These text files are prepared by Laurelbrook staff member James Brenneman for his personal use and for those who wish to see the Bible texts in the adult Sabbath School lesson in possibly a new light.
Note: the first of the churches was studied in last week’s lesson.
Memory Text: Revelation 3:21 New International Version To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.
Sunday – Christ’s Messages to Smyrna and Pergamum
Smyrna – represents A.D. 100-313 – the Age of Martyrdom
Revelation 2:8-11 God’s Word Translation 8 “To the messenger of the church in Smyrna, write: The first and the last, who was dead and became alive, says: 9 I know how you are suffering, how poor you are—but you are rich. I also know that those who claim to be Jews slander you. They are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are going to suffer. The devil is going to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested. Your suffering will go on for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. Everyone who wins the victory will never be hurt by the second death.
Revelation 2:9 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY Intermittent persecution at the hands of various Roman emperors characterized the experience of the church during this period. Under Trajan (98–117), Hadrian (117–138), and Marcus Aurelius (161–180), persecution was sporadic and localized. The first general, systematic persecution of Christians was conducted by Decius (249–251) and Valerian (253–259). Political oppression reached a bloody climax under Diocletian (284–305) and his immediate successors (305–313)… In 313, ten years after the beginning of these persecutions, Constantine and his colleague Licinius issued an edict that granted Christians (and all others) liberty to practice their religion.
Pergamum – represents A.D. 313-538 – Rise of the Papacy
Revelation 2:12-15 Good News Translation 12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: “This is the message from the one who has the sharp two-edged sword. 13 I know where you live, there where Satan has his throne. You are true to me, and you did not abandon your faith in me even during the time when Antipas, my faithful witness, was killed there where Satan lives. 14 But there are a few things I have against you: there are some among you who follow the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak how to lead the people of Israel into sin by persuading them to eat food that had been offered to idols and to practice sexual immorality. 15 In the same way you have people among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
Monday – Christ’s Message to Thyatira
Thyatira – represents A.D. 538-1565 – Dark Ages and Reformation
Revelation 2:18-29 New Century Version 18 “Write this to the angel of the church in Thyatira: “The Son of God, who has eyes that blaze like fire and feet like shining bronze, says this: 19 I know what you do. I know about your love, your faith, your service, and your patience. I know that you are doing more now than you did at first. 20 “But I have this against you: You let that woman Jezebel spread false teachings. She says she is a prophetess, but by her teaching she leads my people to take part in sexual sins and to eat food that is offered to idols. 21 I have given her time to change her heart and turn away from her sin, but she does not want to change. 22 So I will throw her on a bed of suffering. And all those who take part in adultery with her will suffer greatly if they do not turn away from the wrongs she does. 23 I will also kill her followers. Then all the churches will know I am the One who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you for what you have done. 24 “But others of you in Thyatira have not followed her teaching and have not learned what some call Satan’s deep secrets. I say to you that I will not put any other load on you. 25 Only continue in your loyalty until I come. 26 “I will give power over the nations to everyone who wins the victory and continues to be obedient to me until the end. 27 ‘You will rule over them with an iron rod, as when pottery is broken into pieces.’ [Psalm 2:9] 28 This is the same power I received from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. 29 Everyone who has ears should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
Daniel 10:6 New English Translation His body resembled yellow jasper, and his face had an appearance like lightning. His eyes were like blazing torches; his arms and feet had the gleam of polished bronze. His voice thundered forth like the sound of a large crowd.
Tuesday – Christ’s Message to Sardis
Sardis – represents A.D. 1565-1740 – Decay of Protestantism
Revelation 3:1-6 New Living Translation “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. 3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. 4 “Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. 6 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
Matthew 24:42-44 New International Reader’s Version 42 “So keep watch. You do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 You must understand something. Suppose the owner of the house knew what time of night the robber was coming. Then he would have kept watch. He would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready. The Son of Man will come at an hour when you don’t expect him.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-8 Contemporary English Version I don’t need to write you about the time or date when all this will happen. 2 You surely know that the Lord’s return[a] will be as a thief coming at night. 3 People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won’t escape.
4 My dear friends, you don’t live in darkness, and so that day won’t surprise you like a thief. 5 You belong to the light and live in the day. We don’t live in the night or belong to the dark. 6 Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. 7 People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. 8 But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet.
