Rev. Manson B. Johnson
by Rev. Manson B. Johnson
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward-Times



Bible Fact:           The Book of Revelation is given by Jesus and written by John to strengthen our hope of the future. .

Bible Text:           Revelation 1:1; Matthew 24:1-51

Aim:             To help students to become aware of what to expect in time and eternality to come.


LESSON 3: The Book of Revelation (Chapters 2 & 3)

These two chapters cover letters addressed to the seven churches.  The seven churches represent all of God’s churches.  THEY REPRESENT ALL CHURCHES OF ALL AGES.  Any church that exists can fit the descriptions within these seven churches.  John lived in the same dispensation, same age that we live today–the day of the Church Age. Christ spoke to the seven churches in a definite order.  He follows a definite pattern as you will see as we study each of the seven churches.  The pattern in each is:

  1.          First Christ identifies Himself
  2.          Then He commends the church (all but Laodicea)
  3.          Next, He condemns the things that are wrong.  (He had no condemnation for Smyrna and Philadelphia.)
  4.          Then He warns the church
  5.          And finally He challenges the church
  6. a)         EPHESUS – “Unto the pastor or messenger (angel) of the church a Ephesus, write…”  This was the church of the Apostles.
    1.          HE IDENTIFIED HIMSELF:  2:1
    2.          HE COMMENDS THE CHURCH:  vv.2,3
    3.          HE CONDEMNS:  v.4
    4.         HE WARNS:  vv.5,6
    5.          THE CHALLENGES:  v.7
  7. b)         SMYRNA – “Unto the pastor or messenger (angel) of the church in Smyrna, write…”  This was the church of persecution
    1.          HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF:  2:8
    2.          HE COMMENDS:  vv.9,10

This was the church of the martyrs and persecution. There were ten distinct attempts by imperial rulers to crush the infant church.  These are historical events from the days of Nero to the days of Diocletian.

  1.          HE CONDEMNS:  none.
  2.          HE WARNS:  v.10
  3.          HE CHALLENGES:  vv. 10b,11

Let’s talk about it:

  1. Why did Jesus spend time making sure His Church could identify Him? Matthew 24:24
  2. Why should the members of the Christian Church be able to recognize Jesus? Matthew 16:13-19(How do people today appear to be overly interested in claiming the power of Jesus?)
  3. In what ways do you see the Christian Church being set up in the world today for more persecution? (II Timothy 3:1-7)

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