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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - December 26, 2007
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December 26, 2007

Revelation 1-3
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Revelation
Chapter 1
  1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
  2. Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
  3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
  4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
  5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
  6. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
  7. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
  8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
  9. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
  10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
  11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
  12. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
  13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
  14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
  15. And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
  16. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
  17. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
  18. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
  19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
  20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.


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Revelation
Chapter 2
  1. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
  2. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
  3. And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
  4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
  5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
  6. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
  7. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
  8. And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
  9. I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
  10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
  11. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
  12. And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
  13. I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
  14. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
  15. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
  16. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
  17. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
  18. And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
  19. I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
  20. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
  21. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
  22. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
  23. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
  24. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
  25. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
  26. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
  27. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
  28. And I will give him the morning star.
  29. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


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Revelation
Chapter 3
  1. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
  2. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
  3. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
  4. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
  5. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
  6. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
  7. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
  8. I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
  9. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
  10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
  11. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
  12. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
  13. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
  14. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
  15. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
  16. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
  17. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
  18. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
  19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
  20. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
  21. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
  22. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


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Thought for the day:
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 The outline for the book of Revelation is given to us in 1:19, which says,

"Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter."
This is very important for the interpretation of the book. The things which John had already seen were the events of chapter 1. This chapter is often overlooked in the study of Revelation, but it is crucial because the title of the book is "The Revelation of Jesus Christ". We tend to look at it as being a revelation of future events, but the overriding theme is a revealing of the Person of Jesus Christ. In chapter 1 we see an overview of what Jesus has done for us (5-6). In verses 10-16 we then get a glimpse of the Lord's appearance. He does not in any way resemble the paintings that supposedly portray Him, but rather is seen in this chapter as He truly is: the holy, powerful, all-knowing God.

 Chapters 4-22 deal with the prophetic aspect of the book. These are "the things which shall be hereafter". This leaves chapters 2-3 to deal with "the things that are". Many well-meaning Bible teachers have attempted to make chapters 2-3 prophetic as well. They believe that the seven churches that are spoken of in these chapters actually refer to seven time periods in church history. While it might be possible to find some parallels, the fact is that these churches were seven literal churches that were in existence at the time John was writing. They were receiving instruction in prophecy, but were also being taught how to deal with problems that existed within their own congregations. Down through the centuries there have always been churches like the one in Ephesus or the one in Sardis. In our own time there are churches that one could attend that would behave in a similar fashion to the ones in Philadelphia or Laodicea. Thus, rather than being history lessons, these two chapters give us instructions as to what God expects from our churches.

 The church at Ephesus is the first one listed. John starts off with many words of commendation for them. They were hard workers, they were patient, and they did not tolerate sin. Even in the face of opposition they stood firm. Yet the Lord tells them that they do have a problem - they have left their first love. It is possible to do the right things without having a proper heart relationship with God. This congregation was "doing church" well, but they did not love the Lord as they should. Some might think that what you do is the only thing that matters, but God tells this assembly that if they do not correct this problem He will remove their church (5). Do we really love the Lord as we should, or are we simply going through the motions?

 The second church, Smyrna, is one of only two that does not receive any rebuke. He mentions to them that they have poverty, and then says that they are rich. This church did not have much of this world's goods, but they were rich in faith. They were suffering persecution, and John writes that they would suffer more, but he encourages them to stay strong for the Lord and He would reward them. Be willing to endure persecution, for God has promised to bless us if we stay faithful.

 The third and fourth churches, Pergamos and Thyatira, were holding to sound doctrine. However, they were allowing those who taught error to continue to function within the church. God tells them that they must remove the false teaching. Here is the principle: it is not enough for us to believe correctly. We must not allow any compromise with heresy in our church at all.

 Church five, Sardis, had a living name, but a spiritually dead assembly. The sign out in front may have said something like "Sardis Independent Fundamental Baptist Church", which would be a great name. However, the membership was not living up to its title. The church I pastor has "Ambassador Baptist Church" written in front. We are a New Testament assembly, we hold to the historic Biblical doctrines and practices of Baptists, and we are Ambassadors for Christ, or at least that is what is says on the sign. I wonder what we really are? God knows.

 The church at Philadelphia received nothing but praise. They took what little strength they had and used it to proclaim the truth of Scripture and to hold tight against the onslaughts of the world and Satan. May this be true of us.

 Lastly, the church at Laodicea thought that they had everything that they needed, but in fact they had nothing because they were not fulfilling the purpose for which God had raised them up. A church can have a big crowd and large offerings, but if they are not teaching, preaching, and doing what God placed them there to do, then they are failing.

 Do you see yourself, or your church, in any of these examples? Seven times we read,

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
If you see yourself, and it doesn't look good, today needs to be the day of repentance.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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