Class Notes: 12/30/2020
Smyrna, the pivot for SPQR, and The Doctrine of Historical Trends part 6
James 1:19-20; You know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
John 3:19-20; "This is the condemnation, that the truth has come into the world, and people loved the lie rather than the truth, because their deeds were evil.
20 "because everyone who does evil hates the truth, and does not come to the truth for fear that their evil deeds will be exposed.
Jer 17:9 (NET) The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it?
Eccles 8:8; No man has authority to control the wind, the weather or the climate, or authority over the day of death; there is no discharge in the midst of a battle, and evil people will not be rescued by their evil deeds.,, they sow the wind And they will reap the whirlwind. Hosea 8:7a;
Eccles 8:11; Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.
John Adams said that our Constitution was made only for a moral religious people it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. This means that if voters become democrat socialist tyranny will be necessary because the Constitution is totally inadequate to control socialists.
Every nation is only one generation away from tyranny. Deception is not an excuse because people who are deceived want to be deceived. This means good for or bad, the voters are responsible for freedom or tyranny.
In the states where freedom was rejected the people of those states had previously used their freedom to vote for incipient tyranny. This means the voters in the states where the politicians stacked the election for security are responsible because they got what they voted for and in this case at least so far so does the entire nation.
If God overrules their bad choices it won't be because the nation deserves it. The nation has sown to the wind and deserves the whirlwind and that may be what is coming.
The greatest mass murderer of the 20th century wasn't Hitler or Stalin. It was Mao Zedong.
According to the authoritative "Black Book of Communism," an estimated 65 million Chinese died as a result of Mao's repeated, merciless attempts to create a new "socialist" China. Anyone who got in his way was done away with by execution, imprisonment or forced famine. The CCP continues to use those same merciless tactics to keep China enslaved to this day.
We are in a study on Smyrna, the base of the pivot power for the first gentile client nation SPQR. This took us to a study of the doctrine of historical trends.
When we left off we had noted that every nation must function on the basis of self-determination. No nation has the right to tell other nations how to run their business. But as a client nation we do have the right to send out missionaries and establish churches. We have no right to superimpose our false standards, acquired through cosmic living, on other nations.
The Church Age is the only dispensation in which historical trends are determined by the volition of the individual believer in Christ.
The Church Age is the dispensation of historical trends without prophecy. As goes your volition, so goes the Church Age.
Only during the Church Age are historical trends related exclusively to decisions made by believers in any given generation.
Prophecy determines the historical trends in every dispensation except for the Church Age. Historical trends during the Church Age are not determined by prophecy. This is the age of no prophecy again, no prophesy.
This is the only dispensation where prophecy does not determine historical trends, where the believer's decisions are the only thing that determines historical trends. This means that your decisions and applications based on doctrine determine the historical trends of the people and nations.
Believers have personal impact in blessing by association. Believers have historical impact by being a part of the pivot of mature believers and believers also have international impact through the function of missionary activity.
All of these things are predicated on every individual believer's spiritual life. If enough believers combine to do this, then manifest destiny is perpetuated for another generation.
This brings us back to our study of Smyrna the pivot power for SPQR.
Rev 1:9-11; I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,
11 saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."
Rev 2:8-11; "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
9 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'
Smyrna was a large ancient city on the west coast present day Turkey that has been renamed Ismir by the Mohammedan Turks after they burned it down in September 1922. It is at the head of the Gulf of Smyrna that reaches 30 miles inland from the Aegean Sea
The mandate from our Lord Jesus Christ to John in Rev 2:8; is the aorist active imperative of the verb "grapho", translated write. The culminative aorist tense views the writing of the entire book of Revelation but it regards it from the viewpoint of existing results,
It encompasses the completion of the canon of scripture, the history of the world from the time of writing in 96AD to the end of world history and the launch of new heavens and earth.
The book of Revelation is therefore a textbook of world history. In chapters two and three we see the historical trends of the Church Age, the dispensation of no prophecy. The next and only remaining Church Age prophesy is the prophesy of the exit resurrection aka rapture of the Church.
1Thess 4:14-18; 1Thes 4:17; (VGCLEM) Deinde nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur, simul RAPIEMUR (RAPTURE) cum illis in nubibus obviam Christo in aëra, et sic semper cum Domino erimus.
In Revelation chapters 6-18, we see aspects of the Tribulation. Chapter 19: the second advent of Jesus Christ and the removal of satan as the ruler of the world and his incarceration in the abyss for a thousand years.
Then there is the Millennial reign of our Lord, one thousand years of perfect environment, and then at the end of that Millennial reign, the loosing of Satan, who foments the Gog revolution, followed by the second resurrection, the great white throne judgment, and the destruction of planet earth by God Himself informing us that the earth cannot be destroyed by mankind.
Rev 2:8;Καὶ τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐν Σμύρνῃ ἐκκλησίας γράψον· Τάδε λέγει ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, ὃς ἐγένετο νεκρὸς καὶ ἔζησεν·
John, under the ministry of the Holy Spirit, produces the action of writing a textbook of world history. Every historical trend and every prophesy of the future is involved in this book.
Next we have the encouragement of the congregation. This follows a very definite pattern. It starts out with the accusative neuter plural, direct object, from "tade." This is a strange type of demonstrative pronoun because it was originally used as a part of the introductory preamble for the translation of the Persian kings' decrees into the Greek language.
The Persians ruled many Greeks and the decrees came out in Persian first and were subsequently translated into Greek. They always started out with this accusative form: "tade." It is used here as the introductory preamble for a decree and a mandate from our Lord Jesus Christ and as His evaluation of the situation in Smyrna.
