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Prophecy Research Initiative Conference

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1 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Messages To The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter Slide #1

2 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
Basic Premise In their eschatological application, the Seven Churches of Revelation describe the collective church on earth just before Jesus takes the reigns into His own hands and brings the history of the earth to a close. The description is that of the state of the church immediately prior to the “time of the end”. The messages to the Seven Churches are intended to prepare the church for its role in end time events and for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

3 Method of Interpretation
In order to arrive at this conclusion, do we have to throw out the traditional Adventist historicist reading of the book of Revelation? NO!! Adventist methods of interpretation allow for multiple applications of prophecies like the ones found in Revelation. In fact, we can use the historical and historicist applications to shed further light on an eschatological application. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

4 Method of Interpretation Multiple Applications of Prophecy
“How should the Seven Churches be understood? Should the Seven Churches be read in a preterist way?...I think the answer is clearly ‘yes’… Should it be read in Idealist form?...I think very clearly the book says, ‘yes’…But let me ask another question. Should these letters to the Seven Churches be read in historicist fashion?...I don’t believe that that is the primary intention of these seven letters. Having said that, however, I would not entirely rule out an historical reading of the book of Revelation. It is just possible that…these letters may in some way be representative of the course of Christian history as it would move along. – Dr. Jon Pauline: Seven Churches and a Heavenly Vision, Tape 3, Seven Letters to Seven Churches 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

5 Method of Interpretation Multiple Applications of Prophecy
“It is reasonable to conclude that the characterization of, and admonition to, the church at Ephesus was particularly appropriate to the needs of that church at the time the message was written. It is similarly appropriate to the needs of the entire Christian church in the apostolic age, and thus, in brief, represents the experience of that period in the history of the church. It was recorded for the inspiration and encouragement of believers in every age, for under similar circumstances the same principles apply. By analogy, the same is true of the messages to the other churches. In view of the fact that the focus of each of the four major lines of prophecy is on the closing scenes of earth’s history, the messages of the book of Revelation have particular import for the church today. “That a single prophetic passage may embrace more than one fulfillment is evident (see on Deut. 18:15). Some such prophecies have both an immediate and a more remote fulfillment, and in addition contain principles that are generally applicable at all times…” – Introduction to the Book of Revelation, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol 7, pp 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

6 Method of Interpretation Multiple Applications of Prophecy
What did that just say? Valid preterist (historical / typical) application Valid historicist application Valid idealist application Valid eschatological application Collective Church Just Prior To Jesus’ Return Original Literal Seven Churches History of the Church From Apostolic Age to Second Coming All Churches Throughout All Ages 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

7 Method of Interpretation Multiple Applications of Prophecy
Biblical Examples 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

8 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
"Behold I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord" - Malachi 4:4 "...and it is he who will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah..." - Luke 1:17 "Elijah is coming and will restore all things, but I tell you that Elijah has already come...They knew that had spoken about John the Baptist" - Matthew 17:11-13 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

9 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
"I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy... The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the day of the Lord comes." - Joel 2:28-31 "...this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel..." - Acts 2:16 "The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the Gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close." - GC 611 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

10 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
Many will come in My name and mislead many...You will hear of wars...famines and earthquakes. They will kill you...and hate you. False prophets will mislead many. when you see the abomination of desolation...then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains... Then there will be a great trib- ulation...after the tribulation, the sun will be darkened...the stars will fall...and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds. - Matt 24:2-30 "The Savior's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgement upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow." - GC 36 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

11 Method of Interpretation Multiple Applications of Prophecy
What is meant by an “Eschatological Application”? The eschatological application incorporates some of the characteristics of futurism, except that modern futurists have corrupted the term with the following ideas: Dispensationalism Ultra-literalism Secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture The eschatological application simply means a special application of the prophecies to a short period of time just prior to the Second Coming. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

12 Method of Interpretation Multiple Applications of Prophecy
Isn’t an eschatological application contrary to Adventist theology? On the contrary, a proper eschatological application is uniquely Adventist and is built on concepts that are foundational to Adventism and Adventist interpretation of prophecy, such as: The Great Controversy The sanctuary system The state of the dead, the millennium, and the Sabbath The literary structure of Revelation The principles of accepted historical, historicist, and idealist applications A rich understanding of Biblical typology 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

