What is the Difference between Shēōl, Hell, Hādēs, and the Lake of Fire?

According to the Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, in the Old Testament (OT), the words Shēōl and hell are interchangeable. When looking for interpretation of the word Shēōl the inquirer is directed to the word hell. The margins in the OT, in most cases, also translate the word hell to the word Shēōl.

The two words together in the completed Canon are found a total of fifty-four times.

The Bible refers to the label Lake of Fire only five times, and all these five are in the last Book: The Revelation of Jesus Christ. And these five times mentioned are only in the last three of the four last chapters of the Book: Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8. One of those—Revelation 20:14—confirms that the lake of fire is the ultimate destination for those who have been in Shēōl, Hādēs, or hell, awaiting their final judgment.

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What are the Seven Plagues?

The seven bowls containing the plagues are emptied in sequence, rapidly—in a short period of time. The plagues are judgments and are somewhat parallel to the plagues on Egypt (Exodus Chapters 7 through12) and to the trumpets (Revelation Chapters 8 and 9). The contents of the bowls are more total and universal in their effects than were the trumpets, and generally affect people more directly. What follows are the plagues released by the trumpeting angels and from the seven bowls compared to the plagues which God released upon Pharaoh—and how the offenders spoken of in Revelation will not repent and how God kept hardening Pharaoh’s heart in Exodus. God’s warnings are consistent:

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What will the Angels do with the Seven Bowls?

The word bowls in some versions is translated from the word vials which we read in the KJV. Vial comes from the Latin word phiala, and it can be a broad shallow cup (phial)—or bowl. This suggests it can be emptied rapidly. The emptying of the bowls represents the final series of judgments whereby God’s full wrath is poured out upon the wicked nations:

Previous to the seven bowls will first be the seven seals, which only the Lord Jesus is worthy to open. The seals reveal the beginning of wrath. After the seven seals, the angels will be appointed to sound the seven trumpets which portray the forthcoming expansion of God’s wrath due to the people not heeding the previous warnings. The prophecy is written by John in past tense since he writes of what he saw in the God-given-vision:

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What is the Meaning of the Seven Thunders?

The word seven is in the Bible 465 times. Most frequently it is found in the Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ. There, this word seven is found 48 times. We read of seven churches, seven Spirits of God, seven golden candle sticks, seven lampstands, seven stars, seven lamps of fire, seven seals, seven horns, seven eyes, seven angels, seven trumpets, seven thunders, seven thousand people, seven heads, seven crowns, seven plagues, seven vials—or bowls, seven mountains, and seven kings.

The word seven, described by W. E. Vine, generally expresses completeness. Although used by John the apostle in the Book of Revelation, the word seven is not found in the Gospel of John. This special numeral can also mean full, abundant; perfect completion.

The two-word term seven thunders appear only three times. All these three are in Revelation 10 verses three and four. This chapter creates a pause between the sounding of the sixth and seventh trumpets, because God’s judgment is about to be greatly intensified. Further and more severe disasters are pending and imminent as the prophesy progresses toward the end of end times. The sixth angel had sounded his trumpet in Revelation 9:13, but the seventh angel will not sound his trumpet until Revelation 11:15. The break between these last two trumpets is given in the eleven verses of Chapter 10:

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What is the Meaning of the Seven Trumpets?

When we read in the Book of Revelation about the opening of the seven seals, the sounding of the seven trumpets, the pouring out of the vials—or bowls; these, in our present age, are strong, vivid warnings of what wrath lies ahead. But shortly beyond present time, these are no longer future; these prophesies are being fulfilled “right now” during the Tribulation period. As each trumpet is sounded, tragedies progressively get worse and worse.

Beginning where Revelation chapter 6 left off, the seventh seal probably contains the seven trumpets. When that seventh seal is opened, the tribulation situation will become much more serious. This fact is pointed out in the first verse of chapter 8. Of course the timing of each action is given in past tense since John the apostle is writing about the vision the Lord had given him:

When He [the Savior] opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (Revelation 8:1)

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10 COMMANDMENTS for BIBLE STUDY

We posted this last year November but think that with regard to the pandemic; and politicians, governors, and mayors trying to exert their power; and earthquakes, hurricanes and wild fires raging the world; it would be helpful to be reminded how to rightly divide God’s Word.

