Revelation - Lesson 5

The Seven Churches (Part 2)

Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.

Lesson 5
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The Seven Churches (Part 2)

  • There is a wide range of interpretation of the book of Revelation because of the nature of visions. When John writes Revelation, he uses a pool of images that are familiar to him and his readers and we need to take into account what the images meant to people at the time.
  • Apocalyptic literature is based on the idea that the natural order is set within a larger content of a spiritual reality and that the dynamics of the spiritual realm play themselves out in the physical realm.  Apocalypse is a message from God regarding what God is about and what he is going to do.

  • The occasion for writing Revelation was the vision John had and the situation of the seven churches. John is trying to describe a scene in which various scenes are being played out simultaneously. John emphasizes the importance of living out your theology, as opposed to only being doctrinally correct.

  • John had a vision of the Son of Man. He had a message for the church at Ephesus.

  • Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.

  • Messages to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Philadelphia.

  • A message to the church at Laodicea and a vision of Jesus as a Lamb who shares the throne with God.

  • A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.

  • A vision of the seven seals.

  • A vision of the seven trumpets.

  • This lesson dives into the idea of encountering God in the world, warns about the destructiveness of sin, and presents a powerful angelic figure symbolizing God and Jesus as triumphant over fallen Babylon, with a mysterious aspect of the vision.
  • A vision of the seven trumpets. Chronology of the origin and development of the teaching of the rapture and dispensationalism.

  • A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.

  • The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.

  • A vision of the seven bowls.

  • A vision of fallen Babylon.

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the concept of Fallen Babylon and the transformative power of the cross. It emphasizes that accepting the cross liberates you from the world's illusions, allowing you to accept your own falsity as healed and yielding to the Holy Spirit's action. The lesson challenges the idea of choosing between the world and Christ, proposing that you can choose both simultaneously, seeking unity, wholeness, and love at the deepest level of your being.
  • Dr. Mulholland answering questions from the students.

  • A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.

  • A vision of the New Jerusalem.

  • Dr. Mulholland's lesson delves into God's love as the core of self-discovery. False self obstructs the truth. True self blooms in faith, openness, trust, and yielding to God, shifting focus from ego to divine presence. Embrace this shift, become citizens of a new Jerusalem in a fallen world.
  • A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.

  • John wrote the book of Revelation as a call to radical discipleship as faithful citizens of God’s new Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. There is no video for this lecture.

Revelation is a vision of Jesus the Messiah. John focuses on the profound depths of what God has done, is doing, and will ultimately consummate in and through Jesus. A second central theme in Revelation is the role of the cross in what God has done and will accomplish. The contrast and interaction of the "New Jerusalem" and "fallen Babylon" is also a significant theme in Revelation. Videos for lectures 7, 8 and 9 are not avialable yet. Lecture 23 was recorded in audio only. 

We think that the title of the devotional book that Dr. Mulholland reads from at the beginning of some of the lectures might be Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley. Unfortunately, Dr. Mulholland is deceased so we can't confirm this. 



Dr. Robert Mulholland


The Seven Churches (Part 2)

Lesson Transcript


Okay. It's driveway. And he literally had like all of us windows totally covered across it. He's great for himself like if you like this big on his front window. And that was it. And he's like driving like four miles an hour was doing some dude, you know, from the front. So that was on just insane. He pulls out of his driveway this big. I was late, but it was really driving for miles an hour because of that. But I walked outside, like, if I'm like, maybe come on back. And he broke my name right through my back. Does everything else of like out here? Oh, yeah. Oh, really? Sorry. Like, right. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm not looking forward to today. No, I don't. I can't make it from. Good morning. Morning, everybody. You've had a good weekend. Yes. Merton equates sin with the identified identity giving structures of the false self. Fall self finds its identity and in things other than God. This in itself is significant. The focus of sin is shifted from the realm of morality to that of ontology. For Merton, the matter of who we are always precedes what we do. Thus, sin is not essentially an action, but rather an identity. Sin is a fundamental stance of wanting to be what we are not. Sin is thus an orientation to falsity, a basic lie concerning our own deepest reality. Likewise, inversely to turn away from sin is above all, to turn away from a tragic case of mistaken identity concerning our own selves. This then, is the false self. It is a tragic self in that it ends up with less than nothing in trying to gain more than the everything which God freely bestows upon his children.


The false self is a whole syndrome of lies and illusions that spring from a radical rejection of God. In home alone, we find our own truth and ultimate identity. And it's something that is a good exercise and good exercise for the Lenten season, which is starting tomorrow, is to prayerfully probe the roots of your identity. Mm hmm. And what is your identity rooted? It's usually not one thing. Usually there's a whole complex of things in which we have sunk the roots of our identity. But if. The roots of our identity are not in God, then that identity is a false identity because our true identity, our true life, as Paul says, is hid with Christ in God. So to the extent that we have found identity in something other than God, we are then a false self. We are living in illusion. Pray with me. We give you a thanks and praise our gracious, loving God for your infinite patience with us. We seek again and again and again to get you to confirm our false self instead of losing that self for your sake. We may find our true self here with Christ in you. Lord as we stand on the cusp of yet another Lenten season. Maybe not be as concerned about giving up something for you as giving up ourselves to you. This we ask in your name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I'm in. Okay, let me try here. Daniel Dellinger There you are. Okay, Daniel. And Andrea Bremer. Yeah, got that one right. Elizabeth Brown. And Chrissy permanent right there. Person William Copp. Right. Well, if I have all five of those on 30, we start another list. Thank you. Okay. We left off in Ephesus last week. And we had talked about.


Although Jesus seems to give this church high praise at the beginning of the letter, he then goes back and I have this against you that you abandon the love you had at first. And as we saw last week, that that was a love that was transforming the culture around it. Luke tells us that the words spread through the entire province of Asia from the Christian community in Ephesus. So here was a church that somehow in the in the ten years since Paul's founding of that church and, well, maybe ten, 10 to 15 years when Jesus sends this letter to them through John. Something has happened. We have no clue what we we don't have any indication about emphasis between these periods. We have Paul's time there and we have this letter and nothing in between. Jesus says, Remember then from what you have fallen. Repent, do the works. You did it first. Now, one of the interesting things here is the way John uses works. We'll see this all the way through. John talks about works and you sort of get the idea that John is operating on a work's righteousness kind of dynamic. We'll see when we get to the end or close to the end. When when John sees this vision of all humanity gathered before the great white throne, he seems to start out there with the idea of works righteousness because he sees books that are open, plural, and everyone is judged by the things written in the books. Well, this is the Jewish idea of the Treasury of Merit. The idea was that you had everyone had a ledger in heaven, and every time you obeyed the Torah, you got a credit entry. Every time you disobeyed the Torah, you got a debit entry.


