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Ray Stedman - November 18, 1989
Smryna and Pergamum: The Pressured Church and the Compromising Church
Scripture References: Revelation 2:8-17
From Series: "Revelation"
Since the Ray Stedman library went online in May 1995, more people have accessed Ray's series of sermons from the book of Revelation than any other set of messages. Preached in 1989-90, these sermons were subsequently edited by James Denney and are available in book form. Ray begins his study with these words, "The author is not John, the apostle, as many suppose, though John is certainly involved in giving us this book. The author is God himself! Notice the words, 'The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him.' This book began among the Godhead, and God, the Father, is its author. He revealed the book to his Son. It all began in the mind of the Father and then was revealed to Jesus, his Son. Remember that in Matthew 24: 36 Jesus said that though he understood many of the events of the last days, he did not know the time when it would all happen. He said that knowledge belonged only to the Father. Now, of course, risen and glorified, he knows all these things, but at that time he did not know. It had not yet been revealed to him when these events would occur. But now Jesus is given this revelation and he passes it on to an angel who in turn makes known by symbols to John the apostle what is in the mind of God, and eventually it comes to us. This means this book is unique in the Bible. No other book was given in quite this way. It comes from the mind of God the Father, through the agency of the Son of God, to an angel of God, and thus to the apostle of God, John the writer of this book."