13 Method of Interpretation Multiple Applications of Prophecy
Isn’t an eschatological application contrary to Adventist theology? “Revelation says that seven trumpets blow before we take possession of the Promised Land. Now, I’m really going to get myself out on a limb. I believe that not only do the prophecies of Revelation have a historical [historicist] application…I think that there is a literal last day application of these things, when you read them in their context. And I think that there might be a rapid repeating of these things, of the seven trumpets, just before Jesus comes…Those trumpets are getting ready to blow.” – Doug Batchelor: Through the Wilderness – Into the Promised Land, Tape 7, The Red Rope of Rahab 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

14 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach
Use Historical-Grammatical methods Identify key terms, phrases and imagery in Revelation Identify OT and NT background passages and cross references Determine whether background passages have an eschatological application Identify OT prophecies to literal Israel which will be fulfilled in the last days in relation to Spiritual Israel Interpret the terms, phrases and imagery as literal, symbolic, or both based on context and on cross references (e.g. 12 Apostles) Adopt a “Great Controversy” perspective Favor universal/global over literal/local application of passages in Revelation and in cross references Note: In Revelation, John did not choose the symbols and imagery to use. He was instructed to “Write in a book what you see…” – Rev 1:11. God determined the symbols and imagery of the book of Revelation and their correlation to other Biblical cross-references. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

15 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach
Though the prophet looked at events about him, he also could see far beyond his day. …the prophets words were sometimes to meet their fulfillment in the far distant future. At times they had an import, not only for the age in which the prophet lived, but also for a day far future; in other words, they had a dual application. Similarly, the ways in which God dealt with men in crises of the past are often cited as examples of the manner in which He will deal with the world in the last day. For example, Sodom and Gomorrah… The student of the Bible who hopes to secure from it the greatest help will first proceed to reconstruct the historical context of each passage. He will listen to the prophet speaking to Israel of old and endeavor to understand what his words meant to the people who originally heard them. But he will listen also for the further import the prophet’s words may have for latter times, particularly, our time. Indeed this secondary application is for us today the more significant. – SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, pp. 37. “The Role of Israel in OT Prophecy” 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

16 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach – An Example
Eschatological Approach - An Example "Babylon" 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

17 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach – An Example
“Babylon” in Revelation And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” – Rev 14:8 “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! …For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality…Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” – Rev 18:2-5 And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. – Rev 18:21 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

18 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach – An Example
“Babylon” - Background Passages Genesis 11: Tower of Babel – Salvation by Works, Religious Confusion, False Doctrines Daniel 3: Fiery Furnace – Government Dictates Worship & Executes Dissenters Daniel 6: Lion’s Den – Government Dictates Worship & Executes Dissenters Daniel 5: Belshazzar’s Feast – King Uses Holy Things for Unholy Purpose and Babylon Falls Is there an eschatological application of these principles? 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

19 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach – An Example
“Babylon” - Key Phrases Then the lookout called, "O Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower, and I am stationed every night at my guard post. Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs." And one answered and said, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the images of her gods are shattered on the ground.” – Isa 21:8-9 And I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer. – Rev 6:1-2 (Compare with Zechariah chapters 1 & 6.) Context of reference in Isaiah 21 – Chapters describe judgments on Babylon, Moab, Damascus, Etheopia, Egypt, Edom, Israel (Judah) etc. Read Isaiah 13:1-10; 24:1-6, 9-10, 14-16, Has this prophecy reached its final fulfillment? 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

20 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach – An Example
“Babylon” - Multiple Applications She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. – 1 Pet 5:13 Literal Babylon during Daniel’s time – (Type) Rome during the Apostolic Age – (Preterist or Historical) The Church during the Middle Ages – (Historicist) All false systems of worship throughout all time – (Idealist) The ecumenical movement in the last days lead by an alliance between American Protestantism and the Vatican – (Eschatological) 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

21 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach – An Example
“Babylon” - A “Great Controversy” Perspective Isa 14:4, 7-8, 12-15 … take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased, And how fury has ceased! The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; they break forth into shouts of joy. Even the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were laid low, no tree cutter comes up against us.’ “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.‘ Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.” Is this the king of Babylon or Satan? …or both? 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