And on the day of judgment, your ledger would be totaled up. And if you're if your credits outweighed your debits, you were in, if your debits outweighed your credits, you were out. So John seems to be operating purely on that understanding until you get to the next verse where he says, But anyone whose name was not written in the Lamb's Book of Life is thrown into the Lake of Fire, and there he turns the whole world upside down for his Jewish readers, that that if unless works are the outer manifestation of our life, head with Christ in God, they're nothing. And this is you don't get it upfront here. You have to sort of follow it all the way through. And of course, we've already had a clue because we remember John describes Christians as those who have the word of God and the witness of Jesus. And we think of having the word of God as having our inner being shaped in Christ's likeness. Then our lifestyle, our doing, our deeds will be Christ like that is we will have the witness of Jesus. So he he has these sort of subtle pointers all the way through, but it's not again, till you get to the very end, it sort of all comes together and he ties it up, you know, with that nice bow. Anyone whose name is not in the Book of Life is thrown into the fire. So he, Jesus says to the church in Ephesus to repent and do the work. You did it first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place unless you repent. Jesus gets very Wesleyan here. There is no eternal security. Not one saved. Always saved. You can lose your salvation very clearly.


You can have your lamp stand removed from its place. Now, some say, well, he's talking about a community, not the individuals. Come on, folks. The community is made up of individuals. And if he removes their lamp stand, they cease to be a church. They cease to be a community of redeemed people. And then Jesus gives them one more plus point, he says. Yeah, this is to your credit. You hate the works of the negotiations, which I also hate. There's all sorts of speculation as to who the negotiations are. But there there's very little. A lot of a lot of heat, but not much light. We simply don't know. Obviously, this is a group that in somehow is associated with the Christian movement. They must be calling themselves Christian, but obviously are not. They're going to appear one more time in another letter in a context that may give us a little more insight, at least into where they were coming from as to who they are. We don't know where they were. They act named after someone named Nicholas that they were following. We just really don't know. Then a common a common element in each of these letters. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the spirit is saying to the churches. Notice the plural there. Now, this letter is written very specifically to a specific church ever since. And yet at the end, let everyone, the one who has an ear, listen to what the spirit is saying to the churches. So this this is, again, I think, an indication that these letters, although they are specific to historical churches. Those seven. These letters are also intended to be read by the entire church in John's day, and I would say the entire church in every age since then, including ours.


The the Effusion church is what I call the Church of Cold Orthodoxy. Remember the praise Jesus gives them. You know, they're they're holding up, they're enduring on account of his name, etc.. And they're testing those who say there are apostles and are not and find them to be false. I mean, they got watch dogs at the door. And if you don't cross your theological T's and dot your theological I's correctly, you're not in, you're out. So here's a church. This is one of the ugly churches, but it's ugly in it in a different way than the other two. We'll see that the other two churches are ugly and trying to have it both ways. They want to be a citizen of New Jerusalem and a citizen of all in Babylon at the same time. Evans does not have that problem. In fact, they would not touch a bat bomb with a ten foot pole. You see, they got the guards at the door to make sure nothing of all of Babylon gets in. But they've lost a lot of they had in first. They are not being the redemptive presence of God in the midst of that fallen Babylon world, which is what we are called to be. So here is a church of cold orthodoxy. And all through the last 2000 years, there have been plenty of examples of such churches, and there are plenty of examples of such churches today that sort of separate themselves from the world. Wouldn't touch a fallen Babylon with a ten foot pole. They don't do this. They don't do this. They don't do this. Which the world, as you've seen. Therefore, they're perfect Christians. But they're not a redemptive presence. They're not a healing presence. They're not a liberating presence.


They're not a transforming presence. They're just sort of a little holy huddle. And then there's also a promise to every and each of the church and everyone who conquers. And by the way, our English lets us down. That's a perfect translation. The problem is it doesn't carry the present thrust. So I better translate. You're probably right. Everyone who is conquering, it's a present participle. Everyone who is conquering. I will get permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God. And of course, see, here's a church that basically is on the verge of deadness. And the promise is that they will eat off the tree of life. Any questions on the effusion Church? Could you speak a little more just to the imagery of the removal of the lamp stand? And how that would have been understood. What remember? Well, in chapter one, the lamb stand are defined for us. They are the seven lamb stands, the seven fold lamb stand is the seven churches. So to remove the church's lamb stance in this place means that it is no longer a church. It's no longer part of the. Christian movement, so to speak. Does that help? Sure. Okay, let's go to FSR to Smyrna, then. And first of all, let's take a look at Smyrna. Smyrna was, if you have two opposites, emphasis is on the coast. Remember, at least that day it was on the coast. As you then go north from Ephesus, the next city you come to is Smyrna. It is also on the course on the coast now, whereas Ephesus had a very shallow harbor that was always silting up. Smyrna was a deep harbor. Smyrna did not have that problem. Smyrna is is what is today.


Izmir, you see, you still hear something of Smyrna in that. And here here is a picture of the harbor of Smyrna. As you can see, it's a good sized harbor. He says he was often called the most beautiful city in Asia minor. Here's some of the remains of the city. This is this is looking inland. From Smyrna. Civilly. One of the major deities civilly is one of the mother goddess figures in Asia minor. And that is. An image of her on a coin. Article here on priesthood, which is interesting in remembering the Jewish system. You were born a priest. Your father was a priest. You were a priest. If you were a boy, you were a priest. Whereas in the ancient world, that was not the case. Priesthood could be purchased, could be gained in several different ways. And that's what they're pointing out here. Another goddess is Demeter, goddess of grain. So share with Harvest. Of course, you've got Aphrodite here and of course, Zus. This is a this is a typical representation of Zus on the left here. You find statues, you find images on coins or reliefs on buildings where this is just really a very common way of portraying Zus. So you can almost pick him up anywhere. A picture of Aphrodite that is not as quite as traditional. You get various various representations of Aphrodite. And the temples of Aphrodite, of course, were very popular because of the sacred prostitutes that were there. The Imperial Court, Smyrna, also all of these cities, especially Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamon, vied for being the center of the worship of the emperor in the province of Asia. They were constantly vying for this privilege because that gave you all sorts of economic benefits as well.


