The Message to Pergamos

The Message to Pergamos

Book of Revelation Chapter 2 Verses 12 through 17

The Church at Pergamos was established but by whom is not certain. We know that the Apostle Paul worked in the area, but he did not mention it by name.

We also know the Apostle Paul would never take the credit for another man’s work neither would he work in the same area to compete with another child of God.

Act 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Act 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
Act 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
Act 16:8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

The city of Pergamos was the chief city of Mysia.

It is only 60 miles north of Smyrna and is now named Bergamo and still has two Christian Churches in it today.

It is said that out of around 20,000 people living there, as many as 2000 of them are Christians.

We can understand that the Church in Ephesus also represents the Apostolic Age up to 100 AD.

The Church of Smyrna would represent the end of the Apostolic Age until the Constantine Age.

The Church of Pergamos would represent the Constantine Age up to the Boniface III Age. Boniface the III was the first Pope.

The influence of the papacy had begun with the rule of Constantine!

Beginning in the year 313 AD Christianity was showing strength against paganism and to Constantine, that there was power in religion.

It is said that he had a vision of a fiery red cross and on that cross written “By this shall thou conquer”.

He decided himself, without Holy Ghost conviction that he should become a Christian.

Christianity then became the religion of the Roman Empire.

A hierarchy was then formed, and the Lord Jesus Christ was dethroned as the head of the Church.

These things resulted in what is now known as the Catholic Church.

Now I do not deny that there are Christians in every group of believers, but the Lord Jesus Christ is certainly the true head of the Church and He always will be. He used words like, forever and eternal and these words speak for themselves because our Lord cannot lie!

It these things that were in their beginning, that had influence over the Church at Pergamos.

We will see that church members began to participate in worldly functions.
We will see that church members would allow worldly activities to take place inside the church.
We will see that Baptism became the sign of salvation but without repentance. You cannot be “Born Again” without repentance!

*****Rev 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

We can say a lot of things about that two-edged sword but in reality, it designates the Word of God!

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

We miss a very important point in these letters, if we do not see that the Lord Jesus holds the Pastor of each church responsible for the direction of the Church.

Pergamos was a royal city with a high and lofty attitude. There was a great temple to Caesar, a great altar to Zeus, which was a chair 40 feet high that overlooked the city.

Pergamos was a city full of pagan worship and it was ok to be a Christian, as long as you did not say that Jesus Christ was the only God.

This has not changed at all today. You can say the word god all day long, just as long as you do not mention the Lord Jesus Christ and then you become an enemy!

Pergamos was one of the cultural and religious centers of the known world in that day and had been a capitol city for more than 400 years.

You had to be politically correct to get along in Pergamos!

These are the people this Pastor tried to lead to the Lord and then keep them headed on that pathway to Heaven.

He was to use the written Word of God, which by that time included almost all the New Testament.

It took a strong man of God to preach against the pagan world where this church was located.

How did Jesus see this church?

*****Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

We need to get one thing very clear! The Lord Jesus Christ knows everything there is to know about each one of us!

The Lord Jesus Christ knows everything there is no know about our Church!

We are to do everything we can to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to make disciples to go out into our community, our state, our nation, and the uttermost parts of the world.

We are to keep to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ in everything we do!

In other words, when the world looks at us, they should have no doubt that we will take our stand with Jesus and we are not about to move away from Him.

It should be known that we will not compromise for any reason and we do not believe in being politically correct!

We should understand that this church in Pergamos was loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ even while they were located in this pagan place.

They lived in a cesspool of worldliness.

This city provided every pleasure people would look for.

In this city, it was your possessions that determined your place in society.

You could find every comfort that humans desire.

What were some of the problems for the Christians here?

Once a year by law they had stand before the Temple of Caesar and declare him as a god, but they refused to do so.

They refused to bow to a false god.

Just what did Jesus teach us about these things?

Mat 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

This church was pure in its doctrine and had not denied their faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

This church was taking a stand against persecution. One of the church leaders had been martyred named Antipas.

In that day each and every Christian knew that if they claimed the Lord Jesus Christ, it could cost them their life!

We must also remember that if every Christian just presented themselves before the executioner to be a martyr then this is not being a good witness.

Yes, we are to take a stand with the Lord, but we are to go about the business of the Lord while staying away from the politics of the world!

There were still some things going on in this church that were not right!

*****Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

What do we know of Balaam? We know he did do his best to curse the people of God.

The Apostle Peter wrote:

2Pe 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
2Pe 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
2Pe 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

What is the doctrine of Balaam?

When there is corruption and worldliness already inside the church.

Church members who taught against staying pure!

Trying to mix worldliness and religion under the heading of Christianity.

There was a determined effort to bring unrighteousness into this church!

It was Balaam who taught King Balak to send in Moabite women into the locations of the Jews with intent to cause fornication, which is a terrible sin in the eyes of God.

In this church they most likely baptized people who had not repented of their sin.
They had allowed these same people to begin to teach Sunday School and to teach children.
This caused a mixed membership, some keeping the laws of God and others choosing to be politically correct and sided with the world.

Families were being broken up because of fornication.

They were participating in the feast at the Temple of Caesar, and Temple of Zeus and joining in at the altar which many called the seat of Satan.

The Pastor was teaching the truth, but he was allowing church growth, by allowing non-Christians to be involved in the teaching and other activities when he needed to verify their salvation.

According to the Word of God by example, Jesus spent three years teaching the Apostles and even the Apostle Paul was three years with the Lord Jesus and good example for any who first must accept the Lord Christ as their Savior and then learn the Word of God before teaching others.

Now only Jesus can save, and only Jesus knows who is saved, but we can still know them by their works.

1Pe_2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

It is by our works after salvation, that we will know those who are saved.

Jesus said:

Joh_3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh_3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

To be “Born Again” is to be repenting from that old life and walking in the ways of Jesus.

These that that came into the church at Pergamos were still hanging out at those temples to false gods.

Some others were just trying to take advantage of God’s “Grace” which God forbids.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

There is not anyone sitting here that cannot name a church where this is going on today and has become the foundation of many mainline denominations for a good while now.

What did Jesus say was the remedy? To repent.

There is not much repentance preaching happening in the modern church!

*****Rev 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Repentance begins with a complete change of mind. We must quit rebelling against the Word of God and begin accepting and submitting to all the Word of God as the truth!

One of the greatest examples of repentance in the Scriptures is found in the Book of Mathew.

Mat 21:27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
Mat 21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
Mat 21:29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
Mat 21:30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
Mat 21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

Jesus said to repent is to believe the Gospel”!

Mar_1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

As we have already said that sword in the mouth of the Lord is a two-edged sword.

One side the sword of truth, the other side the sword of judgment.

The Lord first gave us His un-fallible Word of Truth.

When the Word of God does not convince, then comes the sword of the Lord.

The Lord He would fight with His sword of judgment!

What did this mean for Balaam?

Num 22:21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
Num 22:22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
Num 22:23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
Num 22:24 But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
Num 22:25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
Num 22:26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
Num 22:27 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
Num 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
Num 22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
Num 22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
Num 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

The Lord stopped Balaam.

Then Balaam met his doom!

Num 31:7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
Num 31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

There is no battle with the Lord that you can win!

Then the Lord said for this church to remember that He also hated the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which we know are a people to try to take advantage of the “Grace” of God which God forbids!

We are not to continue in our sinful ways once we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. This is what repentance is all about.

Now listen to the Holy Spirit.

*****Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Remember these words are given to the Pastor of the Church and he is to preach this message.

The Holy Spirit says, you need to sit up and stop what you are doing and listen to this message from God.

The Holy Spirit also expects the same thing from each of us!

Each and every child of God is given the opportunity and the right to eat of the true manna, the true bread of Heaven.

The true manna from Heaven is the Word of God given to us by the Holy Spirit!

What did King David tell Mephibosheth?

2Sa 9:7 And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; “and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually”.

This is what our Savior is teaching to us!

We will eat at the Heavenly table of our Lord throughout eternity and it begins at salvation then repentance.

“White” and “New” are key words in the phrase that remains.

There are white robes, white clouds, white horses, white thrones, and this white stone.

We know that white signifies joy and purity.

Solomon wrote:

Ecc 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
Ecc 9:8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.

The word “New” is used almost as frequently as the word “white”.

New name, new song, make all things new.

White and black stones were used in the courts of judgment.

White and black stones were used in the games.

At some Greek feast, everyone that came brought a token as a pledge. Symbolically this white stone with a new name could represent our token, showing we are worthy to sit down at the marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

No doubt the one sure thing is when we eat that Heavenly Manna, that eternal spiritual bread of Heaven, and possess that white stone that has the name of Christ Jesus written upon it, we will be able to enter into Heaven, because no one gets into Heaven without being like Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ is the “Door” that we must past through to reach the throne room of God!

Joh_10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

Joh_10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

We must not be fooled by foolish men and women. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to get into God’s Heaven!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

No one will ever overcome worldliness unless they listen to what the Word of God has to say about the Lord Jesus Christ!

Amen

Let’s Pray

The Message to Smyrna

The Message to Smyrna

Book of Revelation Chapter 2 Verses 8 through 11

The word Smyrna means bitterness. This is the word that describes this Church at Smyrna.

The city of Smyrna had suffered through many wars and was destroyed and laid in ruins until it was rebuilt by Alexander the Great in a new place a few miles from the old city of ruins. Those of Smyrna had learned some valuable lessons, or at least they had thought so.

In the wars with Rome, Smyrna quickly became faithful to Rome and was rewarded for it.

It was Smyrna who was one of the first cities to build a temple to the new Emperor.

