7 EXHORTATIONS - 7 MISSIONS - 7
CONQUESTS IN CHRIST
Carlos Padilla, February 2012
This is not the first
time I write about the seven Churches of Revelation, about the seven messages
and their meaning. But, as we all know, the Word of God is extremely rich in
nourishment for our spirit, for our personal relationship with God in Christ,
for our growth and, additionally - and this is what I will focus on this time -
in spiritual equipment to conquer the purposes that the Lord has placed in our
hearts, the ministries that every Christian participates in the global Church,
within his own congregation, the local church, his own God given mission.
During these first
days of 2012, when people usually talk about new year resolutions when meeting
with friends, family and brethren in Christ, I came to the conclusion that we
needed a Christian proposal to face, not just the new year but the times we are
in. Many worry about the end of the world, forecasted to happen on 21st December
2012 according to the Maya calendar, coinciding with the winter solstice, which
is really the end of a cycle in that calendar. But those who know the Bible know
that Jesus Christ already warned us that, of that day and hour no one knows, not
even the angels of heaven, but His Father only. Matthew 24:36. But the times we
live in certainly have many aspects of those prophetic times announced in the
Bible, as we can see from the events that have happened during almost 70 years
since Israel has become a nation again. This, like many other prophecies, should
call our attention to understand that we must come to a halt and meditate in
prayer, review our objectives, check where we are in terms of our call and take
note of whether we are where we should be or not. In order to do this, I purpose
seven exhortations to share and to make note of, each and every one of us in
Christ, to understand which are the seven conquests that the Lord has programmed
for the universal Church that every born again Christian is part of.
I saw the seven
messages when I realized that Jesus Christ and His description of Himself in
each of the seven churches is the key that opened the vision for this study and
its use in our present times, about what He wants us to see as essential
missions to conquer our Christian life as fruits of the Spirit.
7 EXHORTATIONS - 7 MISSIONS - 7 CONQUESTS IN CHRIST
1 “To the angel of the church of
Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right
hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
2 “I know your works, your labor,
your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested
those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
3 and you have persevered and
have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.
4 Nevertheless I have this
against you, that you have left your first love.
5 Remember therefore from where
you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you
quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
6 But this you have, that you
hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “He who has an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to
eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
Ephesus was a city in
the midst of an extremely important crossroads of commercial pathways in the
main road connecting Rome to the East. A clear strategy from the Lord to raise
that church in such a place, so that the Gospel would travel from there to the
rest of the world through those who travelled and stopped by. It was a mandatory
stop in the international trade route. Every Christian who lives in
international cities experience global influence, but today this is an ideal
means for the Lord's message to be spread, all the Lord is giving his Church,
across the world. And we will use every media within our reach: television,
radio, cinema, press, books, the internet, daily conversation with out
This is the city
where John the evangelist and author of Revelation spent his last days. The
seven stars are God's light for the seven paths, the seven continents, so that
they are enlightened by the Gospel, seven pathways to walk in evangelical life.
The seven pathways are also a symbol of every pathway, every people, culture,
nations, trade, ages, etc. The strategy to conquer them all. Jesus walks with
the Church along the seven paths of time until His return in His Kingdom. The
main purpose of the Church, of every church and every Christian, is to spread
the Gospel. If we don't do it, we are already failing our first mission. The way
to achieve it: praying every day, getting up earlier to pray, or keeping vigil,
studying the Bible on our own and together with other brethren in the church,
where the pastor should prepare his congregation to conquer their city - like
Jericho - in every level of society. He who holds the seven stars in His right
hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. Let us walk with
Jesus Christ in the midst of the seven pathways taking the Gospel because He
holds the seven lampstands that light up the world.
Evangelization as a way of life.
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: 9 “I 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.
10 Do 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.
11 “He 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.”’
Smyrna is myrrh,
bitterness, of the test of faith in Jesus Christ. A very relevant commercial
city, built on a natural port, ideal for trade, reconstructed by Alexander the
Great's successors and annexed by the Romans in the year 133 B.C. Polycarpus,
bishop of Smyrna, who died there as a martyr in 169 B.C. and the city was
destroyed by an earthquake in 178 B.C.