And Smyrna, of course, is one of the cities that that did that. That's a picture of Tiberius or bust of Tiberius. He was the emperor that succeeded Augustus. He was the emperor from 14 to 37 A.D.. Judaism was was. Prevalent in Smyrna. Let me say a word about this because. Young, you often get the idea that these churches were predominantly gentile church. Not to be sure. There would have been a sizable number of Gentiles in the church. But this this part of the Roman Empire had a strong Jewish population. The primary impetus for this was back in about the third century B.C., when one of the Seleucid emperors put a hold, really a whole community of Jewish mercenaries down in the center of the Anatolian Peninsula. In our New Testament times was Galatia, and one of the primary reasons they were put down there that the Gauls had made their way from what is today France. They had been driven out by the by the tribal movements in northern Europe. They first came down and tried to get into Italy. They were repulsed. They tried to get into Greece. They were repulsed. They go across to to Asia minor and end up sort of contained in the center, central highlands of what is today Turkey. Or it became later that the territory of Galatia is called Galatia because the Gauls settle there. These Jewish mercenaries are put there primarily to contain this expansion, not let the Gauls go any further. So there's 2000 mercenaries with their families, of course, which seems to have formed the basis for Judaism in that area. Now, also, there were Jews who would have traveled there, the Diaspora Jews who have, for various reasons, settled in these cities. But you get a high incidence of Jewish presence, which is probably why you have Paul's first missionary journey being to this area and the second missionary journey, you know, starting out in this area and then making a loop over into Greece.


The third missionary journey being mostly in Ephesus. Because you have a large population of Jews there. So and that helps us understand how John can use this Jewish imagery to portray his vision. Because there would have been a sufficient you know, there had been a critical mass of Jews, Jewish believers in any one of these churches that could explain to Gentiles that had not yet been fully acculturated into being in New Israel what this imagery was all about. But there would have been a sizable Jewish component to each of these seven churches. And as it said, the origins of Christian community in Smyrna are unknown. From what Luke says that the Pergamon next wants. From what Luke says, it's very likely that Smyrna was evangelized out of Ephesus. You know, Smyrna is still part of the province of Asia. So it's very likely was it was evangelized out of offices, people traveling from Ephesus. When you look at Paul's ministry. Most of Paul's ministry is located in major centers in the eastern Roman Empire. He he focuses primarily on colonies and free cities. Now, there are some exceptions, but I'm in the first missionary journey, for instance, the city and Antioch. Was it Colony? Iconium may have been a colony at that time. We can't be sure. The dating of when it was given colony status is not clear enough, but it's possible that that was another colony. Ephesus was a free city. That's the next level down from being a colony. Still a privileged status. Philippi was a colony. Corinth was a colony. So here at Festival Night, Go is a free city. So here you see how Paul seems to focus his ministry in places that would have been centers of the Roman world, economically, politically, culturally.


And particularly he spent the most time and according to acts, he spent the most time in quarantine and analysis. And these are two centers of people movement in the Roman world, because they are both major centers of of trade and the movement of people with the trade. Emphasis is at the West as the western end of the trade routes and went across into India and China. Corinth is on the isthmus of Corinth, and most of the time they did not sail ships around the Peloponnese. With the tides and the currents and everything were very dangerous. They were bringing the ships into an area, the eastern port. If they were a small ship, they just roll them up over the isthmus. It's about a mile across there. So it would just roll them up over the isthmus, put them in the water on the other side, in the in the bay or like him on, they would say, along to Italy. Larger ships would be offloaded, the goods carried over and put onto another ship. And on they would go. So you can see how this this would be make Corinth a major center of people movement in the Roman world. And of course, Corinth is right on the isthmus between the Peloponnese with that large southern part of Greece and the northern part of Greece. So anybody moving north and south in Greece is going to be going through Corinth as well. So I'm I suspect that that Paul's thinking here is that if you can establish the gospel in these kinds of centers, people then are going to be moving out of those centers and carrying the gospel with him. And Luke seems to indicate that you see in Acts when he says that from Ephesus, the word went through the entire province of Asia.


And, of course, colossi is a good example because we know that the collapsing church, we have that letter of Paul's, that the clash in church was not planted by Paul. It was planted by a Paris who apparently was evangelized by Paul in Ephesus and then goes home or goes to Malaysia for whatever reason, and plans the church there. Now the letter to smart I Smyrna is is the first of the good churches. The messenger of the church in Smyrna. Right. These are the words of the first and the last who is dead and came to life. So, again, there there is an image from John's vision of Jesus in chapter one. Notice I was dead and came to life. Here is a church facing martyrdom. Here's a church experiencing tribulation at the hands of the Roman world. Here's a church where death for their faithfulness is a very real possibility. And so, Jesus, you see, it introduces himself to this church as the one who was dead and came to life. He says, I know you're now this is the same word we looked at in chapter one. I know your tribulation, your sleep cease, and some translations have tribulation here and your poverty. Even though you were rich. Obviously what Jesus is talking about is that they are economically poor. And yet they are spiritually rich. That richness is their life in him. I know the slander on the part of those who say they are Jews and or not, but our synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you're about to suffer. Beware. The devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested every ten days. You will have affliction be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.