22 Method of Interpretation Exegetical Approach
The same method could be applied to... “Israel” and “Jews” “…beginning of birth pangs” or “like a woman in labor” “living beings” “Balaam” “eat things sacrificed to idols” “commit acts of immorality” “Egypt” or “Sodom” – maybe also “Tyre” or “Edom” “trumpets” 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

23 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application
Most come to an understanding of the eschatological through the Seven Trumpets or through Daniel 12 There are few, if any, existing expositions of the eschatological application of Seven Churches Why begin with the Seven Churches? The Seven Churches portray the clearest example of the complete set of applications of the different methods – Historical, Historicist, Idealist, and Eschatological The Messages to the Seven Churches contain some of the clearest internal literary evidence of an eschatological application If you accept an eschatological application of the Seven Churches, the rest of Revelation naturally follows 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

24 The Seven Churches Literary Structure of the Book of Revelation
D U C 1: 1-8 7 Churches (1:10-3:22) New Jerusalem (21:1-22:5) L S 22: 6-21 Sanctuary Scene (1:10-1:20) 7 Seals (4:1-8:1) Heaven and the Millennium (19:1-20:15) Messages to 7 Churches (2:1-3:22) (4:1-5:14) 7 Trumpets (8:2-11:18) 7 Last Plagues (15:1-16:21) Seals 1-4 (6:1-8) (8:2-5) Great Controversy (11:19-14:20) (15:1-8) Fall of Babylon (17:1-18:24) Seals 5-6 (6:9-17) Trumpets 1-4 (8:6-12) Plagues 1-3 (16:1-4) Interlude (7:1-17) Brief Interlude (8:13) (11:19) (16:5-7) Seal #7 (8:1) Trumpets 5-6 (8:13-9:21) Scenes 1-4 (12:1-17) Plagues 4-6 (16:8-12) (10:1-11:13) Scenes 5-6 (13:1-18) (16:13-16) Trumpet #7 (11:14-11:18) (14:1-13) Plague #7 (16:17-21) Scene #7 (14:14-20) Adapted from: C. Mervyn Maxwell, God Cares, Volume II, pp 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

25 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Context of Revelation
What is the central theme of the book of Revelation? Rev 1:7 – Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. “The salutation having been concluded with v. 6, John announces the theme of Revelation. The Second Coming of Christ is the goal toward which all else moves forward.” – SDA Bible Commentary on Rev 1:7. Ultimately, the theme of Revelation is the Second Coming of Christ and the consummation of the plan of salvation. The central theme is not the history of the Christian Church, although that historicist application does have some validity in that it chronicles the conditions which lead to the Second Coming. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

26 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Introductory Sanctuary Scene Introduces each major section of Revelation Provides contextual backdrop for the section Provides chronological backdrop for the section e.g. – Seven Seals occur between the “taking of the scroll” and the final “song of praise of the great multitude in heaven” Is not part of the chronological sequence of the events of the section e.g. – The “throwing down of the censor” does not precede the sounding of the first Trumpet It is impossible to interpret the sections of Revelation correctly without a proper understanding of the context provided by Introductory Sanctuary Scenes !!! 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

27 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The Sabbath day Exod 20:10 but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. Isa 58:13 "If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word, Matt 12:8 "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

28 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The eschatological “Day of the Lord” The language and themes of the great “Day of the Lord” passages match the language and themes of the book of Revelation 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

29 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application “Day of the Lord” – One Example Joel 2:28-3:2 "And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. "And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered… "For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

30 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application “Day of the Lord” – One Example “Pour out My Spirit” – Latter Rain (Rev 18:1-4) “Display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire, columns of smoke” –Trumpets 1-4 (Rev 9:7-12); 7 Last Plagues (Rev 16) “Sun to darkness, moon into blood” – 6th Seal (Rev 6:12); 4th Trumpet (Rev 8:12); 5th Plague (Rev 16:10) “I will gather all nations and bring them to the valley of Jehoshaphat (i.e. Yahweh judges) – Armageddon (Rev 16:12-16) “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” – Second Coming * See also: Is 2:12; Is 13; Is 58; Eze 13; Eze 30; Joel 1,2,3; Amos 5; Ob 1; Zeph 1; Mal 3,4; Acts 2; I Thes 5; II Thes 2; I Cor 5:5; II Peter 3:9-10 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

31 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The Sabbath and the Eschatological “Day of the Lord” – A Link Between the Two The “Sabbath” of the great “Week of Time” 2 Pet 3:8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Ps 90:4 For a thousand years in Thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