Matthew 5:44-48 Easy-to-Read Version 44 But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. 45 If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven. He lets the sun rise for all people, whether they are good or bad. He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. 46 If you love only those who love you, why should you get a reward for that? Even the tax collectors do that. 47 And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than anyone else. Even the people who don’t know God are nice to their friends. 48 What I am saying is that you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Wednesday – Christ’s Message to Philadelphia
Philadelphia – represents A.D. 1740-1844 – Great Awakenings
Revelation 3:7-9 Common English Bible Write this to the angel of the church in Philadelphia: These are the words of the one who is holy and true, who has the key of David. Whatever he opens, no one will shut; and whatever he shuts, no one opens. 8 I know your works. Look! I have set in front of you an open door that no one can shut. You have so little power, and yet you have kept my word and haven’t denied my name. 9 Because of this I will make the people from Satan’s synagogue (who say they are Jews and really aren’t, but are lying)—I will make them come and bow down at your feet and realize that I have loved you.
Revelation 3:10-13 English Standard Version 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
2 Timothy 2:19 God’s Word Translation In spite of all that, God’s people have a solid foundation. These words are engraved on it: “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Whoever worships the Lord must give up doing wrong.”
Exodus 34:6 Good News Translation The Lord then passed in front of him and called out, “I, the Lord, am a God who is full of compassion and pity, who is not easily angered and who shows great love and faithfulness.
Thursday – Christians in Laodicea
Laodicea – represents 1844 to Christ’s Second Coming - Apathy
Revelation 3:14-17 English Standard Version 14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
Revelation 3:15 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY A recognition of this application [to Seventh-day Adventists] stands as a constant rebuke to self-satisfaction and an encouragement to live wholeheartedly according to the pattern of a of perfect life in Christ Jesus.
Hosea 12:8 Easy-to-Read Version Ephraim said, ‘I am rich! I have found true riches! No one will learn about my crimes. No one will learn about my sins.’
Revelation 3:18-22 Christian Standard Bible 18 I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent. 20 See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 “To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”
1 Peter 1:7 Contemporary English Version Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns.
Isaiah 61:10 New Living Translation I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.
Ephesians 1:17-18 New English Translation 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him, 18 —since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened—so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
Memory Text: Revelation 5:5 God’s Word Translation Then one of the leaders said to me, “Stop crying! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has won the victory. He can open the scroll and the seven seals on it.
Sunday – In the Heavenly Throne Room
Revelation 4:1-8 Contemporary English Version After this, I looked and saw a door that opened into heaven. Then the voice that had spoken to me at first and that sounded like a trumpet said, “Come up here! I will show you what must happen next.” 2 Right then the Spirit took control of me, and there in heaven I saw a throne and someone sitting on it. 3 The one who was sitting there sparkled like precious stones of jasper [green or clear] and carnelian. [usually deep-red or reddish-white] A rainbow that looked like an emerald [a precious stone, usually green] surrounded the throne. 4 Twenty-four other thrones were in a circle around that throne. And on each of these thrones there was an elder dressed in white clothes and wearing a gold crown. 5 Flashes of lightning and roars of thunder came out from the throne in the center of the circle. Seven torches, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning in front of the throne. 6 Also in front of the throne was something that looked like a glass sea, clear as crystal. Around the throne in the center were four living creatures covered front and back with eyes. 7 The first creature was like a lion, the second one was like a bull, the third one had the face of a human, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings, and their bodies were covered with eyes. Day and night they never stopped singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord, the all-powerful God, who was and is and is coming!”
Ezekiel 1:26-28 English Standard Version 26 And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
Revelation 5:11-14 Easy-to-Read Version 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels. The angels were around the throne, the four living beings, and the elders. There were thousands and thousands of angels—10,000 times 10,000. 12 The angels said in a loud voice, “All power, wealth, wisdom, and strength belong to the Lamb who was killed. He is worthy to receive honor, glory, and praise!” 13 Then I heard every created being that is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in all these places, saying, All praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever to the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” 14 The four living beings said, “Amen!” And the elders bowed down and worshiped.
Revelation 4:8-11 New Century Version 8 Each of these four living creatures had six wings and was covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. He was, he is, and he is coming.” 9 These living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the One who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever. 10 Then the twenty-four elders bow down before the One who sits on the throne, and they worship him who lives forever and ever. They put their crowns down before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, because you made all things. Everything existed and was made, because you wanted it.”