And there's death and life again. I was dead and I am alive. And I came to life be faithful unto death. I will give you the crown of life. You can see how the correlation between Jesus and this church sets up. Now, let's let's work through this. I know this. Let's deal with first night. I know the slander on the part of those who say they are Jews and are not. But our synagogue of Satan. Pretty harsh language. What's going on here? Yeah, well, first of all, we don't see it yet. But as we get on into John's vision, Rome the Roman Empire is falling. Babylon The Roman Empire, its worldview, its value system, its lifestyle are representative of fallen Babylon, which of course is Satan's realm. We'll see later. Citizens that fall in Babylon are those who worship the beast and its image, receive its mark, etc.. So to be a synagogue of Satan implies that in some way the synagogue is is allying itself with the Roman power structure, the Roman culture in some way. I think we may get a clue what's going on here by looking at Paul's ministry. When Paul goes to a new city. Where does he go first? Then he goes to the Jewish synagogue. There he proclaims Jesus as the Messiah and the restoration of the kingdom in Jesus. After sometimes. Just one week. Sometimes. In Antioch, Syrian Antioch City and Antioch. Sometimes three weeks. Like in Thessalonica, sometimes three months like Anabasis. But sooner or later, Paul gets kicked out with the Jewish believers that have come to accept Jesus. Where does Paul go then? You go for the Gentiles. He goes to the Gentiles and begins evangelizing Gentiles. Now we have to know something about the status of Judaism in the Roman world to understand what's going on here.


The Jews had a very privileged position. They were a licit religion. They were a legal religion. This had this came about as a result of what was called the LAX Julia, the Law of Julius back in about 48 B.C.. Julius Caesar as he sought to to convert the Roman Republic into an empire, passed a law that prohibited all colleges except those of ancient standing. Now. COLLEGIO Where little social groupings around different kinds of centers. But from about 125 BCE down to that time, Rome had been basically in civil war. And and these Calleja were the hotbeds of this activity. And so Caesar Julius Caesar, you know, in one fell swoop, sought to resolve the problem by simply abolishing making illegal all conseguir, with one exception those of ancient standing. And of course, since Judaism predated even the Roman Empire. Roman history only goes back to about 700 B.C., and Judaism could trace their origins back to them to the middle of the second millennium, B.C. They are ecology of ancient standing. So now it wasn't explicit. The law of Julius does not say that Jews are exempt. But from that point on, you have a whole series of court cases where Gentiles dragged the Jewish communities into court saying that they are illegal. They are a colleague and a colleague who have been banned. And in every single instance, the ruling of the court was no. They are oncology of ancient standing. They are allowed to exist. And what comes out of that is that the Jews are allowed to govern themselves according to their own poorly deutschmark, their own political structure, which of course is core. Mm hmm. And that that gave them all kinds of privileges, but at least. Right. That they they could not be drafted into the army.


They could join if they wanted to, but they would not be drafted into the army. They could not be called into court on the Sabbath. The Agora had to provide a place for the Jews to have stalls where people where the Jews could buy kosher food. So there were all sorts of sort of special special privileges that accrued to the Jews because of this being a licit religion. Now, there were limits on this. As long as the Jewish community remained sort of an isolated entity in and of itself. Everything was fine. But whenever the Jewish community began to make inroads into the Roman world by evangelizing, by proselytizing, Rome put her foot down. And there are a series of instances of this. In 17 A.D., Tiberius expels the Jews from Rome. And the reason was and we have four Roman historians and Josephus to tell us about this. The reason for this was that a high level Roman person had been had become a Roman, had become a Jewish prince of life. And, of course, there were others that had already done the same thing. And so come in and put their foot down. We see an ax. When Paul comes to Corinth, he joins up a Priscilla and Aquila. Luke Cousins, who had recently come from Rome because Claudius had expelled the Jews from Rome. And when you read Suetonius, the Roman historian, it gives us the information on that. They were expelled because of disturbances in the city over Christmas. Apparently Jewish-Christian conflict or argument had come to the point where they were disturbing the city. Also, it's very likely that Christians or Jewish believers were beginning to evangelize Gentiles. And so Claudius banishes the Jews from Rome. So you see there were there were limits.


You find, I think, an example of this in Philip II. When Paul comes to Philip II on his second missionary journey, he finds the Jewish community worshiping outside the gate by the by the river. Well, the gate is the triumphal arch. There's only one river near Philip II, and that's on the Ganges, which is on the western side, out on the plains of Philip II, where the great battle between Brutus and Cassius and Octavian and Antony took place in 42 B.C., and Anthony and Octavian. Augustus defeated Brutus and Cassius and divided the empire between themselves. Octavian took the West. Anthony took the East. Antony sets up a triumphal arch. On the western side of Philippi and makes Philippi a Roman colony. Now, when you when they formed a place as a colony, it was a ritual to this. They took a team of oxen and they plowed a furrow all the way around. What would be the sacred precincts of the colony? This is what was called the palm area. After they made the circuit, then the the oxen would be sacrificed. As part of the ritual. Only licit religions could operate within the palm area. And the question is, why were the Jews outside the area? Well, when you look at the charges that are brought against Paul and Silas, after they exercise the demon out of the slave girl, they're dragged before the city officials. And the charges are number one, these men are Jews. They're disturbing our city. They are advocating customs that are not lawful for us. ROMANS to observe. So here are Jews whose proselytizing is disturbing the status quo. And by the way, one of the one of the most grave transgressions in the Roman world was disturbing the status quo.


Rome, like the state, is to remain quo. Disturbances were bad things. And so here were Jews that were disturbing the city and advocating customs not lawful for Romans what had happened? Now, remember, if you follow Paul's itinerary, Paul comes to Philippi, either late summer, early fall in 49. A few months after Claudius has expelled the Jews from Rome. Colonies. Roman historians tell us colonies were very, very careful to follow Rome's lead in everything, because if you didn't, that might be seen as being seditious and you'd lose your colony status. So it's obvious what has happened here. Claudius has expelled the Jews from Rome. What were the Philippine leaders done? They have expelled the Jews from Philip II. They have to go outside to worship. Now, if you look at Paul's ministry, he goes to the synagogue, stays there for varying lengths of time, but ultimately he's kicked out. And when he's kicked out, he goes to the Gentiles. Now, how is Paul's proselytizing of Gentiles going to look like in the eyes of the Roman officials? It's going to look like Jewish proselytizing because they can't tell the difference between Jews and Christians. They all look the same to them. So you see, this is putting the Jewish community in a very tenuous situation, because if Rome cannot make a distinction, if the Roman authorities cannot make a distinction between the Jews and Poland and the followers. They are liable to go down the tubes along with Paul and his followers. So in several instances, an act. The Jewish community goes and allies itself to the political leaders, to the power structure against Paul and the Christians. Making it clear, you see, to the Roman authorities. Those guys have nothing to do with us. We're being good, you know.


