From Return to Your First Love Series
By Pastor Dr. Shana Wise
Revelation Chapter 1
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Greeting the Seven Churches 4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Vision of the Son of Man
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.
Every good parent disciplines their children because they love them. Our Father in heaven does the same with us because He loves us however, the difference between human discipline and Gods’ is that God is Holy and Righteous, meaning having no sin. Because of God’s nature, His discipline is done in perfect love, because he is perfecting us through his son Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Also, like a good parent, God commends his children for good behavior. He is steadily encouraging us to keep on the righteous path that is laid before us. His reward system consists of blessings for obedience and righteousness.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus mentions seven times: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
What message is God speaking to the churches today? It is the same message that He has always been speaking which is for us to receive the revelation of Jesus Christ and demonstrate it within our lives. Let us examine the nature and characteristics of Jesus Christ, who is love, and his response to the modern-day church.
1. Love speaking to the Church of Ephesus
· Rev. 2:1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things say He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
· Instructions of Repentance: Return to your first love.
· The seven stars and the seven golden lampstands represent the church, the body of Christ in the earth. Without Christ, there would be no church, and Jesus Christ is love. The church is to represent and demonstrate the love of Christ.
· Is Christ truly the center of your life? What areas in your life can you do better in as it pertains to your love walk with Christ?
2. Love speaking to the church of Smyrna
· Rev. 2:8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:
· No rebuke to this church. Jesus gave them encouragement and a promise.
· What encouragement do you need from the Lord today? What promises are you believing God for that have not come to pass yet?
· Jesus states that he is the first and the last, the one who came back to life. What are some situations or circumstances that you need God to breathe “life” into?
3. Love speaking to the church of Pergamum
· Rev. 2:12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
· Instructions of Repentance: Stop being worldly and compromising.
· Have you ever had God “cut on you?”, Meaning have you ever had a word from the Lord come and convict you to stop doing wrong? If so, what was that experience like? If God has never been able to convict you from doing wrong, then that is a serious problem! You may need to rethink your original commitment (or lack of) to Him.
4. Love speaking to the church of Thyatira
· Rev. 2:18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
· Instructions for repentance: Stop being corrupt (tolerating Jezebel (sexual immorality and idol worship)).
· Fire has the power to bring forth purification through the process of refining. Jesus’ refining eyes create a penetrating judgment towards our sin, but the aim is to bring forth repentance, and repentance produces purification.
· Brass is an element that is pure and highly refined in the fire. Brass was the strongest and most commonly used metal during the ancient world. Therefore, not only is Jesus’ feet strong and unmovable, he expects his church to follow suit.
· What sins, if any, have you been tolerating within your personal life? If you are a leader, of any form (husband, supervisor, church leader, etc.) what sin(s) (wrongdoing) have you been tolerating and not addressing or rebuking?
· When we continue to let sin take rule in our personal lives, ministries, and homes it wreaks havoc on everyone involved (your circle of influence). How have you been affected by the sins of others? How did you overcome it?
5. Love speaking to the church of Sardis
· Rev. 3:1 (a), “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars:…”.
· Instructions of repentance: Stop being spiritually dead and wake up!
· The seven spirits of God represent the Holy Spirit. The seven stars represent the leaders of the church. Churches become spiritually dead when they don’t allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them in every aspect of ministry.
· Are you following a leader that is being led by the Holy Spirit? Have you been allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you? If so, how? If not, why?
· What areas in your relationship with God need to be revived back to life by the Holy Spirit (prayer, worship, obedience, etc.)?
6. Love speaking to the church of Philadelphia
· Rev. 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:
· Love commends you for keeping His word and does not deny His name.
· If Jesus was to come to you today, what things would he commend you on as far as being his disciple?
7. Love speaking to the church of Laodicea
· Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
· Instructions of Repentance: Stop being lukewarm
Jesus expects his disciples to either be with him or not. There is no “being on the fence”. He wants us to be fully committed to this walk because he is totally committed to us.
· Amen=Final. Faithful=Consistent. True Witness=No Falsehood Present. Beginning of the Creation of God=Blueprint of our Salvation.
· Lukewarm=Complacency. What areas of your life have you been being complacent with God?
What if we serve a God who was complacent with us? Praise God we serve a creator that is true to His nature! Let us make an effort daily to be consistent in our walk with Him.
For a more in-depth look at the seven churches of the book of Revelation, read chapters 1-3.
Watch Dr. Shana Wise teaching the lesson!
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election (available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets and television. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.
Books available on Amazon at:
Acts of Intercession
The Impact of Your Election
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