With it we have the present active indicative of the verb "legw", that means to say or communicate. The aoristic present tense of "legw" sets forth an event as presently occurring, therefore punctiliar action in present time.
The active voice: Jesus Christ produces the action of the verb, the communication of an evaluation of the situation. The indicative mood is declarative, representing the verbal idea from the viewpoint of reality. The rest of the verse comprises the subject of the verb.
We have a large subject, because the subject not only has our Lord Jesus Christ but a relative clause to indicate who is doing the communicating. We start then with the definite article, o', plus the nominative singular from the subject, prwtos, correctly translated "the first."
With this a connective kai and then the generic used of the definite article plus the nominative singular subject again from e)sxatoj. Translation: "the first and the last communicates these things."
What is the meaning of our Lord's title, "the first and the last'? This is not the same as a)lfa and o)mega. It actually has a fourfold interpretation.
Twenty-six years after the times of the Gentiles began in AD 70 Caesar Domitian banished John to the Isle of Patmos hoping that he would die there.
Instead John sat down under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit and wrote the last book of the canon of scripture, the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation is the textbook of world history from AD 96, to the end of recorded temporal human history.
In chapters 2 & 3 we see historical trends. Once we understand these things we can determine exactly what is happening today, we can determine what has happened in any period of history, and we can see the entire issue of this dispensation and our relationship to it.
In order to understand the connection of these churches to Rome. Why the western coast of Turkey? Why the seven churches located in that area? Why not something written to Rome or to Antioch or to Jerusalem? We have to get into some isagogics.
Why these? Because these seven churches, through residence and function in the unique spiritual life of the Church Age carried client nation SPQR for the record amount of time that any gentile client nation to God would exist. The origin of the Roman people includes this geographical area.
From 96-180 AD, thanks to the mature believers who advanced in God's unique spiritual power system a pivot was formed resulting in one of the greatest periods of prosperity on the earth in all of human history.
Many of the seven churches were located in the area of ancient Lydia. The source of Rome's original leadership came from the area of the seven churches and specifically from the city of Smyrna.
It is therefore fitting that the same area should provide mature believers from all races to provide blessing by association that would carry the Roman Empire through the greatest period of prosperity that the world has ever known.
The rise of Rome involved an amalgamation of races just like the USA but it was not a racial issue just like the USA, It was Divine Establishment, it was a respect for law, respect for authority, respect for good government; it was a system of integrity developed by the Romans.
But the thing that really sustained them and the thing that made the empire greater than the republic were on the west coast of Asia Minor where manifest destiny, combined with the seven churches of the Roman province of Asia, turned the Roman empire into a great client nation.
Christianity was tested under the Roman empire and that testing prepared them for the greatest missionary thrust the world has ever known. Missionaries out of the Roman empire, after going through the ten times of persecution ending with Diocletian, went far beyond any area where Roman eagles and the standards of SPQR ever went.
There are four meanings for verse 8b:"the first and the last." First of all this refers to Jesus Christ as the God-Man; it refers to the hypostatic union that started at the virgin birth or the incarnation of Christ.
Jesus Christ as "the first" is eternal God, coequal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. As eternal and infinite God, Jesus Christ pre-existed history and He controls history in the divine decree. John 1:1;
Jesus Christ also concludes history as "the last". He is the God-Man, He concludes history as "the last" in hypostatic union. So He is eternal God and true humanity in One person forever.
Jesus Christ as the author of history never loses control of history. He is the first and He is the last. He began history by personally creating man, Adam. And as the last Adam He will personally conclude history with the destruction of the earth.
Even though history is the record of man's thoughts, motives, decisions, and actions, it is Jesus Christ, the first and the last, who controls history. Therefore, there are two sources of judgments and disasters in history: the sovereign decisions of our Lord Jesus Christ and the erroneous decisions of mankind. People are collectively and individually the products of their own decisions. And remember that decision creates environment, not environment decision.
For example, homosexuality and transsexuality do not occur because of environment or because they were "born that way," it is actually a matter of a decision, a volitional choice. In other words, people are the result of their own decisions, not their environment. Decisions create the environment; the environment does not create the decisions. The predicate for environment is decision.
Satan invented the arrogance of deflecting responsibility for bad decisions when he blamed God for his fall. Remember the arrogance skills: self-absorption, self-justification, self-deception, denial, and projection. That is the basis of satan's lie that environment is the cause of bad decisions.
The second meaning of the title "first and last" has to do with the two great prophecies of history. "First and last" also refers to these two great prophecies because they refer to our Lord Jesus Christ.
They are the first and second advents. So many prophecies in the Old Testament deal with the details of our Lord's first advent, that are all a part of "the first."
The Church is located in between these two great prophetical periods of human history and therefore the Church Age becomes the dispensation of no prophecy. Everything pertaining to the first advent was fulfilled prior to the beginning of the Church Age
This includes the virgin birth, the incarnation, the hypostatic union, our Lord's residence and function in the prototype spiritual power system, His resultant impeccability, His saving work of redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, His death on the cross, His physical resurrection, His ascension, His session, etc.
The dispensation of the Church is designed to call out a royal family for our Lord's third royal patent. Therefore the Church Age is the dispensation of historical trends, and no prophecy.
The next prophecy is the termination of the Church Age, with the Rapture aka Exit Resurrection of the Church, the resurrection of the body of Christ. In other words, there are no prophecies that have to be fulfilled before the Rapture occurs. The Rapture was imminent in the first Century and still is.
Therefore Christ is the first, related to the first advent and the strategic victory of the cross. Christ is the second related to His tactical victory of the Second Advent. The first and the last, then, is a title of our Lord Jesus Christ as the prophetical key to all events in human history.
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