APAC 2016 day 3 1st half
Day 3 Chairing by Adrian Low, Klang Gospel Hall
• Pray that leaders will kneel the Word & exercise it wisely, faithfully & decisively to prevent false teachings encroaching into our assemblies
• Pray that we will hold fast to our faith in times of adversary & persecution
• Pray that we in assemblies will discern false teachings & not promote the teachings of Balaam & Nicolaitans
• Pray we will always remember the Lord Jesus as our source of spiritual sustenance at all times including when we are down
By Mark from Hui-Lai-Li Christian Assembly, Taiwan
2 Timothy 2:1-6
Be strong in the grace
Grace is to get what we don’t deserve
We have the salvation of Jesus
My father is a full time worker but I did not agree with his lifestyle. We would have fellowship an hour a week talking on life, school, work & church. I began to realise the important of God’s love who touched me. I began to share the gospel with my school friends & those around me. We need to stand by courage.
Legacy: My father told me that if a Christian ministry cannot be done without you, it will not last. When we are serving we need to look for reliable men who are qualified to teach others as well. Paul entrusted to Timothy. Timothy then entrusted to reliable men & then to others. Total 4 generations. My wife & I serve in university. We train university students to care for high school students. And for the high school students to care for younger ones.
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Jesus Christ. In Taiwan every young man has to serve in the army for 1 year. In the army, you need to absolutely obey your chief. Asked to lie down, need to comply immediately wherever you are on grass, rock or mud. But does not compare to Jesus who sweat blood, betrayed by humans, whipped naked & crucified.
Paul was imprisoned, whipped, endangered everywhere & full of suffering but not defeated. Likewise we should endeavour to be like Paul.
A church brother who is an athlete undergoes rigorous training & diet everyday. One day, a girl caught his attention & his lifestyle began to change – staying up late & straying from diet. After long talk & searching, chose to focus on sports & wait for Godly woman.
My grandfather is a farmer who gets up before the sun rises. Everyday we gets up to remove weeds, rocks & tills the ground daily. After 4 months, he reaps he harvest. When we are teaching brothers & sisters, we will face many difficulties & need to be strong in Jesus serving His will. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Session 5: Worldly Compromise
Least important city among 7 yet receives longest letter
Small but striving town SE of Pergamos surrounded by Hills
Modern town of Akhisar nearby (Population 75k)
Politically not significant but associated & following Pergamos
Meeting of trade guilds where meat sacrificed to idols was eaten, followed by business discussion & actors performing immoralities & often ending involving the audience
If one was to be a successful businessman, one was required to compromise & join a guild so not to lack opportunities for profitability
Produced purple dyes (pale pink to deep purple)
Military base & produced own armaments
Spiritually many different gods to be worshipped associate with various guilds
V18 Angel = leadership of the church (as prev)
The Son of God (only 1x mentioned in Revelation) = Jesus, deity, authority, blazing, eternal, available at any time
In contrast with sun god of Thyatira who had ‘faded away’ & only seen on bright days & not at night
Eyes = all seeing, penetrating gaze
“Flames of fire” vs “like jewels washed in milk” described by Solomon in tranquil beauty
Feet will stamp out what the eyes find unsuitable
Eyes like flames of fire + Feet like fine brass
V19 Commendation by inspector of assemblies
I know = full & comprehensive knowledge
7 things known
• (First) Works
• (Last) Works
Good thing when assembly attempts to meet needs & help needy in local community
Acknowledges a continuing love
Even in the weakest & worst of assemblies there are those who continue & grow in love of the Lord
It may be that those who are better taught have lost their love for the Lord
How is it possible to love the saints & brethren? Neither I nor any Bible teacher can teach that. Only God teaches you how to love.
Last works more than first works of increasing importance.
Do our works have any impact on the local community?