It is said that everyone in the city had to come twice each year to publicly declare Caesar as Lord.

If a Christian refused, they were tortured or put to death.

They also erected a temple to Homer, because they claimed to be the birthplace of Homer. Homer was the great Greek poet.

Smyrna also built a temple to Zeus, one of the Roman gods.

The city of Smyrna had learned their lessons from the past and would always choose to be on the side of the strongest and of the victor, which is not always the best side to be on.

The city Smyrna began to be a city full of pagan worship and pagan rituals.

This is the backdrop from which this Church in Smyrna was established.

We may not know who it was that started this Church, but we do know that Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John was an early Pastor there.

Polycarp could not be the Messenger that this message was addressed to, because he came to Smyrna only after the death of John.

The Christian Church at Smyrna still hold Polycarp in high honor today.

One man writes, this church was established by Paul and one of the first Pastors at this time could have been Apelles who is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his salutes to Christians.

Rom 16:10 Salute “Apelles” approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household.

When Rome began to persecute Christians in Smyrna, Christians suffered much through dreadful torments.

They were put to death at the stake, or killed and mauled by wild animals in great arenas, while the stands were full of the enemies of God, laughing and enjoying, while Christians were mauled and maimed and put to death.

Even Polycarp was put to death during this time in 155 AD.

It is said that while the Romans were burning Polycarp, that the flames formed an arch above his head, and he was not injured until a Roman soldier murdered him with a spear. Sounds familiar does it not!

Some people go outside the law to kill Christians and get away with it!

The Romans intended to stamp out Christianity in these early years of the Church.

It is also said that persecution came from Judaizers who also hated the Church.

The church also suffered through false teaching, which is the greatest enemy of the Church as a whole.

We can see that it was just tough to be Christian in the city of Smyrna!

It is also said that today the Church is still thriving in Smyrna, so all these enemies of the Church failed.

Here again we will see that this letter from Jesus, is addressed to the Angel or the Pastor of the Church of Smyrna.

*****Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Look how Jesus says, His own persecution caused His death and He overcame that death, when He arose from that death to new life.

Every Christian will overcome death and live in a new life in a new place called the New Heaven and the New Jerusalem. This is the message that we need to understand!

Jesus totally understood the conditions that this Pastor, or Preacher or however you describe him, was going through, as he witnessed the things his flock suffered.

I know how our Pastor stands before us each week and tells us of those in our own church family, who have been taken on to Heaven to be with the Lord and those who are suffering and those with sickness.

2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2Co 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
2Co 5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
2Co 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

When the Pastor of the Church in Smyrna stood before his own flock every week, he told of all those who were murdered and mauled in the arena and other places and were persecuted just because they refused to reject the Lord Jesus Christ.

It was a daily thing that some Christian was murdered in Smyrna.

It was a daily thing that some Christian was persecuted in Smyrna.

It was a terrible place to live if you were a Christian, in Smyrna.

We know that, before these people even felt the pains of death, they were already with the Lord!

We also know that wounds will heal, and a heart sold out to the Lord, will not quit on the Lord!

To many of these seven churches Jesus criticized many things, but to this church in Smyrna Jesus let them know that He understood their persecution and His proof was His own death by persecution.

Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

This same message goes out to those going through severe persecution today in the many places where it is just hard to be Christians.

It is hard to be a Christian in a Muslim dominated country.

It is hard to be a Christian in a Hindu dominated country.

It is getting hard to be true Christians even in America, because the Church is compromising with the world.

Christian persecution is increasing all around our world today while the Christian Church is not even in competition with any false religion!

When you are in possession of the truth, many will come to hear this truth!

Jesus says to them “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore”.

This is true of every Christian whose life is taken away from them, just because they know their Savior and will not reject Him!

The name Smyrna signifies the substance called “myrrh”.

Myrrh is used in perfumes.
Myrrh is mingled sometimes in wine and with gaul to deaden the mind to the things around them. This drink was given to those who were sentenced to death on the cross to deaden their pain and make their agony longer. Jesus rejected this drink when it was offered to Him!
Myrrh is also used in embalming fluid.

But Smyrna was a proud city.

Proud of its culture.
Proud of its beauty.
Proud of its commercial wealth.
Proud of its social life.
Just not proud of the Christian Church!

The residents of this city felt that they were living in the first city of all of Asia.

Everyone would try to climb the social ladder, stepping all over those who got in their way.

The Jews in the city took advantage of all these things and became some of the worst of those who persecuted the Church.

In some cases if an employee was redeemed by the Lord, they would lose their job.

Most of the government and certain others, did everything they could do to get this city to stamp out Christianity!

Where are the churches like that of Smyrna located today?

According to the “Open Doors” ministry:

1) North Korea has the number one nation for Christian persecution for 19 consecutive years.

If a Christian has a Bible, or part of one, it will be carefully hidden and only read when the believer is sure they are alone.

Most Christians do not even tell their own children about their faith until they are older teenagers for fear that they may let something slip.

As you can imagine, gathering for worship in a church is non-existent.

Daring to meet other Christians for worship is a risky feat that must be done in utmost secrecy.

It is a miracle that this underground church in North Korea is able to exist. But more than that, it is growing.

2) Afghanistan: Where Christianity exists only in secret.

Afghanistan is once again only a point behind North Korea’s ranking on the 2020 World Watch List.

An Islamic state by constitution, the country does not permit any faith other than Islam to exist; and it is illegal to convert to anything else.

To convert to a faith outside Islam is tantamount to treason because it’s seen as a betrayal of family, tribe, and country.

Those who are discovered to be Christians may be sent to a mental hospital; because their families believe no sane person would leave Islam.

They may also be beaten or even killed by family members, or members of Islamic extremist groups like the Taliban which continues to increase its strength.

Violence against Christians remains very high, but the measures taken against converts depends on the family.

One Christian in Afghanistan says, “How we survive daily only God knows. He knows because He has been kind to dwell with us. But we are tired of all the death around us.”

3) Somalia: Christians are hunted for their faith.

Estimates suggest that 99 percent of Somali citizens are Muslims, and any of the minority religions are heavily persecuted.

The violent extremist group, al-Shabab, which subscribes to the ultra-strict Islamic doctrine of Wahhabism, advocates Shariah law as the basis for regulating all aspects of life in Somalia.

This group has repeatedly expressed its desire to eradicate Christians from this country.

In every sphere of life; private, family, community and national; being exposed as a convert to Christianity in Somalia means life-threatening danger, often leading to on-the-spot execution.

As a result, most Somali Christians keep their faith completely secret. But despite the risks, Somali people are coming to faith in Jesus; some in miraculous ways.

4) Libya: No freedom for Christians.

After the ouster of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya plunged into chaos and anarchy.

And that situation has not changed for Libyans.

The continued absence of a single central government to uphold law and order has enabled various Islamic militant groups to control parts of the country.

Libyan converts to Christianity face abuse and violence for their decision to follow Christ.

5) Pakistan: Constant threat of mob attacks.

In Pakistan, all Christians (4 million out 204 million people) suffer from institutionalized discrimination, illustrated by the fact that occupations seen as low, dirty and derogatory are reserved for religious minorities like Christians by the authorities.

Many Christians are poor, and some are victims of bonded labor.

There are Christians belonging to the middle class, as well, but this economic status doesn’t save Christians them from being marginalized or persecuted in an Islamic culture—believers are always at risk because of the country’s notorious blasphemy laws.

The country’s patriarchal culture is especially cruel to Christian women, who are often targeted for both their faith and their gender.

An estimated 700 girls and women abducted each year are raped and then forcefully married to Muslim men in the community, usually resulting in forced conversions.

6) Eritrea: Christians arrested in increasing police raids.

7) Sudan: Political chaos increases vulnerability.

8) Yemen: Christians targeted in chaos of civil war.

9) Iran: Illegal to convert from Islam.

10) India: Violent and spreading persecution.

These are the top ten nations for Christian persecutions but there are still many others suffering from Christian persecution today.

This is where we find most all the Church that are like Smyrna today.

And Jesus says to these Churches:

*****Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

There is nothing that goes on in this world that Jesus does not know about.

Jesus does never sit in Heaven saying, “what will I do now”!

This world is moving along according to the plan of God and God’s plan will never change.

You see the Lord sees all those who are persecuted for their faith in Him.

In the eyes of the world these may seem to be the most neglected people upon this earth and there is no doubt that they suffer greatly.

Jesus knows that they must keep their work secret and work unnoticed or they will be found out.

In reality, it can be said that none of the other six churches had the faith of this one church.

They did have just a little strength, but they were determined to do the work given to them by the Lord Jesus.

As Christians we all talk about the wonders of Heaven but in reality, none of us know just how beautiful Heaven will be and the riches of Heaven far outweigh, any riches in this life.

The saints of Smyrna were already full of the riches of faith and love.

These saints of God were holding up under constant persecution and affliction from their own government and they risked their lives every time they witnessed to those around them about the Lord Jesus Christ and the free gift of God’s Grace.

Jesus warned us all:

Mat 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Mat 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

The church in Smyrna clearly understood what Jesus had said!

These people survived poverty because when you truly have nothing, you can be sure that Jesus is all we need.

In Smyrna even the Jews were their enemy, ignoring all the Word of God.

But who is a Jew?

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Today in all the places where we see churches similar to that one of Smyrna, it is not the Jews who cause problems it is the false Christians trying to be politically correct rather than be true to the Word of God or just deceivers.

They too were of the synagogue of Satan!

How did the Lord Jesus address these issues?

*****Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Jesus said to the Pastor, “fear none of these things”!

Jesus also said more persecution is coming!

This is a message we all need to understand.