And of course, in the context of John's vision, you see, we're where? Rome. The Roman Empire, seen as Fall of Babylon, as a manifestation of Satan's rebellion. You know, in history at that point. For the Jewish community, for the synagogue to align themselves with the Roman leadership against the Christians is to become a synagogue of Satan. And it's interesting that this appears only two places, Smyrna and Philadelphia, the two good churches. Apparently the source of the persecution of these churches is this Jewish action. It is bringing down pressures from the Roman authorities. It's interesting that Smyrna was also the place where Polycarp, who was the bishop of Smyrna in the second century, was martyred. And if you read the martyrdom of Polycarp, we have that document. If you read the martyrdom of Polycarp, the Jews were instrumental in bringing about his execution. So a century later, you see this is still going on. Then also known as what Jesus says here. I know your tribulation, your poverty being slandered, suffering, imprisonment, testing. It really should be translated. Torture. Tribulation. Again, for ten days. You'll have tribulation and be faithful under that. Anybody want to sign on to this movement? That's not very appealing, is it? This is a good church. This is a faithful church. And this is what a faithful church is likely to experience when it lives its life as a faithful community of New Jerusalem in the midst of a in Babylon world is likely to experience these things. Now let's pick up some of these. Remember, imprisonment in the Roman world was not the sentence at the other end of a trial where you were found guilty. Prison was a place of holding persons until trial. And one of the things that went on during imprisonment that often went on during imprisonment was the person would be tortured.


The Roman theory was that if you inflict enough pain, people will tell the truth. That's the way it operated. This when you read the story of Paul's imprisonment, the beginning of Paul's imprisonment, the end of his third missionary journey where the Roman Tribune rescues him from the Jewish mob, beating him up, beating him to death. What's the first thing the Tribune does? He orders Paul to be whipped. Why? What is Paul done wrong? Anything wrong? The Tribune wants to find out what's going on here. He wants to find out what the truth is and the way you find out the truth as you tie the guy to opposing you with them long enough. And don't tell you the truth. Of course, that's where Paul says to the two the soldiers that are about to whip him, you know, are you going to are you going to whip me a Roman citizen that hasn't been dry? Boy, they back off fast. They go running. The Tribune say, Hey, this guy's a Roman citizen. A little story when he comes running and says, I paid a high price for my citizenship as I was born and said, it backs off. So. So being thrown into prison to be tested, you see, is what you are going to be tortured. The ten day period costs all sorts of things for me, About ten. Ten, like seven is a number of fulness of completeness. There are ten commandments, you see. A ten is the minimum number of Jewish males required for there to be a synagogue, a gathering. So the idea of being tested for ten days, we're not talking about ten days here. We're talking about a period of persecution that will run its course, that will that will be fulfilled.


You'll see one day it may be 20 days and maybe 100 days. And dangerous indicates a totality. And they will have tribulation during that time known as again, tribulation. Is not something going to happen in the future. It's what's happening to them now. It is the primary word that John uses to describe the experience faithful citizens of New Jerusalem have at the hands of fallen Babylon, the faithful unto death. Here. There's a possibility that one of the consequences of all this is that, you know, you may be killed. You may die under the torture, the testing or the result of your trial may maybe execution through your There's a possibility of dying from faith. But be faithful unto death. Jesus says, I will give you the crown of life. And is there? There is a life in him, you see, that transcends life in this world. And this is what he's pointing at. Then you get you get the same closing as you have an arrow here, you get again, the same closing as the other letters. But anyone who has an ear hear what the spirit is saying to the church as whoever conquers or whoever is conquering again will not be harmed by the second death. At this point, you say, Wait a minute. What's the second death? Well, you just kind of hold that on the back burner. We're going to find out what the second death is in chapter 20. But you've got to remember, this is a culture where they're trained to this kind of rhetoric, where the speaker will introduce something and just let it hang there. And you're trained to just let it hang sort of on the back burner of your mind. And sooner or later, you know, he's going to come around and you'll find with the answer, we will find out what this second death is.


Now, just because we're not trained this way, I'll tell you what it is. It's the lake of fire. You know, that's the second death. And of course, what we discover there is that the second death is spiritual, that when you say second death, what's the first death? Physical death. Although there's another dimension to it. You don't pick it up here. But there's also. The death of Jesus talks about if anyone let him deny himself. What Paul calls being crucified with Christ and dying with him. See, there's there's also that death of the false self. That brings us into resurrection life. Life with Christ. And it is that that and we'll see that he also deals with this in chapter 2228 also that. This. If you have died with Christ, you see, and what he calls the first resurrection, you see, then you will not experience the second death. So. So John is in his vision. He's seeing these profound spiritual realities. But again, you look at the introduction here, you know, whoever it is, faith, whoever is concrete, will not be harmed by the second death. Okay. Any questions about Smyrna? Yeah, I got a question. Um. You said that these people, especially A the faithful churches suffer persecution. The first thought that came to my mind that you think that's like standard across like history and time. Like, for instance would that mean that there are no large bodies of people, witnesses in, say, United States of America, because there's no real persecution happening? I guess my question would be, if there was a real faithful group like, say, for instance, the church in China, would persecution be inevitable? To a certain level, I think you have to say yes. Because when the church is incarnating the worldview of New Jerusalem, the value system of New Jerusalem, and the lifestyle of New Jerusalem in a fallen Babylon world, that is a a central core threat to fallen Babylon because it it reveals the falseness of fall in Babylon, worldview, value system, the lifestyle and the the destructive and dehumanizing nature.


What we're going to see as we get along here, the basic characteristic of all of Babylon, is that it is death. That human wholeness is not found in fall in Babylon. But you see, there are those whose power position will depend upon the former Babylon structure. Anything any threats to that structure are taken very, very seriously. And following Babylon will either try to marginalize that group or those persons, or eliminate them one way or another. So the question comes sort of the flip side of your question is why isn't the church in America being persecuted? Is it because we have accommodated ourselves to this fall in Babylon culture? And we've become comfortable with it, that we're not providing a radical alternative to the destructive, dehumanizing dynamics of this world around us. The one place where you see an evidence in this culture is the media. The antipathy the media has toward Christianity. You don't see Hinduism or Buddhism or Islam or Judaism being dealt with the same way in the media that Christianity is. Why? Because I think the the industry moguls. They know whether consciously or intuitively, they know that the Christian worldview, value system and lifestyle pulls the rug out from under their whole structure. Therefore, you have to demean this, you have to ridicule it, you have to marginalize it to keep yourself safe. John, I've been thinking about that a lot in America. And a sense it's like Christians face a new type of persecution. It seems like they want to stay. It's not so much a physical persecution as it is a spiritual persecution that our culture has become so cynical that we put down one another that if you're not like us or you don't fit the popular culture, in a sense, the media seems to make fun of people that that doesn't agree with them in a sense, a marginalizing a person by being and not necessarily physically by body.


