Extracts and comments from Revelation Chp. 1.11
1:11 Saying, "(b)I am Alpha and Omega the first and last", "(a)What thou seest write in a scroll, and send it unto the seven Churches; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyma, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea".
(a) The 7 Churches are almost certainly a continuation of the first part of the Acts period (i.e. up to Acts 28:28, approx. A.D. 60-61).
The Holy Spirit had been given at Pentecost, for all the special actions of evangelism and resisting Satan, which included Spiritual warfare, healing of the sick, speaking in foreign languages etc., and whatever other purpose helped the Jewish community build the new Nation. The Jews were still "Ammi", (My people), and the Jewish leaders were still trying to decide whether to accept the Apostle Paul's teaching. Although many individual Jews and Gentiles had accepted, it is conditional in Scripture for the leadership and particularly the Priesthood to accept the provision of Jehovah in Christ Jesus, as their Messiah! See: Apostle Paul (Zech. and other references). When at Acts 28:28 the leadership rejected Christ, Paul turned to the Gentiles. At that stage, the powers of the Holy Spirit were withdrawn in the sense described above. Paul could no longer heal, and his teaching emphasis changed, as is evidenced in His last 7 letters, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Titus, Philemon, and 1&2 Timothy. At approximately the same time, the Jewish Nation became "Lo- Ammi", (not My people), and Jehovah via the Romans razed the Temple in Jerusalem, and dispersed the Jews worldwide, and the Gentile Age began. See: GIFTS AT PENTECOST .
The main points which can be legitimately taught and preached since that time are; Christ is the only way of Salvation for those that believe (Acts 4:12 and John 3:16). He will return to Earth, when His enemies are made His footstool (Psm.110:1, Matt. 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:43, Acts 2:35 and Heb. 1:13). He will judge the Nations at His return Matt. 25:32). He will Rule from Jerusalem for 1000 years (Revelation, and many Old Testament prophesies).
There are many false teachings now current. One of the most prevalent states that its adherents have access to the power of the Holy Spirit, and can by prayer do any of the miraculous things described above. They claim to have the powers of the early Acts period, but have been proved to be without veracity. However, strange events have occurred, in parts of the world, and many are most likely to be Enemy activity. As the critical prophetic events regarding Israel approach, it is probable that these happenings will increase in volume, as it is the Enemy's intention to prove himself to be the Christ!
Our Lord can and does help His people, but not in our opinion in open show. The logical conclusion of such claims described above, is that no one would die! (The logic is that as Charismatics prayed for each other in infirmity or near death situations, their answered prayer would give continuing life to the patient). It would also render unnecessary the Loving death sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour, and people would not have to choose!! The movement described above is often called Charismatic. It has had other names throughout the last 2000 years. From A.D. 200 to A.D. 1000 approx. it was called "Montanism" (Britannica). In the 1900s it emerged as “Pentecostalism". This was started by a Mrs. McPherson, and many of the current movements are offshoots of that event. They all claim miraculous powers, but are undoubtedly impostors.
Interestingly, historically they have emerged at critical times for the True Church and the future Israel. It is noticeable that in many cases women are prominent in the activities of Charismatic groups. The current resurgence is also clearly critical, as Israel draws closer to the critical "Covenant", Dan. 9:27.
The above is laboured to show that false spiritual activity is diverting attention from real events, and the Truth, and the real situation that will prevail with the 7 Churches. See: Prophecy and Prophets; also Charismatic Teaching.
John's receiving and writing of Revelation was almost certainly between AD 50-60, as the persecution of the Christians did not accelerate until then, (i.e. "on Patmos"). Also, he did not mention the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 69-70, which to the Jew, was a catastrophe beyond measure. As the reading continues, it is apparent that as the Lord's Second Advent was disqualified at Acts 28.28, there is yet to be a similar period prior to the Lord's return, which as regards the Synagogues (Churches) is described in the first three Chapters of Revelation, and also in Matt. 24, Mk. 13, and Luke 21. The prophecy of Elijah's return as forerunner (Mal. 4:5), must be completed, as John the Baptist could not take that role, due to the rejection of Jesus as Messiah, (Acts 28:26-27) and many feel that he is one of the two "witnesses" of Rev. 11:3.
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