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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)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh provides introductory information to his ensuing series on the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Letter-writing, as a means of communication, became highly formalized in the Greco-Roman world. The Scriptures contain a . . .

Letters to the Seven Churches (Part Two)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, continuing his series on Christ's letters to the seven Churches of Revelation, reminds us that we should understand them as vital messages to us rather than regard them as prophetic indictments of congregations outside our own. Christ i. . .

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: 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: 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: 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: 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?

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: 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 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. . .

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,. . .

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. . .

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 '. . .

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. . .

Revelation 2-3 and Works

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh stresses that we must avoid distractions and keep our lives focused on God and His Holy Word. The prophetic messages in Revelation 2 and 3 are designed for the end times, shortly before the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. All seven chu. . .

Smyrna: Faithful Until Death

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

The biblical city of Smyrna, whose church received one of Christ's seven letters in Revelation 2 and 3, may be one that Bible students know the least about. In explaining Jesus' message to this church, David Grabbe shows how the city's name helps to reveal. . .

Who Will Be Kept from the Hour of Trial?

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

It is an entirely human reaction to attempt to avoid anything that might be unpleasant, and this is especially true of an event as destructive as the Great Tribulation. David Grabbe posits that, if we show patient endurance now, overcoming and growing, God. . .

Avoiding Superficiality

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Daniel's prayer, observes that there are no hollow threats with God. Confusion, disorder and scattering (the current state of the greater church of God) are the automatic (God-engineered) results of sinning against His law. U. . .

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. . .

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. . .

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. . .

How Did They Overcome? (Part One)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Those whom God has called understand the importance of overcoming, but how do we overcome? In Revelation 12:10-11, God describes in advance those who will overcome: ...

The Israel of God

Article by Charles Whitaker

In Galatians 6, verse 16, the apostle Paul refers to the church as "the Israel of God." Why? Why not "the Judah of God," or "the Ephraim of God" or "the Galilee of God?" Why did God not inspire Paul to call the church by Israel's original name, Jacob&mdash. . .

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

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, by way of introductory comments to his sermon-series on the history of the true Church, reminds us that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. God's people have an obligation to acquire, safeguard, and transmit the h. . .

Facing Times of Stress: Persecution

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, taking the apostle Paul's cue that persecution expresses our relationship to Christ, suggests that persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death—fates endu. . .

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. . .

A Place of Safety? (Part 1)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh asserts that prophecy seems to be a well-orchestrated, interdependent series of events moving toward the logical intervention of Jesus Christ. The events that unfold—of a scope as massive and deadly as the Great Flood, a time when no . . .

Running God's Marathon With Christ

Sermon by Mark Schindler

Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.

I Know Your Works

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh reflects that, over a period of time, we can become an aficionado, learning to evaluate works of art, distinguishing the works of one artist from another, or perhaps a mediocre from a quality work. Likewise, our spiritual works (as evide. . .

Trumpets: Soon To Be Fulfilled?

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh asserts that the fulfillment of the Day of Trumpets has the biggest immediate impact on us of all the Holy Days. This day depicts the time immediately before and after Christ's return, a time that if God would not intervene, no flesh wou. . .

The Fruit of Repentance

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon elements of what repentance is and what it produces, warns us that we are continually in need of repentance. The churches in Revelation 2 and 3 were warned to repent, prefiguring the identical conditions which would be extant. . .

The Sovereignty of God (Part 1)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh stresses the importance of listening over merely hearing, suggesting that only from God's Word can we know who is really regulating the affairs on the earth and which truth to believe. The scriptures, substantiating God's sovereignty, assur. . .

What Is Repentance? (Part Three)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus defines the two great commandments of His law—the two highest principles: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" ...

Rod of Iron

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

John Reid, asking what Jesus Christ is going to have to change before He begins to rule, maintains that cultural systems and belief systems contrary to God's way of life will not dissolve or break apart easily, but will require a rod of iron to break the p. . .

A House Left Desolate

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Matthew 23 and 24, suggests that Matthew is in the habit of presenting Jesus' teachings on a given topic all in one place in the Bible, presenting the teachings from a decidedly Jewish point of view, demonstrating the abilit. . .

To Watch and Keep

'Prophecy Watch' by Charles Whitaker

The Bible is well known as a Book of prophecy, but what is the true purpose of prophecy? Is it merely to enlighten us about the future, so that the "wise" will have an advantage over everyone else when the time comes? Charles Whitaker suggests that God's s. . .


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