32 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The “Sabbath” of the great “Week of Time” Matt 16:28-17:3 28 "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." 17:1 And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. The Mount of Transfiguration is a miniature representation of the Kingdom of God 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

33 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The “Sabbath” of the great “Week of Time” Exod 21:2 "If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment.” Exod 23:10-12 10 "And you shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, 11 but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. 12 "Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor in order that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

34 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The “Sabbath” of the great “Week of Time – The Prophecy – Why Israel went into captivity in Babylon Lev 26:27-28, 31, 33-35 27 'Yet if in spite of this, you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, 28 then I will act with wrathful hostility against you; and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins. 31 'I will lay waste your cities as well, and will make your sanctuaries desolate; and I will not smell your soothing aromas. 33 'You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste. 34 'Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 'All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

35 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The “Sabbath” of the great “Week of Time – The Prophecy – Why Israel went into captivity in Babylon Lev 26:27-28, 31, 33-35 27 'Yet if in spite of this, you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, 28 then I will act with wrathful hostility against you; and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins. 31 'I will lay waste your cities as well, and will make your sanctuaries desolate; and I will not smell your soothing aromas. 33 'You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste. 34 'Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 'All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

36 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The “Sabbath” of the great “Week of Time – The Prophecy – Why Israel went into captivity in Babylon Jer 34:14, 17, 21 14 "At the end of seven years each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother, who has been sold to you and has served you six years, you shall send him out free from you; but your forefathers did not obey Me, or incline their ear to Me. 17 "Therefore thus says the LORD, 'You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming release each man to his brother, and each man to his neighbor. Behold, I am proclaiming a release to you,' declares the LORD, 'to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 21 'And Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has gone away from you. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

37 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The “Sabbath” of the great “Week of Time – The Fulfillment – Why Israel went into captivity in Babylon 2 Chr 36:20-21 20 And those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete. Neh 13:17-18 17 Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, "What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the sabbath day? 18 "Did not your fathers do the same so that our God brought on us, and on this city, all this trouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath." 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

38 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The Antitypical Jubilee Occurred after seven “Sabbath’s of Years” Represented the final release from captivity (in spiritual Babylon) and restoration of the inheritance in the Promised Land Began as the trumpet was blown on the Day of Atonement (Lev 25:9) Lev 25:8-12 8 'You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. 9 'You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. 10 'You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 'You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

39 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” The Sabbath The Eschatological Day of the Lord The Sabbath of the Great “Week of Time” The Antitypical Jubilee Yes, John meant the Sabbath…as well as much more that the Sabbath represents. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

40 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Rev 1:11 – “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches…” All seven messages in one book Symbolism of “Seven” – Complete One message to the collective, but divided church God picked the symbols, the imagery, and the sequence of the vision The whole section of the “Messages to the Seven Churches” is completely devoid of any sequential language None of the churches is identified by number No sequential language is used No specific events are described Compare with Rev 8:13 (from Seven Trumpets) – “…because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound.” 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

41 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene
Does this Introductory Sanctuary Scene describe an event or a general scene? The scene is a general scene Jesus is not tending the lamps; He is merely among the lampstands Note that the churches are described as “lampstands” – not lamps The only event associated with this scene is Jesus giving John the messages for the Seven Churches Are there any clues as to the chronology of the scene? 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

42 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Which of these pictures represents the Jesus of Revelation? 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

43 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene
Jesus, our High Priest, is in the garb of an ordinary priest No ephod Parallels with Daniel 10 (robe is bad not shesh) The uses of bad in the OT – 23 times in 11 passages 5 passages – the garments of ordinary priests 1 passage – the garments of the high priest on the Day of Atonement 2 passages – the garments David wore when he brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem 2 passages – Daniel’s vision of Jesus in chapters 10 & 12 1 passage – Ezekiel’s vision of the sealing angel in chapters 9 & 10 This is a “Day of Atonement” vision !!! 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

44 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene
In Revelation, we never see Jesus performing taymid, or daily, services Jesus is among the lampstands, not tending the lamps (Rev 1:12, 2:1) No mention of the Table of Shewbread Jesus burns incense on the golden Altar of Incense (Rev 8:3-5) No mention of any veil We see God’s throne (i.e. the Ark), seven Lamps, and Sea of Glass (i.e. Laver) all in the same scene – with no veils mentioned (Rev 4) Jesus stands before God’s throne (i.e. Ark of the Covenant) (Rev 4-5) Revelation is a “Day of Atonement” vision !!! 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

