Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 18 - August/September 2007 > Blessings


by Mary Turbet

Blessings - The Blessings given to the seven churches of Revelation

(Editorial note - see the comment in the editorial of this issue)

Today I would like you to think about the blessings that you have received. I am sure that you all have received blessings at some time and no doubt during this last week - despite the fact that you could have also had sadness, disappointments and problems of one kind or another. In Matt 5:1-11  we are told the disciples came to Jesus and he began to teach them and on this occasion he gave them what we now call the Beatitudes.

But these are not the only blessings spoken of in the Bible and there are also many promises In Revelation John was told to write to the angels (or ministers) of seven churches. These churches were not the only churches nor were they the largest, but they were on a Roman highway built about 1336C and according to Roy Anderson it is believed that these seven letters contain a message for the church through all the centuries from apostolic times until the setting up of Christ's kingdom and we believe this means that we are living in the days of Laodicea.   Apart from telling the seven churches their many faults, each one is also given a promise but it is prefixed with the condition "To him who overcomes"

Ephesus is told that they have worked hard. have persevered, cannot tolerate wicked men and have endured hardships but have not grown weary. "Yet" . he says. "You have forsaken your first love." Nevertheless he says, " if you repent I will give you the right to eat from the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God".

The angel of the church of Smyrna is told that God knows their afflictions and knows their poverty - BUT - they are rich. God knows all about the Jews but say "they are Jews but are really a synagogue of Satan." And then he says "Don't be afraid of what you are about to suffer."  and he tells them that they will be persecuted and put in prison and that they would be tested even to the point of death. After that you would really need a lot of encouragement wouldn't you. AND he says, "I will qive you the crown of life . . " Smyrna is told it will not be hurt by the second death.

Pergamum is complimented because, God says he knows where they live and where Satan has his throne yet "You remained true to my name". But there is always a "however". Apparently they had people there who held to the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols. Also the teaching of the Nicolatians was condemned. Never the less, if they repented. Perqamum was told "I will give him some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it known only to him who receives it".

To the church in Thyatira John was to write and congratulate them on their deeds, their love and faith, their service and perseverance and that they were now doing more than they did at first.  Never the less they were tolerating "that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess". She was causing "immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols." She had been "given time to repent of her immorality but she was unwilling" So she was to be cast on a bed of suffering together with all her followers and her children killed. God feels that those who have resisted all this have had enough and tells them just to "hold on to what you have until I come" At Thjyatira he who overcomes was given authority over the nations - - to rule them with an iron septre and was also given the morning star.

Sardis seems to be in a pretty bad way for the message says "You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, strengthen what remains and is about to die. for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God".  There were still a few people in Sardis who were worthy. Sardis was told that he who overcomes would be dressed in white. His name would never be erased from the book of life but would be acknowledged before God and His angels.

Philidelphia is told that it has little strength yet "you have kept my word and have not denied my name Since you have kept my command to endure patiently I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth". "Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown" The message says, "I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of Heaven from my God and I will also write on him my new name."

Laodicea (and we believe that we are living in these days) is told that they are neither hot nor cold. "I wish you were one or the other. You are lukewarm and I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say you are rich and in need of nothing hut you don't realize you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that 'you can become rich' and have white clothes to wear: so that you can cover your shame, and salve to put on your eyes so you can see". Because he loves us he urges us to repent and says. "! stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the ;door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me." Laodicea would have the right to sit on the throne with Jesus just as he, Jesus, had sat down with His Father on His Father's throne.

In Revelation seven times we are told of blessings bestowed :-

Rev 1:3 says "Blessed is the one, who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it because the time is near.

Rev 14:13 Says " Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. They will rest from their labour for their deeds will follow them."

Rev 16:15 Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him so he 'will not go naked and be shamefully exposed'. In Phillips paraphrase he says he believes that this is a'"gloss" or is misplaced verse and should perhaps form part of the third verse in Chapter 3 where it says "remember what you have received and hear and obey if and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know at what time I will come to you."

Rev.19.9 Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for 1000 years.

Rev 22:7 Behold 1 am coming soon Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes. that they may: have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

What I am trying to get at this morning, is that despite all our faults and failings, Jesus loves us and is very willing to forgive us it we repent.  He does not want to punish us.  Her wants to give us wonderful gifts.  He wants us to be in heaven with Him, but we are the ones who must make the decision to follow Him.

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