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Q5. Criticism and Praise


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The churches are criticized for allowing act of sin to enter into their lives. And for leaving their first love.

The churches were praised, because even though they faced persecutions they didn't forget the one they belonged to. They pressed on in there service for our Lord.

This should help the churches today to see that even though we face persecutions of our own. Not to take out eyes off of Jesus. With Jesus we can face anything and win the race and win the crown.

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We are criticized for not updating to the standards of this world, for not excepting sin, for not showing love one to another as we all should no matter what the churches name is. As long as they believe Jesus is Lord they are not always excepted even by others that serve him. The world looks for a reason to tare down the work of the church.

Helping those in need, holding fast to the word of God and our belief in Jesus. Loving one another as we should and being faithful to attend. Persevering in our walk with the Lord.

In the twenty-first century as all before it should let us know that no matter what is said bad about us as long as we do the work of our Lord live faithful and follow all his commandments we will make it till the coming of Jesus. We have the victory as long as we follow his word and do his will. Praise the Lord.

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To summarize the lessons of this chapter shows us qualities our Churches should seek and those we should not.The Churches are criticized for being cold or luke warm.Their hearts have become hard and could not hear God or feel the presence.Compromising with sin.Lack of love and prayer.Tolerating immorality.There are so many downfalls we could look at,but we should not dwell on our failures.Ask forgiveness of our sins and move forward with God.Look at the letters as a encouragement to the Churches of today.All our Churches of today have good qualities.repent,strengthen what remains.Keep the faith.As we continue seeking God,he will guide and direct us and we should praise God for what we accomplish through Jesus Christ.The promises to the faithful Christian reach a high point as the believer"Churches"shares the actual "victory" with Christ.

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These letters to the churches shows us what we should seek in churches, what we should and should not do. Back then the Bible was not printed and I can imagine that the false doctrines could easily creep in. As in 1 John he was encouraging them to get back to the truth of what that had heard from the Apostles, to flee from these false doctrines, just like Eprhesus with the Nicolatians.

The criticisms were that they had allowed in comproimise of truth. We should beware of this in our churches today. We should measure everything and every doctrine against the Word of God. We cannot compromise the truth so our churches can grow, we like the churches back then must stand firm for the truth.

Another problem is that they had lost their focus -- Jesus. I heard a pastor recently speak the church today and how we are so worried about the annointing that we forget who the Annointer is. If we think about it, sometimes we do just that. Like Ephesus many times we abandoned earlier love.

The blessings are that they were enduring persecution and standing firm and they had deeds and their love and faith in service. There was hope because of the saints that remained true.

The biggest problem then and today is compromise and as more and more churches are springing up and compromising truth to get larger numbers.

Getting back to basics, studying the word, prayer and serving the hurting ae what we should do. To borrow the over used phrase, asking what would Jesus do? in every situation. Because if we persevere in the end We Win! by the victory and mystery of Jesus in us.

Shalom

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1.Summarize the lessons of this chapter.

The lessons of this chapter are to teach us that there will be stumbling blocks for Christians to overcome; and that we can overcome because Christ has overcome (John 16:22). We are not to compromise God

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John writes about the conditions within the churches. The vision came from Jesus Christ. This was for the bebefit of the seven churches and christians throughout history. There were promises of blessings to those who listen to the word and did what it said. They were criticized for not being fully devoted to God. They were praise for their successes and how to correct their failures.

The twenty-first century church should realize that just as Jesus loved these churches, he cares for ours. He wants it to reach its greatest potential. The group of leaders with whom you worship, praise, and pray is God's vehicle for a changing world. Take it serious! God Does! :D

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Q5. Summarize the lessons of this chapter. What are the churches criticized for? What are they praised for? How should these observations shape the twenty-first century Church?

:D The observation that Jesus Christ has won the battle over Satan and death should help the 21 Century Church be alive, joyful, enthusiastic, and ready daily to do good works. The visual of Jesus walking among to lampstands; although HE is not completely pleased, lets us know that HE has not abandoned us; HE is gently leading us and HIS sheep are hearing and responding to HIS voice.

Be full of Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness and Love. Repent of fornication, pride of the flesh, ****, sloth, gluttony, anger, envy, and greed.

Love ...Bro. Al

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Churches are criticized for being dead churches. They need a strong wake up call. Churches need to be energetic and see to their good works, strengthen their theology and follow Christ's agenda, not their own. Moral failures will not do and they will not wear purified white garmets. He commends Philadelphia for having spiritual strength, keeping his word and not denying his name; a set of objectives applicable to all churches and individuals. We are to be overcomers and to have "ears to hear" the insights Jesus has given.

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Christ has come to the seven churches of Asia Mior to evaluate their faithfulness to the teachings of their apostles and their spiritual health as Christian communities.

His major criticism sems to be that their faith has become less important to them than it had been originally and they have slipped back into the ways of their surrounding cultures, compromising their love for Christ. They have become nominal Christians in many cases.