The Devil is going to arouse all the unbelievers of this world to attack the believers.

God is going to allow all His children to be tried!

That word “tried” meaning to be proved reliable!

We should remember Abraham and His son Isaac.

Heb_11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

If God tried Abraham who do, we think we are? Are we reliable Christians? Can we stand up to the Devil?

Php_4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

How are we to react to those to reject us?

1Pe_4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Why were the saints of Smyrna going to be so rich?

Jas_1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

1Pe_1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

If we are tried and endure it according to the Word of God, we are able to receive the praise of our Savior.

These things are not limited to the saints of Smyrna but to every saint of God!

We can be assured that Satan only has a short time left to do his evilness!

In fact with all the earthquakes, volcanoes, increasing weather, pestilences such as the Corona virus, and insects, we should all be looking up for our redemption is drawing nigh!

This short time is not the devil’s doing, it is because the Lord is soon coming.

Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

We must remember this message is intended for every church and it will always have the same meaning.

And the Holy Spirit says:

*****Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

We have no reason to fear what this world can do to us, but it will require that we be steady in our faith.

We must have great faith!

How did Jesus describe this “great faith”?

Mat 8:8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
Mat 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, “I have not found so great faith”, no, not in Israel.

This may sound hard, but if we just accept that the Lord Jesus will do exactly what He said He would do and all the promises of God will be fulfilled, then this is where we are to place our faith!

We serve a Living God who is exceedingly able to do everything He says!

There is no greater reward than eternal life that is lived in the presence of our Holy God!

We must understand that there will be a second death!

Everyone that lives will certainly die. This is the first death.

Then there is this second death, and it is this second death that we need to avoid, and the Lord Jesus Christ provides that opportunity by giving us a choice.

If we are tried and proved faithful, we will miss out on this second death.

We must be faithful to God’s Son, Jesus Christ, even if we are going through the worst of persecution!

2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Our day of “redemption” is so near that we can almost feel it. It is not time to quit on the Lord!

Amen

Let’s pray!

The Message to the Church in Ephesus

The Message to Ephesus

Book of Revelation Chapter 2 verses 1 through 7

Today we will begin to look at those seven churches that the Lord told John to write about.

Remember Jesus has given us this time to make those necessary changes to make each church to be a better church.

Jesus picked these seven churches because they represent the church as a whole.

Notice also Jesus speaks to the individual church as independent churches, and no church is to make rules over another church.

Every church is to be a church established in the name of Jesus Christ.

They also represent the seven ages of the church and we can be certain that we are in that final church age!

The City of Ephesus was the capitol of the Roman province of Asia Minor. Ephesus may have been the richest province of all the Roman territories.

It was the Apostle Paul who visited this area on more than one occasion, so we can be sure the true Gospel was preached in all these churches.

This same area had been colonized by the Greeks before they fell to the Romans.

We should also remember the Temple of Diana was located in Ephesus which had the largest theatre in the world.

It would hold 50,000 spectators.

In fact it is said that this temple may have been one of the seven wonders of the world at one time.

Different religious beliefs were everywhere, but Christianity is the work of the One true God!

1Co 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
1Co 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

The Church at Ephesus was established by the Apostle Paul and sustained by the work of Priscilla and Aquila.

Apollos preached in this church.

Timothy preached in this church.

What were some of the obstacles?

The Jews hated the Christians.
The city was full of idolatry and false priests.
There was the effect of riches all over this city.
There was the open display of sensual pleasures everywhere.

We know that there were at least four more Christian churches in the area. Those four that are not mentioned are the Church at Troas:

Act 20:5 These going before tarried for us at Troas.

2Co 2:12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,

The Church at Miletus:

Act 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

The Church at Colossae:

Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church at Hierpolis.

Col 4:13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

It is well known that there were even more churches that had been established in Asia.

The Lord Jesus will begin with the Christian Church in Ephesus, but He is standing in the midst of all these churches that He has called out.

What this means is the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ is written unto these four churches just as is intended for all churches!

Every true Church will fit into at least one of these seven categories.

Every Church from then until now will exist in every Church Age with the named church being the most dominant Church.

Though all these types of Church existed in the day of Ephesus, the particular traits of Ephesus dominated the first Church Age.

The greatest cause of persecution of the Church during this Age came from the Emperors of Rome beginning with Nero and ending with the Emperor Diocletian in 310 AD.

Some would say that this Age of the Church had its beginnings in the Apostolic Age and ran to the Constantine Age, keeping in mind that even today we can find the remnants of each individual church.

Let’s begin by listening to the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to the Church at Ephesus.

*****Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

This message is written toward Ephesus, but it is actually written to the Messenger or the Pastor of the Church at Ephesus.

The Greek Word “angelos” which could mean Angel and an Angel is a Messenger sent from God.

Heb 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

This same Greek word is derived from two other Greek words “ago” which means to lead and “agelay” which means a drove.

These two words put together would mean a Shepherd or Angel, so we know by the way it is used, it means the Pastor of the Church at Ephesus.

This message is from Christ Jesus because in Chapter One we established that it is Jesus who holds the seven stars in His right hand of power and stands in the midst of the candlesticks which are these seven churches.

In fact the Lord Jesus says He is walking in the midst of these seven churches and Ephesus in this lesson.

What are the things Jesus knows, as He walks in the midst of this church?

This church had been established by the Apostle Paul and later led by Timothy almost a duplicate of the Apostle Paul in many ways.

Jesus says He knows the “effort” put forth by this church to spread the “Gospel” and everything else this church does.

Jesus says He knows the “labor” that is put forth to spread the “Gospel”.

Jesus says He knows the “patience” of the is church as they attempt to honor God the Father through His Son Jesus.

Each and every church have need of patience as the church continues in this world, until the Lord returns to take us home.

1Ti_1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

In every church, we must labor for Jesus and then patiently wait to see if there are results while still applying sunlight and water to that seed that was planted.

The Apostle Paul preached to this church with these words:

Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Jesus says He knows that this church hated evil.

Why is this so important?

3Jn 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

We are all to hate evil, but we are never to hate the sinner who does that evil

We could say that Jesus knows everything that goes on in every true church!

Jesus knows all the good and all the evil that goes on in every church!

This means that in each church that has the presence of Jesus, He is there to lead and guide that church!

A church that does not have the presence of Jesus Christ, is not a church by Biblical Standards!

We also realize that some false preachers, calling themselves apostles, had come through this church and they found them to be liars.

When we know the Word of God and it is written in our hearts and our minds, we should be able to tell if a preacher is preaching the truth or preaching with lies.

The church at Ephesus was able to do this.

Then Jesus repeats Himself.

*****Rev 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

My pastor preaches many times about turning up the heat within us.

When we were first saved, we were on fire for God. As time goes by if we are not careful that fire will begin to grow dim and in some, that fire will go completely out.

We simply cannot allow this to happen to us.

Listen to Jeremiah:

Jer 20:8 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.
Jer 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

If the Word of God is within our hearts, then it will want to come out!

We cannot allow the things of this world to discourage us in the work the Lord has given us to do.

Afflictions and reproaches will increase as we get closer to the arrival of our Lord Jesus.

Persecutions will increase as we get closer to going home.

We must understand these things and keep on going for the Lord!

The message of Jesus Christ is not a burden! It is a message of hope in a wicked and dying world!

The message of Jesus Christ is all about love!

We are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit and this church was taught these things.

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

We can be sure that the church in Ephesus had been taught these things from the church in Galatia because all the works of the Apostle Paul were passed from church to church.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

When we grow cold, we then grieve the Spirit, and He cannot do His work within us and within the church.

Let us all turn up the heat and get busy about the work of the Lord.

Remember the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church!

Those that gather in any other name are not a church built on Jesus Christ!

If not for the Love of God, we would all end in a burning hell and then a lake of burning fire.

We must remain in one heart, one mind, and in one accord for our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His all when He did not have to!

When we allow sin to overwhelm us, the church will grow cold!

Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

This Church needed to turn up the heat and get back on fire for our Savior.

This church needed to remember back to the time the Apostle Paul who through much persecution, taught this church about a perfect Savior who loved them enough to die for them!

Again the message of Jeremiah:

Jer 2:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Jer 2:2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.

This is the message that should be preached in all those churches that have followed in the path of this church in Ephesus.

What was the remedy given to this Church by the Lord Himself?

*****Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

It is a fact that if Jesus was here and preaching to the churches today, they would run Him out of many churches, and He would not be allowed to preach!

Jesus says to “remember” “or else”!

There is not much of that “or else” preaching going on today!

In every so called “House of God”, unless the flame of love for the Lord Jesus Christ, which includes His Gospel, is not kept bright and glowing, He will withdraw His support.

A Church without the “Spirit of Jesus” is not a church at all, but just a social club where people gather to give praise to the devil!

Repentance has become an unknown word to many who claim to be Christian today!

Remember what Jesus said and we see He warned us many times.

Mat_24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mar_13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Luk_21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

Joh_5:43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

We see the way that the Apostle wrote, and it is happening more today than any other time in Church history.

The false teacher and false preacher come in their own names!

What must we do if our fire grows dim?

1) Remember
2) Repent
3) Return to doing the first works, “or else”!

There is also not much “repenting” preaching going on today.

Just what does those words “Born Again” mean.

They mean repenting!

Repenting is a complete change of heart, having a new heart toward Christ Jesus.
Repenting includes a compete change of mind, having the mind of Christ.
Repenting includes a compete change of direction, stop walking with the world, and the ways of the world, and beginning a walk with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Anything else falls into that “or else” category!

When Jesus removes the candlestick, that house will become a house of darkness.

