Today Jude, the brother of James and half-brother of Jesus, also warns the churches of false teachers who have crept in unnoticed “and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude encourages the Christians to hold to the doctrine of Christ. “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts…But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
And that’s a wrap on the Church and Missions Eras! 🎉 Last up is the End Times / New Beginnings Era! 🌏
“John wrote Revelation from the island of Patmos, where he was exiled for preaching the word of God and for his testimony about Jesus” (note from OYCB). God gave John the Revelation of Jesus Christ “to show His servants – things which must shortly take place…Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
God gave the Revelation as a blessing to man so that we may be assured of Jesus’ ultimate victory! Per the book Four Views on The Book of Revelation there are 4 major interpretations of Revelation:
1) preterist – views “the events of Revelation in large part to have been fulfilled in the first centuries of the Christian Era”
2) historicist – “views the events of Revelation as unfolding in the course of history”
3) futurist – views “events of Revelation are largely unfulfilled, holding that chapters 4-22 await the end times for their realization”
4) idealist – views the book of Revelation as symbolic. “For this school of thought, Revelation sets forth timeless truths concerning the battle between good and evil that continues throughout the church age.”
So we see that this book is highly debated and extremely difficult to interpret. And I’m not going to try to figure it all out. I’m simply going to keep pulling along the Story, so here we go….
One day Jesus is returning “with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.” Then the Lord will say, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Jesus instructs John to write 7 letters to 7 churches in Asia which represent all churches. And when John turns his head to see Jesus, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass…His voice as the sound of many waters…out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” Because Jesus is not returning as a lamb to be slaughtered; He is returning as King of heaven and earth!
Jesus tells John to “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”
Today we read the first 4 of the 7 letters written to the churches:
1) Ephesus – Jesus commends them for staying true to the doctrine of Christ but rebukes them for leaving their first love, their passion for Christ. He tells them to “repent and do the first works” which is not just checking a religious box but doing the work of the ministry out of a burning love for Christ. Jesus goes on to say “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
2) Smyrna – Jesus commends them for being faithful and enduring persecution. He tells them to “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
3) Pergamum – Jesus commends them for holding fast to His name and not denying His faith. However, he rebukes them for allowing those in the church to teach false doctrine. Jesus tells them to repent and “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
4) Thyatira – Jesus commends them for their works, love, service, faith and patience. But he rebukes them for allowing “Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” He tells them to repent and “hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations…and I will give him the morning star.”
Tomorrow we read the letters to the remaining 7 churches and we get a glimpse into heaven. Keep reading!
(Jude 1:1-25, Revelation 1:1-2:29)
Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26)✅
Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job)✅
Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✅
Conquest Era (Joshua) ✅
Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✅
Kingdom Era (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✅
Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) ✅
Captivity Era (the rest of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) ✅
Return Era (Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) ✅
Silent Era (Inter-Testament period) ✅
Gospel Era (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) ✅
Church and Missions Eras (Acts, the Epistles, Hebrews)✅
End Times/New Beginnings (Revelation) is up now!