To be rich at one's
own expenses. The test of faith that every Christian receives, and the situation
of test and trial every time we need God to edify us, cleanse us, deliver us
from the burden, the dross. To be in Smyrna is a way of saying that we are being
tested by the Lord, when things start falling apart, they fail, God changes our
plans, we lose what we had or brethren, friends, etc. Christ Himself suffered
the greatest test before the Father, He died on the Cross for us, sinners, alone
and abandoned by everyone, and He has gained us through his test, because His
Love conquers us. He who was dead and came to life.
Smyrna: Faith in the
test in the midst of tribulation.
12 “And to the angel of the
church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged
sword: 13 “I 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.
14 But I have a few things
against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who
taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat
things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
15 Thus you also have those who
hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them
with the sword of My mouth. 17
“He 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.”’
Pergamos comes from
pergamon spiritually talking, like pergamon comes from Pergamos historically,
pergamon we know best as parchment scroll. Eumenes embellished the city
and built a library of such extent that it became the second most important
after Alexandria's. The city became capital of the province of Asia annexed by
the Romans. Again, the strategy of the Spirit is to raise a church in a place
where the scholars come to study, and they would find the Holy Bible, translate
it and spread it throughout the whole empire and known world.
This library is a symbol of
human knowledge which Eve, who is a symbol of the human mind, coveted and ate on
her own, leaving God aside, who talked to her in Eden and whom she could have
asked; but she didn't, she prefered to have her own way. God's children, man and
woman, will go to God's library, the Bible, as first and eternal source of
knowledge, that can filter and test the other one, the knowledge from the world,
from the human mind. The enemy's strategy is in Genesis 3 where he deceives Eve
and she deceives Adam. The wisdom of the beginner, just converted to Christ who
thinks he knows everything without any Bible studies, and appears as ruthless
and intolerant towards others. He who has the sharp two-edged sword, the
word of God, is Jesus Christ; with Him we will walk, learn and be guided.
Pergamos: The Bible
as base of all wisdom.
18 “And to the angel of
the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of
God, who has eyes like a flame
of fire, and His feet like fine
19 “I know your works,
love, service, faith,
and your patience; and as for
your works, the last are more
than the first.
20 Nevertheless I have a
few things against you, because
you allow that woman
Jezebel, who calls herself
a prophetess, to teach and
seduce My servants to
commit sexual immorality and eat
things sacrificed to idols.
21 And I gave her time to
repent of her sexual immorality,
and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her
into a sickbed, and those who
commit adultery with her into
great tribulation, unless they
repent of their
23 I will kill her
children with death, and all the
churches shall know that I am He
who searches the minds and
hearts. And I will give to each
one of you according to your
24 “Now to you I say, and
to the rest in Thyatira,
as many as do not have this
doctrine, who have not known the
depths of Satan, as they say, I
will put on you no
25 But hold fast what you
have till I come.
26 And he who overcomes,
and keeps My works until the
end, to him I will give power
over the nations—
27 ‘ He shall rule them
with a rod of iron; They shall
be dashed to pieces like the
potter’s vessels’— as I also
have received from My Father;
28 and I will give him the
“He who has an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit says to the
Thyatira is Lydia's
city, famous for the dyeing of fabrics in purple, which makes rich shimmery
garments or covers. The Son of God who sees everything, searches the human mind
and heart through the Spirit, in such a way that we are transparent before Him.
This is why purple, a symbol of the eye-catching, ornamental, external, is a
contrast to interior truth. An idol shines in the heart like purple to the eyes.
It may be tolerating a false doctrine and false prophecies like it is said about
Jezebel, to false prophets of dreamers, which is spiritual adultery; in order to
avoid it, the Bible is the filter of the Spirit of God. Whether it may be an
image, a false deity, a leader, a person we love or revere, a work, project,
church ministries included; whatever we place before Jesus Christ is seen by
Him, even if on the outside we dress and shine like purple. Sickness is the
price to pay for idolatry, according to this Text; that does not mean that every
illness is due to idolatry. The holy
Doctrines of Jesus Christ in The Bible do not change,
they are stable and trustworthy like feet of fine brass, and so are the Bible
prophecies, they are of private interpretation, they are trustworthy and
happen. The Son of God, the One who has eyes like a flame of fire and His feet
like fine brass, is who we should listen to and have Him as our strong anchor in
our soul, because the Lord is who searches the mind and the heart.
Thyatira: The Sound
Doctrine and the Prophecy in the Bible.
