Pt 2 I’m Transforming Faith & Film
Revelations 2: 1-29, Revelations 3:1-22
Ephesus (desirable) the apostolic century church
Commended for: Good Works, Patience Sound Doctrine, Church Discipline, Steadfastness, and Hatred of evil
Sins and Weakness Rebuked: Backsliding, Left their first love.
Promise to Overcomer: Heavenly Food
Smyrna (Suffering) The suffering age 100AD- 300AD This church was poor, but rich the time was the early centuries of persecution
Commended for: Spiritual endurance, Heavenly treasures
Sins and Weakness Rebuked: No rebuke but warned of tremendous attack from Satan and endures to the end
Promise to the Overcomer: A Crown of Life-those that overcome the trials of life
Pergamos (married to the world) 300 AD- 500AD The church and state became one. Position of elevation in power and compromise. This was the age of Constantine, and temporal prosperity
Commended for: Steadfastness in the midst of evil environment
Sins and Weakness Rebuke: Tolerance of Corrupt Doctrines and Heretics. Doctrine of Balaam enticed the Israelites to commit sin by enticing them with sexual immorality and food sacrificed to idols. They fell to these traps and God sent a deadly plague. Numbers 31:16
Promise to the Overcomer: Hidden Spiritual Blessings, Divine Food, And New Name
Thyatira (continual sacrifice) Roman Catholic Mass enters the seen. 500AD – 1500AD. We see the church of the evil prophetess. Good works but compromise to wicked leaders and doings in the church. The age of apostasy
Commended for: Love (charity), Spiritual Service, Faith and Patience
Sins and Weakness Rebuke: Lax Discipline, Tolerance of Corrupt Prophetess
Promise to Overcomer: Spiritual Dominion and Illumination
Sardis (remnant, those who escaped) had a form of godliness but deny the power there of. This is the dying church. Reformation era begin. Churches pull out from the Catholic Religion 1500AD- 1700AD The Middle Ages
Commended For: None for the majority of Members a few commended for purity
Sins and Weakness Rebuke: Extreme Formalism, Spiritual Death Imminent, and Inactive
Promise to the Overcomer: A Robe of Righteousness, Heavenly Registration
Philadelphia (The church of Brotherly Love) (Church of Revivalism, mission movement) The period of reformation during Martin Luther Time 1700AD- 1800 AD Commended For: Keeping the Testimony of the WORD.
Sins and Weakness Rebuke: None Recorded
Promise to Overcomer: To become Spiritual pillars bearing a Divine Inscription
Laodicea (The rich but poor church) represented the rights of the people. People don’t want sound doctrine, already thought they made it in. The Last Days 1800AD- Present Commended For: Nothing
Sins and Weakness Rebuke: Lukewarm, Spiritual Conceit, No conscious Need, Spiritual Poverty, Spiritual Blindness, and Spiritual Wretchedness
Promise to the Overcomer: Divine Fellowship, Spiritual Enthronement
All these churches are symbolic of us individuals and as a corporate body. I would like to use a popular film created in 2007 fleshed out from a popular child hood cartoon in the 80’s. It was called Transformers
Hasbro brought out their line of transforming robot/vehicles in the 80’s and probably had no idea of the massive cultural impact they were about to make. Growing up, I don’t remember many of my friends NOT having several Transformers. The cartoon was created to further market the toys, and the story of the Autobots and the Decepticons was further fleshed out. In 2007, Michael Bay released his Transformers film, portraying the alien robots in live action. This was then followed by two sequels (with another possibly coming out next year), cementing the Transformers in the 21st Century.
Yet, it was not until the last time I watched the first movie, a couple months ago, that I realized I had heard the story before. The battle between the Decepticons and the Autobots was not particularly original, for it only had put new terms on a very old story. I realized that the Transformers are analogies for where we are today. The Autobots(Protectors) & Decepticons (Destroyers) Fighting Over the Earth.
Let me run through the story, drawing out the similarities between Hasbro’s transforming toys and a major part of Christian spirituality.
On another world, far away, intelligent beings that are completely unlike humans exist. They are not made of flesh, but of steel (just as the angels and we are of spirit). Everything is peaceful and harmonious, until one of the beings, Megatron (Decepticon Leader), desires more power and leads his allies, the Decepticons into battle against the Autobots. This coincides with the Christian tradition that Lucifer, greatest of the angels, led a rebellion of angels in Heaven. And like the angelic counterparts, the Transformers continue to battle into the present.
Both the Fallen Angels and the Decepticons end up on earth. The result? The possible destruction of humankind. For the Decepticons, the destruction of earth is merely a byproduct of their search for the Allspark, but the wicked intention is clear: the Decepticons are the demons of this story.
The Autobots (Angels & Saints of God) arrive to protect humanity. They fight tooth and nail to stop the villains from destroying human beings. They see themselves as hidden guardians of our people, willing to risk all to keep us from harm. The Autobots are led by Optimus Prime (Symbol of Jesus), the commander of Heaven’s armies, is often depicted wielding a powerful sword.
The spiritual realm is hidden to most of humanity. Many cannot see spirits, angels, demons, or anything like that. I know people who can, but for most, it’s not a reality we get to experience. In the same way, the Autobots and the Decepticons are hidden from humanity in their vehicle forms. They are “Robots in Disguise.” Their actions usually take place far from the eyes of the public, with few “miraculous” interventions happening in densely populated areas.
You may not find this particularly enlightening, but it’s just one example of finding the “big story” hidden in the movies we watch each week. I hope, as we continue to look through the lens of faith, that you will start to see there’s “More to Us Than Meets the Eye”.
1. I have to have an APPROPRIATE PERSPECTIVE OF GOD
- Three Ways We Come to Know God
Practices of Experience
- Remember HE’S the CREATOR
Psalm 100:3 NKJV
Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
- God’s Creative Power Revels Three Things
He Steps Out on Nothing and Makes Something
Everything He Creates Has Purpose
He Provides for His Creation
2. Trust HE’S IN CONTROL
- He Has Ownership
- He Maintains the Order
- He Determines the Outcome
3. AUTHENTICALLY PURSUE GOD
4. YOU MUST HAVE CHARACTER OVER CARNALITY
Three Areas That Confirm Our Character Pleases God
Actions of Your Life
5. GOD REWARDS THE RIGHTEOUS
Psalm 84:11 NKJV
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
Matthew 6:33 NKJV
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
6. KEEP APPROPRIATE POSTURE FOR GOD
7. No Matter What Keep Your Head Up
Revelations 4:1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
If You Open Up, He Will Come In
Acknowledge the Power of God