The article below was written by Rick Morse in the Nov-Dec 2019 issue (pg 4+5) of Cornerstone Magazine. We hope you enjoy it.


10 COMMANDMENTS for BIBLE STUDY

“Be diligent to present thyself approved to God –
a workman irreproachable, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15, (Young’s Literal Translation)

In His wisdom, our God has placed what we might consider three “sentinels” in His Word – one at the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the end (Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:5- 6; Rev. 22:18-19). It is to warn all who read it to neither add nor take away from what He has chosen to reveal. He also inspired Paul to exhort Timothy to study the Word of God with diligent care, to pursue an orderly and consistent approach to discovering its truths (2 Tim. 2:15). Out of gratitude to those have mentored and nurtured my own interest in Bible study, I offer these ten “rules of thumb”. If observed, they will enable the eager Bible student to rightly divide the word of truth, and to avoid many popular but harmful bypaths which are so readily available today.

1. Observe What The Text Says

Forcing a preconception on what is written usually leads to error. Reading and re-reading a portion slowly, and out loud, is the best way to take in every word. Notice every detail, verb, order, progression, pattern, etc. God does not do things haphazardly. Before we even begin thinking about what the Bible teaches, we need to first establish what the Bible says.

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What is the Meaning of the Seven Seals?

Beginning in Revelation 5:1 the seven seals are keeping a scroll closed.

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. (Revelation 5:1)

The only one worthy to open the seals is the Savior.

And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood… (Revelation 5:9a)

The scroll, when opened, will release the Antichrist to commence his deceptions and violence and the beginnings of God’s wrath upon all unbelieving mankind and upon the earth—as each seal is opened. When the Lord Jesus opens each seal, the scroll issues warnings of the seven-year Tribulation period—warnings that become progressively more and more harmful and punishing to whosoever rejects the Lord Jesus Christ.

The warnings are justified much the same as the warnings that were heard by those who laughed at Noah nearly 5,000 years ago:

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What is the Meaning of Prophecy—Prophecies—Prophesying

With all the lawlessness, chaos, rioting, looting, turmoil, immorality, murders, more frequent earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and nuclear build-ups going on in the world today, it all prompts one to sense the nearness of the end-times as being absolutely imminent. The prophets of the Bible have much to reveal relating to this matter as they have accurately presented God’s perfection in these foretellings.

The word prophet can mean either one of two things:

1) A prophet was a person who was given the gift by God to foretell God’s future events.
2) A prophet is a person who brings forth (preaches) God’s truth from His Words in the Bible.

In both the Old and New Testament Scriptures, prophets were called by God to see or hear His upcoming plan for things to take place, and to declare God’s truths. The prophecies of the future have all been included in the Bible; therefore, today’s prophets are called by God to only bring forth God’s Word. True prophets have been described as “the mouthpieces of the true God”

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What is the Book of Life and Whose Names will be written in it?

All biblical references to the Book of Life convey to us that it is a book that records the names of true believers in God. All of these registered believers are guaranteed eternal life in heaven:

1 Peter 1:3-5  
3Blessed [worthy to be praised] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith [true belief] for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The names of the people written in the Book of Life do not include a single name of anyone who has rejected the Savior at the time he died or at the time of Christ’s Second Coming at the end of the seven-year Tribulation (the beginning of the Millennial reign).

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What is the First Resurrection?

First of all, there is, indeed, a “First” Resurrection, and since it is true, then there is also a “Second” resurrection.

The First Resurrection has three parts, but the Second has only one. The first part of the First Resurrection already took place when the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.

Others have been raised from the dead, i.e., Lazarus whom Jesus raised back to life (John 11:1-43); the woman named Tabitha, translated Dorcas, whom Peter restored back to life (Acts 9:36-42); and the young man named Eutychus whom Paul the Apostle raised with the power of God (Acts 20:9-10). However, the Lord Jesus was the only one raised from the dead to remain alive. He is alive, has been alive, and will always be alive forever. God does not change (Malachi 3:6a).

