Revelation 3:22 (ESV)
pHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Jesus is speaking to John and telling him to write down everything he sees and hears for the churches. Note that the red letter editions of the Bible are highlighted in red to signify the words of Jesus.
It is interesting that the church is not mentioned again until Revelation 22:16. The Greek word for church, ekklesiais, is used 21 times in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation. It is not used again until Revelation 22. Why would that be the case? What happens to the church? Read the words of Warren Weirsbe on this scripture.
Just as these churches existed in John’s day, so they all exist today. We have busy churches that have left their first love (Ephesus) that often end up as churches that are lukewarm toward Christ (Laodicea). False doctrine begins in a small way, but then it grows and infects the whole assembly. Yet, there is a remnant of true believers (the overcomers) in each church who are responsible to be faithful to Christ until He returns.
It has been pointed out by Bible students that the promises to the overcomers in these chapters resemble OT history: the tree of life in Eden, 2:7; man cast out of the Garden to die, 2:11; the manna of the wilderness, 2:17; the kingdom age of Israel, 2:26–27; the priestly ministry, 3:5; the temple, 3:12; and the glorious throne of Solomon, 3:21. It is as though Christ gathered up the history of Israel and applied it to His people today.
Note, finally, the importance of the Word of God to the churches. Seven times Christ calls the churches to hear what the Spirit is saying. When churches stop listening to the voice of the Spirit through the Word and start listening to the voices of false teachers, they begin to turn away from the truth. We must not deny the faith (2:23), even if it costs us our lives. We must keep His Word (3:8, 10) and not deny His name. Apart from the Word of God, there is no life or hope for the churches.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (pp. 805–806). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Could it be that the church has been raptured into heaven as John was in chapter 4 of Revelation? This contested theological issue becomes very interesting when you realize that Jesus is personally involved. He is speaking and sharing information for the book of Revelation.
We believe that Jesus will come for the church and we will later come with Him for the battle!
Cathy and Danny Sartin
p [See ch. 2:7 above]
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Re 3:22). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.Copyright © Danny Sartin. All Rights Reserved.
Bible Nuggets are written for pastors, youth leaders and missionaries who desire to go deeper still in God’s Word.
Re-Prints: Deeper Still Missions devotionals are protected by international copyright laws. To request reprint permission contact the offices of DSM. Permission is granted and encouraged to forward this post in its entirety to others without making any changes or deletions.