The Composite Churches

THE COMPOSITE CHURCH

What is the meaning of composite church?

In dictionary, the word composite means – made up of disparate or separate parts or elements; compound: a composite drawing; a composite philosophy.

The reason I am writing this article because of my suspicion that today’s churches are of composite churches operating in certain area that are against God as mentioned in the Book of Revelation chapter 2 and 3. Notice that Lord Jesus said “I know your works.” That means Lord Jesus is Omniscient; He is all knowing and all emcompassing, nothing can escape His wisdom and knowledge, no secret work can be hidden from Lord Jesus.
Letter to seven churches
Out of the seven churches, there is only Smyrna and Philadelphia that Lord Jesus did not rebuke. There is one church that is already dead but they would not admit and they continue to put up name as if they are still alive, that church is Sardis. We can be consoling ourselves that we are not one of them or even laughing at churches that has been rebuked by Lord Jesus, but the truth this, that church today’s are THE COMPOSITE church, which in certain area, or segment or in certain group had already been under the control by the evil Spirit of Jezebel; being seduced to worship Balak, practice the authorative mind control of Nicolaitans, left the first love, lukewarm or even dead. Do not be complacent henceforth, that you should have acknowledged being a COMPOSITE CHURCH, so that what the church needed to do now is to provide new training ground so that church member can be equiped with strong spiritual sensitivity and be able to discern whether known area have the operating Agenda of our Holy Spirit or of the devil.

The letters follow a general sevenfold pattern:

A greeting. To the angel of the church.

A reference to Christ’s self designation from Rev 1:12-19, this has some application to the letter to the church.

A commendation. I know your deeds… (except in case of Laodicea and Pergamum).

A rebuke if applicable (except in case of Smyrna and Philadelphia).

A charge to repent or a warning.

A call to hear. The phrase ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’.

A promise. The phrase ‘To him who overcomes’ followed by a reference to a reward mentioned later in Revelation.

Chapter 2

To the angel of the church of Ephesus write.

2-5 “I know your works, and that your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they apostles and are not, and have found them liars and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become wary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 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.

(Intepretation taken from http://www.apocalipsis.org)

v4 – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. – Rebuke: they had deeds but not their love for each other and Jesus as at first. The word used for love is agape a stronger form of love rather than phileo which is brotherly love. Agape most characterises the love that Christ has for us which is a deeply committed love and which depends more on the nature of the giver than the attractiveness of the one loved (cf. eros the love between lovers). We are to love one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34), agape love and not just brotherly love. It is likely that they had lost their initial love for Christ which resulted in a lack of love for each other. This is the great test for the saints, do they love one another (1 Cor 13:3, John 13:35). Their testing of everyone to see whether they are false apostles or false brethren had created an atmosphere of mutual distrust in which love could not grow (Mounce).

v5 – Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. –

Jesus now gives three steps to recovery:

i. Remember your former condition (stop and recall your love in the past, realise your current position and compare to how you used to be).

ii. Repent (change your direction, stop doing the negative)

iii. Do the things you did at first (do the positive, repentance is not just turning from wrong but also doing what is right).
To the angel of the church in Smyrna write.

9-10 “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. 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.”
(Intepretation taken from http://www.apocalipsis.org)

v9 – I know your afflictions and your poverty–yet you are rich! – For the other churches (except Pergamum) Christ says ‘I know your deeds’ but here he says ‘I know your affliction and your poverty – yet you are rich’. They were physically poor but spiritually rich, contrast this with the Laodiceans who thought that they were rich but were poor, 3:17 (Jam 2:5). Physically the church in Smyrna suffered from persecution from the Jews and they were poor, they had few luxuries and possessions, yet spiritually they were rich in the sight of Christ. Jesus sees their affliction, he knows about it, this must be of comfort to this persecuted church.

v9 – I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. – Again he says ‘I know the slander…’ he sees their situation, he is aware of it and its injustice, once again this must bring comfort to this church. These Jews follow Satan in slandering God’s people, the word Satan means accuser (12:10), but the Devil means slanderer. Behind these Jews stands Satan; it is he, not Abraham, who is their spiritual father, John 8:44, (Wilcock). Slander, that is telling lies to blacken the character of people, is one of Satan’s weapons against the church, see the river of lies, Rev 12:15. Again in the letter to Philadelphia there is a reference to those who claim but to be Jews but are liars, they are actually a synagogue of Satan (3:9). See also other examples of Jewish antagonism in Acts 13:45, 14:2, 17:5, 18:6, 25:7. Paul defines a real Jew not as one physically circumcised but as one circumcised in the heart by the Spirit (Rom 2:29) and who believes God just as Abraham believed God (Gal 3:6-7).
To the angel of the church in Pergamos write.

