Letters to 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 Seven Churches (Part Ten): The Church

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Ups and downs, blessings and trials, have characterized every era of the church. God's people are always battling something negative between the brief highs.


Letters to Seven Churches (Part Eight): Overcoming

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Each of the letters in Revelation 2 and 3 speak of overcoming. By examining those churches, we can understand what we are up against and what we must do.


Letters to Seven Churches (Part Seven): Repentance

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

As High Priest, Christ is putting His people through the paces, tailoring the trials and experiences needed for sanctification and ultimate glorification.


Letters to 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 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.


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.


How to Know We Love Christ

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

We cannot become weary of well-doing, allowing our first love to deteriorate, looking to the world for satisfaction. Here are 8 tests of our love for Christ.


The Seven Churches

Bible Study by Staff

The seven churches of Revelation have intrigued students for centuries. Where they simply seven churches in Asia, or do they have more relevance today?


First Love (Part One)

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

A Christian's foremost responsibility is to love God wholeheartedly. A decline similar to the Ephesians' loss of their first love affected the first-century church.


First Love (Part Two)

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

Jesus Christ's reprimand of the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:4, "You have left your first love," seems odd being said to a church that appeared so busy doing God's will. Martin Collins explains, not only where the Ephesians' problem lay, but also the remedy Christ provided within the letter itself to improve both their …


He Who Overcomes

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

John Reid contends that intense struggle is, by design of Almighty God, an integral and necessary part of the overcoming process. Just as fighting to escape its cocoon strengthens the butterfly, our calling requires effort above what the world has to endure to become free of Satan's cocoon. These struggles lead us through this …


The Times They Are a-Changin'

Sermonette by Clyde Finklea

Bob Dylan's lyrics in 'The Times They Are A-changin' seem prescient; within a few years of Herbert Armstrong's death, heresies were imported into the church.


Blessing Promises: Our Spiritual Inheritance

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Martin G. Collins

When we ask to be blessed, it should be exclusively on God's terms. What God has done in our lives is the best preparation for our future responsibilities.


We Still Need a Sense of Urgency

Sermon by Kim Myers

Kim Myers, lamenting the aftermath of the Presidential election, in which two candidates with extremely high negatives (evidently the best America had to offer) conducted (with the help of a dishonest media) one of the dirtiest campaigns in the history of America. Nevertheless, God Almighty is sovereign over the political …


A Swift End

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

When the end-time signs begin to be fulfilled, the time for long-term spiritual growth will be over. So Jesus commands us, 'Therefore you also be ready.'


But Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

'Prophecy Watch' by David F. Maas

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 points out that Scripture foresees that a dearth of steadfastness marks the …


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.


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.


Cloak of Zeal

Sermonette by Bill Onisick

Zeal is characterized as ardent, passionate, energetic, or being on fire. Jesus Christ exemplified this kind of zeal as He drove the moneychangers from the Temple.


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

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

The letters to the seven churches of Revelation warn of losing our first love, heeding false teachers, compromising God's Truth, and forgetting right doctrine.


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.


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

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The scattering of the church was an act of love by God to wake us from our lethargic, faithless condition. The feeding of the flock is the priority now.


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

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Jesus Christ warns us to hold fast to true doctrine. Secular historians help us discover the identity of the small flock repeatedly rescued from apostasy.


The Importance of Follow-Through

Article by David F. Maas

Just as important as follow-through is in an athletic motion, its spiritual counterpart is vital to our life in Christ. We must have the will and commitment to carry our devotion to God through to the very end.


Keeping Love Alive (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Works demonstrate our faith, our response to God's calling and His freely given grace. Reciprocity is always a part of our relationship with God.


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

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 necessary adjustments God makes to accomplish His purpose. "The work" …


The More Things Change

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

We tend to think of the early Church as a 'golden age' of unity and momentum. But early church members experienced problems similar to what we face today.


Acts (Part Twenty)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh focuses upon Paul's work in Ephesus, during his third evangelist campaign, where he entered the stronghold of worship of the mythological multi-breasted goddess of fertility or providence — Diana or Artemis- whose statue supposedly had fallen from heaven by the hand of Zeus. Initially Paul had to augment …


Hebrews, Love, and the Ephesian Church

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Like the Ephesians, the weary veterans in Hebrews were becoming apathetic through outside pressures, losing their former zeal and devotion to Christ.


The Providence of God (Part Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God uses calamities as part of His creative process. Like Jacob, who initially succumbed to weak faith and fear, we must repent of our loss of devotion to God.


Recapture Your First Love!

Article by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

First love is the purest kind of spiritual love we as humans can demonstrate. It is a love that truly shows one's heart is completely given to God.