45 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Description of Jesus Golden Girdle Parallel to “belt of pure gold of Uphaz” in Daniel 10 Represents purity of faith – purified by the fire of tribulation “Gold of Uphaz” – represents distinction between Creator God and false idols (Jer 10: Read) Feet like burnished bronze In sanctuary “bronze” associated with the courtyard (i.e. earth) Jesus walked through the fires of tribulation on earth as a man Head and hair like white wool Parallels white turban of ordinary priests Denotes intrinsic righteousness of Jesus 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

46 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Description of Jesus Voice like the sound of many waters Jesus speaks with the authority of the Father and in the name of His people Parallel to “great multitude” (Rev 19:6-7) & 144,000 (Rev 14:2-3) Parallel to God the Father (Ezek 43:2) – Context of God entering the restored temple Uses natural elements as tools of influence (Jer 10:12-13; 51:15-16 [Identical], and to distinguish between true God and false Gods) Jer 10:12-13 12 It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. 13 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, and brings out the wind from His storehouses. Compare with Elijah on Mount Cramel and the Trumpets, Seals & Plagues 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

47 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application The Introductory Sanctuary Scene Description of Jesus Face like the sun shining in its strength Light of truth and righteousness – “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12) Light of the new earth (Isaiah 60:19-20; Rev 21:23-24) Commissioning of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 26:12-15) Elijah message & Commissioning of 144,000 Elijah prophecy – “sun of righteousness will rise” (Mal 4:1-6) Mount of Transfiguration – “His face shone like the sun” (Matt 17:1-13) Note the eschatological parallels. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

48 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Description of Jesus
…out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword” – Rev 1: 16 Represents the Word of God & the standard of judgment Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Rev 2:16 'Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. Rev 19:21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

49 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Description of Jesus
“His eyes were like a flame of fire”– Rev 1:14 Eyes – Discernment & Judgment (Eschatological) “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” – 2 Chr 16:9 “…a Lamb…having…seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth” – Rev 5:6 Replacing Joshua’s filthy robes with robes of righteousness – “the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes…I will remove the iniquity of the land in one day” (see Zech 3:1-10) “the plumb line…these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth” (see Zech 4:2-14) Compare plumb line with the measuring of the temple in Rev 11 Two olive trees and two lampstands – Two witnesses of Rev 11 Four colored horses “sent to patrol the earth” – Zech 1, 6 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

50 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Description of Jesus
“His eyes were like a flame of fire… out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword” ”– Rev 1:14 Taken together these two symbols denote judgment. In this case the imagery denotes the beginning of the final phase of judgment – perhaps the time when the Investigative Judgment moves from the dead to the living. In the parallel passage in Revelation 19, the imagery denotes the beginning of the executive phase of judgment at Jesus’ second coming. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

51 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Description of Jesus
Rev 19:11-16 11 And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.“ 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

52 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application A Speculation
Rev 1:20 – “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand…the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches” Right Hand Power or strength, honor, salvation, judgment, ownership Consecration of priests (blood on right earlobe, thumb and toe) The blessing of the firstborn Angels Leaders of the churches (messages addressed to them) Jesus “Firstborn of the dead” – Col 1:18 “Firstfruits of those who are asleep” – 1 Cor 15:20, 23 144,000 “Firstfruits to God and the Lamb” – Rev 14:4 Sealed before the Little Time of Trouble – Rev 7:3 Could the seven stars represent the 144,000 as last day apostles? 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

53 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Key Chronological Verses Rev 1:19 – “Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall take place after these things” (Introductory Sanctuary Scene for the Seven Churches) Rev 4:1 – “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here and I will show you what must take place after these things.” (Introductory Sanctuary Scene for the Seven Seals) The Seven Churches describe the “things which are” – i.e. the state of the collective church on the verge of end-time events The Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets, and Seven Last Plagues, etc. describe the “things which will take place after these things” – i.e. events which God will initiate in order to bring the history of the earth to a close. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

54 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Statements From Inspiration “Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who Joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness." TM 300. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

