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Letters to the Seven Churches

Go to Bible verses for: Letters to the Seven Churches

Letters to the Seven Churches (Part One): Introduction

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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.

Letters to the Seven Churches (Part Seven): Repentance

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, after exposing the incredible mendacity of mainstream Christendom about the time of the Resurrection, especially when confronted with a truthful translation of the Scriptures, focuses on the significance of the Last Day of Unleavened Br. . .

Letters to Seven Churches (Part Eight): Overcoming

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh reminds us that the Book of Revelation provides practical strategies to survive the Day of the Lord. The verb overcome appears 12 times in the Apocalypse in the transitive form, denoting overcoming what appear to be impossible obstacles.. . .

Letters to the Seven Churches (Part Three): Smyrna

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Christ prepared the members of Smyrna for martyrdom, promising them eternal glory for enduring a relatively short time, looking at things from a hopeful perspective.

Letters to the Seven Churches (Part Two): Ephesus

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

The Ephesus church effectively battled various heresies, for which Christ commends it. However, the members lost sight of the reason, having left their first love.

Letters to the Seven Churches (Part Five): Thyatira

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh posits that the Thyatira epistle, appearing midway among the seven, carries a central theme for all seven churches, namely the tendency to syncretize worldly ideas with the truth of God, a practice engulfing worldly churches and infiltra. . .

Letters to the Seven Churches (Part Four): Pergamos

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Cultural compromise, such as found in Pergamos, brings judgment from Jesus. To those who refuse to compromise their convictions, Christ promises eternal life.

Letters to Seven Churches (Part Six): Sardis

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

The letter to the church in Sardis reads like an obituary, warning us who are alive but lacking zeal to repent and become serious about our calling.

The Seven Churches

Bible Study by Staff

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?

The Seven Churches: Eras?

Bible Study by Staff

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 Seven Churches: Summary

Bible Study by Staff

The seven churches exist in the end time, but is there hope for a bright future? What will happen next in the course of events? Will the church—now scattered—come back together?

The Seven Churches: Ephesus

Bible Study by Staff

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 Seven Churches: Thyatira

Bible Study by Staff

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.

The Seven Churches: Philadelphia

Bible Study by Staff

The Philadelphia church is often considered the best of the seven. Is it? Does it have any faults? Are we biased in our judgment?

Revelation 10 and the Church's History

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 Seven Churches: Pergamos

Bible Study by Staff

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!

Back to the First Century (Part One)

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reminding us to take God's words seriously, cautions that all His words have great depth, having far more applications than appear on the surface. His word unfolds in layers, like the peeling back of an onion skin. After the upheaval and d. . .

Revelation 10 and the Laodicean Church

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh provides compelling evidence that remnants of four out of the seven churches will be extant at the time of Christ's return. The inset chapters of the book of Revelation are digressions which give clarity to the sequential events. Revelation. . .

The Source of Church Characteristics (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, clarifying our worldview with respect to the Israel of God (or the Church) in the context of eschatological (that is, end times) events, declares that our vision of our calling as well as our level of responsibility before the imploding of. . .

What Is the Church's Work Today (Part 3)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reiterates that biblical history substantiates that God does not always have the church perform the same functions continually, but sometimes drastically alters the course according to needs and conditions. The perceived detours are necessa. . .

Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen (Part Seven)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, acknowledging that memory is a gift from God, reminds us that, without it, we become isolated from ourselves, our family, history and culture. The Hebrew word Zakar signifies both memory and male, suggesting that, without the knowledge glea. . .

Is There a True Church?

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

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. . .

Hope to the End (Part Three)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reiterates the emotional state of the American people, especially those who understand the seriousness of the times, averring his conviction that they will never see good times again, but will fall more and more into a permanent condition o. . .

A Truth About Revelation 2 and 3

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

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,. . .

Revelation 2 and 3: Eras?

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

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. . .

A Search for Identity

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the breakup of our former fellowship into hundreds of pieces, examines the prospects for future unity. God gave His approval for the destruction of our prior fellowship into myriad splinter groups, allowing heresies to emer. . .

Empirical Selfishness

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Back in my college days, one of my roommates was continually bemused by the football fanatics who identified with their team so closely that they would speak in the first person. ...

The "Open Door" of Philadelphia

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

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,. . .

Power

Article by David C. Grabbe

The concept of power brings many different ideas to mind, any and all of which may certainly be valid. David Grabbe, however, concentrates on the 'little strength' of the church of the Philadelphians, suggesting that Christ commends them for being '. . .

Who Will Be Kept from the Hour of Trial?

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

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.

Revelation 2-3 and Works

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.

What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 4)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, after a thorough analysis of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, concludes that the seven conditions described (all having a common denominator an admonition to hold fast to something once given, but slipping away- namely the faith o. . .

Smyrna: Faithful Until Death

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

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.

Why Are You Here?

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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. . .

Repentance

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

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. . .

A Place of Safety? (Part 1)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God has the ability to protect and save in a variety of methods. The Scriptures reveal various purposes for intervention, protection, and prudent escape.

I Know Your Works

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Contrary to Protestant understanding, our works emphatically do count - showing or demonstrating (not just telling) that we will be obedient.

The Providence of God (Part 5)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reminds us that God is not in the torturing business but in the creating business, using calamities as part of His creative process. As Jacob's spiritual descendants or the Israel of God, we possess some of the same faithless proclivities a. . .

Avoiding Superficiality

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Success in spiritual things does not consist in growing large and powerful, but humbly living by faith, overcoming, and yielding to God's shaping power.

What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 5)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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. . .


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