The First Resurrection (Revelation 20:6, 14) has 3 principal phases:

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What is the Second Death?

The “Second Death” is only appointed to all those who reject the Savior by not repenting of their offenses to God and not believing in Him. All people are appointed to die the first death:

Genesis 3:19  
“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”

Romans 5:12  
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Hebrews 9:27  
And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Romans 3:23  
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The reason for the difference that believers will die only once, and unbelievers will experience a second death:

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When does the Rapture occur in relation to the Seven-year Tribulation? (2)

Today we are continuing with part 2 of our topic about when the Rapture will occur.

Revelation 5 describes the raptured Church praising the Lord Jesus Christ for being worthy to open the seven seals of the scroll and for redeeming us to God by His blood.

The order of events has been

1) Revelation 2-3: The churches on earth;
2) Revelation 4: The Rapture of the Church; and
3) Revelation 5: The Church praising the Lord.

Revelation 6 then reveals the antichrist coming in to conquer, and eventually take peace, kill, cause famine, and death. The end result of the antichrist’s feats will bring God’s wrath in the Great Tribulation.

Continue reading “When does the Rapture occur in relation to the Seven-year Tribulation? (2)”

When does the Rapture occur in relation to the Seven-year Tribulation? (1)

Today’s topic will be posted in 2 parts.

To answer this controversial question, we must realize an important fact about the arrangement of the last Book in the Bible: The Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Revelation begins in chronological order, but the sequence changes and repeats some of what has already been written. For example, in chapter 6, six of the seven seals reveal to us the things which must be hereafter. These seals give us a preview of what will take place in heaven and on earth. But when the seventh seal is opened in chapter 8, then the things spoken of before begin to happen.

In comparing the chronological order of the Rapture to the seven-year Tribulation, we must maintain the context while searching the Scriptures. To begin with, keeping in mind that the first 7 chapters of Revelation are kept mostly in chronological order, we see in chapters 2 and 3 that the Lord Jesus is quoted both in rebuking and in commending the seven churches. It needs to be noted that the word churches is the last word used in chapter 3 and will not appear again until the sixth to last verse in the Book. The reason for this is that the Church will not be present on earth until they return with the Lord Jesus’ Second Coming (when He has His feet on earth for the second time) at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.

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What is the Rapture?

According to the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary,
“Rapture: God’s taking the church out of the world instantaneously.”

Rapture comes from the root word, rap: to snatch, and is closely related to rapt: snatched away; transported. The word rapture is not in the Bible, but the definition is certainly fulfilled in the following Scriptures:

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17  
14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep [those who have died in belief] in Jesus. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep [have died]. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

John 14:3b  
“I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

1 Corinthians 15:52  
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet [of the Church Age]. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible [not to die again], and we shall be changed.

Revelation 4:1  
After these things [the last messages to all the churches] I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

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What is the Church Age and When will it End?

The Church Age is the total length of time from the beginning of the New Testament Church until God instantaneously takes the Church out of the world. The beginning day of this Age was on the 50th day after the Lord Jesus was resurrected back to life from the dead. It is vitally important to remember—Christ was raised on the first day of the week—and then fifty days later, the Holy Spirit came to begin the Church—also on the first day of the week—Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-2  
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

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Is There a Difference Between The Tribulation and The Great Tribulation?

Posted by Elfriede

The Tribulation will happen after the rapture and be a seven-year period in which the Antichrist will rule.

Why do we say that?

The New Testament tells us that all Church Age believers will be raptured before the Tribulation begins.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-4, 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7; 2:1-8; Romans 11:25-26; Revelation 4:1).

In 1 Thessalonians 4 verses 16 to 18 we learn that the dead in Christ will rise first and then those who are alive and remain shall be caught up meaning raptured to be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Continuing with the theme in chapter 5 verses 2 to 4 we understand that immediately after the day of the Lord which comes as a thief in the night [the rapture] sudden destruction comes upon all the people that are left behind!