13-16 “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. 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. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”

(Intepretation taken from http://www.apocalipsis.org)

v14 – Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. – While the church coped with the external threat of persecution it did not deal with the threat from within the church. They had been infiltrated by Satan’s servants who introduce destructive heresies. The book of Revelation is largely about the external enemies of the church yet we must not forget the false prophets within the church. The word of God warns us about false prophets, Mat 7:15, 24:24, 2 Pet 2:1, 1 John 4:1. In the letters to the seven churches Jesus is purifying his church so that it will cope with the coming persecution. For Balaam the false prophet see Numbers 22-25:3, 31:16, 2 Pet 2:15. He enticed God’s people to commit sexual immorality and bow down and eat food offered to idols, Num 31:16. These sins all involve spiritual and physical compromise with the world, the church of God is to be blameless and holy (11:2, 14:4-5, 20:6, 21:2). Idols are mentioned because God wants to purify his church of anything that resembles idolatry (2 Cor 6:12-7:1 cf. Rev 18:4) which is the fundamental sin of those who worship the beast and his image (cf. 13:14-15, 14:7, 9-12).

v14 – eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality – These are the same things mentioned in the letter to Thyatira, there they tolerated the woman Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess, but who by her teaching misleads God’s servants into sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols, Rev 2:20. Paul covers these topics in 1 Cor they are also mentioned in Acts 15:28, these are clearly matters that troubled the Christians of the time, see Acts 15:28-29, 1 Cor 6:18, 8:1. They involve compromise with the world, the church is to be holy and separate from the world, in the world but not of it. John was clearly concerned by idolatry (1 John 5:21).

v15 – Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. – For the relationship between the Nicolations and Balaam see Rev 2:6 in the letter to the Ephesians. They permitted compromise with the world. This heresy is one that all God’s people are tempted with throughout church history, it is nothing new. Another OT figure, Jezebel, is used while describing the same sins in Rev 2:20 again she compromises with the world. The saints are to be pure for they are the bride of Christ, Rev 14:4. False teaching is one of Satan’s main weapons against the church, see his river of lies (12:15). If he cannot destroy the church from without he will try to destroy it from within, in 2 Cor 11:13-15 Paul talks about Satan’s servants masquerading as apostles of Christ.
To the angel of the church in Thyatira write.

19-24 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience, and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against yhou, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrifice to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and thsoe who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 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 works. Not 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 no other burden.”

(Intepretation taken from http://www.apocalipsis.org)

v20 – Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. – Despite their growing love and faith they tolerated evil in the form of Jezebel in their midst, she calls herself a prophetess but is in fact a false prophetess (Jezebel is transliterated from the Hebrew ‘Izevel meaning, ironically, chaste [Zodhiates]). Compare this church to the Ephesians who did not tolerate wicked men (Rev 2:2), Ephesus had truth and lost their love, but they had love but lost their love of the truth and permitted impure doctrine to be taught in the church resulting in impure acts. They had not guarded the truth entrusted to them, the church leaders had not guarded their flock as those in Ephesus had. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (1 Cor 13:6). Doctrinal error leads to immorality but the truth leads to godliness (Tit 1:1). Sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols are the same sins are mentioned at Pergamum. Jezebel brought idolatry into Ahab’s life, she urged him on in evil (1 King 21:25-26), especially idolatry and persecuted the prophets (2 King 9:7), note that as with Balaam in the letter to Pergamum in Rev 2:14 a famous OT figure is used to heighten the imagery. He also uses the word Jezebel because that is how God sees the prophetess. Jezebel killed the true prophets of God (1 King 18:4) and by her teaching here she is bringing spiritual death to those who follow her.

Since sexual immorality and eating sacrificed food to idols are mentioned in Acts 15:20 and in Corinthians 6:18, 8:1, we should take it literally. Eating food offered to idols would be a temptation with respect to the trade guilds which would have feasts involving food offered to idols and possibly sexual immorality. Once again spiritual compromise is warned against, James 4:4 warns that friendship with the world is hatred towards God, it is a form of spiritual adultery. In 18:4 the saints are warned to come out of Babylon so that they will not share in her sins or her punishment. The reason for his intolerance of evil is that he wants his bride to be pure cf. 14:4-5, Eph 5:27. See also comments on 2:14.

