Study on Laodicea part 1 In in-depth look at the conditions of the Church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation and how it relates to Christians today. Br. Russell Shallieu leads the study at our Prophetic Study Weekend. Message to Laodicea Pt 1
Posts Tagged ‘ Ephesus ’
The Epistle to Philemon begins with just a plain address, so some consider it to be a personal, private letter. Then the question might be asked, Why was it included in the Sacred Canon? Not only did the Lord in His providence so overrule matters, but the epistle contains a lot of meaty thought.
Now we can understand why John worded portions of his epistle two different ways. (1) He told about evil ones, grievous wolves, who had never been of the Church. They had a wolfish nature when they entered, and they were still wolves. In other words, while they professed Christianity, there was no change in their conduct. (2) John also told of a class that arose within the Church speaking perverse doctrines. They were of the truly consecrated, but they began to err and go out of the truth. Thus there were two different classes.
In this first epistle, then, John went back and forth in speaking of the two classes. He said that those of the grievous wolf class were of the devil—they were of the devil previously, they were of him now, and they would be of him in the future. Those of the other class left of their own volition. They tried to draw disciples by dividing the class and getting some to leave.
Why did Paul use the following sequence? He was “appointed  a preacher, and  an apostle, and  a teacher of the Gentiles.” All of the consecrated are called to preach, but only 12 were called to be apostles (Isa. 61:1). And of the Twelve, only Paul was called to be a teacher (or apostle) to the Gentiles. The other apostles preached mainly to the Jews, with Peter having a higher commission. As a “preacher,” Paul went from home to home, visiting people in a lesser capacity, as opposed to speaking in the public forum or the synagogue. As an “apostle,” he made public pronouncements. As a “teacher of the Gentiles,” he went to Gentile lands, where he spoke publicly and made converts.
The six circuits (once each day) represent the first six periods of the Gospel Age (Ephesus through Philadelphia). An angel blew a trumpet (announced a special message) in each period, or church. (In all, there are seven churches, trumpets, messages, and messengers for seven periods.) In the Joshua type, seven priests blew seven trumpets. The seven priests picture the seven messengers, the seven trumpets are the Word of God, and the sound represents the seven messages.
The armed men of war represent consecrated soldiers of the Cross, who faithfully proclaim the message of truth. The armed men of war were from Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, although some from the other tribes could also have been included. The people in the rear picture the rest of the “Christian” world, which is a mixed company.
In addition to the long list of sins in verses 9 and 10 for which the Law was made, Paul added, “And if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” Many other sins are contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, who used the Old Testament extensively. The consecrated should become thoroughly familiar with the New Testament and its sound doctrine, and in doing so, they should see the need to study the Old Testament—in other words, God’s Word in its entirety.
Paul told the Ephesians to walk in love as God’s dear children. Again he warned against fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness. He said, “You are light in the Lord, so walk as children of light.” Ephesus was known as the “light of the world,” but that light was Diana. People came to her for happiness, instruction, and a good time, but the Christian was to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness and, instead, was to reprove them. The Christian was not just to take a negative, quiet stance but was to actively reprove at times.
Paul was in prison under house arrest in Rome when he wrote this epistle, the date being about AD 64. This first imprisonment lasted for two years. Since he was executed in AD 66-68 under Nero, following his second imprisonment, the epistle was written near the close of his ministry, a ministry that lasted about 33 years. Evidently, he had inherited a lot of money and was a Roman citizen. While under house arrest, he had visitors and was able to witness, even converting some of Nero’s household.
With the dispute going on in the ecclesia about who was most effective as a teacher and instructor of the Word, this morality problem was being neglected. The dispute about teachers was more along doctrinal lines, and of course doctrine is very important. However, there are degrees of importance, and doctrinal differences can be tolerated if they are not fundamental and do not violate principle. To give in on principle erodes conscience and firmness of character. In summary, then, the Corinthians were having back-and-forth arguments about Paul, Apollos, and Cephas and ignoring the immorality. Doctrines, principles, and moral behavior need to be considered in order for us to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). Not knowing the difference between right and wrong will affect our moral behavior and conduct, so that type of doctrine is of primary importance. The Bible is approximately one-third history, one-third prophecy, and one-third moral behavior. All are important in understanding the mind of God.
Six circuits (once each day) = 6 periods of Gospel Age (Ephesus Philadelphia). An angel blew a trumpet (announced a special message) in each period/Church. (In all, there are 7 churches/trumpets/messages/messengers for 7 periods.) In the Joshua type, 7 priests blew 7 trumpets. Seven priests = 7 messengers; 7 trumpets = Word of God; sound = message (7 of them).