So the persecution we're in today is not so much a physical death, but people are facing Roman spiritual death, which is even more dangerous because it's almost like Satan's learned and grown smarter in a sense of, hey, you know, let's not attack the body, let's attack the spirit in its own way. It's scary. Mm hmm. And that for us, because it's not as noticeable, I think, for us in our culture. Yeah. Because we're so ingrained to the cynical nature. And one of the ways this plays itself out is in the postmodern world, the basic. Premise of the postmodern world is that there is no ultimate reality. There is no ultimate truth. Of course, that in itself poses itself as an ultimate truth philosophical problem there. But anyway, the basic understanding is there is not ultimate reality, that your truth is your truth. My truth is my truth. You can have your truth. I can have my truth because it's relative. Therefore, the primary value of such a culture is toleration. You see, I let you. I let you think however you want to think and you let me think. However I want to think. I let you live However you want to live your life or I want to live. To claim an ultimate reality. Is to be intolerant of them. And that's the basic charge against people who are Christian, at least who who hold up Christ as an ultimate reality. And of course, even within the church you see there are those that have bought into fully the postmodern worldview that they fight against those who would claim there is an ultimate reality and that Jesus is that ultimate reality. So we are seeing at some levels, I think. Josh You know, Jonathan, there is this element of persecution.


Anything else on Smyrna where we look at the program Pergamon. Okay, let's move on to Pergamon. And again, let's take a look at Pergamon first again. You're going up the coast now. Pergamon sort of gets a little starts to go a little bit inland from the coast. But you can you can see this high Acropolis of Pergamon. Here is another one of the major cities in Asia minor in the in the province of Asia. You get vaccine over there. And this is the theater. And notice how I don't know that I want to sit up on those top rows. Yeah. You know, if you if you get excited, you know, and sort of meaning to fire your love letter all the way down, take everybody with you. And this was typical. Cities would build the theaters usually into a hill because a lot less a lot less construction to do. Now, of course, there were places where they had no hills. They had actually built a building to be the theater. But here you can see how that's all that's kind of carved right into the hill here. Now, of course, the stage area here is sort of really disappeared, but you can see the remnants of the street that came along here. These buildings up here. We're up on the Acropolis. The fortification generally in the in the Roman world, at least in this part of the Roman world. Cities were built on high places. And coastal cities were not generally right on the coast. Ephesus is an exception. But coastal cities were usually up on the Highlands and they would have a harbor below. For instance, in Actes, when Paul leaves Syria and Antioch, they go down to what is it like, I think, which is the seaport of Antioch.


You see a city that is surrounded by mountains. If you're down in the valley, you're vulnerable because the enemy can put siege engines, you know, catapult up on the heights above you. Then you just sit up there and lob boulders into you and flaming pitch and all sorts of stuff like that. You've got no defense. You can't lob stuff up there. And even if you could. All your time. If you lobbed a stone up there, it might just make it. It's not going to hurt anybody. It's going to sort of land softly. And you're you're providing them with weapons. You know, you're you're providing them with bullets, basically. And. So so Pergamon was located up on a. High plateau. There you can see the. See this. This would be the Acropolis of Pergamon. See here. Here's the. The theater that we were just looking at, the picture was over here. Now, you can see a lot of that, a lot of the cities down here. But see, this Acropolis would have been fortified. The same thing for innocent Philip II. Philip II is located not on the plane, but is located at the base of a mountain. In the top of the mountain was fortified with a wall. And if enemies came. Everybody goes up onto the fortification and you're protected up there. And we'll see how this plays itself out with Sardis, which is an interesting story. We get there. The Kings have their palaces, of course, up on the high place here. And this is looking at part of one of those. The library at Pergamon. This was one of the major libraries in the Roman world. Exceeded maybe only by the one in Alexandria, which was sort of the Library of Congress of the Roman world, a massive library.


But you can see this this this was a large. A large structure here. Libraries were not lending libraries. You didn't go to the library and take out a book. You went to the library and read the book. So libraries had niches where you could take the scroll or well, it would have been a scroll because Codex is, you know, this, this is a codex. This form did not emerge until the end toward the end of the first century. And some scholars believe it was the Christian movement that really invented the codex because it's so much easier to find your way around in something like this than unrolling a scroll from one end to the other. So you would you would take the scroll and you would go to a corner somewhere and you would sit there and you would read it. When you got done, you'd take it back and hand it in, or if you didn't get done, you'd, you know, remember where your place was. So the next day you could come and get the scroll and open up to that place and go on. Here's the temple of Athena. Also up on the top of the Acropolis. You're you're you're the major deities of a locality would always have their temples, you know, on the Acropolis. And they may have a second temple down in the city. I mean, the agora, which was really the the social, you know. Economic center of the city would also have places of worship around the gone to worship by that locality as well as many other things. It's interesting that in Corinth, the Jewish synagogue was only one street off from the Agora. It didn't make it, you know, number one. But it's only it's only one street away, which is interesting.


And how would the Greek pardon, how would the Greeks worship in their temples? It would depend on the nature of the temple itself. There were some some Greek religions that had sacrificial. So you bring an animal sacrifice. You would you would go there to pray to the deity, to make an offering of some sort, financial offering or in sacrificial cases, you know, an animal for sacrifice. You you would go to make petitions of the priests as the priests would sort of be intermediaries between you and the God. And you would bring a question, for instance, almost like oracles, and the priest would approach the God for you, come back with some kind of an answer. So there's a whole variety of dynamics of how I worship was carried out in these, but they didn't go in and sit in pews, you know, and have have a bulletin, you know, and sing songs and read scripture. And it was a really a much more affective kind of thing. And when you enter these temples, the temples generally were enclosed structures and you didn't walk in and flip the switch, turn the lights on. Which meant they were dark. They were. They were illuminated by lanterns. By lamps. And of course, lamps flickered. Also, we don't realize that in the Roman world, the statuary in these temples. See, we we see the statue the way the sculptor sculpted it. But they were close. They were close on these. Statues. They were painted to look lifelike. Some cases they had, you know, glass eyes that would look just like realizing that one or two statues still have them. You see, sometimes. And of course, you're in a temple where the wind could blow in the front. It's open, the wind could blow in and the robes would move.


