UPDATE ON OUR PROGRESS TO IMPROVE THE REVELATION STUDY GUIDE

Posted by Elfriede Copple

Mike and I are very excited that we are almost finished reformatting the “DIGGING DEEP INTO THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST” Study Guide. It is going to be more user friendly in its entirety.

Below is a screenshot of what it will look like:

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 2:8-11

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.

“What’s an easy to follow LAYOUT for a Study Guide?”

Before I get into the “LAYOUT of our Study Guide” I would like to share some exciting news we received from our publisher regarding our book:

DIGGING DEEP INTO THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST Study Guide compiled by Michael Copple

On January 21, 2019 we received this message:

“Congratulations! The production stage for your book is complete, and we are sending your files to the printer for set-up and distribution.”

Then today January 23rd we received the confirmation that it is ready and can be ordered online at

Amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/Digging-Deep-Revelation-Jesus-Christ/dp/1973649179/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1548266279&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+copple+digging+deep+into+the+revelation+of+jesus+christ,

WestBow Press: https://www.westbowpress.com/Bookstore/BookSearchResults.aspx?Search=Digging%20Deep%20into%20the%20Revelation%20of%20Jesus%20Christ

and Barnes & Noble, (other online bookstores will be following soon)

If you prefer you may also order the Study Guide through your local bookstore or via email at bkorders@westbowpress.com

WOW! We are so excited to be able to make this resource available for an in depth Bible Study of the Book of Revelation, either in a Bible Study Group or for personal study!


Now, let me get back to the LAYOUT we chose for the Study Guide and why.

I own a Parallel Bible with four different versions (KJV, NKJV, NIV, NLT). Having all these different translations side by side helps me greatly in my studies. And sometimes Mike picks it up, too.

While putting together the Study Guide and brainstorming the best layout for it, we went back to the Parallel Bible idea several times. And in the end decided that it would be of advantage to have the Scriptures and the relevant Commentaries, as well as Reference Scriptures and their relevant Commentaries side by side. With this layout the student can follow each verse or sometimes several verses combined as well as the commentary and reference verses from the left column to the very right column across the open book without turning any pages.

Picture of the 4 columns - what the Study Guide looks like on the inside.

Another advantage is that the student doesn’t have to search the Bible back and forth for the reference verses, and in the end have lost their thought by the time they get there.

This way TIME can be used more effectively and the layout enhances the ease of understanding.

Ultimately the purpose of this study is to promote learning, discussion, and blessing.

Once finished, we had 72 pages of Study Guide and we would need at least 8 copies for our small study group! Plus there were a number of other friends and family who had expressed interest in a copy of the Study Guide.

We had arrived at the point where we had to deal with the question: “How do we produce all these copies in the most efficient and reasonable way?”


FONDUE / FUTON

Confusing the futon with the fondue
was so very easy for me to do.
Eating the futon,
or was that the tonfon;
or was it sleeping in the fondue;
or was that the dufu?
What does a dufu do?
Is there a new dance called the Fudu?
Any fuddy duddy
could chew on nutty putty,
but it takes a special one
to find the street it’s on
and eat a full pot of futon.
Any way, when we finished the walk
or was that a run,
it really was a ton of fun
eating that… that Provence fondue,
and being there… with you two.


Photocopying? Printing? Binding it into a book? What would it be?
Check out our next Blog Post!

Our Adventure: Writing and publishing a Study Guide on the Book of Revelation!

The first question that many might ask after reading the title of this blog may be:

“What motivated Mike to write a Study Guide on the Book of Revelation?”

Over the past few years we have encountered so many people, including members of our Bible study group, wondering about the future of this world. People are always seeking for answers to their questions like:
  “Where is the world headed?
  Are we seeing the signs of the Last Days?”

Some people would answer:
“We are living in interesting times!
We are living in challenging times!   or
We are living in the End-Times!”

Mike’s answer: “All the answers to our questions can be found in the Bible! The Revelation of Jesus Christ is difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, Revelation 1:3 and 22:7 tell us we will be blessed if we do.” And he would say: “Don’t take my word for it!”

Revelation 1:3 NKJV
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.
Revelation 22:7 NKJV
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

With this in mind Mike set out to put together a Bible Study on the Book of Revelation for our small study group. It turned into a bigger project than expected. Mike spent months researching and compiling information from different sources like dictionaries, commentaries, and other solid brothers in Christ. It was a rewarding effort!



CALL OF SILENCE

Sometimes… life seems to call us…
to a place… where we can slow down

To the peace… and the quiet…
to a place… where we can hear no sound

To be with someone…
whom we love… very… very much

To feel the happiness…
of each other… and to share nature’s touch.

(by Mike Copple)


For more details on the Study Guide please check back for our next post:
“What’s an easy to follow LAYOUT for a Study Guide?”


If you like what you read, please leave us a comment, and also feel free to share this post with your friends!