This last week I started restudying the book of Revelation. To do this I decided this time as I did with the Book of Daniel to use a commentary to gain a better insight into the word of God. Now I have tried more than one and found only one to be really of any true worth.
The Walvoord Commentary series is what I would recommend. In most areas with them I have had little conflict with what was represented. I did find that Dr. John F. Walvoord, or the editors, since he has gone on to be with Christ, that he is anti-Catholic, but he gives a good argument for this in one the churches to be discussed. I also found him to be pro-Baptist, which I actually feel is not a good thing. He had the belief of “once saved always saved.” This, I personally believe, has become an open door to apathy thus helping to create the state of the falling away from God we are now experiencing in Christianity today.
Now it is important to get a grasp upon the most important element within the Bible, especially the New Testament. It was written for those that have already become true followers of Jesus Christ. It is for those that have fallen to their knees and bowed before Him and asked Him into their hearts. It is a guide book into striving to become a true reflection of our Savior. So when John is writing these letters to the seven churches it is to those that committed within their hearts to truly be Christian. Now most in this world say they are Christian, because they have gone to church when they were young in most cases, but they never truly surrender their lives to following the Son of God. This is apathy, this is a sin. This is why people have such a hard time understanding the Bible, let alone striving to follow it teachings. They think they are Christian, but in reality they aren’t. This has occurred not only due to Catholicism, but also due to Baptist teaching, both of which are man-made doctrines and not given by God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus gave us the true baptism which occurs after you commit your heart and soul to Christ, something that is impossible for a baby to do. Christ gave us the taking of unleavened bread a simple of His body and of wine the symbol of His blood. These are the only ceremonies given to the Church. He also taught that those that have been saved can fall away from their salvation due to freewill. Christ Himself made this clear in John 15. It is reinforced in 2 Peter 2 as well as in two of the letters going to be discussed in this series. For these letters were given to the “messengers” of the seven churches and so as Christ says at the end to every church “He that hath an ear, let him hear…”
Here is an important element that the Walvoord Commentary brought to light to me that when thought upon actually makes sense. The state of the churches even though contemporary for they can exist as contemporaries in other churches that now exist. However, this is what I found enlightening is that the state of the churches are also linear. Meaning they follow one after the other throughout the church age. The first church being the church at the time the letters are written to the last church being the state of the church as a whole is at the time when it is near the end of times or the time for what is stated within Revelation to actually take place.
The Seven Churches (Part 1)