Darkness is a symbol of the “Judgments” that are coming from the Lord!

Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

A so-called church without a candlestick of the Lord Jesus Christ is not a church at all!

They did have one thing the Lord bragged on them about. The hated the deeds of the Nicolaitan.

*****Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

This Church had remained faithful to the Doctrine of the Scriptures in every way except the first commandment of Jesus.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

Who or what are the Nicolaitans? In reality they are those in the Church who claim to be Christians but follow the ways of the world.

There is a certain mayor who is running for President and claims to be a Christian made in the image of God, who is also queer and proud of it. He could be said to be a Nicolaitan.

Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

The Church in Ephesus had rejected anyone who had this Doctrine.

This would include all those who claim to be Christian and walk in the ways of this sinful world.

To be “Born Again” must have a real meaning and Jesus said we must be “Born Again”

2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Psa 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
Psa 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Psa 101:4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

The Psalmist also wrote:

Psa 139:19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
Psa 139:20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
Psa 139:21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
Psa 139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
Psa 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Psa 139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

In reality the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans are all those who stress that Jesus Christ did away with the Old Testament and has given all Christians liberty to live as they wish!

They stress that the spirit and soul of man are far more important than this body we live in daily and therefore the sins of the body do not change the Doctrine of Salvation. The body is free to live as it wishes!

We need to hate this doctrine just as Christ Jesus did!

Without the laws such as the 10 Commandments, we would not know how the Lord expects us to live!

What does the Lord say about all those laws given to the Jews?

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus Christ came to fulfill all the Law and we are part of His Body and He is the Head of the Church!

And the Holy Spirit gives us all a warning.

*****Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

In reality as Christians our redemption is based on the promises of God!

God makes many promises and those promises will be fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ.

As “Born Again” Christians we are to die to our old sinful ways and be born again to live in the ways of Jesus Christ.

Our salvation and redemption are based upon these promises!

We must be “overcomers” to the very best we can. We should remember that phrase Jesus used in verse five, “or else”.

That “or else” means we will miss out on the pleasures Heaven!

Psa 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Notice the Holy Spirit is speaking to the Church, but He is also talking to each individual Christian.

We are given this last opportunity to try to change the direction of the church we attend to reconnect with our first love, the Lord Jesus Christ, or maybe it’s time for us to leave a church that will not return to the Doctrine of Christ and find one that does, but in the least we must remember that we are a Temple of God in our body and we need to bring our own body back in line to the ways of our Lord, and hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

Amen

Let’s Pray!

In the Image of God

Seven Stars and Seven Candlesticks

Book of Revelation Chapter 1 verses 12-20

We need to remember that up until this point all we know is the John was worshiping alone on the Isle of Patmos and the Holy Spirit just overwhelmed John and as he says:

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

If you are a Christian, you know what John is saying here. Most all of us got in the Spirit the day we prayed that sinner’s prayer and was gloriously saved.

Most of us have had a visit from the Holy Spirit on other occasions. Those that say they haven’t, just are not paying attention. The Holy Spirit sometimes speaks in a real small voice

John was having Church. He and the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ were gathered together. What did Jesus teach us?

Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

We can worship when we are alone with the Lord and the Holy Spirit!

BUT Those who do not attend a true House of God do not know what they are missing.

It is sin not to attend the House of God on a regular basis!

Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

In our day, we do see the “Day of the Lord” approaching so, we should be in the House of God more today than we have in the past

John and the Holy Spirit were having themselves a time when, in came the Lord Jesus Christ.

There was no doubt in John’s mind that this was Christ, but he remained motionless for just a moment listening to the Lord.

It was now time for John to turn and see where this voice was coming from.

Remember John was alone on this Isle of Patmos at least he was alone as he worshiped the Lord.

The Isle of Patmos was a barren lonely place which was John’s punishment.

*****Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

John first saw seven golden candlesticks.

First John heard a voice.
Next John turned toward that voice.
Next John saw seven candlesticks.

Again we see the number seven and we will see this number many times in the Book of Revelation and it will have the same meaning each time.

It is a fact that the number seven is considered to be a holy number by many peoples.

To the Hebrew people, every seventh day has a meaning.

Every seventh year has a specific meaning and the multiples of seven have specific meanings.

They would mourn for the dead seven days.
They would also celebrate weddings for seven days.

These things began with the seven days of Creation Week.

Notice to evolutionist, the number seven has no meaning at all except, on the calendar that they do not agree with.

They do like multiples of years but its millions of years and billions of years, so just about anyone will say “well in that many years anything could happen” just to get away from one simple Creation Week when the Lord made everything we see and everything that we cannot see.

The candlestick of the Jewish Temple is called a “menorah”.

How did Moses construct such a candlestick?

Exo 25:31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
Exo 25:32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:
Exo 25:33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
Exo 25:34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
Exo 25:35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
Exo 25:36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
Exo 25:37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
Exo 25:38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
Exo 25:39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
Exo 25:40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

When John says a candlestick then this is what he saw, and he saw seven of them.

They were either placed in a circle or in a straight line because in the midst of them was the Lord Jesus Christ and I believe they were placed in a circle.

We will see later that these candlesticks represent these seven Churches and seven Church Ages, and they all are to get their light from Him.

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

The Lord Jesus was in His human form, but oh how wonderful it was the sight of Him.

We could say John saw the Lord as He presents Himself in Heaven.

He had on a garment such as a robe that covered His body down to His feet and was most likely a white robe, but it could be that same scarlet robe He wears later.

Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Jesus was wearing the robe of a prophet because He proclaims the Word of Truth to us.
Jesus was wearing the robe of a priests, because He gives us access into the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Jesus was wearing the robe of a King, because He rules this earth that belongs to Him.

He had on a golden cloth used as a belt around His waist. Much like a priest but it also represents dignity and authority.

The Lord Jesus was dressed as if He were going on a journey!

We must understand that the message of the Book of Revelation is from Jesus Himself!

He was just marvelous to look upon.

Both Ezekiel and Daniel had similar views of the Lord!

What else did John see about the Lord?

*****Rev 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

The head and hair of Jesus were as white as snow which pictures our Lord Jesus as the “Ancient of Days”.

The Prophet Daniel spoke often of the “Ancient of Days”.

Dan_7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
Dan_7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Dan_7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Hair on the head of the Lord was white as white wool, a perfect whiteness.

Wool is also an emblem of eternity! The Lord is eternal, who was, who is, and who is to come!

His eyes were as a flame of fire.

His eyes are a token of His omniscience, eyes that can pierce through all things clearly. Eyes that can penetrate even into the heart.

Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Jer 23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
Jer 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

Nothing can be hidden from our Savior!

And of what of His feet?

*****Rev 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

Brass signifies strength but also lasting! Jesus Christ has no weakness at all, and our God is eternal. There is no one and nothing that can overcome the power of God.

Brass that has been through the furnace reaches a “white heat”. This answers that burnish look, that glowing look that can only be Jesus Christ.

The voice of the Lord. If you were near the Niagara Falls you could not hear anything but the roar of the waters as they flowed down the falls.

The voice of the Lord was the same to John. John could here no other sound as the Lord spoke with the authority that He has.

Remember when the Lord speaks all of nature is listening to His voice for His next command!

John knew he was in the presence of the Almighty God and once He spoke, he had John’s full attention!

Psa 93:1 The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
Psa 93:2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.
Psa 93:3 The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
Psa 93:4 The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.
Psa 93:5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.

When the Lord speaks to you, you will have no doubt who is speaking! If you have doubts, then it is not the Lord speaking!

We should understand that the Lord Jesus Christ will be a sight to behold and the only One who deserves our worship forever more!

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who holds the true Church in His hand!

The next two chapters will deal with those seven churches, their problems and the Lord’s solution to their problems!

When the Lord is speaking to the Church, He is expecting us all to pay attention.

We need to hear what the Lord is speaking to us, but we also need to hear what the Lord is speaking to all the church!

*****Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

As we read ahead, we know that these seven candlesticks represent those seven churches and these seven stars represent seven angels who are messengers to those churches.

A true church is a church whose message comes from our Heavenly Father! Anyone, anyone, who has a message that opposes the written Word of God has a false message.

God intends for the true church to survive until He takes the true Church home! Remember this message is to the true Church.

Any gathering of people together that is not to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is then not a true Church.

Those who follow a perverted or twisted up version of the true Scriptures are not a true Church.

Those who search for power that is not the power of the Holy Spirit are not a true Church.

The message of our Holy Father is as a two-edged sword!

Truth: Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Judgment: Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

God the Father has given us His message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is only one message! There is only one true Messenger!

God the Father also gives us the message of righteous anger, to all those who oppose His message of truth!

A two-edged sword cuts on both sides!

The countenance of our Savior implies His abundance of favor toward His children.

Psa 21:5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
Psa 21:6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.

To the Church:

Act 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
Act 2:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
Act 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Act 2:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Act 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
Act 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Act 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Act 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

The countenance of our Holy Father is seen in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty Living God!

This is what John knew and this is what John saw!

*****Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

What are we going to do when we first meet the Lord Jesus Christ in all His glory at the Bema Seat, where Christ will judge His church for rewards or loss of rewards?

We will fall down on our faces as dead men and women at the feet of our Savior!

There is a great big difference in sinfulness and sinlessness!

Luk 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

Some may feel differently, but they will be the first ones to fall at the feet of Jesus!

Then if that same light is shining in our heart, the Lord will say “fear not”!

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Jesus Christ was the hope of His Church in the past, since He went back to Heaven and Jesus Christ is the Only Hope for His Church today.

His message is that of truth and love!

Our encouragement will always come from the Lord! Today and when we meet Him in the air!