55 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Statements From Inspiration "Do you believe that the Lord is coming, and that the last great crisis is about to break upon the world? There will soon come a sudden change in God's dealings. The world in its perversity is being visited by casualties, --by floods, storms, fires, earthquakes, famines, wars and bloodshed. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power;...but His forbearance will not always continue. Who is prepared for the sudden change that will take place in God's dealings with sinful men?" - Fundamentals of Christian Education, p.356, 357. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

56 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Common Characteristics of All 7 Churches The messages are to the church, not the “world” The messages represent an investigative judgment of the state of the church Jesus says, “I know your…” to every church The condemnations do not represent Jesus’ final judgment Every church is given an opportunity to repent Every church is instructed to listen to the Spirit Compare with the parable of the ten virgins (lamps without oil) Some people from every “church” respond to the messages Every promise has a fulfillment in the chiastic counterpart (Rev 21 – 22) The problematic, divided church becomes a pure united bride Promises made to separate churches are all realized by the one united collective church in the chiastic counterpart (Rev 21 – 22) The “things which must take place after these things” cause the change 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Internal Textual Evidence “I will come to you…” “I will come” is never used in Scripture to denote anything except the literal Second Coming of Jesus Jesus says this, in one form or another, to every church except Smyrna Smyrna represents the martyrs of the Little Time of Trouble - “Be faithful unto death…[and you] shall not be hurt by the second death” The “coming” is to deliver a reward or punishment – Compare with Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

58 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Internal Textual Evidence To Ephesus – Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

59 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Internal Textual Evidence
To Pergamum – Rev 2:16 “Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth” – Rev 2:16 Compare with – Rev 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it {is} called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes {are} a flame of fire, and upon His head {are} many diadems; and He has a name written {upon Him} which no one knows except Himself. 13 And {He is} clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white {and} clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.“ This refers to the literal Second Coming of Jesus! 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Internal Textual Evidence To Thyatira - Rev 2:20-22 20 'But I have {this} against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 'And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 'Behold, I will cast her upon a bed of sickness and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. Compare with - Rev 18:2-5 2 … "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!... 3 "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality." 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues; 5 for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. This is the Great Tribulation! (Compare also Rev 17 & 18; Ezek 16 & 23) 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

61 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Internal Textual Evidence Also to Thyatira – Rev 2:25-26 25 Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. “Hold fast until I come.” – What else could this possibly refer to except Jesus’ Second Coming??? This particular counsel from Jesus only makes sense in an eschatological application 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Internal Textual Evidence To Sardis – Rev 3:3 Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. The phrase “like a thief” occurs five other times in the New Testament (Matt 24:42-44; Luke 12:39-40; 1 Thes 5:2-4; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 16:15). In every one of those cases, even the other one in Revelation, the phrase refers to the literal Second Coming of Jesus! 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Internal Textual Evidence To Philadelphia – Rev 3:10-11 10 Because you have kept the word of my perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth. 26 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown. Compare with Rev 18:10 (also Rev 18:1-4) 10 … “Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.” Rev 7:14 14 These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes an made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Psalms 91:5-13 …You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you…No evil will befall you nor any plague come near your tent. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

64 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application A General Pattern
Jesus Preached 1260 Literal Days Little Time of Trouble in Gethsemane Death Sentence & Great Tribulation On the Cross Resurrection & Glorification Anointed by Holy Spirit Christian Era Anointed by Holy Spirit (Early Rain) Preached 1260 Symbolic Days Little Time of Trouble During Papal Persecution Great Tribulation In Last Days Resurrection & Glorification Church in Last Days Anointed by Holy Spirit (Latter Rain) Elijah Message For 1260 Literal Days Little Time of Trouble (7 Trumpets) Death Sentence & Great Tribulation (7 Last Plagues) Resurrection & Glorification 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence “…those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” To Smyrna and Philadelphia (Chiastic Pairs) “…those who call themselves apostles and are not...” To Ephesus Matt 24:11 And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. Matt 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 2 Tim 3:1-5 1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power… 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence To Smyrna: (Rev 2:10) 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Compare with the “Signs of the Times” chapters Matt 24:9 Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. Luke 21:12-19 12 "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake. 13 "It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 "So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16 "But you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all on account of My name. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

