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?


Will the Church of God Be Thrown Down? (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

The church has Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. As long as there is a church, there will also be at least one living stone upon another.


Revelation 10 and the Laodicean Church

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Revelation 10 and 11 describe a time before the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, a time when the last of the seven thunders rumbles to a faint whimper.


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? Will the church—now scattered—come back together?


Revelation 10 and the Church's History

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Revelation 10 contains the seven thunders and the little book. It serves as an inset, not following a linear time sequence of the book of Revelation.


The Seven Churches: Smyrna

Bible Study by Staff

The letter to Smyrna contains a rarity among the seven churches—no criticism! What's so good about the Smyrnans?


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 Source of Church Characteristics (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 all existed simultaneously and the characteristics of five of them will apparently be extant at the return of Christ.


Is There a True Church?

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Hebrews 12 and 13: Advice for the End Time

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

We must lay aside every weight, accept God's chastening, receive encouragement from those who have gone before, and get back into the spiritual race.


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.


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 of hopelessness . God's called-out ones can feel the relentless pressures …


A Truth About Revelation 2 and 3

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

In the Day of the Lord, Christ stands in the midst of all seven churches. We are to learn from the lessons from all seven, not get sidetracked by eras.


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 disintegration of the Worldwide Church of God, it became clear that God …


Day of Deception

Commentary by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, referring to the Olivet Prophecy as the foundational prophecy of the Bible, containing the basis for unlocking the secrets of Bible prophecy, including the abomination of desolation, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, the sequences of Joel, Revelation, and Daniel, emphasizes that the very first warning …


A Search for Identity

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God gave His approval for the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God into numerous groups, allowing heresies so He could see who really loves Him.


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.


Revelation 2 and 3: Eras?

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

The notion of church eras in Revelation 2-3 is based on some fundamental errors. Jesus expects that all of us learn from all seven letters.


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.


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.


Why Are You Here?

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God, following a pattern, routinely calls the lowly and weak to guard against pride. God will transform the weak of this world through His Holy Spirit.


Unity and Division: The Blessing and a Curse (Part Two)

'Ready Answer' by Charles Whitaker

A curious phenomenon ties together several biblical stories: God makes a judgment and divides His people into two groups, often splitting them down the middle!


The 'Open Door' of Philadelphia

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

The modern church of God, particularly a few of its splinter organizations, have made a big deal out of Revelation's letters to the seven churches. Often highlighted is the "open door" promised in the letter to Philadelphia. David Grabbe provides proof from Isaiah 22 that our understanding of this image should be revised to …


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 Two Witnesses (Part Two)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

God's truth may bring about sadness, astonishment, anger, and bitterness to the one delivering the message. James and John were types of the Two Witnesses.


Urgency to Get Closer to God

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Kim Myers

Kim Myers, observing the worsening moral, economic, political, and cultural climate in America, speculates that the time when the offspring of Jacob are going to pay the piper is rapidly closing in. With a national debt of 23 trillion dollars, far larger than the combined GDP of a dozen developed nations, America is on the cusp …


Make Sure of Your Focus

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the watchman responsibility as defined in Ezekiel 33:2 and Isaiah 62:6, consisting of both physical and spiritual aspects. Part of the pastor's responsibility is to carefully observe economic, social, meteorological, and political trends, warning the flock to take prudent precautions, including …


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.


When the Trumpet Blows

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

In this Feast of Trumpets message, John Reid, reflecting on the occasions we hear a trumpet sounded, such as a horse race, a cavalry charge, taps, or reveille, affirms that for God's called out ones the trumpet blast, heralding Christ's return will be the most significant, an event signaling the end of Satan's rule. Throughout …


Unity (Part 1): God and HWA

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

In this lead-off sermon of the 1999 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh draws an instructive though disturbing parallel between the warning given to Belshazzar and the warning given to the greater church of God. A major contributory cause in the splitting of the church has been the wholesale rejection of the doctrines Herbert …


How Much Longer Do We Have?

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

David Grabbe, cuing in on II Peter 3, asserts that there are good reasons why Christ has not yet returned, reminding us that scoffers and false teachers will test the faith of those who once accepted the truth. Some will yield to their natural desires, finding an excuse to forget about their commitment to God. In their desire to …


A Time To Scatter

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

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 and a time to throw away; there is a time to embrace and a time to …


Don't Be a Prudent Agnostic

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Some of us, facing the stress of the times, may simply be going through the motions but losing every vestige of faith. We must strengthen our convictions.


Who Is Doing the Work of God?

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

What is more important: preaching the gospel to the world or feeding the flock? John Ritenbaugh gives reasons why we should at this time be concentrating on reversing the church's serious spiritual decline before we presume to go to the world.


His Eye is On the Sparrow (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on three scriptures, Psalm 11:3-5, Luke 12:7, and Philippians 4:19, reflects on a frightening earthquake in 1971, in which he realized that he was in no way in control of the alarming situation, a relentless shaking that threatened to destroy the entire foundation. This earthquake has grounds of …


Trumpets, Christ's Coming, and Works

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the parable of the faithful and wise servant and the evil servant as well as the wise and foolish virgins, suggests that the Day of Trumpets emphasizes the state of caution and faithfulness required at the turbulent end times. The parables focus upon the relationship which we must have toward our …


The Two Witnesses (Part Five)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

The olive trees in Zechariah 4:11 refer to the Two Witnesses who pour oil (spiritual instruction) into a golden bowl, supplying the churches with nourishment.


Hebrews: A Message for Today

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.


Christian Dating: Advice for Today

Article by Staff

How are the young people in the church of God supposed to approach the dating situation today? Here is advice on dating, sex and enjoying one's youth.