Today, our Christian churches need to be aware of the danger of becoming nominal christians who meet for worship but whose hearts aren't really in it. Sometimes, following Christ seems too hard and other lifestyles seem more attractive. What a shock we would get if Christ did an impromptu evaluation of our Sunday worship and mission goals. Perhaps he already has and nobody noticed. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

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Q5. Summarize the lessons of this chapter. What are the churches criticized for? What are they praised for? How should these observations shape the twenty-first century Church?

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God criticized many of the Church's because they turned from their first love. The love of the Church it's self. The Church of Jesus Christ. Most of them were living the pagan life, and wanting the Blessings of God at the same time. They were criticized for turning God's house into a den of theives, and idolatry. They were praised for their perseverance through persecution, soundness of faith, and devotion to Christ. We know that God judge's all sin, and sin is more prevalent in the Church today than every. We should learn from the Church of paul's day, and steer clear of the way of the world, and abide in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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'Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy Word' (psm.119.67)

'Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous;

Neverthe less, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby' (Heb. 12:11)

The churches are up-braided for leaving their Groom, their first love, Jesus.

Jesus loves the Church, which is His Body, and will complete that which He began, in all of us (we are the church!).

He promises blessings to those who stand, and are over-comers;

And judgment to those who don't;

The Church of 2000 yr.s ago, is no different today; there are those who will compromise in their walk, and those who through hardships and trial, will over-come this world.

I've always taken the letters to the 7 churches, as both a warning, and a promise. Its also made me very aware, that Jesus is concerned about every thing that goes on within His body.

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The lessons of this chapter seem to kind of boil down to the fact that none of the churches have the first lost the first love they had when they first came to accept Jesus as Lord. All of the individual things the churches were condemned for all could be avoided if they had kept their first love for the Lord and lived by it. All of the things they were accused of came from lack of following the leadership of God. The churches were praised for many things like remaining faithful, being loyal, enduring, having obedience and other things that are expected of the followers of the Lord. We as the Christian church today must heed the warnings that are presented in this chaper as we too can become affected by the same thigns and in the same ways the early Christian church was.

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The churches were faulted for: losing their first love, that is love of Christ; for following other precepts rather than those of the Bible; and for being cold disciples, which turns off those who know us. He praised those who were faithful to follow His guidance, for their perseverance and service to Him. Our churches today are often dead clubs of people who come to His House for the wrong reasons and leave there, satisfied that they have fulfilled their "duty" to God! We need to learn from the warnings to the churches during those times and apply them to our own hearts and churches!

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Works, Labor, Patience, and cannot bear evil... wickedness...

these people try the Spirits... Test the Spirits and find through Discernment the ones who call themselves Apostles are liars. These people were obviously taught of the word by which came to them from teaching... hearing... and following in the ways from which they heard from the begining.

they have borne, patience, and in the Name of Him who taught (Jesus) they have labored... and have not fainted.

Has left thy First Love: Remember where thou fell... do the first works. * The First Works. *

Hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans... to which God also hated

Did not follow in the doctrine of Balaam,

They have Works and then have Works... the first works are not as important to them than the first works called upon by God. The first works are prayer, reading the word, prayer and fasting for Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom; seeking God for His revealing of His Word, worship, growth, fellowship, being guided by the Holy Spirit, charity/love, service, faith, patience... to Him... Obedience to Him and doing what the word tell us we should do. Having a pure heart and desiring to be Obedient in doing what are the desires of God's own Heart.

The second Works shall follow if all that is required of us are fashioned accordingly to His word... Spiritual Discipline... using Discernment and walking in the ways of God. By faith we will use what we are taught and through the leading of the Holy Spirit. The second works of Faith is when we begin to use our giftings from God and step out in Faith to do what He has called to us to do... which is... Be Diciples of men... lay hands upon the sick and bring healing into their lives, bring to sight the blind (they which cannot see), raise the dead ( dead in Christ... sleepers), speak words of healing into those who are lame (those whose members have never been used... members who are dry and useless), cast out devils... delivering them out of the bondage they are chained to... oppressed by... held captive.

Notice He says Unto the Rest in Thyatira... As Many as Have NOT this doctrine... which have NOT known the DEPTH"S (or deeper things) of Satan... as THEY SPEAK... and God will put no other burden upon them.

These people suffer along side of the others who fell into the ways of the Deceptive Prophetess Jezebel. They are burdened by these things within Thyatira... the burdens may also be what has been spoken to them by words of Satan and are tormented. They are under a strong influence... being submissive by authority... yet holding to the word of God. The scripture says "Have not this doctrine" these people do not follow in the ways of this False Doctrine to which is being Spoken by the teachings of the Prophetess. God repeats "have not known" and then says "the Depths of Satan. He is saying these people have not gone this way... they do not know or follow in the Deeper things of Satan: for the words that follow are "AS THEY SPEAK"... spoken words of the Deeper things of Satan. Only Jezebel the Prophetess and her Followers speak these things which are not of God.

They suffer themselves to follow in the ways of Jezebel...I will give unto every one of you according to your works.But that which ye have already hold fast till I come .