Revelation 5:9-14 New International Reader’s Version 9 Here is the new song they sang. “You are worthy to take the scroll and break open its seals. You are worthy because you were put to death. With your blood you bought people for God. They come from every tribe, people and nation, no matter what language they speak. 10 You have made them members of a royal family. You have made them priests to serve our God. They will rule on the earth.” 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of millions and millions of angels. They surrounded the throne. They surrounded the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying, “The Lamb, who was put to death, is worthy! He is worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength! He is worthy to receive honor and glory and praise!” 13 All creatures in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on the sea were speaking. The whole creation was speaking. I heard all of them say, “Praise and honor belong to the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb! Glory and power belong to God for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
Monday – The Heavenly Assembly in the Throne Room
Revelation 4:6-8 New English Translation 6 and in front of the throne was something like a sea of glass, like crystal. In the middle of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second creature like an ox, the third creature had a face like a man’s, and the fourth creature looked like an eagle flying. 8 Each one of the four living creatures had six wings and was full of eyes all around and inside. They never rest day or night, saying: “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God, the All-Powerful, Who was and who is, and who is still to come!”
Ezekiel 1:5-14 New Living Translation 5 From the center of the cloud came four living beings that looked human, 6 except that each had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight, and their feet had hooves like those of a calf and shone like burnished bronze. 8 Under each of their four wings I could see human hands. So each of the four beings had four faces and four wings. 9 The wings of each living being touched the wings of the beings beside it. Each one moved straight forward in any direction without turning around. 10 Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle at the back. 11 Each had two pairs of outstretched wings—one pair stretched out to touch the wings of the living beings on either side of it, and the other pair covered its body. 12 They went in whatever direction the spirit chose, and they moved straight forward in any direction without turning around. 13 The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches, and lightning seemed to flash back and forth among them. 14 And the living beings darted to and fro like flashes of lightning.
Ezekiel 10:20-22 New International Version 20 These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the Kebar River, and I realized that they were cherubim. 21 Each had four faces and four wings, and under their wings was what looked like human hands. 22 Their faces had the same appearance as those I had seen by the Kebar River. Each one went straight ahead.
Isaiah 6:2-3 Common English Bible 2 Winged creatures were stationed around him. Each had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew about. 3 They shouted to each other, saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of heavenly forces! All the earth is filled with God’s glory!”
Tuesday – The Sealed Scroll
Revelation 5:1-4 Christian Standard Bible Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides, sealed with seven seals. 2 I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it.
Isaiah 29:11-12 English Standard Version 11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”
Revelation 5:5-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop crying. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw One like a slaughtered lamb standing between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. 7 He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the One seated on the throne.
Wednesday – Worthy Is the Lamb
Revelation 5:8-14 New Century Version 8 When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders bowed down before the Lamb. Each one of them had a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s holy people. 9 And they all sang a new song to the Lamb: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were killed, and with the blood of your death you bought people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation. 10 You made them to be a kingdom of priests for our God, and they will rule on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne, and the four living creatures, and the elders. There were thousands and thousands of angels, 12 saying in a loud voice: “The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise!” 13 Then I heard all creatures in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea saying: “To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever.” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders bowed down and worshiped.
Ephesians 1:20-23 Good News Translation 20 which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world. 21 Christ rules there above all heavenly rulers, authorities, powers, and lords; he has a title superior to all titles of authority in this world and in the next. 22 God put all things under Christ's feet and gave him to the church as supreme Lord over all things. 23 The church is Christ's body, the completion of him who himself completes all things everywhere.
Hebrews 10:12 New Life Version But Christ gave Himself once for sins and that is good forever. After that He sat down at the right side of God.
Thursday – The Significance of Pentecost
Acts 2:32-36 Common English Bible 32 This Jesus, God raised up. We are all witnesses to that fact. 33 He was exalted to God’s right side and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit. He poured out this Spirit, and you are seeing and hearing the results of his having done so. 34 David didn’t ascend into heaven. Yet he says, The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right side, 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’ 36 “Therefore, let all Israel know beyond question that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
John 7:39 New Century Version Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been raised to glory. But later, those who believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit.
Hebrews 4:16 Modern English Version Let us then come with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 8:1 Contemporary English Version What I mean is that we have a high priest who sits at the right side of God’s great throne in heaven.