The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 have intrigued Bible students for centuries. Where they simply seven churches in Asia, or do they have more immediate relevance to us today?
Historically, the modern church of God has believed that the seven churches are types of seven eras from apostolic times to Christ's return. Is this a valid belief?
The letter to Smyrna contains a rarity among the seven churches—no criticism! What's so good about the Smyrnans?
What do Christ's messages to the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 describe? Are these churches eras between the church's founding and Christ's return? Are they dominant attitudes within the church? Could they be both?
Christ's first letter to the churches focuses on the Ephesians, a people who succeeded in trying the spirits, but in the interim left [their] first love.
The church of the Laodiceans is today's prevalent attitude. Is there hope? Can a Laodicean be in God's Kingdom?
John Ritenbaugh explains the seven thunders and the little book of Revelation 10. This chapter serves as an inset, not following the time sequence of Revelation, but explaining in detail events necessary to understand more fully what is happening within it. . .
The Philadelphia church is often considered the best of the seven. Is it? Does it have any faults? Are we biased in our judgment?
Thyatira, the middle of the seven churches, receives a litany of praise and rebuke from our Savior. He particularly focuses on idolatry, which is spiritual fornication.
We must keep the spiritual lessons of the letters, not just figure out prophecies. There are several ways to view them, but the most important is personally.
Christ severely criticizes the church of Pergamos for its problems with the doctrine of Baalam and idolatry. Nevertheless, to those who overcome these sins, He will grant eternal life!
The sixth church, Sardis, is dead for the most part. What is the problem? What do they need to do to come alive again?
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the concept of church eras prevalent throughout the Worldwide Church of God, asserts that Herman Hoeh in his historical studies found a common link in doctrines and practices of groups from the apostolic times to the present,. . .
The predominate focus of Matthew 24:2 is on the physical Temple and its environs. Jesus Christ's words that "not one stone shall be left here upon another" has already had one physical fulfillment in the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in AD 70. ... . .
John Ritenbaugh, revisiting Herman Hoeh's brilliantly reasoned, through highly speculative, doctrine about Church eras, takes a hard look at the biblical evidence and concludes that the notion of eras is based on some fundamental errors. Because Revelation. . .
Oftentimes, in our haste to get to the "good stuff," we skip the introductions of books and articles. Richard Ritenbaugh explores the first chapter of Revelation and shows that skipping it deprives us of vital information necessary for understanding the re. . .
Many 'church of God' organizations claim to be part of—or even the only—church of God. The Bible reveals specific characteristics of God's church.
The letters in Revelation 2 and 3 are for the end times, shortly before Christ's return. Each emphasizes repentance, overcoming, and judgment according to works.
Having shown that God is involved in world affairs, John Ritenbaugh concludes by showing that God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. Our reaction needs to be positive: that, if He felt it needed to be done, we should respond by. . .
John Ritenbaugh, exploring the topic on whether there is a true church, examines the differences between the True Shepherd and the hirelings, focusing on Jesus Christ's proclamation that there would be one flock, implying that there would be one church. Ma. . .
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .
David Grabbe, examining the implications of Isaiah 22:15-11, maintains that many major splinters of the greater Church of God have misunderstood the context of this passage which describes Shebna's expulsion from his role as Steward because of his blatant,. . .
John Ritenbaugh reflects that God, through His sovereignty, has personally placed each of us in the organization in which we can grow the most. We have a solemn responsibility to exercise our free moral agency, having authority and dominion over animals, a. . .
Herbert W. Armstrong began The World Tomorrow radio telecast on October 9, 1933. It was broadcast, uninterrupted, until October 9, 1971, when it was taken off the air for several months due to internal turmoil within the Worldwide Church of God. The World . . .
God promises certain Christians that He will keep them from the Tribulation—the "hour of trial." Here are the characteristics of those whom God will protect.
Austin Del Castillo expresses alarm that the moral fabric of our society is rapidly unravelling, with all institutions yielding to corruption and immorality. Like society, the Church of God has splintered into a diverse assortment of groups, some blinded b. . .
The biblical city of Smyrna may be one that many know the least about. The city's name reveals the themes that the Head of the church wants us to understand.
John Ritenbaugh, cautioning against the danger of presumption, warns against assigning biblical types (like Joshua and Zerubbabel) to any contemporary ministers, pointing out that, except for a few superficial similarities, there are not enough parallels o. . .
David Grabbe, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 3:1-3, reminds us that God has designed sequential seasons in which various events occur as a part of a long-term plan. God plans the season; we only get to choose whether and how to respond. There is a time to gather. . .
Over the last several decades, this world has shown itself to be one in which most people lack commitment, whether it is to their mechanics, their spouses, or their beliefs. Using Christ's exhortations to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, David Maas po. . .
David Grabbe, reminding us that a major focus of John the Baptist's ministry was a call to repentance and turning to righteousness, a focus that Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul reinforced and magnified. Curiously, in main-stream Protestantism, repentance. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that neglecting to feed the flock has been detrimental to preaching the gospel to the world. Because of this unwitting neglect, many members succumbed to the "lost in the crowd" syndrome, feeling insignificant, meaningl. . .
The prophet Elijah set the standard for all the prophets, calling forth God's power to bring about a drought and calling down fire, embarrassing and exterminating the priests of Baal. After warning the people not to halt between two opinions, he fell into . . .
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