To read more about danger of Spirit of Jezebel, click Identify and remove Spirit of Jezebel
Chapter 3

To the angel of the church in Sardis write.

1-5 “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 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. 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. 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.”

(Intepretation taken from http://www.apocalipsis.org)

v2 – Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. – Spiritually they were asleep, Christ saw them as dead and so he commands them to Wake up! A better translation is ‘show yourself watchful’ (Mounce). They were like the five virgins who took their lamps with them to meet the bridegroom but did not take any oil (which stands for the Holy Spirit), when the bridegroom arrived they were not ready, Mat 25:1-13. We must be ready for Christ’s return which is referred to in the next verse (see also Mat 24:42 ff.). Their deeds were not complete, i.e. perfect, in God’s sight, they failed to come up to God’s standard, the implication in verse 4 of the soiled clothes is that sin was involved, it could more simply be that of neglect.

v3 – Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.- They were to remember the word of the gospel that gave them salvation obey it and repent (1 Cor 15:2). Clearly they had forgotten what the gospel meant, and had stopped growing and bearing fruit (Col 1:4-6). They needed once again to hear the gospel of their salvation and to respond to its message afresh. The historicist interpretation would point to Luther as an example of one who heard the gospel afresh and a new vibrant church was formed. The key to their state is to hear the word of God afresh. cf. 2 Pet 1:9. They also need to obey the word, they need to be doers of the word and not just hearers only (Jam 1:22). They also need to repent of their previous attitude, they must change their attitude, wake up and strengthen what remains.

v3 – But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. – ‘I come like a thief’ is a reference to his unexpected second coming (cf. 16:15, 1 Thess 5:2-4, 2 Pet 3:10), he warns his church to keep watch, see the warning in Mat 24:42 to keep watch, ‘because you do not know on what day your Lord will come’. This is a reminder to them of the lack of vigilance of those in Sardis who were twice unexpectedly overcome by the enemy. It can also be taken to be a reference to his unexpected coming upon them in judgement (Mounce), but it is more likely the second coming he has in view (see the warnings in Mat 24:36-25:46). We should see this as a warning to the church to be awake at His return, this is in line with the message of Revelation which is to ensure that the church is ready for his return (1:3, 16:15, 18:4, 19:7, 22:7, 12-14).
To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write.

8-11 “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. 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. Because you have kept My command to perservere, 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. Before, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

(Intepretation taken from http://www.apocalipsis.org)

v8 – I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. – Commendation, there is no rebuke. Jesus is the one who walks among the churches and sees. Philadelphia, meanwhile, was on the main trade route between East and West, a situation that presented the believers with an open door for the gospel into the region beyond. Although they were a tiny group with little strength, theirs was a door that God had provided and therefore no-one could shut (Hill). They had kept his word and not denied Jesus, therefore he will acknowledge them before their enemies. Ramsay points out that the “open door” is a Pauline metaphor meaning a good opportunity, i.e. an open door, for missionary work, see Act 14:27, 1 Cor 16:9, 2 Cor 2:12, Col 4:3.

v9 – I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars–I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. – A synagogue of Satan is also referred to in the letter to Smyrna (2:9), the Jews follow Satan, whose name means slanderer, in slandering God’s people, clearly the Jews in particular were troubling these early churches as Acts demonstrates, Acts 13:45, 14:2, 17:5, 18:6, 25:7.

To the angel of the church in Laodiceans write.

15-20 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 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 – 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 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. 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.”

(Intepretation taken from http://www.apocalipsis.org)

v15 – I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! – He who walks among the churches sees their deeds. The water supply for the city of Laodicea came from hot springs some distance away so that it was lukewarm. There is more hope for the cold anti-Christian, such as Saul, than these lukewarm Christian who has lost his hunger for God.

v16 – So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. – Literally he is about to vomit them out of his mouth. This shows his revulsion of these lukewarm Christians. The remedy is shown in verse 18 in which he counsels them to buy gold, white clothes and salve.

v17 – You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. – Their material wealth had blinded them to their true spiritual bankruptcy. The world had invaded this church, compare the similarity of her attitude with that of the harlot who said ”I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn’ (18:7). It is frequently noted that Laodicea prided itself on three things: financial wealth, an extensive textile industry, and a popular eye-salve which was exported around the world (Mounce). The church thought it was rich in her own eyes, but in the eyes of Christ it was poor. In Hosea 12:8 Ephraim boasts, ‘I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin’. Compare the Laodiceans with the church in Smyrna who were afflicted and poor but in the Lord’s eyes were rich.