67 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence …hold to the teaching of Balaam The journey of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land parallels the journey of the Church from the cross to the Second Coming Moses represents the Law – Joshua is a type of Jesus The Law could lead them through the desert of sin, but only “Yeshua” could carry them into the Promised Land Moses’ last action on behalf of Israel was to take vengeance upon the Midianites for the sins that they caused the Israelites to commit based upon Balaam’s guidnce Balaam’s counsel was designed to entice God’s people to sin Num 31:16-18 "Behold, these [women] caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD. "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

68 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence …hold to the teaching of Balaam The book of II Peter gives special counsel to the church in the last days 2 Pet 2:13-22 They [false prophets] are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; 15 forsaking the right way they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence …Jezebel A false prophetess (i.e. false church) who allied with the king (i.e. political power) to lead God’s lukewarm people into idolatry. Persecuted (issued a death decree) Elijah after he proclaimed the “Elijah Message” to God’s people Enticed the king to steal Naboth’s vineyard by murder and deceit The descriptions of Jezebel and end-time Babylon are nearly identical Babylon’s judgments and plagues (Rev 18) are the same as Jezebel’s “tribulation” The church of Thyatira “tolerated” Jezebel (See II Thes 2:8-12) 2 Tim 4:1, 3-4 1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence …eat foods sacrificed to idols Common to teachings of Balaam and Jezebel in messages to Pergamum & Thyatira Represents false scriptures & false doctrines Paul tells us that eating literal food sacrificed to idols is meaningless (I Cor 8:4-8) Both Ezekiel and John were instructed to eat scrolls and then to prophesy Book of Mormon and the Doctrine of Covenants Papal dogma in the form of Bulls, Encyclicals, and Apostolic Letters Parallel to the “gold cup of abominations” and the “wine” of Babylon Parallel to “food” in Daniel 11:26 Contrasted with the bread from heaven that God strengthened Elijah with when he fled from Jezebel Elijah proclaims his message, flees from Jezebel, is strengthened with bread from heaven for forty days, discovers the presence of God in a gentle breeze on Mount Sinai, and then is commissioned by God to anoint a new king and a new prophet over Israel, and later is taken up to heaven. In the last days, God commissions the 144,000 to proclaim the Elijah message, then pours out the 7 Last Plagues on the wicked. This enrages “Babylon” against God’s people who flee into the wilderness to confront their faith (Time of Jacob’s Trouble), await the coming of their Prophet, Priest & King, and are taken up into heaven. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

71 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence …commit immorality Common to teachings of Balaam and Jezebel in messages to Pergamum & Thyatira Represents following after false Gods – i.e. spiritual immorality Parallel to the “immorality” of spiritual Babylon II Cor 11:2-4 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence …commit immorality Ezekiel 16:38-42 38 "Thus I shall judge you, like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged; and I shall bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 "I shall also give you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your shrines, demolish your high places, strip you of your clothing, take away your jewels, and will leave you naked and bare. 40 "They will incite a crowd against you, and they will stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 "And they will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women. Then I shall stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers. Rev 17:16-18 16 "And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot [Babylon] and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17 "For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled. 18 "And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth." 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

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The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Other Textual Evidence …commit immorality Rev 14:1-5 1 And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

74 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application
A Proper Eschatological Application is Uniquely Adventist !! You can only arrive at a proper eschatological application of the prophecies of Revelation through an Adventist path. A proper eschatological application is dependent on a number of uniquely Adventist characteristics, such as: The Great Controversy The sanctuary system The state of the dead, the millennium, and the Sabbath The literary structure of Revelation The principles of accepted historical, historicist, and idealist applications A rich application of Biblical types and antitypes 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

75 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference
The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application How might each message apply today? Individual Christians Local Churches The Church in a Particular Geographical Region Denominations, Movements or Sects Other General Groupings of Christians 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

76 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Ephesus
Key Characteristics Performs many good works for the Lord Is doctrinally sound and rejects false teachers Nicolaitans – “victorious over the people” – the spirit of Satan Affects many of the churches with false teachings which lead to bad deeds Could represent the Pentecostal Movement Has lost their first love – Works result from sense of “duty” Possible Group Application Today Seventh-day Adventist Church There are signs that Adventists are beginning to re-embrace the Gospel and to once again “love His appearing” (II Tim 4:8) “First” of the Seven Churches – SDA Church has a special role of leadership in the worldwide church 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

