Administration / Dispensations
It is regularly taught by some well-meaning groups that the 7 Churches (Gk. Ekklesia/or Ecclesia; - meaning, group or gathering of called out ones), of Revelation Chapters 2 & 3, are the same groups, or the descendants of, the Churches established by Paul on his missionary journeys, and that all the comments that our Lord makes to them applies to the current Body of Christ (i.e. the True Church). Whilst many points undoubtedly do apply, our Lord in these two Chapters is specifically concerned with these special groups, only one of which bears the name of Paul's original efforts, Ephesus.
Because of the content and message, the "Administration" (Dispensation; Age; see 1Cor. 12:5, 9:17, Eph. 1:10, 3:2, Col. 1:25-27) has clearly changed to that of the "Jew first"; which is a reversal of the events of Acts 28:28, which means that again Jehovah God is dealing with "His Chosen people", His, "first born son", not Gentile first! This means that the prophecies of so called (Old Testament) O.T., and up to end of Acts, will become current, after abeyance for 2,000 years plus; which was due to the rejection of Christ Jesus by Israel during the Gospel's period, and up to Acts 28:28! This change (and other Dispensation changes) should be kept in mind during the reading and study of Revelation and all of Scripture! See: Replacement Theology and Bible Dispensations.
In Revelation Chapter 1:10, the Holy Spirit makes it clear that all these events are "in the Lord's Day", i.e. the Day of Jehovah Zebaoth, which means the God of all the Earth or mankind, is dealing with the world directly for the first time since the flood. During that yet to be period of time, (current date October 2016) much turmoil, death and banishment can be expected by human and spiritual forces who are opposed to the True God Jehovah, and to whom are attributable the misery, suffering and death of humans since Eden!
At the present time we are in the Government of man, most of (if not all) whom are subject to, and manipulated by Satanic force (even though most do not know or acknowledge this fact, and most in any case do not accept the entity of Satan)! The "Lord's Day" of Chp. 1:10, has not yet arrived, nor has it been in the past, although it is probably near. Our Lord's concern and exhortation for these yet apparently future Churches (Ekklesia) is that they "overcome" that they "endure to the end", and are almost certainly anti-thesis to the failure of Israel in the O.T.
It is to be demonstrated what the difference is when men avail themselves of the Holy Spirit power; which will then be available again, as per Old Testament, and up to the end of Acts.
This previous frequent O.T. failure by Israel to link to the God given Holy Spirit (and up to Acts 28:28), demonstrated to Heavenly Creation that mankind without the help of the Holy Spirit, fails as per. Eden, and that failure was demonstrated, as noted in Ephesians 3:10-11! The contrary will be underway in The Revelation period. That will be demonstrated by the will of the Jew (and others), who avail themselves of the Holy Spirit's help from Christ Jesus! This is the real Holy Spirit empowering (as opposed to the fraudulent of some present Christian Groups worldwide; see Charismatic Teachings:).
The Old Testament Jewish behaviour (better defined as the Age of the Jews which ended at Acts 28:28) and that failure is about to be revisited and to be retested. Those concerns are in stark contrast to this present time (better defined as the Age of the Gentiles) when anyone who turns to God through Christ can freely obtain mercy, grace and Salvation to eternal life. But; only through Christ! (Acts 4:12); and "overcoming", and "works", do not apply now in the same way as in Revelation.
The individual's personal service to their Lord is a different matter, but not as a condition of Salvation. Another note of special interest is that all the seven Churches are in an area of present day Turkey that in Paul's day was Greek!
Why such a small land area should be chosen as opposed to the whole world is significant. Some safe statements can be made:
1) It was previously, as stated, Ancient Greek territory, and was the most prolific and influential pagan area under Greece and Rome, linked to Egypt and Babylon.
2) It is the beginning of Asia proper, as opposed to Europe, and as such a highway of ideas and trade.
3) It is central to Biblical “Prophetic Area”, as Israel and Jerusalem are central to God's purpose.
4) It dominates land travel from Europe to Asia, and therefore was the main route for various historic Empires.
5) It is on the area of "Satan's seat", (Pergamos), and the requirements detailed for each Ekklesia will be difficult in the extreme, in the proximity of Satan's Seat, emphasising the need for Holy Spirit help!
6) It is the area that the Ancient Babylonian priests removed to when Babylon was destroyed, and where at that time the Babylonian pagan spread had been the most successful.
7) It is the area (Constantinople) where the Emperor Constantine established the erroneous Roman Church, and which for a time became a Roman capital.
8) During the Spanish Inquisition, (set up by the Roman Church in AD 1480), exiled Jews were welcomed to Turkey and have remained welcome since. This may mean that after "the peace deal" with Israel (Dan. 9:27) for the first three and half years, the present Synagogues or offshoots may well be the "Ecclesia", of these Chapters! Historically that area has had a quite large Jewish population, and still does, which escaped the genocide of Hitler; and there are many Synagogues in the country.
The fact that our Lord chose that area, and the named Churches, so close to the seat of Satan, with the inevitable intense suffering, means they will be in the eye of the world. It does not mean that these are the only Church/Ekklesia groups in the world as V.4 Chapter one shows, the letters are addressed to "Churches which are in Asia", showing there are others, but certainly they will be the ones in focus. The reason these named Churches are on record for future events, is probably to do with the fact that to the Greeks that area of Asia Minor was based on Ephesus! Which embraced a number of Greek states in the third century BC. However, the most important point is that it is the “Prophetic Area”; and is the late state of the “latter days”!
As we know from Daniel, the Leopard (Greece) is implicated in end time events! The third century BC was when Alexander the Great was rampant, prior to which that area fell under the kings of Pergamum! Later the Greeks accepted "the Cult of Rome", which was established initially at Pergamum!
When Paul evangelised in this area 3 times, he was doing so on instructions from the risen Christ, he ceased when Christ was rejected finally by the Jews, at Acts 28:28! It is appropriate that Christ chooses in Revelation to recommence the battle in this same area, with His personal help to the 7 "Churches, Synagogues", who are Jewish, having to "overcome" the same temptations as their forebears, and have to "endure" to the end, and it is achieved by "the blood of the Lamb", (Rev. 12:11).
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