Message to Phildelphia

The Message to Philadelphia

Revelation Chapter 3 Verses 7 through 13

Philadelphia which means “brotherly love” was also one of those seven cities that the Lord Jesus speaks to us about.

Today, this city lies in present day Turkey and has the name Allahshehr as the Muslim have renamed this city, but even today it still has a large Christian presence with as many as 25 churches of various sizes with 5 of those considered to be large churches.

It is also called Katakekaumene which means “burnt region” because of its volcanic character.

It lies only 28 miles from Sardis.

Maybe the greatest trait of the church in Philadelphia was patience!

Patience was the theme of that entire Church that existed as a type of Philadelphia!

The church at Philadelphia was one of those churches that when you walked in, you could feel the love from those brothers and sisters in Christ.

This church gave a new meaning to the term “brotherly love”!

Every ministry was bound together in the name of Jesus Christ.

Every activity was centered on the Lord Jesus Christ.

These brothers and sisters had given their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ and had no regrets in doing so!

This church at Philadelphia gives as the complete idea, on a small scale, of what the Lord Jesus expects from all His churches.

This church was only 28 miles from the church at Sardis but untold miles in Christian behavior form that church.

Listen to what Jesus actually says, as again Jesus speaks to the Pastor of this church.

*****Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

There is no truth in this world greater than our Lord Jesus Christ!

We get nothing but truth from the Word of God!

We get very little truth from the world. We receive a lot of deception, and deceptive practices!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the “Holy One of God”! Even the Devil and his demons know this is true!

Mar 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

The Lord Jesus Christ is true, and He is the emblem of truth of our Holy God!

Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Act 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
Act 4:30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

1Jn 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

It is Jesus who holds the “Key of David”!

Isa 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

We know when doors are locked, then we need a key. We also know that when doors are left open then again, we still need a key to lock that door for safety.

Jesus holds all the keys to all the closed doors of His ministry.

Jesus holds all the keys to all the open doors of His ministry.

Jesus holds the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus also holds the keys to hell.

Jesus holds all the keys of death.

Mat_16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
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.

As the holder of the keys, then Jesus is the Holder of power in Heaven and upon Earth!

Mat_28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

The world can deny these things, but it does not make these things any less true!

This Pastor needed to understand these things just as we need to understand these things today.

Nothing upon this earth can compare to the power of the Lord Jesus Christ!

There can be no ministry, unless the Lord Jesus opens the door to that ministry.

It is by these things that the Holy Spirit keeps us headed in the right direction!

Again all things that go on in every church are known to Him.

Remember the church is the saints that are inside the building and not the building itself.

*****Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

We should understand if the Lord gives a message to the Pastor of any church, He expects that message to be shared with the people of that church. The Lord does not have secrets when it comes to His church!

In fact the Lord Jesus has no secrets at all that are not revealed in the Scriptures.

This church knew exactly what it meant to be a “mission minded church”.

The Apostle Paul had written many times about open doors for the ministry to the Gentiles.

Act 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

1Co 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

2Co 2:12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
2Co 2:13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Col 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

This church also knew what it was to live in insecure surroundings because this area was a place of many earthquakes.

This church knew what it was to have hope.
This church knew of that yearning for a Heavenly Temple that was eternal.
This church knew the reality of the Gospel offered to the overcomer!

Yes, Jesus Christ is the One who is True!

There is no excuse for any of us not to be alive and faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ all our days.

Even in these days of this Corona Virus, we are wrong not to place “all” our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Jesus will never do things to cause harm to His church and He expects His Church to rise up to meet the obstacles in its path head on!

Where is our faith now?
Is it in the governments that seek someone to blame?
Is it in our systems that fails to prepare for these things even though the Lord said they were coming?
Is it in riches?
Is it in our own selves?

A loss of faith is a denial of the power of our Lord and Savior!

He will take us home soon enough! It is never a time to quit on the Lord!

Even today as this virus goes worldwide, it is not time to quit on the Lord, it is time to be as busy as we can without being foolish.

How does God see all those who reject Him?

*****Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

It is our Holy God, who holds all the power in this world!

He did not cause this virus, but He could have and He could stop it with one Word! When all this thing has gone its way we may not ever see where the mistake of some man or some government was made, but we can be sure something went wrong and in the end we will see that it was intended unless governments cover it up saying its best for the people not to know these things.

