BIBLE STUDY NOTES ON COLOSSIANS 2:1-23

Posted by Elfriede Copple

We have been studying the Book of Revelation but the other day while reading Colossians 2:1-23 I realized that this relates to Revelation 3:14-22.

Colossians 2:1 – Paul writes:
“For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea,…”

Laodicea is the seventh of the Seven Churches Jesus speaks to in Revelation 3:14-22. Laodicea is the “lukewarm/complacent” church! They considered themselves “rich, wealthy and have need of nothing” as Laodicea was the centre for three major industries which were banking, textiles and medicines in those days.

Paul tells them in Colossians 2:2-3 that he desires, “that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.

Life in Laodicea was very difficult for the Christians. For example, in order to get into the “Market Place” where all the trade happened they had to burn incense at the gate in honor and to worship the god of gods—who was “Caesar”! This was a requirement put in place by “man”! God commands that believers have no other gods beside Him though!

Further, in order to belong to the guild—a circle business people were to join—you had to worship other gods (for trade and blessings with finances), and attend the annual celebrations which would end up being festivals of drinking, eating food sacrificed to idols, and sexual immorality that took place in temples of the various gods! A place in complete violation of God’s commands!

To drive home the point, Paul warns them in verses 4-5 not to be deceived with persuasive words but to be steadfast in their faith in Christ. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS!

In Colossians 2:8, 16-18 and 20-23 Paul gives us a preview of what the Christians in Laodicea will have to deal with, and how they will have to stand fast in their faith in order to not fall for the temptation to comply with men’s traditions just so that they can do business.

Colossians 2:8: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ”.

Colossians 2:16-18: “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,”

Colossians 2:20-23: “Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle, which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”

Are we complying with some of men’s traditions in order to fit in or to belong to the world?

May we stay firm in the Lord!


Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comment section. We would love to hear from you. Also if you like this blog, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading. God bless you!


Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN THE LORD JESUS SAYS: “BUY FROM ME GOLD REFINED IN THE FIRE”, AND “WHITE GARMENTS”, USE “EYE SALVE”? –continued-

Posted by Elfriede Copple

REVELATION 3:18  [Jesus speaking]
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” (NKJV)

Last week we unpacked the meaning of “gold” – “refined in the fire” – “buy from Me gold” and why we should do that. This week we will look at the meaning of “white garments” and “eye salve”.

WHY AND HOW DO WE BUY FROM THE LORD JESUS CHRIST?

Now, before we get to the white garments I would like to share some information I found in the John MacArthur Study Bible with regard to the “gold”, “white garments” and “eye salve” concerning the church of Laodicea. In those days Laodicea was the centre for three major industries which were banking, textiles and medicines.

MacArthur Study Bible commentary quotes:
Jesus offers them the spiritual counterparts to their three major industries. Each item was a way to refer to genuine salvation.”
(pg. 2807, comment on Revelation 3:18)

The spiritual counterpart to banking would be “buying gold from Jesus” becoming pure and righteous through His sacrifice. Spiritually “white garments” would replace the textiles and “eye salve” the medicines.

What does “white garments” stand for? I think we can all agree that “white” is the symbol for “purity”. How can we stay pure in today’s world and society? Not easy with all the temptations around us! There is only One who can assist us and make us strong to stand against the temptations of this world and that is Jesus Christ! Having been baptized in the Holy Spirit when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we can have the strength to withstand evil. If we read God’s Word and listen, the Holy Spirit within us will guide and protect us.

Buy white garments from Jesus by abiding in the Word, obeying what we read in the Word, and listening to the Holy Spirit through reading the Word!

Let’s continue to the “eye salve”.

Eye salve was one of the major industries in Laodicea. We use our eyes to see, unfortunately not everyone can SEE the TRUTH! Jesus urges the Laodiceans and us to anoint our eyes with eye salve so that we will be able to see the Truth and won’t be deceived!

Most of us have eyes to see, but do we always see the Truth? Or are we blinded by the enemy?

Matthew 6:22-23
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 4:4
whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

There were a lot of different “gods” in Laodecia to be worshipped. The Christians were under great pressure not to fall into idolatry. Their eyes saw all those different gods and rituals going on around them, and the eyes transmitted that to the brain to entice them to follow since it looked good and participation could prosper you! The enemy was trying to sell it to them in whatever package possible. That’s why Jesus told them to buy “eye salve” from Him so that they would see the Truth, that they would be able to discern right from wrong and stand firm!

How do we buy from Jesus?
Quoting Nadia Mikhael M.D. from her book
“Women of the Bible made a Difference”
pg 41, paragraph 4: “remember your ABCDs:

Accept the Word of God as truth,
Be faithful in reading it,
Commit to its ways, and
Do what it says!”

How are we doing? Are our eyes wandering? Do we need to buy “eye salve” from the Lord?


TO GOD BE THE GLORY!


Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comment section. We would love to hear from you. Also if you like this blog, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading. God bless you!

BIBLE STUDY NOTES ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION 2:12-17

Posted by Elfriede Copple

In Chapter 2 Verses 12-17 Jesus Speaks to the Third of Seven Churches (Compromising Church)

Revelation 2:12
12And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “

W. MacDonald comments: The sharp two-edged sword is the word of God (Hebrews 4:12-13) and represents Jesus Christ as Judge” (John 5:22, 27).
-Hebrews 4:12-13 – 12For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
-W. MacDonald says: “The Greek here for “word” is logos. This refers, not to the living Word Jesus, but to the living written word, the Bible.”
It is the Word that judges us, not we who judge the word. Nothing escapes our Creator’s notice; He, being omniscient, is constantly aware of all that is going on in the universe. Unbelief is detected by the living Lord.
-John 5:22, 27 – 22For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son. …. 27and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”
All things now and at the final judgment are committed to the Son, as we honor the Father. And every one who does not thus honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent Him (1 John 2:23 – Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.).

Revelation 2:13
13I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”

The reason Pergamos was called the place of Satan’s throne in verse 13 was because, according to MacDonald, “Pergamos was the Asia Minor headquarters for the cult of emperor-worship. Antipas was of this assembly, and he was martyred for his confession of the Lord Jesus. He was the first known Asian to die for refusing to worship the Roman emperor”.

Revelation 2:14-16
14But I have a few things against you, because you have those there who hold the doctrine of Bālaam, who taught Bālak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicōlāitans, which thing I hate. 16Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”

MacDonald is quoted: “But the Lord reprimanded them in verses 14-15 for permitting men with evil doctrine to attempt to continue in Christian fellowship”. Thus the church at Pergamos who held fast to the name of Jesus but ate things sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality must repent.
Some have said that the doctrine of Bālaam written in 1400 BC (Numbers 22-25; 31) indoctrinates flocks of the churches still today. Also the doctrine of the Nicōlāitans points to one who serves for monetary gain (1 Timothy 6:3-5 – “3If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”). So additional to the problems mentioned this refers to the practice of preaching for hire (John 10:11-13 – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. But a hireling [hired man], he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.”)

Revelation 2:17
17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

Jesus repeats “ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” to every church! When God says something once it is important; when he says it twice it is really important; when repeats again and again God is serious and we better listen!


OUR FIRST LOVE IS GOD –the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—!
First God, second our family, and third our country!


All Scripture quoted is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

BIBLE STUDY NOTES ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION 2:8-11

In Chapter 2 Verses 8-11 Jesus Speaks to the Second of Seven Churches

Revelation Study Guide Book
Revelation Study Guide Book Cover

Revelation 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:
(NKJV*)

the First and the Last” is our Lord Jesus Christ who tells John to write to the church of Smyrna.

Revelation 2:9
9I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
(NKJV*)

“(but you are rich)”! You may ask how can they be rich when Jesus says that they live in poverty? They are rich in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Matthew 6:19-21 –  19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NKJV*)
When you have Christ in your life you are rich, just look at the final destination for the believers!
Matthew 10:22b – “But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (NKJV*)
And Jesus will give them “to eat from the tree of life”! (Rev. 2:7b)

Revelation 2:10
10Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw 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.” (NKJV*)

The Lord encourages the church of Smyrna and us to be willing to die rather than deny our faith in Him referring back to Matthew 10:22b. The “crown of life” is for human testing even to martyrdom. The Lord Jesus commends the church in Smyrna and lets them know they will be persecuted, but He holds nothing against them.
We can expect to be persecuted:
John 15:20a,b – “Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (NKJV*)no matter how slight or how severe. W.MacDonald comments: “But we cannot expect better treatment than our Lord Jesus received. Our word will be refused just as was the Savior’s.” And still is rejected by many to this day.

Revelation 2:11
11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'”
(NKJV*)

W.MacDonald: “Again the willing hearer is encouraged to listen to the Spirit’s advice. Here an overcomer is one who proves the reality of his faith by choosing to go to heaven with a good conscience rather than stay on earth with a bad one. He will not be affected by the second death, the doom of all unbelievers.”
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; I say, on the LORD!”
Revelation 20:6, 14 – “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. … Then Death and Hādēs were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
(NKJV*)

The first resurrection has three principal phases:

1. the resurrection of Christ
2. the resurrection of His Church; and
3. the resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints.

The second death is preceded by a resurrection of the unsaved to face the Lord at the Great White Throne. In this second death the unbeliever just keeps dying; it is –according to King James Study Bible: “eternal punishment in the lake of fire” which will never be quenched. (check out: Isaiah 66:24; Jeremiah 7:20; Ezekiel 20:47-48; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Jude 7)


OUR FIRST LOVE IS GOD –the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—!
First God, second our family, and third our country!


(NKJV*)Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.