By Bro. Richard Norman
We're doing a study on Revelation in our Wednesday night study and while talking about the 4 of the 7 churches listed in Ch. 2, one of the congregants asked if there was a specific reason the churches were separated into 2 chapters. I reminded her that when John wrote this, he didn't list chapter and verse, but that these were added later on. She kept questioning and raised a thoughtful question. Is there any significance to the order due to geography? If you look at a map, see attached, there is order (Ephesus to Laodicea in a Clockwise circle.) Does anyone know if there was significance to the order or are we looking for meaning where there isn't meaning intended?
“Commandments of God”
This phrase only appears three times in the Authorized King James Version.
The first time this phrase is used it was Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”- 1Corinthians 7:19. How can Paul say keeping the commandments of God and not include circumcision?
Let's do a little background work. Jehovah told Abraham to start the tradition of circumcision in Genesis 17, “And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.” Later in the Law Jehovah told Moses it was one of the commandments, in Leviticus 12:3, “And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.”
So we see it was part of God's commandments in the Law, but was those commandments replaced by God?
In the book of John 14:15 we see Jesus telling us to keep his commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” In John 14:21 Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Again in John 15:10 Jesus said, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”
How do we know what commandments Jesus gave us to follow? Acts 1:1-4 “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” 1 Corinthians 14:37 “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:2 “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.”
We see the phrase repeated the last two times by John in Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
The 1st time the phase appears Paul is telling us it's not the Law or Torah. The Apostles was Jewish and they taught and kept the commandments of Jesus as God. Jesus even told us he fulfilled the Father's and we should keep his commandments. In the Revelation verses John tells us the men are Christians but over and over men say those are Law commandments. So why do some writers of Christian/Jewish Eschatology say the verses in Revelation mean the Law or Torah? My Sunday school teacher has given me some books on eschatology but none of them explain their reasoning. He is on vacation so I thought I would ask you guys and gals.
By The Ohio Patriot
I posted a few days ago in my status that I am currently studying the Book of Revelation for college, as well as preparing to teach this in my Sunday School class. A few seemed interested in this topic so I am starting a thread to possibly discuss this. I am several weeks into this study for college and this week will be my first week teaching this in Sunday School. I teach the Berean Class, for adults, digging deeper into scripture.
I am posting this in the IFB area, and this forum is not open to you if you are not Independent Fundamental Baptist. I do not mind disagreements or differences of opinions, but since I starting this forum, and I laying a few ground rules up front, I will not expect nor tolerate any arguing or abusive language towards other forum users. If this happens and it is within my capability I will remove the offending parties from this topic.
I would like in this thread to ask questions and put forth thoughts that are in either my college class and/or my Sunday School class. In this way I will learn more, and also may find issues with items that I am teaching. Hopefully, we will all learn something by pooling the hundreds (thousands perhaps if Jerry is included ) of years of biblical knowledge that is contained in the people present. Any information that I present will only occur once I have completed that portion of the college class. I don't want to be accused of having you kind folks helping me do my homework. The course of this discussion will of course touch on many other prophetic books of scripture.
A couple of points to remember. For my college class as well as for Sunday School the text book that is being used is The Book of Revelation by Clarence Larkin. There may be things in this book that you or I personally do not agree with, however at least for college I have to formulate my answer according to that text. Having this text book in not necessary for the use of this topic. The book is however available on the web it was printed in 1919 I believe. If this sounds interesting and you would like me to move forward with this topic let me know.
The Book of Revelation - Clarence Larkin
Edited to correct grammar and add link
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