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Revelation Chapters 11-13 Test Questions

Study Guide Cover Photo

Originally I wanted to post another excerpt from our upcoming book “Considering Wisdom”, but then, this morning, I thought that some Exam Questions from the “Digging Deep into the Revelation of Jesus Christ Exam Booklet to the Study Guide” would be a nice challenge for today.

So here are the 10 questions for

Revelation Chapters 11-13

1.  During the Great Tribulation Jerusalem will be under the control of

A. The Russian, Chinese, and Iranian military units
B. The Jews
C. The Gentiles
D. All of the above

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The Black Horse, the Pale Horse, the Riders and Their Power

Last week we wrote about the white and the red horses. Today we continue with the black and the pale horses.

What does the horses’ colour represent?
Who is the rider and what is his goal?

Continue reading “The Black Horse, the Pale Horse, the Riders and Their Power”

The White Horse, the Red Horse, the Riders and Their Power

The Book of Revelation mentions 4 different colored horses – white, red, black and pale.

Today we will be looking at the white and red horses, their riders and their power.

Who sits on the White Horse and with what kind of Power?

There are actually two white horses.

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A Revelation in Itself – Peace in Your Heart

Posted by Elfriede

Romans 5:1-2
1Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. (NLT)

Do you have peace with God? Sometimes I don’t seem to feel the peace of God in my heart? How can I know my heart’s feelings?

Who can answer that question better than God Himself through His word, the Bible?

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Question: Did God make a New Covenant with the Church and a second one with Israel (Part 2)

Here is the second article from the Cornerstone Magazine written by George Ferrier continuing last week’s post.

In Part 1, we noticed God makes one New Covenant solely with Israel. Now let us consider four spiritual blessings the Church receives and relate them to God’s future enactment of the New Covenant with Israel. First, every believer in Christ has been born from above, imparted with a new nature in Christ. Born spiritually dead at our physical birth, we have been regenerated (born again) and made spiritually alive in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:1). The Holy Spirit has imparted new life to us and this life of Christ remains in us forever (1 John 3:9). Second, paying in full the penalty for our sins, Christ has also redeemed the believer from the guilt and power of sin. God permanently forgives us, choosing to remember our sins no longer (Heb. 8:8-13; 10:15-18). Third, the Holy Spirit permanently indwells the believer from the moment of their regeneration. Fourth, this indwelling is the guarantee that our body will be redeemed and glorified at the rapture.

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Question: Did God make a New Covenant with the Church and a second one with Israel? (Part 1)

Today’s and next week’s posts will be articles from the Cornerstone Magazine written by George Ferrier.

Romans 9:4-5 lists the unique privileges that Israel enjoyed as a nation. Among these were the covenants. Therefore, the covenants “pertain” or belong to Israel, not the Church. Prophesying of the New Covenant Jeremiah 31:31 says, “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”1  Someday the Lord will enact a New Covenant with the twelve tribes of Israel (Eze. 37:19). Like the Abrahamic, Land, and Davidic covenants, God’s New Covenant with Israel will be unilateral and unconditional. It is guaranteed, resting upon the character of a God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

Continue reading “Question: Did God make a New Covenant with the Church and a second one with Israel? (Part 1)”

Who is the Beast, the Dragon, and the False Prophet? (Part 2)

Revelation Chapter 13; False Prophet; False Trinity

Posted by Elfriede

Two weeks ago we discussed the “beast”. We determined that the word “beast” has three different meanings in Scripture. It’s used as either a creature, the Antichrist or the false prophet.

Just to remind us and refresh our memory let’s look again at the INTRODUCTION to Revelation chapter 13 from the Study Guide DIGGING DEEP into THE REVELATION of JESUS CHRIST” –Second Edition- pg 114:

“Chapter 13 introduces us to how Satan (the dragon) blasphemously sets up his own false “trinity”. Satan acts as the Father, the Antichrist as the Son, and the False Prophet as the Spirit who attempts to bring glory to the Antichrist. Satan appoints two great beasts (men): the first beast rising up out of the sea—the Antichrist and his empire—and the second beast out of the earth or land—the False Prophet—possibly a Jew. The land could be the literal earth, or, possibly, the land of Israel. *These beasts symbolize men who will play prominent roles during the Tribulation Period. They combine the features of the four beasts of Daniel 7:3*-9.”

