Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Letter To the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne.  
even from Jesus Christ the faithful Witness, the First-born from the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 
and made us kings and priests to God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Rev 1:4-6 

Grace and Peace From God 

John starts his letter in 1:4, in the same manner as other Bible writers started their letters, as, indeed, was the custom of the day.  The writer's name first; John, the recipients of the letter next; the seven churches which are in Asia, and then the body of the letter.  

Although the Gospel is universal, and although the blessings of studying this book are for every Christian, yet, the destination of these letters to Asia signifies that, for the most part, the prophecies of The Apocalypse are for the Near East and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

   Grace be unto you, and peace from Him (The Father). 1:4.  We know this refers to The Father because in verse 5, specific, distinct, reference is made to Jesus Christ.

  Oh That we might learn to revel in the truth that it is Jehovah who is interested in us having peace; the peace that He gives.  Of course, His peace would not be available to us without His grace.

A blessing from God, being invoked, at the beginning of a letter, is also found in First Peter 1:2. Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

   John also wishes that his fellow Christians will have peace from the seven spirits and from Jesus Christ.

   According to Foster,*** the seven Spirits refers to the holy spirit in its seven-fold mode of operation.  The reference he uses is The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2.   

   His position seems untenable since John specifically says seven spirits, which would indicate that they are not one holy spirit.  We also note that in 3:1 it is Christ who has the seven Spirits of God.  So if the Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity, how could Christ, the second person of the trinity "have Him"? 

   Furthermore, before we claim that the seven Spirits refers to the Holy Spirit, we must note that the seven spirits are before the throne of God, and therefore, not one of the persons of the alleged triune God.

  and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. 1:5

Christ is the Final Victor

Jesus Christ is The ruler over the kings of the earth, whether or not the rulers want it that way.  We need to rid ourselves of the idea that this is true only in some mystical, spiritual sense.  When Paul wrote, that every knee will bow to Christ, Phil. 2:10, he was speaking in a very literal, physical sense that every king, and by inference, certainly every commoner, will bow to a very real, physical Christ.  

   At the last judgment, everyone will bow to Him, however, some not willingly; The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, But their fate would endure forever.  Psalm 81:15 

     Washed, in this reference, means set us free, or, as The American Standard has it, loosed us from our sins in his own blood.  In the Greek text, it reads like this, having loosed us out of the sins of us.  It bears repeating that the only way to have victory over sins that tempt us is through the blood of our Savior, our King.

   and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1:6.  Therefore, now, the Church is a nation (a kingdom) of Priests (intercessors) unto the God of Jesus because of what Jesus has done.  We are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.  1 Peter 2:9

Him who is and who was and who is to come.   The description Him who is and who was and who is to come applies to God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as much as it does to God the Father. Guzik.  What a wild claim!  There is absolutely nothing in these words that even makes a person think such a thought.  It is not even fathomable that a first century Jew would be writing about a God who is three persons.   Anyone who makes that claim is standing on "very thin ice" and is "grasping at straws" to keep from sinking when the ice breaks.

His God and Father. 1:6  Repeatedly throughout the New Testament, the teaching of the trinity is proven to be wrong.  Even here, in verse 6, we see that Jesus cannot be an equal person with God the Father since John writes that Jehovah is also the God and Father of Jesus?

*** Shadow of the Antichrist by Ivan Foster, Free Presbyterian

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