When He reaches down with that right hand of power to touch us in love and says those words “fear not” we will then know for sure we are redeemed and it’s time to go home with Him!

That same hand that holds those stars also holds my soul!

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

And those keys!

As the Church we need to understand that all power has been given to the Lord Jesus Christ and He holds the power over death, and He holds the power over who and who does not go to hell.

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

In reality we hold this power ourselves. Make that decision today to call on the Lord.

Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

We know that only the Lord Jesus Christ can take away the life and that is at His choosing!

He may dispatch this to some other as this verse states. He gave the power to Death and Hell, which would be the Angel of Death and the Keeper of Hell who will both be tossed in the Lake of Fire also.

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

When this takes place, there will be no more death and Hell will no longer be a place, the Final Place for those sentenced to eternal death will be the Burning Lake of Fire.

You see the gates of Hell will never prevail over the Church!

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

If you place your life into the hands of the Lord, you are assured of safety throughout eternity!

And now the Apostle John is given his instructions.

*****Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

John is to write down the things he sees in all his visions, whether they be in the past, whether they be in his present, or whether they be in his future and therefore in our future as it seems to be.

Some of these facts are that of Christ’s Incarnation.

We know that the Lord Jesus Christ left Heaven’s glory to come to this earth and grow as a man from a child born in Bethlehem as the prophesies foretold.

As the God-man He became the foundation of the Church and of all Christianity.

All other religions are just man-made rejections of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Faith in Jesus Christ is faith in God and there is no other God than He, Jehovah!

Jehovah Himself said man was created in His image and that of His Son!

Gen 1:26 And God said, “Let us” make man in “our” image, after “our” likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Gen 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: “for in the image of God made he man”.

We may not totally understand exactly what being in the image of God means, but we do know we have this connection to our Almighty Creator, Elohim.

God created man and God continues to reveal Himself to man and He explains His relationship by giving us His Book of the Living, we call the Bible.

Pro 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

We are caught up the prophecy of the Messiah.

Pro 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
Pro 8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
Pro 8:24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
Pro 8:25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
Pro 8:26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
Pro 8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
Pro 8:28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
Pro 8:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
Pro 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
Pro 8:31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
Pro 8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
Pro 8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
Pro 8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
Pro 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
Pro 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

How can we deny our Creator or His Son, the only means to reconnect with our Creator in His house!

The Lord takes the time to tell us that those seven candlesticks represent those seven churches in Asia and therefore all the types of the Church and all the Church Ages since the beginning of the first true Church in Jerusalem and then Antioch, where the first missionaries were sent out and deacons were elected.

Those seven stars are then the seven messengers to the church which in my mind means those pastors or preachers, even though I am sure God’s Angels watch over not only that Church but also each and every Christian and certainly every true called man of God!

There are not really any mysteries in the Scriptures, if you study the Bible because the Bible itself is its own best commentary if you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Lord Speaks to His Church

The Message to the Lord’s Churches

Book of the Revelation Chapter 1 verses 1 through 11

The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ was written by John the Apostle close to the end of the first century according to the Roman Calendar.

The Book of Revelation is the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

It is not about John the revelator!

Many call this book the Book of the Apocalypse, but we have just studied the Books of Ezekiel, and Daniel, and Zechariah which books give us much information about the apocalypse.

The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is written to the Church, and is about the future and not about the past!

In particular, this book was written to seven churches in Asia which are the church in Ephesus, the church in Pergamos, the church in Smyrna, the church in Sardis, the church in Thyatira, the church in Philadelphia, and the church in Laodicea.

These churches represent not only seven type of churches, but also seven periods, or seven ages of the Church of Christ.

The Number seven will also be a key number as we study this great book of the Bible.

The number seven represents the number of completeness.

Though many people refuse to read the Book of Revelation, this book is intended to be an encouragement to the Church.

We must remember God has a purpose for every piece of Scripture in the Bible!

God has some things to say about our future and the future of the Church, and He wants us to know them!

God wants us to keep our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, Our Savior, and our Redeemer, and the soon coming King of the Jews.

King to the Jews and Redeemer to the Church. The Church has never needed a King, we have always needed a Savior!

It is God’s purpose to lead “whosoever will” to repentance and salvation, and on to a glorious inheritance and redemption given to all the true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we will see, the Book of Revelation is a book of interpretation of the Old Testament.

The Book of Revelation is a book of final things. We could say a book of destiny.

The Book of Revelation is also God’s last words to this world!

Jehovah and His Son now speak to us through a preacher, by the Holy Spirit, and by His written words!

There are no lost books of the Bible, and there will never be a new book added to the Bible!

The Book of Revelation is not just a book of prophecy.

It is a not just a book history.

The Book of Revelation is not just a tiny look into our future, because only Jehovah God knows all our future!

The fact remains that the Book of Revelation can only be understood if we can take the words of the Old Testament Prophets, and the Book of Psalms, and the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the truth.

The Book of the Revelation is to be studied!

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

So this what we will attempt to do on certain portions of this Blessed Book of the Revealing of Christ Jesus.

*****Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Immediately we see again that God the Holy Spirit has given these words to the Apostle John, with most of these words coming from Jesus Christ Himself.

We should know that this great Book is given to the Church for a special blessing and certain things that God the Father wants the Church to know!

What is the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ? He spoke only the words that His Father gave to Him to say!

Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Joh 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

All of us would be much better off if we would just speak the Words that He has given to us in the Scriptures!

We should keep in mind that the Apostle John got a view of all the things that happened in the Book of Revelation, but he saw things that he did not understand, and he described them as best he could.

Besides being with Jesus and spending a lifetime preaching the Word of God, John was still just a fisherman saved by the power of God’s Grace.

We have already seen verse three, but let’s talk more about it.

*****Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

People are always talking about how to get a blessing from God and here we see how to get some of those blessings.

That word read means a little more than just reading, it means to know which means to study also.

We have it in our power to make our lives better, if we will just read the Word of God and study those Scriptures and then apply them to our lives daily!

We do not need some great institution of learning to teach us, but we do need the Holy Spirit to teach us!

In John’s time, the Church was in its beginning stages and the Lord wants us to know the same things that had their beginning in John’s day, are still going on today and are much worse, so much of God’s wisdom will teach us that the Lord could return at any moment.

Many things had to come to past.

The Church had begun to have a firm foot in the world of that day.

These seven churches were established and are models, good and bad how the Church had begun to influence the entire world.

The Age of the Church was beginning to move around the world, everywhere where people gathered.

These seven churches that will be mentioned, gives all churches the opportunity to change to be a better church and those guidelines come from the Lord Jesus Christ who is the foundation of all the Church.

1Co_3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

It is really without understanding how there can be so many denominations and so many differences between Bible believing Churches.

I understand the many churches that will not accept all the truth of God, but I do not understand all those who say they believe all the Bible.

We can narrow all the Bible believing Churches down to these seven churches mentioned in these Scriptures.

We can also see that every church member has this time to decide just which church group they want to be in, after they hear what Jesus has to say.

*****Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

We begin to see the number seven and this is the number for completeness.
The number seven is also a symbol of blessedness.
A symbol of Holiness.
A symbol of Rest and a symbol of perfection!

What does the Lord wish for every church? He wants them all to remember they are all established by His “Grace”.

We sometimes forget just what “Grace” means!

Grace is the undeserved favor of God!

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

What comes with the “Grace” of God? Peace

Our salvation originates by the “Grace of God”!

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The very first benefit of God’s Grace is “peace”!

What does that word “peace”, as written in the Scriptures, really mean?

It does mean quietness and tranquility, but it also means happiness in life and prosperity.

These are the things God wishes for each one of us, if we lay our heart to the truth of the Scriptures.

Most everyone of us will settle on the word prosperity and associate it with money, but this just takes away from what God means.

When God uses the word prosperity, He means to patiently wait on the riches that come to all those who make the Lord first in our lives.

If not, then prosperity becomes no more than an idol!

Who is that which is, which was, and which is to come?

Isa 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

He is the Great “I AM”!

Exo 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

And His Son is exactly like Him!

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

1) In the past, the Lord Jesus is the one person who led a perfect life. He was the only One who could pay our sin debt.
He is the One who conquered sin and death!

2) In the present, our Lord and Savior is the spiritual leader of the Church. He sits at the right hand of God because God the Father has given to Him all power. He rules in Heaven and He controls all of nature here on earth. He walks in the midst of seven golden candlesticks holding the seven stars in His right hand.

3) In the future, as true Christians we must never doubt our future because it is Christ Jesus who holds our future in His hands. He promises that we will meet Him face to face and live with Him forever and it is He whose will for us is to be His family.
Jesus likes it up close and personal!

What are those seven Spirits before the throne of God? Let’s just look at what God says.

1) Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

There are seven Spirits before the throne.

2) Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who has those seven Spirits.

3) Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Those seven Spirits are seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.

4) Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Those seven Spirits are seven horns and seven eyes.

So these are the things we know about those seven Spirits. The only thing we can say is, these are seven Spirits God uses in the work of His church on this earth.

And Jesus Himself is the “faithful witness”!

*****Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is our Savior, our only Savior, and the only Savior for this entire world!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

I know that this causes many in the world problems, but it does not change the truth!

There will never be another Savior in any age!

1) Jesus Christ is that “faithful witness” sent by our Heavenly Father! He is the one person we can all depend upon! We can trust everything that Jesus tells us and that He teaches us. He will never lead us astray! He came down from Heaven!

Joh 8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
Joh 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

2) Jesus Christ is the only person who arose from the dead and will never ever die again. The Bible speaks of others who were risen from the dead, but they also died again. Only the Church will be like our Lord and will one day rise from the dead so that those bodies can be glorified as that one of the Lord!