V20 Few things against you worded in very strong language
Sufferest that woman = leave a her alone; ignores her; major mistake of the oversight
(Sisters have a very important place in the assembly & so many things in assemblies men cannot do
Without them the assemblies would be so much poorer
But to remember the Biblical rule of headship
Not her place to teach or pray publicly when church is gathered
Reminder to brothers & leadership that it is important to lead the leadership & only those with gift to teach
Young men to be encouraged, taught & guided in right way)
Self appointed as prophetess claiming inspiration for the things she said
Teaching totally unscriptural & weak husband (men) not performing their part
Physical or spiritual fornication encouraging them to not worry & join the guilds associating with idol worship
That woman Jezebel seduced MY servants
V21 God’s amazing grace giving her window of opportunity to repent
Refused: set her mind against God & Christ
V22 The time for her repentance had come & gone, but still open for others to repent
Cast = hurl violently & suddenly into bed (figuratively appropriate) of compromise leading to pain, death
Cast into same bed unless they repent of their sins
God’s willingness to forgive should be mirrored by leadership & every individual
V23 Kill her children (those given opportunity to repent but refuse to)
The Lord loves the assemblies so much that there’s only so much He can stand
Don’t push the envelop!
V24 Say unto you (Angel/leadership?)
Rest = faithful saints; remnant not follow her
Jesus ever careful not to overburden His saints (Previously mentioned fornication & meat offered to idols)
V25 Hold fast = hang in there
Until I come = wonderful promise
First 3 churches not mentioned as no longer existent at time of rapture
Other 4 churches still in existence & encouraged
V26 Overcomer will have administrative position in millennial kingdom, which may follow into eternal state
Faithfully until the end given power to reign until the end & all things will finally become true
V28 Given the morning star (Reformation?)
Morning star = Jesus Christ
Spreading light & hope over dark earth
While others cannot appreciate it, overcomer does now & in days to come
Matthew 13:31 The Parable of the Leaven (Yeast)
Matthew 24 False Prophets
Dark ages (rise of papacy & persecution)
Lack of separation
Women in leadership
Session 6: Nominal Christianity at Sardis
Sardis but did not know they were dead
Reputation (from past) of being alive
30miles SE of Thyatira; Where gold was fine
Today only a small village called Sart (Population 5k)
On plateau surrounded by mountains all sides suitable as fortress & previously capital of ancient Lydia
Destroyed in 17AD & rebuilt by Tiberius, who waived taxes
People erected monument to Tiberius & overconfident to own security & fell to Cyrus
Never returned to its past glory
What they felt was their strength became their weakness not once but twice
2 temples to Cybele & Artemis (idol worship); loose living & pleasure loving
Economy active & relatively wealthy
Agriculture (fruits), wool & dyes
River ran through the centre of town
No Balaams, Jezebels or Nicolaitans & no outside persecution
The church was at rest. Asleep. Spiritually dead.
V1 7 spirits of God X= 7 different spirits but indicates the wealth, peer & resources of the HS
1. The Lord
7. Fear of the Lord
No commendation (only commendation in letter is some who have not fallen asleep)
Assembly was a beehive of organised activity but the Lord knows what is really happening
Sleepwalking, zombies, dead
Caused by sin in its midst
V2-3 Fire has gone out & testimony so mute that wasn’t worth attacking
Be watchful: arise out of sleep & urged to setup a new watch
1. Watch (for sin, the devil, to pray, for the Lord)
2. Strengthen (the things that remain that are ready to die; dead = more concerned with ritual than Jesus)
3. Remember (whence they had fallen)
Responsibility of leadership, teachers & invited preachers to strengthen & hold on fast to the things that remain
An urgent task in UK, US & Canada
No assembly is perfect. If you find the perfect assembly, don’t join it otherwise when you join, it will become imperfect 😝
Keeping in fellowship, breaking of bread & in prayer.
In the early days was made own at great cost.
Inappropriate & unhelpful to throw away the things they stood for.
Hold fast & repent = keep a firm grip on the Word
Coming as a thief = surprise, unprepared
How is your assembly? Behold he sleepeth?
V4 Few names = Few people
Who are not guilty of defiled their garments
Not soiled, smeared or fouled their character
There is always a remnant who love the Lord
“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” – Malachi 3:16 NIV
White = the colour of heaven
Will walk with me in white (like Enoch walked with God & taken to heaven)
A wonderful promise
Are we walking with the Lord?
“When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word, what a glory he sheds on our way!”
V5 Book of life occurs 7x in Revelation
Book of life = in heaven penned names of all trusted Christ as their saviour; not to be blotted out
(Maybe differs from Book of the living = all who have lived on earth at any time)
John 17 when the Lord Jesus is praying in connection to his disciples & marked as His
Connection with Israel
Is Israel in remnant?
Challenges for Assemblies
Dead men walking