Their attitude was similar to that of the Pharisees who thought that they were healthy but were in fact sick (Mat 9:10-13), they thought that they could see but were blind (John 9:40-41, Mat 15:14). While they were not Pharisees their condition is similar which is why the Lord rebukes them. Their condition is dangerous because they do not realise it.

v18 – I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. – Christ’s counsel to them is in three parts: to buy gold so that they become rich instead of being wretched, pitiful and poor; white clothes to cover their nakedness and salve for their blind eyes so that they can see.

v18 – I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire – This is gospel buying without price (Isa 55:1, Rev 21:6), true riches without price, i.e. salvation that is free. In 22:6 God offers freely to the thirsty to drink from the spring of the water of life, in 22:17 the invitation to the thirsty is given by the church to take the free gift of the water of life. The Laodiceans were relying on their own riches without faith in Christ. The gold represents faith in Christ, see 1 Pet 1:7, rather than trusting in their own wealth which perishes. They can only get this gold from Christ. They cannot take their wealth with them after death, but their labour of faith follows them (14:13).

v18 – white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; – Originally Adam and Eve were naked but felt no shame (Gen 2:25), but then after they sinned they were ashamed of their nakedness and sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness (Gen 3:7). In 16:15 at the second coming Christ calls blessed is ‘he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.’ In 3:4-5 those in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes will walk with Christ dressed in white because they are worthy. Those in Laodicea did not even have any clothes, they were naked, they have to come to Christ to get clothes to cover their sins. Joshua the high priest was dressed in filthy clothes in Zec 3:3-4, he was given new rich garments after his sin was taken away. These clothes are the white clothes of righteousness (Isa 61:10). Throughout Revelation white garments stand for righteousness (6:11, 7:9, 7:14, 19:8, 19:14), in 7:14 they are said to have ‘washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’

v18 – and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. – They do not even realise their nakedness and need their spiritual eyes opened so that they can see their condition. Laodicea was famous for its eye salve. Once again they must buy this from Christ.

Summary, please stop and do some self examination:-

For the church, try to understand as I explain in parable. You may see the church as a fruit tree but there are certain branches that are producing bad fruits, the church has to find out which root (root cause or which part fallen from first love) had been rotten and must identify the worms that is attacking it to cause it to rot. The church needs to spent time and effort to uncover many ground to discover it.

For individual, especial those running as Cell Group leader.

Do you practice mind control?

Do you find yourself using manipulation and hype to control people under your charge?

Are you feeling that your leadership is being threaten and you must do something such punishment to exert authority over your members?

Are you quick to get angry over member breaking your “internalised rules” and you do not hesistate to meed out punishment on to them?

If your answer to the above question is “yes” You are in danger of being control by the evil spirit of Jezebel. You need to repent and to the extent of deliverance.

Do you have lusts for authority, adultery, material gain such as money?

If “Yes”,You need to ask for the blood of Lord Jesus to cleanse you of these lusts.

Do you find yourself bearing the spiritual fruit?

1.Love

2.Joy

3.Peace

4.Patient Endurance

5.Kindness

6.Goodness

7.Faith and Faithfulness

8.Gentleness

9.Self-Discipline

(Galatians 5:22-23)

If you find that you don’t possess ALL of the above spiritual fruit, then your spirit life is in big question, are you reborn?

Lastly, do you receive Visions, dreams or revelations personaly from our Holy Spirit (Lord Jesus) or from Angels? If your answer is “No”. Then, perhaps you do not have our Holy Spirit in full control of your life. You need to pray for deep rooting with our Holy Spirit.

Addon notes(3/10/20100: (Special thanks to San Davis for sharing this video on FB)
Grace based church giving discount on true teaching of Lord Jesus leading many to the broadway of entering Hell. Be open to view this video, it is not talking about wrong teaching of Apostle Paul but the low or discounted value teaching of Lord Jesus Christ. Grace based church rarely preach about using the power of Holy Spirt, Angels, Spiritual warfare and rarely warn about the existence of Hell.