I am ashamed to ask our Savior to put an end to this thing for people who do not accept that there is a God who cares, but if we do not pray, we to are being disobedient and no better than they.

This church at Philadelphia was located in the right place no matter what we think!

It is important where we locate the church buildings. I know from what our Pastor, preacher Sam has said, that our Church is located where God intended it to be located.

All those who travel this highway cannot miss our church. We are right on the side of the road in full view. We cannot hide who we are on the outside, but we can hide who we are on the inside!

I know by personal experience and a study of the Word of God that we get the truth in my church. My Pastor preaches a sound doctrine!

Are we a perfect church? No and that answer will always be no.

Was the church at Philadelphia a perfect church? That answer is also No!

In the end, all those of the synagogue of Satan will come to worship before the Church.

Joh 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

There is no greater feeling than to know that you are loved!

There is so much hope given to us by the Word of our Heavenly Father, we would be foolish not to believe what He says!

God does not say these things just to make us feel good. He gives us the truth!

Today there are still those Jews who say they follow the true God, but they are of the synagogue of Satan because they do not.

They are liars just like there are many so-called Christians who do the same thing.

You cannot be a Christian and support abortion.

You cannot be a Christian and support queers and lesbians.

You cannot be a Christian and allow your child to pick to be a girl if he is a boy nor pick to be a boy if she is a girl.

Neither can you be a true Jew if you support these things! A true Jew follows the Word of God even if they do not follow the New Testament and the Old Testament condemns all these things.

The synagogue of Satan and the church of Satan exist today as the Luciferians and others who say they are atheist and all those who reject the truth of God and the truth of the Gospel.

This little church of Philadelphia was a bright and shining light in a dark world, and we need more churches like this church today!

Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Rom 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
Rom 4:10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
Rom 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

The Lord makes some precious promises to all those who stick to the truth!

*****Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

We do not keep the word of our patience we are to keep the Word of the Lord’s “patience”!

How patient is our Lord?

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.

When will the Lord’s patience run out? We can say for sure we are closer to that day then we have ever been!

When it is time to keep His Church from the hour of temptation as written in this Scripture!

There is an hour of temptation coming to all this earth, which I believe to be the first three and one half years of the seven years of tribulation.

Satan will have free reign upon this earth, and he will take advantage of it by using his deceptive character to win over to his side all those who remain upon this earth after the Lord has removed His Church, as He promised.

I’m not saying anything, but I just have this thought that keeps going through my head that if the world locks down every person into their homes. The Lord Jesus could come as a thief and collect His Church and the world would blame all those missing on the virus.

Just a thought as I said but this is how easily the “Rapture” could take place without most of the world being aware of it.

The Anti-Christ could then step out with the cure to all the sickness and the world would accept him!

The Antichrist could then step out with his plan to put everyone back to work and solve all the world’s problems, and he would be accepted.

These are just my thoughts, only the Lord knows but He could return at any time!

Those seven years of Tribulation are real, and those days will affect everyone who dwells upon the whole earth, yet the Lord says He will keep the Church away from those days and the only answer is to not be here upon this earth when these things begin.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
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.

2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Every believer will experience a great deliverance such as we can only imagine, and it will be according to the written truth of the Word of God.

We cannot afford to listen to some man or some government when we already have the written, unchangeable, undeniable, truth of Jehovah God!

The Lord will always deliver His Church!

When the Lord decides to come, it will not take days or even hours, it will take only a blink of the eye!

*****Rev 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

What are we to do? Hold fast!

We must not miss the fact that Jesus did not find anything wrong with the way this church was operating.

The Pastor was doing his job and the people were listening and being obedient to the Word of God.

We are to hold fast!
We are to be overcomers!

A pillar is a special support that holds up an important part of a building to keep people safe from disaster.

Jdg 16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
Jdg 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

A pillar can be a memorial for our children to remember us by.

Gen 35:20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.

A pillar can be a trophy received for a victory.

2Sa 18:17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.
2Sa 18:18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king’s dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s place.

A pillar can also be a stone set up by the Lord Jesus Christ.

1) An example.

Jos 24:26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

2) The truth.

1Pe_2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Jesus says, “I will make you a pillar” in the Temple of God.

What a precious gift!

Jesus said, “I will give you a new name”.