1 “And to the angel of the church
in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the
seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but
you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and
strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not
found your works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and
repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and
you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
4 You have a few names
even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me
in white, for they are worthy. 5
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his
name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and
before His angels. 6 “He who has
an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Sardis, capital of Lydia. The name comes from sardius or carnelian, a
precious stone, one of the twelve stones that make foundation of the New
Jerusalem and of the High Priest's breastplate. Sardis is the place where the
sardius trade originated, according to Plinius. Purple, as well as sardius from
these two cities were they used to trade with them, it shouldn't surprise us
that the Lord exhorts against two things that shine on the outside; one, the
false doctrines and idols that we have seen Thyatira, and another one the works
done to make good impression, just for reputation, or to win one's salvation and
righteousness before God or before their own conscience: I know your works, that
you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead... ...for I have not found
your works perfect before God. Repentance on this and strive to conquer good
works, those that are done for the glory of God, and for love towards our
neighbour, without looking for recognition, secretly, where God does see, like
the good Samaritan, not seeking salvation, merit or reward. He who has the seven
Spirits of God and the seven stars.
Sardis: The Works for the glory of God and for love toward our neighbour.
7 “And to the angel of the
church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true,
“He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no
one opens”: 8
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut
it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not
denied My name. 9 Indeed I will
make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but
lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that
I have loved you. 10 Because you
have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial
which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
11 Behold, I am coming quickly!
Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
12 He who overcomes, I will make
him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write
on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem,
which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13 “He who has an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
Philadelphia is brotherly love. The congregation builds upon this gift
between brethren where Jesus Christ says that He has set an open door, that
leads to the Kingdom of God. The Gospel preached by those who "...by this all
will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John
13:35. Those we can receive and look after those who grown in Christ through
preaching, those who live like a family of children of God. He who is holy, He
who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and
shuts and no one opens.
Philadelphia: The congregation as our family.
... Bear one another’s
burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ, Galatians 6:2. And also the message of
1John 3:16, ... By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And
we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this
world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him,
how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in
word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
... For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in
the midst of them. Matthew 18:20.
... For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21.
14 “And to the angel of the
church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the
Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15 “I know your works, that you
are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16 So then, because you are
lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich,
have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are
wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
18 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.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke
and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door
and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him
and dine with him, and he with Me. 21
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also
overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
Laodicea is the city of ophthalmology, the city where an eye-salve called
Phrygian powder was used to treat the eyes, which is the eye salve that the Lord
refers to. In order to see God's vision in our lives we need to fulfil the seven
exhortations, we have to depend on God. A Christian must have received the
baptism of fire of God's zeal, he cannot be lukewarm. He who believes that he is
rich due to his own merits, his wisdom, experience, etc. The Lord rebukes and
punishes those He loves if they come off His path. Because it is the Lord who
wants us to see where we are going in life and see His call for us to serve Him,
to know exactly what our mission is, the one He created us for, so that we can
make every effort to conquer our mission. Jesus Christ knocks on our door when
we receive the Gospel, but He also calls when we need to repent because we have
lost the Way of our purpose in life and for Him, offering us to hear His voice
and having supper with us. The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the
Beginning of the creation of God. We must bear true testimony as witnesses of
Christ only if we have clear vision and we know what our mission is.
Laodicea: The Vision of our Mission with the gifts we have.
The 7 purposes of every Christian come from the 7 exhortations to the 7
Churches of Revelation:
Evangelization as a
way of life.
Faith in the test in
the midst of tribulation.
The Bible as base of
The Sound Doctrine
and the Prophecy in the Bible
The Works for the
glory of God and for love toward our neighbour.
The congregation as
The Vision of our Mission with the
gifts we have.
All these 7 requirements we need to watch, review, ensure that we fulfil
them, and if we don't we must pray and remain vigilant until we achieve them,
until the coming of Jesus Christ in His Kingdom, because we work for Him, we are
part of Him and we are called by Him.
Additionally we have another set of 7 personal gifts that we must learn with
the Lord, which can be found in the study about
As farewell, the accumulated blessing of the 7 conquests of every Christian
who lives his life hand in hand with Jesus Christ, who promises:
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.
I will give you 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.
And he who
overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the
He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they
shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels - I also have received from
My Father; and I will give him the morning star. Shall
be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of
Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of
trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the
earth. Will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no
more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God,
the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write
on him My new name: this is Yahweh, YHWH, Yahshua.
I will grant to
sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His