And there's that. There's a wonderful little account. Forget where it is now. Of these two women who who go into the temple to worship the God and. It just it sort of shares their experience so that they're they're filled with this on. And one says their look look he moved you know, the wind blew the roll or something like that. So so this is another dynamic of what the worship would have been like. They understood that you're you're not dealing with a culture with a materialistic culture. The essence of the Roman world is that it was a spiritual culture. They knew they lived in a universe populated by spiritual realities. And so that especially for for the common people, when you get them into the, you know, the intelligentsia and the philosophers, they had, they had been mythologized the deities. But for your common people, they were superstitious. I mean, that's the term. It's usually not in the way we use it, but the they that the common people really believe that the gods were there, that you were your entering into the presence of the God and that this the statue wasn't just a statue. This was the God. So when Paul says that that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. In the Roman world. What's that mean? He is. He is the earthly representation of this reality. Now we're talking not about the statue that we're talking about a human being. Says Sir Paul is using the dynamics of the Roman world to position Jesus in a way that they might be able to understand. Okay. Here's another picture of the theater from a little bit higher vantage point. But again, you can see how steep that hill is. So that's the way they deal with this problem.


Yeah, I was just thinking about and how they worship like their deities in comparison with like zoos or not as these Marvel Olympus and such like that. It was very, very similar to how they lived. So they could really imagine that the gods must live like that, you know? And of course the gods, you know, are in the we're in us, the sky or the heavens. And so you you build the temples up as high as possible. This is the temples of Dionysus in Pergamon. As you can see, it's down the hill a bit. Now, look here, you can see just the edge of a theater. These these are the seats of that of that theater we're looking at. Here's the Temple of the Odyssey. I told you the other day that the theater emerges out of the worship of the answers so that usually if you find a theater in a city somewhere close by, you're going to find the temple of that. Because there is a historical link, a cultural link between these two. And here you can see it quite wonderfully illustrated in Pergamon. The altar business in Pergamon was a very famous altar with way up the way up on the Acropolis. Here, but here, here's the penalties. And we'll see how this plays into the letter to this church. This, of course, being the chief guard who resides here. Here are some pictures of the frieze that remains the altar, the zoo's. These are pictures on the outer wall of various various mythological. Here is a copy of that. Here. This one is the. In fairness, we can see it. This is Artemus in battle. Triumph of the gods over the Giants. This is part of the. The mythology of the Greek mythology.


And the panel showing zoos subduing the Giants. That's this one over here. I don't want to see the Giants at the Titans. The Titans were the initial gods in the Roman pantheon, which were then conquered by zoos and his pantheon of gods and goddesses. So here what you got if you went to the temple of zoos and just simply walked around and studied the sculptures. You would have the entire Greek mythological world there at your hands. The whole story would be will be played out there. Now. We shouldn't have too much difficulty with this. You've been in cathedrals with their stained glass windows and their sculptures and everything. What do you have all around you? The biblical story. The biblical story. So it's sort of the Christian continuation of the same kind of feed. And of course, the understanding is, you know, at least it was untold materialistic culture. The lightning came in. The understanding is, is that you were surrounded by this great host of witnesses. These aren't just pictures showing this story in the Bible. In this story. This isn't just a sculpture showing this person or this group. You are entering with them into this great reality of God's covenant people. So it's a it's a very affective visual, experiential immersion in the reality of. Like everything like this. They have tours of Moses synagogues did not have representations of humans, but it did have symbols. Okay. Yeah, you did. You do have symbols in the synagogue, which are symbols representative for one. One of the major symbols in the synagogue would be the great one. Yeah, because Israel is the vineyard of the Lord. So you have those kinds of things that manifest themselves. But you're still dealing with the same kind of reality, right? Yeah.


Yeah. Dr. Malone isn't Capernaum in January. There's also not not in the synagogue, but a hole along the the road. There were just Jewish symbols everywhere from the from symbols of the temple to the Ark of the Covenant to just it was just littered everywhere. It wasn't in the synagogue, but you couldn't go forward, not, you know, and you'd be everywhere with them. So, yeah. These are some more pictures of the altar. Here's the gymnasium in Pergamon. The gymnasium? After. Was not simply the place where you trained or exercised. The gymnasium was also the school was also the educational system. In fact, in most of European countries, high school is called the gym, the Gimnasia. Which is simply, you know, a relic of the Greek era. So when you think of gymnasium, don't think of going over to the gymnasium here and playing basketball. Yes, they did do physical exercise and training here, but that was part of the whole educational process. And that the gymnasium was, you know, you might say the high school of the Roman, Roman, Hellenistic world. Here's the sacred way. The sacred way in the city was the street on which most of your gods and goddesses would have their temples. That's why it's called the Sacred Way, or it would be the way that led you up to where all of the temples were. And when another part of the worship question you asked, when you came to the times of the great festivals of the various deities, there would be these festival processions where everybody would join in to the festival for procession and going along the sacred way to the temple, where all sorts of special activities would take place and the worship of the spirit. Sleepy Asclepius was the God of healing.


Yeah. Question. Yeah. Um, these seven churches, were they all. For the Gentiles. They are completely converted to the Roman pantheon of any other pre-roman deities that they still speak of a lot. I can't quite hear you. It could be seven churches or seven cities of any three Roman deities in the Gentiles. Oh, yes. Most. Most of these are Pre-roman deities. And these basically are the Greek pantheon in the East. You find basically the Greek pantheon. Then you get the worship of a Roman, the goddess Romans, or the genius of Rome. You do have temples to the emperor himself in Asia minor because that was a popular thing in that area. No, these these gods and goddesses are primarily the Greek gods and goddesses. They may take on their Roman names. You know, for instance, Jesus is Jupiter, Poseidon is Neptune and so forth, where you simply change from that from the Greek name to the Roman name. But you're dealing with the same deity. Asclepius was the God of healing. And the priests of Asclepius were quite skilled not merely in treating physical illness, but in treating psychosomatic illness. The escalator becomes the temples of Asclepius were the hospitals of the day. If you were sick, you went to an ice cold Apia and you might stay there. I remember the story in John's gospel about the man lying by the pool because he'd been there for 39 years or something like that. And it was a pool with five porticos, which is unusual because usually a pool would be square. You have a portico on each side. They had discovered the excavation of a pool and had a walkway across the middle, so it had five porticos. And there have also been discovered right around that area, the kind of votive offerings that were very popular or were very prevalent at escalating arms.