When the Lord calls us into a personal relationship, and we are “Born Again” then He will give us a new name.

For example, look in the Old Testament.

Abram was his family name but with Jehovah, Abram became Abraham.
Sarai was her family name but after she became the mother of Isaac, Sarai became Sarah.
Jacob was his families name but once he gave into the Lord God Jehovah, Jacob became Israel.

It was at the time of Circumcision the names were given in the New Testament.

Luk 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.

But the Lord said His name would be John,

Luk 1:60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.

Because he would pave the way for the Lord.

Luk 1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
Luk 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Luk 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
Luk 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Every Christian will have a new name.

First the name of Jehovah God.
Second the city of New Jerusalem.
Third a new name.

As in my name Bobby, of New Jerusalem, child of Jehovah God

As in:

Joh_19:38 And after this “Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus”, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

We may have an address as we live upon this earth, but our home is in Heaven and our New Address will be our name, belonging to God the Father living in New Jerusalem.

Listen to the Holy Spirit.

*****Rev 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Again the Holy Spirit tells the Pastor of the Church at Philadelphia to listen to what He has to say.

Our God says to listen to what He has to say:

Rom 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

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 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Message to Sardis

The Message to Sardis

Book of Revelation Chapter 3 Verses 1-6

Last week we saw the Church at Thyatira. The Church at Thyatira was the Church as it existed during what history calls the “Dark Ages”.

It was the period in history when the Papal Church in Rome gained power and it was the time of the Crusades. The time of the Inquisitions.

No matter what history teaches, God was not in any of those things. It was not the will of God for those things to take place, so that period was the “Dark Ages”. A period when the light of Jesus was not shining very brightly.

In near history it was now time that the Church of England was established, in what we know as the established church or government sponsored church.

It is the 1600 hundreds in America.

It is at the end of that dark period in history when we see that the Age of the Church as the Church of Sardis is seen.

Sardis was the Capitol city of Lydia. In the time of the Emperor Tiberius, Sardis was desolated by an earthquake which affected twelve other important cities. It is said the whole face of this area was changed.

Sardis was a city proud of its riches and the things money can buy, but when the riches failed the city failed and began to die.

This is what God has to do sometimes to get the attention of the Church.

After these times, Sardis became a place of commerce and Sardis began its decline by giving into the enjoyments of luxury and pleasure and indulging in excess of sensual sanctification.

We should ask ourselves if we have ever seen a church that was dead or that was dying?

A church that was completely lifeless?

A church that was satisfied with itself, and had no intention of changing anything that it did or the way it went about the business of the Lord.

A church that was established by good people in the past, but who most of them had now gone on to be with the Lord and now rested upon those things that were fast being forgotten.

Have you ever heard from that Christian who says, “yes I’m saved, my mother and father were saved and I am their child” or “yes, I’m saved, I attend such and such a church”, Or yes I’m saved I am a church member, I attend that great church at Sardis.

It is in this climate that we see the Church of Sardis as spoken by the Lord.

Sardis had a form of Godliness, but was without the power of God!

Sardis had a name to live, but in actuality was dead!

Again the Lord speaks to the Pastor of the church at Sardis.

*****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.

In all these seven messages there is none so depressing as this message to the Church at Sardis.

The truth is, as Jesus Christ lives, then the church is to live and be alive.

Sardis did not have a bad reputation as seen by the public.

In fact to the public, this church seemed to be spiritually sound.

The truth is the world is not our judge! It is the Lord Jesus Christ who is our “Judge”!

As we go through this time of a killing virus, it is still not this wicked world that should decide what information to give to the Christian.

I for one do not trust the world to do right. The Lord says to “come out from the world and be ye separate”.

I can understand reasons to avoid contact but I will not understand as we move forward toward martial law which is illegal in the USA.

We see here again that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who has the “seven spirits of God”.

Seven being the number of completeness, then it is the Lord Jesus Christ who has the complete Spirit of God.

Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Joh 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
Joh 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

It is God’s Son who God’s Spirit descended upon and remained upon Him.

Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Joh 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who received so much of the Spirit of God that it cannot be measured because He has all the Spirit of God!

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who shares His Spirit with each of us that love Him!