1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

3) Jesus Christ is the Prince that is over all the rulers of this earth! When Jesus arose and went back to Heaven, He was exalted to be the right hand of God. He is the prince who holds all the power of God in His hands!

Psa 89:27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

We must not fear what any man says, it is Jesus Christ who has Supreme Power over this earth, and He will return when He is ready!

Psa 24:1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Jesus is delaying His return to give everyone at least one opportunity to be saved by faith!

4) Jesus Christ is our Redeemer! He loves us! He washed away our sins with His own blood! We have been washed in the sinless, perfect, blood of our Savior!

We cannot make Jesus love us any less than He loves us now!

We cannot make Jesus love us any more than He loves us now because His love is a perfect love!

We have been “loosed” from sin!

The chains and bondage of sin have been broken and we can never be trapped by our sin ever again!

We will one day stand before God in sinless perfection because of what His Son has done for us!

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

5) He hath made us to be kings and priests to our God! During the Millennial Reign of Christ, some in the Church will be kings. Some will be priests. All of us will be used in some manner and it will be a wonderful time to serve the Lord!

In fact we may do these things with Christ throughout eternity!

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

We will have open access to our Heavenly Father not only now, but forever!

*****Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

What is the theme of the Book of Revelation? The return of Jesus Christ! The entire Bible is about the first and the second coming of our Lord and Savior!

1) The Lord Jesus will first come with the clouds to “Redeem” those that He has purchased with His blood.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

2) Next, every eye will see Him. It will not matter where you are located upon this earth, you will see the Lord Jesus when He returns!

The glory of the Lord is so bright that even the sun will be as a candle to His brightness! His glory will surround this earth and His Church will be with Him also in glorified bodies but not as bright as our Savior and, we will never be as bright as our Savior!

All the angels of Heaven will also be with Him and the Angels will be in their full glory!

Every eye that remains upon this earth will witness the glory of our Savior!

All those who have rebelled against the Lord Jesus will wail at His coming!

They will then know that all the things said about Jesus in the Scriptures, by His witnesses, by His true preachers, will all have been the truth!

Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Who is this regal Redeemer and Judge?

*****Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

It is the “Almighty God” who returns to this little speck of dust called earth, just before foolish humans attempt to destroy the Jews and in doing so would have destroyed the entire earth.

It is a fact that, all the major powers upon this planet have weapons aimed at each other just waiting on someone to be the first to fire weapons of mass destruction! How foolish!

It just takes one accident and the world would be at war and destroy this planet we call earth.

Just recently the Air Force found certain men who smoke marijuana who also were in control of missile silos containing nuclear warheads.

It takes one accident by any one person and these weapons could be fired and war would begin!

Jesus Christ is the “Alpha”. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet.

Jesus is the beginning because He is the very One who caused the beginning of all creation!

Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

All things find their purpose, their meaning, and their significance in Him, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ is the “Omega”. Omega is the very last letter of the Greek alphabet.

Jesus Christ began all things and He is the only One who can end all things!

No matter how chaotic our world seems to be, all things are still under the control of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is not the cause of our problems, but He is certainly the answer to all our problems!

We are a foolish people to not place all our trust in the Lord!

Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Jesus Christ is the glue that binds all His creation together to Him!

Jesus Christ is the Lord of all creation!

He is the Lord who is, and came to die.
He is the Lord who was, and He died and then He arose.
He is the Lord, who will return and to restore all things.

He is God eternal!
He is God unchangeable!

If Jesus came today, He would be the same person He has always been!
He will always be that person described to us in the Holy Ghost inspired Word of Jehovah God!

Isa 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
Isa 41:5 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.

Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
Isa 43:12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
Isa 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.
Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

The Apostle John, A Christian, a “Born Again” child of God, a man chosen by Jesus Christ to be an Apostle, and also chosen to be a live witness of all the things in the Book of the Reveling of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The first vision of the Apostle John is a vision of Christ Jesus.

It is this first vision that proclaims that that this message is for the Church, beginning with those seven churches in Asia.

Jesus the Christ wants all the Church to know that this message comes directly from Him!

John was on the Isle of Patmos.

It is said that it was the Emperor Domitian that banned John to this tiny island where there would be no one to preach the Gospel.

This Island is only about 40 miles from the City of Ephesus but an old man like John would never have made that distance alone.

Patmos is just a rocky, barren, isolated island about 10 miles long and six miles wide.

John was banished simply because he would not quit being a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is said that John was liberated only when Domitian died.

The truth is that, in our darkest hours, it is then that we realize that we are not alone at all.

John was the last of the Apostles and the only one who God called home only after he had lived to a ripe old age.

All the other Apostles were murdered and all for the same reason, they would never reject the Lord Jesus Christ!

John says he was our brother in Christ and our companion to all believers.

The Apostle John was a believer just we are believers today, but he was a far better witness than all of us are.
John was a witness seven days of the week. The only time he was not speaking of Jesus was when he was eating and sleeping, and he asked the Lord always to bless His food!

We are brothers to each other, and we are brothers and sisters to the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are no in-betweens. There can be no true queer nor any lesbian Christians!

Of what tribulation does John speak?

The Apostle Paul writes that this tribulation, is the things that cause us trouble as we live for the Lord. Not the seven years of tribulation!

Act 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

It was while John was upon the Isle of Patmos that John witnessed and wrote the Book of Revelation.

We might say that John would not slow down enough to write this Great book of the Bible, so John needed a place of solitude.

John was never alone, but it was a special day that Sunday when Jesus came calling in the Spirit.

*****Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Many still question why we worship on Sunday rather that Saturday. The Apostle Paul and the Apostle John make it very clear that we observe and gather on the Lord’s Day and it was on Sunday when the Lord walk out of the tomb risen from the dead.

We would be wrong to assemble on any other day, but the truth is we are to worship the Lord every day!

What was John to write? The things that he saw.

We must remember, John lived in the First Century. The things John saw would be from our time or on into the future, and he could only describe them from his historical point of view.

What did John hear on this day? A voice but a voice as of a great speaker. A speaker that spoke with authority.

In fact it was the Lord Jesus Christ. The Alpha and the Omega and the First and the Last!

We have today our English translation of everything that John saw on this vision into the future and into our future.

We should understand that these seven churches in the First Century give us a picture of entire group of churches in that period.

We should understand that this is the same picture we have of the Church today. There are still those seven images of the Church.

Another thing we can understand is that there are seven Church Periods or Church Ages and it is easy to see we are in that Laodicean Age today.

The Church Age is coming to an end!

The Church must continuously discipline itself, to remain a Church built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ!

Some say there are two Bibles.

One is the Bible that is written on paper and the other is the Bible written upon our heart and these two must match!

But the truth is Christianity in human life is far better than cold ink!

Heb 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

This is the beginning of lute-warmness, when we do not walk the language of God in our hearts!

When we walk in our own thoughts and ways and not according to the Word of God, we begin to place ourselves into one of these church groups and we then need to hear what the Lord has to say here in the Book of Revelation, the Revealing of the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is not in our lesson plan but verse 12 says the Church is like a candle stick and a bright and shining candlestick is worthy of the Lord but one that is dim, or is flickering, or is partially out, or is out, is not worthy of the Lord!

Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Your light will not shine unless you are in a steady walk with the Lord according to His Word and His Ways!

Let’s remember these things as we get started in this great Book of the Bible.

It is in this Book where we find those wonderful words of our Savior, It Is Done!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The End of the Great Tribulation

The Wonderful Kingdom

Book of Zechariah Chapter 14

In Chapter 14 of Zechariah we will see the prophecy of Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 expanded. There is coming a time when most all the nations of this world will gather against the tiny nation of Israel. It will seem that all the prophesies of the Scriptures have failed. It will seem that Jerusalem the City of Peace, that has never seen peace, will be no more. It will seem that the Word of God has been a lie. It will seem that all hope is lost.

It will have been 7 years since the Antichrist came onto the scene and he has spent the last 3 and 1/2 years destroying everything and everyone who has challenged him.

He has most all the world behind him and he has decided he will be the true king of the world and he has set his eyes upon Jerusalem and his plan now to destroy the Jews.

The Scriptures say this is the time of Jacob’s Trouble:

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
Jer 30:8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
Jer 30:9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

It will be that day that none have ever seen, the world at war but the enemy of the world will be one tiny nation, Israel, who has defied the Antichrist.

What is Armageddon?

Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Rev 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

The one thing that much of the world has forgotten is that the Scriptures cannot lie, and there is a God, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ. The true and Living God!

How does our Lord explain it?

*****Zec 14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
Zec 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

We know that there have already been many wars and many battles fought before this day comes.

Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Mat 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Mat 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
Mat 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
Mat 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

All these things have taken place. The “elect”, the Church has been saved from these days. The Lord promised we would not see His wrath upon us.

It is in these final days of the Great Tribulation and just when it looks like the Antichrist will be the winner, the world will meet the Lord Jesus Christ, but He will not be that humble Shepherd, He will come as King.

It is the Lord who gathered all these nations against Jerusalem.

In order for Jerusalem to be saved, all the people would have forgotten their own power, and will call upon the Lord!

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Just as the City of Peace is falling to the enemy. Just as the enemy is stealing all they can from the Jews. Just as the women and children are falling into the hands of the enemy. Just when half the city falls into the hands of the enemy.

The Lords says half of the city will not be cut off from safety.

Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Rev 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
Rev 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now I cannot explain all these things, but I do know that just when all seems lost, that is when the Lord can do His best!

*****Zec 14:3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

What do we know for sure?

The Lord will visibly appear and fight against all the nations that go against Israel and Jerusalem!