Very likely that this was an escalation. We know that there were other Hellenistic objects in Jerusalem, and it could well be that there was an escalator in there in Jerusalem. And so it really gives some impetus to that story, because here's a guy who's been there all these years and not been healed. And Jesus comes along, says, Take up your bed and walk, then walks out. Who is the healer? But the priest of Asclepius, where we're quite successful, stadiums always were located near running water because this was part of the ritual. They would they had various ways. Sometimes they were drug induced otherwise, sometimes they were just simply hypnotic suggestions. But they induced trances. And then the the priest would interpret what the person experienced in the trance. And often what they experienced was sort of unpacking, you know, deep subconscious dynamics that were causing the physical ailment. And the priest would be able to deal with that and heal the person. Athena match with the Phenix Escalate to another. And by the way, a scrappy, you know, the medical caduceus, the staff with the snake going around it. That's the symbol of Asclepius. The medical profession has simply carried this with them from on the escalate beyond. So that's that. That's the temple of Jesus again. Yeah. All right. Yeah. So that's not from on. The snake was on the staff, but most. No, no. This. Yeah. No, that they did. The medical symbol does not come from this snake on the staff. No, it's just carried through from the beginning as the symbol of Asclepius. Jamaica. They've got two components to the course was pre. I doubt that the Greeks got this from taxes. Okay. Yeah, I agree there. Yeah, very unlikely, I think.


Yeah. Here is an example of the Imperial cult. Uh. In 29 B.C. As it says, here they were the what was called the temple warden of the Imperial Court, that they see that that's what they're buying for them. It's a Smirnov Smirnov program, all vying to be the temple warden for for the for the Imperial Court, because this brought all sorts of advantages to you. Pergamon one more often than not. Judaism, of course, again in Pergamon, Pergamon and Christianity. Okay, we'll come back to the science here. But let's look at Pergamon. Through the messenger of the church in Pergamon. Right. These are the words of him who has the sharp two edged sword. Remember, in chapter one, the vision of Jesus has a sharp two edged sword coming out of his mouth. I know where you are living, where Satan's throne is. What's he talking about? Being the temple warden of the Emperor. No other worship of the Emperor. Rome is fallen Babylon world. Satan is the ruler of that round. The Emperor is, you know, Satan's representative, you might say. So this is Satan's throne. I know where you're living. We're Satan. Throne is. Yet you are holding fast to my name. Now the whole What does it mean to hold fast to the name? Remember, biblically name has to do with nature. Which means they're there. They're holding fast to their to their Christian witness. You did not deny your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas. My my martyr, my faithful one who is killed among you where Satan lives. So there's been a martyr in this church. This. This Antipas was killed for his faithfulness. So that sounds pretty good, just like it sounds like a good church. But there we go again.


What's. But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Baylor, who taught Malik to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so that they would eat food, sacrificed to idols and practice fornication. So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the negotiations. Now, see, here's where we get an idea. Of course, we make a presumption here that verse 14 describes the behavior of the negotiations in the resistance and I think is a fairly firm conclusion. So you also have some. Who holds the teaching. Does that mean this is a separate thing or is this the description? Well, actually, this is the description of what's going on here. The issue is eating food, sacrificing to idols and practicing fornication. Now, first of all, let's start with the back end. Most of the time when the Bible speaks of fornication, it's not talking about physical sexuality. It is talking about spiritual adultery. Now, there are some instances where it could be sure, very clear by context that is talking about physical sexuality. But most of the time is talking about spiritual adultery. That is. You see, we are created for a relationship of loving union with God, which biblically is often image as a marriage relationship. Hmm. What? What are we doing when we turn away from our husband? We're the bride of Christ. Okay? When we turn away from our husband and bond ourselves to someone else. We are committing spiritual adultery, where we are committing spiritual fornication. And that is the issue here. Now, this food sacrifice to Idol's business Pall wrestles with this to. Part of the issue here. There are two basic dynamics that come to play. One is that the the temples, the sacrificial cults in the Roman world.


The meat would often be sold in the marketplace. So if you bought meat in the Agora, most likely this was the remains of an animal that had been sacrificed to X, Y, or Z. It was food that had been offered to an idol. The other dynamic of this was the guilds. These were the trade unions of the Roman world. Every guild had. And basically the Roman world was closed shop. If you were not a member of the Guild, you could not do your profession in that locality. You had to be a member of the Guild. But every guild had its patron deity. So that when you went to the Guild meetings, you know, the union meetings, you didn't go there to argue about wages and benefits. You went to worship the guild deity. And often these deities worship of these deities and entailed participating in a sacred meal. In other words, food offered too. And I. You can see the difficulty Christians are in. You become a Christian. Do you do you participate in the worship of the guild or do you not? Also, you cannot partake of the table, the law and the table of demons. That means you're likely to lose your job if you don't show up for the worship of the old deity. Obviously you see in Pergamon, there are those that are saying, well, you know, we know these you know, these are just items. You have to worry about those, you know, Jesus is Lord, etc.. So you can go ahead and do that. And as Paul says, you see for people who are nurtured in this culture. To see a brother or sister in Christ participating in this way may destroy that person's faith. Because remember, the Roman world was not a monotheistic culture.


You could worship as many gods as you wanted to. No problem. None of the none of the Greek religions, the Roman religions were monotheistic. They were not exclusive. Only Judaism and Christianity were the only exclusive religions. If you worship their God, you couldn't worship any others. So what happens when you have Gentiles coming into the church out of that context? It's very easy for them to think, well, you know, I can worship Jesus and I can worship continue to worship my other. You'll see these are the dynamics that are at play here. Well, our time is up. We'll pick up here on Thursday and hopefully finish off the churches. Yeah.