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

You see it is not the Church that has the Spirit. It is the Spirit of Jesus that lives within each child of God within the Church, that make it a Church that is alive and not dead.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

The Church is alive only if those inside the Church have given themselves as living sacrifices to the Lord Jesus Christ.

This Pastor at Sardis would have to get on fire for the Lord, if he was to save this church!

The flock of this shepherd had, died!

Without the Holy Spirit in all His fullness, we are not much of a church and are dying!

Water baptism is a command of the Lord, but it does not save.
Repenting is a must, but when we are not serious about following Jesus Christ, it loses its strength.
We must be baptized with the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit that is given to Jesus Christ.

Remember the message of John the Baptist.

Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mat 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

This message is still true today!

The Lord Jesus does not commend this church in anything they are doing to spread the Gospel and make disciples, which is the work of every Church!

This is the greatest sin that a church can have!

Not preaching the Gospel. Jesus Christ should be in every sermon!
Not providing the truth of salvation. Salvation comes only by Jesus Christ!
Not making disciples who also proclaim the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Anything else done in any church is secondary to these things!

It was a lifeless church. In fact Jesus Himself, said it was a dead church!

2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

This church focused on everything but Jesus Christ! Remember they were the pride of a city that was also dying!

This church has no Nicolaitans.
This church has no Balaam.
This church has no Jezebel.
This church had no enemies.
This church had no life when it had the greatest opportunity to witness without repercussion.

Satan has no intertest in a dying church!

So what was the advice of our Savior?

*****Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

The old city of Sardis was located in a perfect place to defend. It was truly an impregnable fortress.

Enemies studied year after year to find any weaknesses in the defense of this city. It just so happened that a lazy watchman was fooling with his helmet one day and it fell to the ground outside the wall of the city.

He climbed down the face of the walls using the crevices in the walls and got his helmet and returned to his position.

That next night his city was overrun by men who climbed those same crevices and the watchmen never saw them, for they were not expecting anyone to do such a thing.

We must understand the enemy is always watching for any weakness!

When Alexander came, he knew the story of the watchman and he too used the same strategy to capture Sardis.

What does Jesus say? Be watchful!

If Jesus says we need to be watchful, then we are not being watchful enough!

To be watchful is to be vigilant.
To be watchful is to be attentive.
To be watchful is to be careful to observe the things going on around us.
To be watchful is to be cautious.

We must not be lazy Christians we must be alert Christians!

There are some very important things we need to be doing for the Lord every day and we need to be careful to do them!

Above all we must stay focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ!
We must stay focused on the “Gospel” the Good News” of Jesus Christ.
We stay diligent in observing all the Word of God, rightly divided!

Our Lord is alive, and we must become alive to serve the Lord!

We should consider all the things that have been happening in our world just in the last couple of years, especially in the past few months.

What did Jesus teach us?

Mar 13:28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
Mar 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Mar 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
Mar 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Mar 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Mar 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Mar 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

What remains for us to do is get back to the basics of the Church?

Spread the Gospel and make disciples!

There is no greater work for us to do today except we must add “to watch”!

There were none of the works of the Church at Sardis that were perfect. None!

When we perfect the basic duties of the Church, then we can do some other things in the communities.

Another thing that we must do perfectly, is when we gather together, then “to worship” is the number one thing we are to do.

We worship our Heavenly Father, by the work of His Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit!

And Jesus adds “Remember” the truth of the Scriptures as delivered in the “Apostles Doctrine” and especially the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”!

*****Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Remember means we must learn from that “or else” preaching.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We need to remember the “Gospel”!

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

We must remember that by the actions of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven of our sins and be restored in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, Our Creator.

We must remember this free gift of God brings with it eternal life, but only by the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must accept the truth of the “Gospel”

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.

We cannot listen to the lies of this world!

Rom_3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Once we know these things as the truth, then we must repent from our old life.

This church had done wrong! They had forgotten Jesus Christ the foundation of the Church! They had forgotten the truth of the Gospel!

They had done so wrong, that they were not being a living church, they were in a dyeing church, in fact almost a dead church.

They had a must do! They must repent!

You see this pastor had to preach this message to this church and they had to listen and act upon the Word of God!

Every church needs to be reminded of these things constantly so they can remain alive!

They had lost their fervor in their relationship with the Lord and what this church needed to know is, that the Lord will leave a dyeing church alone so that it can die unless they repent!

