My Thoughts. . .
Monday, November 4, 2019
The New Testament is a collection of twenty-seven letters to churches and individuals. Each book is written to a specific congregation, individual, or group in the first century (Acts 1:1; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1-2; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 1:1; Hebrews 1:1-13:25; James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 1:5; 2 John 1:; 3 John 1:1; and Jude 1:3). Matthew writes to Jews in his day, Luke to Theophilus, Mark to Romans, and John to Jews and Gentiles. That leaves the twenty-seventh book called Revelation. Who was it written to?
Every generation since the first century has believed the book was going to be fulfilled in their day. This generation is no different. John wrote the book (Revelation 1:1). It is directed to “the seven churches in the province of Asia” (1:4). Are we who are living in Madison County Tennessee in the province of Asia? The seven congregations in Asia are named in chapters 2 and 3: Ephesus (2:1-7), Smyrna (2:8-11), Peragum (2:12-17), Thyatira (2: 18-28), Sardis (3:1-6), Philadelphia (3:7-13), and Laodicea (3:14-22). From Revelation 1:1 to 22:21, John is addressing those seven assemblies.
Some scholars believe the book started its fulfillment process when John finished writing and that fulfillment procedure continues down to our day. John uses phrases, as does Jesus and the angel, which are interpreted to happen, NOT IN THE FIRST CENTURY, but in some mystic last century in our future. I will give several passages with a modern insertion so the reader may ask if we today had received that book from John, would we believe John was telling us that the things mentioned would not be fulfilled for at least another twenty to twenty-one centuries?
The First Chapter Statements
To The Seven Churches in Madison County Tennessee
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants: North Jackson, South Jackson, Campbell Street, Skyline, East Jackson, Pleasant Plains, and East Madison County, THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: . . . 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. Revelation 1:1, 3
1. “Repent, Campbell Street, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly.” (Revelation 2:5). Would we think the word “quickly” was meant for folks in 4019 rather than us?
2.“Repent Campbell Street; or else I will come unto thee quickly” (Revelation 2:16). Would we start making preparations right now because that word “quickly” would mean “at hand” or “soon”?
3. “But that which ye Campbell Street have already, hold fast till I come Campbell Street” (Revelation 2:25). Would Jesus be telling us to hold something for another 2,000 years?
4. “Hold fast, and repent Campbell Street. 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.” (Revelation 3:3). Would we shrug off that warning because we knew Jesus wasn’t talking about us, but about someone living 2,000 years later?
5. “Behold, I come quickly Campbell Street” (Revelation 3:11). Does “quickly” mean in my lifetime, or does it mean in the lifetime of folks who will live 2,000 later?
The Last Chapter Statements
To the Seven Churches in Madison County Tennessee
“These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants, North Jackson, South Jackson, Campbell Street, Skyline, East Jackson, Pleasant Plains, and East Madison County, the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:6-7). Does “shortly” and “quickly” mean we have 2,000 more years to keep the saying in the book of Revelation?
“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:10-12).
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly North Jackson, South Jackson, Campbell Street, Skyline, East Jackson, Pleasant Plains, and East Madison County. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20 Was John saying, “come, Lord Jesus” in 2,000 or more years? Or, was he telling Jesus come NOW in his time?
“For I testify unto every man at North Jackson, South Jackson, Campbell Street, Skyline, East Jackson, Pleasant Plains, and East Madison County, that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man at North Jackson, South Jackson, Campbell Street, Skyline, East Jackson, Pleasant Plains, and East Madison County, shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man at North Jackson, South Jackson, Campbell Street, Skyline, East Jackson, Pleasant Plains, and East Madison County, shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19
6. Was John addressing the seven churches in Asia in the first century or was he addressing the seven congregations in Madison County Tennessee in 2019?
7. Did John understand what Jesus meant when he used the words SHORTLY, QUICKLY, and TIME IS AT HAND? Or, are those who live today the ones who do not understand the significance of those words written to folks who lived 2,000 years ago in Ephesus (2:1-7), Smyrna (2:8-11), Peragum (2:12-17), Thyatira (2: 18-28), Sardis (3:1-6), Philadelphia (3:7-13), and Laodicea?