Which ye have... have already... HOLD FAST till I come. Hold, grip tightly... don't let go of the things you know are of pure words of God... hold on to the promises that are given in the word. Believe... Trust... Rely... Depend... Hold True to His Word.

You have a Name: They thought of themselves as being alive. Everyone else looked at outer works and appearances and also thought of them as being alive; being great; with Status.

But, You are Dead: Dead without Him... the light was dimming. When the Holy Spirit is not manifested within us; within the Body/Congregation they become only known for being a Powerful Church; not the Holy Spirit, powerful reflection of the Word/Jesus. Appearances are decieving.

Be Watchful, "Strengthen the things which remain", that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. What would need to be Strengthened that Remained? What would Remain that was being Snubbed, or ignored? Works, Fruit, Faith? To be watchful... to know what they should be watching for. To be a Discerning People of the Word of God... to know that these words spoken in the word were so that they would Remain Ready for His coming.

Remember therefore; how you have Received and Heard: They were being spoken to and and yet the spoken messages were not Received: the word was not penetrating... it was not being used... becoming lax in the Word... not seeking the Lord for Understanding... Spiritual Laziness Dims the Candle/Light. Are we Discerning what we should when we listen to Preachers, Teachers, Apostles, Prophets? Are we paying attention while we are being taught? Are we ever Watchful? Are we asking God for His Wisdom to stay on watch?

Repent... HE THAT OVERCOMETH... and keepeth My Works unto the end. these are the works that God is speaking of... His Works of the Holy Spirit in and through us. For when we are of His first works, the second works follow. Both Fruit in us and fruit of Harvest.

We shall rejoice in Heaven.

Sorry, this is the summary from 31 pages. Sunshine

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The lessons of this chapter are that Jesus is watcdhing the churches and loves them enough to praise, encourage and rebuke them.

The criticisms are that the churches suffer from compromise and apathy.

They are praised for being faithful and patiently enduring.

The churches should adhere to scrpitual doctrine and not conform to the world for the sake of wealth and numbers in membership. They should be guided by the Holy Spirit so that they can have enthusiasm in their worship and witnessing. If they are not guided by the Holy Spirit, then they need to be finding out why not.

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The church of the first century sound like the church of today. To me anyway.

We are pretty much ordinary people, like they were. This makes all of scripture relevent for everyone these days as it did two millenium ago.

We need the standards set by Christ. We can not rest, put the bible down,

and get back to it months later. We have to live ,eat and breath the stuff.

Praise God, with out his grace it could not be done.

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These churches are in the very infancy of chrstianity. Some of the are contemporaries of Christ and might have listened to the personal witness of desciples and Paul. Yet they decided to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in the face of so much opposition, oppression and persecution. With the help of holy spirit they are able to overcome all these difficuties, but were drawn into the existing pagan practices. Their hearts have changed and are for Christ but they had to overcome so many local practices and diversions, because they are also part and parcel of the society there. Still many of them stood firm for the Lord and his love.

How many of our christian brothers and families are going to actively participates "halloween" this year??.

Those early pioneering churches have been commended for their labor, patience, not bearing those who are evil, testing false apostles, withstanding tribulation and persecution holding fast to Christ and showing love in their daily life and in the Church.

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The churches are criticized for having false prophets and for being lukewarm

The churches are praised for being faithful, patient, loyal, hot, perserving, enduring.

As we look back at the 7 churches, the 21st church can learn how to stay on the right road, listen to God, and do what he says, when he says it. How to altar our course when we get off track.

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Some of the things the churches crititized for were losing sight of their first love-Jesus, becoming involved in religious idolatry, sexual sins, and lukewarmness.

Some things they are praised for are standing fast in their faith in spite of persecution, hating the doctrine of the nicolaitans, and showing brotherly love to others.

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:)The churches are criticized for leaving their first love, for compromising their Christian faith and witness, immorality, fornication, adultery, works found not perfect before God, indifference and apathy, and for being lukewarm.

They are praised for their works, patient endurance, holding to sound doctrine, loyalty to God - not denying their faith, charity, service, faith, perseverance and though with little strength they kept God's word and did not deny His name.

These observations should shape the twenty-first century church by learning from their mistakes and be strengthened by the things that God praised in them. God knows everything, our works, our strengths, our struggles, even our weaknesses. What God asks from us is to acknowledge our sins and weaknesses and repent and then renew our commitment to Him. Truly that apart from Him we are nothing, let Jesus be the center of our every objective in life and in the ministry. Let us hold fast to the sound doctrine of God.

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering for He is faithful that promised and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:22-25)

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The churches are criticized for idolatry, unfaithfulness, disobedience, and complacency. They were praised for being faithful, doing good works, perserverence, and keeping God's word. These observations should shape the 21st century church by helping leaders and congragations stay focused on what is expected and rewarded from the Lord. It gives us a reference point.

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  • Pastor Ralph changed the title to Q5. Criticism and Praise

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