well as to bring His people Israel through the refining fire and complete His promises to them.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:34-35). This promise is reiterated in Matthew 23:37-39 as well.
Israel rejected their Messiah at the time of His revelation to them. They will not this time.
Israel will cry out, “Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai,” and then will the Lord of Glory return.
Although I feel the above descriptions are necessary in order to convey the full scope of the book of Revelation, in a very condensed version, this commentary concerns the first four chapters only and my view of the purpose of those chapters as they relate to the true church.
Jesus’ first advent was clearly a revelation of Him as the Lamb of God come to offer salvation to all who are willing and would repent of their sins and name Him as their Lord and Savior.
The second advent described in the Book of Revelation (Ch19: 11-16) reveals His completed Glory as the Lion of Judah, come to execute final judgment on a rebellious and unbelieving world.
And on we go
The book of Revelation begins with the introduction of John on the island of Patmos and a description of the Lord Jesus as He arrives to deliver the prophecies that complete the Word of God (Ch 1).
After the introduction of Jesus at Patmos, Revelation moves to articulate the letters that John is instructed to write to “the seven churches” in the province of Asia” (Chapters 2 and 3).
They are listed as: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. They are concentrated in a relatively small geographical area compared with the overall area that the New Testament activities encompass.
When we examine Paul’s epistles to the various churches during his ministry, we find seven of them as well; however, I think it is safe to say that by the time (around AD95) that John wrote the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, there were more likely to have been several hundred churches, given that home churches clearly existed in numerous places and were founded by numerous Disciples. I think that we can also be quite confident that the Apostles were quite busy executing the command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations and spread the Gospel to the “ends of the earth.” They knew beyond doubt who He was (and still is) after He rose from death to Life.
Kind of like compounding interest, the ripple effect of church planting would have yielded the fruit of church growth powered by the Holy Spirit.
Now to the crux of this article:
So, what does this say about the letters to the churches that Jesus dictated being limited to seven?
As we know, the number Seven has significance as the number of Completion or Wholeness.
- God rested on the seventh day.
- Jesus spoke Seven statements from the cross (most significant being, “it is finished”).
- “How many times must we forgive?” Peter asked the Lord. “Seventy times Seven” was His reply. This choice of words by Jesus is noteworthy in that He likely did not mean that number of times specifically, but that He meant to deliver a message within a message.
There are many, many examples of the consistent repetitions of the number seven in the scriptures. So many so that it cannot be missed. These are just three examples.
The number Seven is so clearly associated with our Sovereign God that I capitalized it above.
I believe that the descriptions of the seven churches in these letters serve to convey three messages to us.
- The types of churches described existed at the time of the writing of these letters.
- These types of churches have existed throughout the history of the church.
- How they were viewed by the Lord and how he would offer opportunities for repentance to five of them and no condemnation to the church of Smyrna and Philadelphia; the reasons being evident in the text.
Here, I believe, the sudden transition in view and substance between Chapters 2 and 3 to Chapter 4, and its purpose, is made clear.
Jesus is declaring that the Dispensation of the Age of Grace is complete and the True Church is being removed from the earth in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
I say True Church as only the Christ-believing, worshiping, honoring, and non-compromising church will be removed from the earth.
*Please see the NOTE below.
This is done in order that the following can occur in its appointed time by the Sovereign God.
- God’s primary focus now returns to the redemption of Israel.
- The Seven Seals will now be opened by the only One qualified to do so: Jesus Christ.
- The fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Daniel 9:24-27) or the Time of Jacobs Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) will commence.
- These judgments can now be executed on a rebellious and unbelieving world without conflicting with God’s promise to the True Church. “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” (Revelation 3:10).
I think it is worth noting here that those who belong to the True Church, presently and in the spiritual sense, truly no longer “dwell” on the earth but are citizens of Heaven. Once the Rapture has occurred and judgments described in Revelation commence, this will literally be the reality.
Hallelujah! We’re Home! AND, We will see the Lord as He really is!! NO MORE SIN NATURE!
*NOTE: By no means should the reader conclude that I am positing that any particular view of the timing of the Rapture, as it relates to the Tribulation, has any bearing on the meaning of my descriptor, “True Church.” The True Church consists of all peoples who have made confession of sins and acknowledged Jesus Christ and Him only as their personal Savior.
On a humorous note, when I teach prophecy, I will sometimes have Christ-honoring and believing brothers and sisters who have different views. I always tell them that I look forward to seeing the total astonishment on their faces when they find themselves taken up in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I always tell them that I will be startled, but I won’t be surprised.
We usually have a good laugh about that.
For anyone who may read this article and has not trusted in Jesus Christ and therefore has no hope or peace in your life:
You can have hope. You can have the peace that Jesus has promised to all who have made Him their Lord and Savior.
It requires that you come before God on His terms.
And, what are His terms according to His Word?
- Genuine repentance (turning to God instead of continuing to reject or ignore Him).
- Confession of sins (that you are a sinner and acknowledge that to God).
- Acknowledge that you understand that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
- To acknowledge to God that you are unable to pay that debt.
- Belief that Jesus Christ paid your death sentence for you on the cross.
- To believe that Jesus is the Way, the only Way, that God has established by which humans may be saved from the consequences of their sin and rebellion.
God has made it absolutely clear that there is no one who comes before Him under His terms that will be refused.
- No one: no race, no color, no country of origin, regardless of any previous belief system: no one.
- No matter what your past sins have been, God can and WILL forgive you because He says He will.
- Salvation is available to everyone without any exceptions.
If you put all your trust for salvation in Jesus, and Him only, you can follow that prayer up by simply saying, “Thank you, Father God, for hearing my prayer and saving me,” because we can trust Him to keep His Word. He always has. He always will.
John 5:24: “Truly, Truly, I say to you that he who hears My words and believes the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed from death to life.”
There are no answers, and there is no hope in the world by governments, organizations, politics or politicians. There are only lies and deception. But you can have the Truth and the peace you seek.
The answers are in the Word of God. The Bible. If you ask God, with all your heart, He will hear you.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Pro Salvator Vigilans
To contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org