Our Lord does many things in this world, He is in control of all things that surround us, and He is not seen.

On this day the Lord God, when He steps out of Heaven, He will be seen and when He is seen, then He is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember He said they look upon the One they had pierced as proof.

He is the “Word of God in person”
He is King of all kings.
He is Lord of all lords.
He is also the Mightiest of all warriors!

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

He will fight as He did against the Egyptians as He protected His children and opened the Red Sea.

He will fight as He did when He led Joshua through Canaan Land. This time there will be no covenants made and there will be none that escape to intermingle with those that survive.

Rev 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
Rev 14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
Rev 14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

And when He arrives, He will first stand on the Mount of Olives, for He was not afraid to tell the enemy the exact spot He would return.

*****Zec 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Zec 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

Remember at this time the people of Israel and Jerusalem are in peril thinking it is finally over and the world has succeeded in destroying them forever, but this will never happen because Jehovah, the Lord, made a sure covenant with them.

They had to be broken and humbled until they finally called on the Lord with sincerity!

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Remember in Chapter 12 the Lord had poured out the Holy Spirit upon Jerusalem and Judah.

What do we know? We know the Lord has already observed the happenings around Israel, because His eye is always upon His children!

The Lord always knows what we endure!

The Lord knows when we are in peril, but He may leave us in that peril long enough to learn whatever lesson we needed to learn!

The Lord will make a way for deliverance!

The Church has always known that the Lord will return to this place.

Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Some believe that there will be an earthquake on the Mount of Olives because the Muslim made a great cemetery in the pathway of the Lord and would not defile Himself walking on the dead.

Some believe the entire area will be broken up because of all the Saints that left in the Rapture.

What we know for sure is, that this sinful, bloody earth will melt before the feet of Jesus!

What we know for sure is, that the Lord will part this mountain just as He did the Red Sea in order for the children of Israel to escape!

Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Azal means they will escape to a place that is very near. A place of safety while the Lord deals with the enemy. This could be Edom.

It is a fact, earthquakes cause a panic and while those enemies of the Jews are confused, those true Israelites the Lord will save, will escape to safety!

In the days of Uzziah there was such an earthquake it was the cause of much panic!

Amo 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

We know that this is true because the words of each true prophet of the Lord spoke only the truth!

And we already know that the Lord will never leave us, so at the Rapture when all the Saints went to meet the Lord in the cloud, we then returned with Him.

*****Zec 14:6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
Zec 14:7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

We live in a world where nature is thought of as something that just exist just as we do. Evolution teaches that we are a product of evolution over billions of years.

They first used millions of years, now billions of years, it’s just a matter of time before they use Trillions of years.

This theory is used about mankind and the animal world, but nothing is ever said about nature evolving!

Why? Because all this is nonsense and we have a Creator and our Creator holds the power of all His creation and the power over all of nature.

I do believe our nature was put in place to operate without much assistance, but all I know for sure is that the Lord can manipulate all of nature as His will sees fit.

On this day of earthquakes, probably volcanos and all the other such things of nature that we think are terrible, the Sun may be shining, but it cannot shine through, it will not be totally dark, but it will be dark enough to hinder sight.

After the daytime hours are passed and the evening comes it will be light.

How does the Lord explain this?

Isa 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isa 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Isa 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Isa 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, “and the earth shall remove out of her place”, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

I cannot imagine what will go on in this world when the orbit of the Earth has changed!

Already some earthquakes have caused the tilt of the earth to change. I suppose that this does not affect our climate because it is never mentioned as a reason.

The Lord says:

Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Joe 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
Joe 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; “and the heavens and the earth shall shake”: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

What did Jesus say about this day and Jesus was speaking to the Jews?

Luk 21:25 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring”;

What are some of the results of the earth shaking?

Luk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Luk 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

How did John the Apostle write about this day, and remember the Church is already with the Lord?

Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, “there was a great earthquake”; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

If the earth has moved out of its orbit, there will be so many things going on that we cannot imagine but the Lord will still be in control!

It will be this very day that life to this planet will be restored!

It may be that a nuclear holocaust has destroyed all that we know now.

Again the Lord Jesus has everything under control!

*****Zec 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
Zec 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

The “River of Life” that we studied from our lesson in Ezekiel Chapter 47 and have mentioned it many times in other lessons.

So here it is again the “Living Waters”, the “River of Life”, will flow out of Jerusalem to heal our earth to as it was in the time of Adam.

We know that we will still have the seasons and summer will still be hot and winter will still be cold and hotter or colder depending upon your location on this remade earth.

Joe 3:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
Joe 3:19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
Joe 3:20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
Joe 3:21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

And the Lord Jesus Christ will be King of the entire earth!

Psa 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.
Psa 22:29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
Psa 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
Psa 22:31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Everything in this world will change when King Jesus sits on His throne in Jerusalem!

*****Zec 14:10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.
Zec 14:11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

All the land of Judah, which will be a type the whole earth, shall be filled with the knowledge of God!

All high places, all uneven places, all rocky ground, and all barren grounds, will be level as a plain and changed into fruitful vineyards and all crops will be abundant.

One man wrote “it will all be as a valley of abnormal fertility”.

Only Jerusalem will be lifted up, while all the world around it will also be as a garden.

Psa 125:2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The name Jerusalem means the city of peace and Jerusalem will finally become that City of Peace!

Jerusalem has always been a divided city, but it will now be unified because of the Lord!

Many other peoples have claimed Jerusalem, but it will now truly be the City of God!

To the Lord, Jerusalem is the Holy City!

Psa 135:21 Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Psa 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Psa 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

God says, do you remember what I did to Egypt?

What does radiation do to those who are exposed to it?

*****Zec 14:12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

In Japan the first thing people noticed was an “intense ball of fire” according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The atomic blast in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 killed 140,000 people; tens of thousands died instantly, while the rest succumbed to injuries or illness in the weeks, months and years afterwards.

The atomic bomb had a yield of 15 kilo tons, equal to 15,000 tons of TNT, yet was 3,300 times less powerful than the biggest hydrogen bomb tested by the Soviet Union in 1961.

Temperatures at the epicenter of the blast reached an estimated 7,000 degrees Celsius (12,600 Fahrenheit), which caused fatal burns within a radius of about three kilometers (five miles).

ICRC experts say there were cases of temporary or permanent blindness due to the intense flash of light, and subsequent related damage such as cataracts.

A whirlwind of heat generated by the explosion also ignited thousands of fires that burned several square kilometers (miles) of the largely wooden city. A firestorm that consumed all available oxygen caused more deaths by suffocation.

It has been estimated that burn-and fire-related casualties, accounted for more than half of the immediate deaths in Hiroshima.

Verse 12 describes what happened to 185,000 people instantly in Japan when one atomic bomb was used.

But there is more.

*****Zec 14:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

These enemies will be struck with so much delusion and pain, and confusion, that they will not know who their enemy is, and who is their friend and they will destroy each other.

In these cases it says the Lord will cause these things, but in fact, He will not be the cause. The Lord always takes the blame, but these will be people destroying people. These armies will turn on each other!

Whether by accident or on purpose, some military commander will do the wrong thing and what follows will be mayhem.

All these things will be similar to the things that happened to Egypt and the things Jehovah did in the battles in the time of Joshua, and we could add the things that happened to the enemies of Israel in the war in 1948 and the war of 1967.

The world never learns from mistakes of those who came before them!

Remember the Lord has already poured out the Holy Spirit upon His people and here is an example from the Scriptures:

2Ch 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
2Ch 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
2Ch 20:23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
2Ch 20:24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
2Ch 20:25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

*****Zec 14:14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.

When you go against the Lord, it will cost more than you want to pay! Judah will rally to defend their capitol city Jerusalem.

Judah will gather all the spoil and return it to Jerusalem to offer it to King Jesus.

The military of Israel will go to battle this day and they will by the “Supernatural” things of the Lord, destroy their enemies.

All those nations who came against Israel and the Lord will give the wealth of those nations to Israel, just as they had given control of it to the Antichrist!

And the Lord is not done yet.

Not only are all the military men and women confused, their equipment will fail them when they try to use it on Israel!

*****Zec 14:15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.

The same plague, probably radiation, will also make the equipment of all those militaries useless against Israel!

None of the equipment of the enemy used in warfare will operate on this day as they try to attack Jerusalem!

We must again remember the truth of God!

Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

We will never make peace with this sinful and evil world.

Evil and good cannot stand on the same ground.

Right and wrong cannot ever agree.

Immorality and Godly righteousness will never agree!

On this day it will be the vengeance of the Lord in full view!

*****Zec 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Here we see the “Mercy” of the Lord, because there will be some that will be saved for whatever reason that we will not know until that day!

Everyone who survives this “Day of the Lord” will go yearly to worship King Jesus, who will sit upon His throne upon this world for 1000 years.

Everyone who is born into this world, since creation and even today, have it within them to seek out their Creator, but the lies of this world cause them confusion and delivers most of them to Hell.

In the days King Jesus sits upon His throne all those babies will grow up without the influence of Satan, and without those lies, because that old world will not exist anymore.

All the world will know Jesus as the Messiah who came to be King, and He will teach all that there is still a better place called the New Heaven and the New Jerusalem that will be in the future of all who will believe.

Faith will still be the key to everlasting life!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

But in the end, there will still be some who would rather stay on this world than go with the Lord to an even better place, the New Heaven and the New Jerusalem!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Millennial Reign of Christ

The Smitten Shepherd

Book of Zechariah Chapter 13

Many times we are told that the Jewish people did not know that the Messiah would come to die, yet Zechariah is not the only prophet who writes of these things.