77 The Seven Churches The Role of the SDA Church
10 Tribes Israel Apostasy Apostasy Babylon Judah The call of the prophets to repentance NT Church Catholic Church Protestant Church Apostasy Babylon The SDA church fills the role of the OT prophet 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

78 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Smyrna
Key Characteristics No admonishment – Only Praise Materially poor but spiritually rich Persecuted by nominal Christians “Those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” Jesus only counsel is to stay firm in their faith through the increased persecution and martyrdoms to come in the Little Time of Trouble Possible Group Application Today Martyrs of the Little Time of Trouble Persecuted Christians in the world today, particularly in the 10/40 window 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

79 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Pergamum
Key Characteristics Strong in the faith experience – even in the face of persecution Antipas (the faithful witness) – “Anti Pater”, i.e. Against the Pope Live where Satan’s throne is Weak in doctrinal purity Teachings of Balaam – Lead true Christians astray “Eat things sacrificed to idols” – False Doctrines “Commit acts of immorality” – Spiritual unfaithfulness to God Accept teachings of the Nicolaitans Possible Group Application Today True Christians in the Catholic Church Christians living in geographic areas dominated by the Catholic Church Note - “Teachings of Balaam”  Charismatic Catholic Renewal 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

80 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Thyatira
Key Characteristics At the apex of the chiasm Strong and growing in deeds of faith, love, service & perseverance Severe doctrinal problems Tolerate the Teachings of Jezebel – Lead true Christians astray “Eat things sacrificed to idols” – False Doctrines “Commit acts of immorality” – Worship a “different Jesus” (2 Cor 11:4) Some do not hold to these false teachings Possible Group Application Today Non-denominational churches and the Ecumenical Movement Fastest growing church group in the world – Excel in works of charity Doctrinally neutral – Have no strong core beliefs Sacrifice doctrinal purity for the sake of “unity” Ecumenical movement was fostered by the Vatican and predicted by Ellen White 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

81 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Thyatira
In many ways, Thyatira represents a composite of the whole world just before probation closes Babylon and her daughters who know the “deep things of Satan” are warned of being thrown into “great tribulation” unless they repent The faithful few in Thyatira are counseled only to “hold fast what they have” until Jesus comes 144,000 Salvation Faithful Remnant Catholicism Ecumenical Movement / Babylon Apostate Protestantism Other World Faith Groups 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

82 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Sardis
Key Characteristics Have a name of being alive, but are spiritually dead Call themselves “Christians” but “lack the power” of true Godliness (2 Tim 3:1) Once had true faith and teachings, but are now asleep They must wake up or Jesus will come “like a thief” Compare 1 Thes 5:1-11 – Christians will not be caught unaware Refutes idea of “once saved - always saved” Some have not “soiled their robes” Possible Group Application Today Evangelical Churches Christian Church in Western Europe – The birthplace of the Reformation 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

83 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Philadelphia
Key Characteristics No admonition from Jesus – Only praise City of “Brotherly Love” – Doctrinal purity is implied Jesus has “key of David” – Cross reference to Eliakim in Is 22:20-25 Jesus will keep them from the “hour of testing” – i.e. the Great Tribulation They will be made “pillars in the temple of God” Possible Group Application Today A group of individual Christians – Not a denomination No denomination or even local church displays this kind of purity Could represent the 144,000 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

84 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application Laodicea
Key Characteristics Laodicea – “The judging of the people” Materially rich, but spiritually poor Lukewarm – Unaware of their condition Message to the “church” – Probation is not yet closed They need true faith, the righteousness of Christ, and the Holy Spirit Possible Group Application Today Geographically – the collective church in the United States The Charismatic Movement Prosperity preaching and positive thinking Spiritual pride – “Speaking in tongues” is the sign of the Holy Spirit Applies to many local churches and some other denominations 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

85 Nothing is as powerful as a prophecy whose time has come. - Unknown
23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter

86 The Seven Churches An Eschatological Application
Comments or Questions ?? For more information see the paper entitled: Revelation (A Study of the Eschatological Application of Prophecy) Part 2 Messages to the Seven Churches (www.bible-truth.net) Or Contact: Bryan E. Canter 1818 Clover Creek Drive Longmont, CO 23 May 2002 Prophecy Research Initiative Conference Bryan E. Canter


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