Today we will have a closer look at the beast representing the “false prophet”.

Scripture talks about “the false prophet” and “false prophets” in general. Is there a difference?

Continue reading “Who is the Beast, the Dragon, and the False Prophet? (Part 2)”

Revelation Study Guide Exam

Exam questions to Revelation Chapters 8 – 10

Chapters 8-10

Posted from the Exam Booklet to the Study Guide “DIGGING DEEP into THE REVELATION of JESUS CHRIST”

We are excited that the Exam Booklet will be going to print next week! It will be a great supplement to the Revelation Study Guide. With this tool we can test our understanding of the Book of Revelation as we go along in our studies.

Following we are posting the 10 test questions for Chapters 8-10:

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Who is the Beast, the Dragon, and the False Prophet? (Part 1)

Posted by Elfriede

Who is the Beast?

We already mentioned the beast in last week’s post when we discussed the question “Who is the Antichrist”.  Is there more to the beast then mentioned last week?

I believe there is.

The word “beast/beasts” appears in the Bible over 300 times; the majority of which is mentioned in the Old Testament (KJV).

Continue reading “Who is the Beast, the Dragon, and the False Prophet? (Part 1)”

What Does Scripture Say about the Antichrist?

Posted by Elfriede

Most people think of the Book of Revelation when they hear the word “Antichrist” Interesting enough though, the word “Antichrist” is never mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

What does “Antichrist” mean?

The Strong’s Concordance describes it as “an opponent of, an imposter for the Messiah: – against Christ or instead of Christ”. (The new Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Red-Letter Edition – Greek Dictionary of the New Testament pg 30 #500)

The word “Antichrist” is mentioned 4 times in the Scriptures:

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WHO IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE FIRST AND THE LAST?

Revelation 1:7-8, Revelation 22:13

Posted by Elfriede

Revelation 1:7-8
7Behold, 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.”
Revelation 22:13
I am the Alpha and the Omega, theBeginning and the End, the First and the Last.

The Revelation is from Christ and about Christ. In Revelation 1:7 He (Jesus) will be seen by all at His Second Coming, whether then or during His Millennial reign or at the Great White Throne of judgment.

Jesus Christ is the equal Almighty God with the Father

Continue reading “WHO IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE FIRST AND THE LAST?”

WHO IS THE SON OF MAN?

Posted by Elfriede

Jesus Christ being God and the Son of God called Himself Son of Man.

Why did He do that and what does it mean?

The “Son of Man” was a Messianic title pointing to the Messiah who we now know is Jesus Christ. The Jews knew the Old Testament and therefore could relate to the term “Messiah”. They were actually waiting for the Messiah, but unfortunately wouldn’t acknowledge Jesus to be that Messiah.

You even find the words “Son of Man” mentioned in the Old Testament pointing to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in Daniel.

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WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION?

Posted by Elfriede

Today we are continuing our discussion from last week.

In March and April last year we posted Bible Study Notes on the Seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. And we asked the question to which one of the Seven Churches your church belongs to.

Church of Ephesus (the loveless church),
Church of Smyrna (the persecuted church),
Church of Pergamos (the compromising/over tolerant church),
Church of Thyatira (the corrupt church –moral departure),
Church of Sardis (the spiritually dead church),
Church of Philadelphia (the faithful church),
Church of Laodicea (the lukewarm/complacent church).

The “church” is only mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the first 3 chapters and then, not anymore, until in chapter 22 verse 16!

Continue reading “WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION?”

WHAT OR WHO IS THE CHURCH?

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION?

Posted by Elfriede

Have you ever asked friends, family or people around you how they define “church”? I find that a lot of them associate the “church” with the building where Christians fellowship and worship God.

However, when we study the Scriptures we find out that the “church” is not a building. Buildings are man-made. God doesn’t live in a building.

Acts 17:24:
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”

Acts 7:48- 50:
48“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
49‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
50Has My hand not made all these things?’

So, if the building is not the “church”, what is?

Continue reading “WHAT OR WHO IS THE CHURCH?”