In the Psalms:

Psa 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Psa 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

The Prophet Isaiah:

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

There are other places that taught the Jews about their Savior, yet they chose to disregard those teachings.

The Jews reject many of the writings of the prophets and all the New Testament.

The fact is that we can pick and choose what we believe to be the true Scriptures but in reality, this does not make the other Scriptures to be false.

All the Scriptures are actually written by the Holy Ghost and we have no right to pick and choose what parts to believe and which parts to reject.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We need as much God as we can get, and the best place to get the truth is with all the Holy Ghost inspired Word of God!

So what is the truth of our Savior?

*****Zec 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

This Scripture refers to the Messiah as that fountain that is opened to those of Jerusalem.

We know that according to the Word of God, the Church is already with the Lord Jesus Christ before this day comes about, so in “what day” is this prophet speaking?

He is speaking of the “day of great mourning” from Chapter 12, when the Jewish people had finally realized the truth of the Messiah whom they had rejected and murdered when He first came.

Remember in Chapter 12 they had realized the truth of the Messiah.

Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me “whom they have pierced”, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Chapter 13 continues with this theme.

The Lord will cleanse every believer who remains after the 7 years of Tribulation, of their sin and of their false worship.

Remember they had been cleansed of idol worship in those 70 years of captivity, but they had given their voice unto the Beast, the Antichrist, until he sat down as God in the rebuilt Temple.

They had been fooled up until that time, along with all the world!

All that are left, rulers and people, will be cleansed of their sin because the Lord had poured out His “mercy” and His “grace”.

That word “fountain” gives the sense of “living waters”.

The true “fountain” is God the Father “as the fountain of living waters”.

Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

It is God the Son that we see here in verse 1, the fountain opened to the house of David and all those in Jerusalem on that day.

God the Holy Ghost is that river of living waters in the heart of each and every believer.

Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

What happens beside salvation on “that day”?

*****Zec 13:2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

Idols are anything that we have placed in our lives that we hold to be higher than our Father in Heaven.

The Lord is saying, that not only idol worship would cease, but even the names of them would not be remembered.

Mic 5:13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.

You see all idols are manmade and the things of man are never more important than the things of God!

You know we have no need of prophets today!

We have the complete Word of God which tells us the beginning, and the end, and everything in between.

God would never send us another prophet and here, when the Jewish people wake up to the truth of the Messiah, He tells them the same thing.

The Lord will cause all the prophets to pass out of the land, which is the Promised Land and the place where King Jesus will rule this world.

There is no need for prophets, not even today.

Any prophet would be a false prophet if they went against any part of the Word of God!

We have the complete Word of God, there will never be any new revelations that go against the existing Word of God!

Anything that goes against the Word of God is also unclean and all unclean things would pass out of the land of Promises from the Jews and the Church.

So there false prophets who are filled with unclean spirits!

Unclean spirits are lying spirits which work in the false preachers and false teachers we have today!

2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

The world that is left after those 7 years of Tribulation, will not want to hear any false teachers! They will only want to hear the truth!

They certainly will not want to hear any false prophet and we should not either today.

The world that was destroyed was a world of lies and deception! The same world we live in today.

*****Zec 13:3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.

False teaching of any sort will be abolished during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ.

We see that parents will not allow their children to speak against the Lord like they do today.

Today the parents allow their children to bring home a false doctrine and will not correct them but this will change the parents will rule their own families with a “rod of iron” as will the Lord!

If it were to start up again, the parents would put an end to it immediately.

The people of Millennial reign of Christ, will all honor the commandments of Christ! King Jesus will rule with a rod of iron!

Mar_12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

There will be no place for false teaching during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ!

Rev_2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

There will be a complete extermination of the unclean spirits, when Jesus Christ sits on His throne in Jerusalem!

Though the Church will be with Jesus, we can still imagine a world where there will be no lies told of any sort.

There will be no deception.
There will be no temptation. (Satan will be bound for 1000 years).
The truth of God will rule each day!

The government will be a Theocracy with King Jesus the true Christ upon the throne.

All the needs of the people will be met, and this includes the truth!

*****Zec 13:4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:
Zec 13:5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.

Most all of us can relate to this picture. We were all dirty rotten sinners until we met the Lord Jesus Christ and are now cleansed of our sin.

We are all ashamed of our old lives, at least I know I am.

Even in the days of near perfection there will be some who will rebel.

There will also be those who are accused of rebelling who have not.

Remember the craving to sin lives in each of us as long as we are in this body of flesh.

We are not a people who are good and sometimes do bad things. We are a people who are bad and sometimes we may do something good!

This will not change during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ!

The one thing that is true is, that those who have survived the Great Tribulation and now know the truth, will not tolerate those who would again try to teach a false message.

Until they are found out, they will not dress as the prophets of old, nor will they appear as the TV evangelist do today, they will dress the same as those around them.

He shall say “I am no prophet”. He shall say “I am just an average person” who has been taught how to work and make a living.

Remember false prophets prefer to deceive and talk you into supporting them.

They will be hated and sought out during this Millennial Age.

This is one of the reasons that King Jesus must rule with a “Rod of Iron”!

All these people will still have the old sin nature until they are cleansed of that old spirit!

Mic 3:6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.
Mic 3:7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.
Mic 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

These false prophets would rather be seen as slaves rather than confess that they reject the Lord Jesus Christ!

Some of these men or women may even be repenting their sin in order to be cleansed by the Lord, His “Fountain of Grace”.

Idolatry, false prophesy, and unclean spirits will be removed by the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****Zec 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

No doubt this this is prophecy of our Savior when He was nailed to the cross and if you are Christian, then those wounds in the hands of the Lord we will never be forgotten.

These wounds will be a constant reminder of the things that Jesus did for us so we could be saved.

We will see those wounds when He is placing those crowns on our head and will be a reminder and we will toss those crowns back at the feet of Jesus

In fact the wounds our Savior received in paying our sin debt will be a reminder to us all the days though out eternity.

How will we differ from Christ when we have our own glorified body? Our body will not have any blemishes. Our body will be perfect, while the Lord will always show his scars on His body! Those will be His own Crowns of glory

In real time this thing also speaks of the early days of the Millennial reign of Christ

The beginning, of the Millennial Kingdom, may be the toughest years.

Many will go through firery trials before they find the Lord.

Many will question their sincerity.

The false prophet would still carry the signs of self-mutilation and these things could never be hidden.

1Ki 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

For some, it may take a chastising from our friends to keep us from doing wrong.

Pro 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Pro 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Whatever it takes for us to see the light of Jesus, is acceptable to the Lord.

We should remember the “Grace of God”. When we are washed in the blood of Jesus, we are cleansed of all our sins.

This old false prophet who finally accepts the Lord will be just as saved as we are, even if they still wear the signs of false worship .

We may scoff at these things, but the fact remains that self-mutilation is still seen today in some religions.

The Lord will rid the earth of all false prophets, false teachers, false teachers and anyone who would use lies to deceive others.

We read in verse 2 where even the parents would not allow their child to speak falsely.

Certainly it would be the same for friends. Everyone would be on the lookout for anything false!

We need our Christian friends sometimes to keep us from falling back in sin!

What does Jesus say?

*****Zec 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

It would be good to remember when the Lord Jesus was upon this earth, He was 100% God while being 100% human. When Jesus went back to Heaven He did so in a “Glorified Body”.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the True Shepherd!

That man is that human part that the Lord has made Himself to be, so when we all live together, we will be like Him.

1Jn_3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Our Lord Jesus has made all these things possible.

Again we see in this passage the Holy Trinity as the phrase “my fellow” signifies “my equal”, my companion. The Lord’s Divine equality with the Father!

The Word was God, and the Word was with God, but He was man as well as God!

Not a natural man but the God Man, the way He presented Himself to us, so we can be with Him and see Him face to face!

1Co_13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

He is the True Shepherd because His people need Him to be that way!

He performs a Shepherd’s part because, He will watch over us, He will provide for us, and He will guide us throughout eternity!

These are things He has decided to do Himself!

We are the sheep that God the Father gave to Him to redeem so that He could give us back to God the Father when He presents His Bride.

Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

It is God the Father, who caused the sword to smite His own Son that all these things be true!

It was God the Father who cause the suffering of our Savior!

The persecuting Jews were just willing instruments in all they did against Him!

They did it voluntarily, but they did it according to the Word of God.

Had they not done so then there would be no Church.
Had they not done so then there would be no redeemed Jews.

Once the Shepherd was smitten, God turned His attention to the “little ones” all those “Babes in Christ” who would grow into the family of God!

This is the message of the Lord of Hosts!

And what of those who deny Him?

Joh 19:6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
Joh 19:7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Remember it is the Lord of Hosts who is speaking.

*****Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
Zec 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

At first, it was the Roman army that laid waste to two thirds of the Jews and the world has continued to do this throughout the years since that time.

Many times the world has tried to destroy the Jews, the most recent time on most minds today would be the holocaust by Adolf Hitler, where 6 million Jews were slain for no reason.

We know that by the destruction of the Temple, Jewish worship had been taken away from this people and has never been restored.

What did God promise?

“I will bring a third part through the fire”. “And refine them” “and try them” and the day is coming they will call upon His name!

Eze 5:12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Eze 5:13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.
Eze 5:14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
Eze 5:15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.

It should be obvious that Jehovah is not through with this promise as of yet, but all the signs indicate that this is soon coming to an end.

1) The Church will be taken out.
2) The 7 years of Tribulation where the refinement of the Jews will succeed.
3) These Jews will call upon the name of the Lord.

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Then the Promised 1000 years of King Jesus upon the throne of David.

Amen

Let’s Pray!