Every preacher must preach with sound doctrine.

2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Every congregation must hold fast to the truth.

1Ti 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1Ti 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
1Ti 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Or then will come the “or else”.

Notice Jesus says He will come as a thief. Not as a robber, not as a bandit, which means the secrecy of the thief, not in violence. In fact if this church did not watch, it would never know that Jesus had removed His candlestick.

It is a very sad thing that if Jesus Christ came during a church service, many a church like this one at Sardis, would not even realize that the “Rapture” had taken place.

1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

This Pastor needed to realize that there were still a few true believers in His church, and if he could not cause his flock to repent, he still had to feed those who remained true, with the truth.

*****Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

Why are names important? Because there is a book in Heaven called the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Rev_21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

If your name is not written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you will not enter into God’s New Heaven!

The Lord Jesus wanted this pastor to know that it was because of him that there were only a few names written down in this Book of Life.

The Lord will hold each pastor responsible for his message in every church! No pastor can save but it is his job to lead other men, women and children to the Lord!

These who know the Lord will also have some responsibility!

Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Again we must be “over comers”!

*****Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

There were some in this church at Sardis who had remained faithful to the Lord during all the things that were happening in this wicked city.

They had remained faithful even though their pastor was not faithful to the Word of God and his message had become worldly.

They remained Christ centered and were not centered on the things of this church.

This is our answer today, we must remain Christ centered!

There are many churches like this one in Sardis that remain today, where the Pastor has given in to the world.

As individual Christians, we must understand that no matter what our church is doing, we must remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ!

They had to separate themselves from most all the other church members!

Three promises are made to these who took their stand upon the Lord, the Solid Rock.

It pleases the Lord for us to remain focused on Him even if those around us do not!

We must remain faithful to the Lord’s plan for His Church. It is His Church! The true Church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ because we as believers were bought by the precious blood of Christ Jesus.

1) The true Christian will be clothed in white!

White is the color of righteousness.
White is the color of purity.
White is the color of perfection.

2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

It is important for us to remember all the things that Jesus Christ has done for us, because the world cannot do any of these things!

2) Every over comer will have their name written down in the “Lamb’s Book of Life”

This is a book that God keeps.
This is the Book that will be opened on “judgment” day!

The names written in the Book of Life and remain there, are those who will never die!

Exo 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Rev_20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

3) Every believer will be presented to our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ will confess that he knows every believer and He will personally confess that each and every believer are the real thing and worthy to be allowed into God’s New Heaven!

Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Mat 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Mat 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
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.

And what does the Holy Ghost say?

*****Rev 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

It is the Holy Spirit that has given us the Bible, the complete Word of God. God’s Word will never change!

2Ti_3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We can be sure that we have the truth of God!

We can also be sure we know the truth of this world!

There are not any lost books of the Bible!
There will never be another new book added to the Bible!

We cannot hear the Word of God unless we are present in a Bible believing church!
We should also be present in Sunday School.
We should also be present at all other times when the church gathers to teach the Word of God.

We must then apply the Word of God to our daily lives!

Without making a personal application of the Word of God, we will soon wear that look of death!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Message to Thyatira

The Message to Thyatira

Book of Revelation Chapter 2 Verses 18 through 29

Thyatira was another city of Asia Minor, on the borders of Lydia and Mysia. Its modern name is Ak-hissar which means “white castle.”

It is here where we find another one of the seven churches of the Book of Revelation.

Lydia, the seller of purple, or rather of cloth dyed with this color, was from this city.

Act 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

This city is still to this day is famous, for its dyeing. Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in that city in ancient times.

What will we find in this church as the main problem? Compromise!

To compromise between two different parties is to allow concessions to the claims of one or more of those parties.

What do we know about the Word of God? God will never yield to the teachings of man!

God will never compromise for any reason.
The Lord Jesus will never alter the “Gospel” to allow for compromise with sin.
The Holy Spirit will only lead people to Jesus. He will never lead anyone astray!

Let’s listen to the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
Rev 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

What is the one thing we had better get straight about the Lord Jesus Christ?

Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Jesus knows everything that is going on in every church.
Jesus knows everything that is going in every Christian.
Jesus knows everything that is going on in every person.
Jesus knows everything that is going on in this world and He always will.

Jesus is the only One we have to please in this world and in our lifetime!

Jesus says to this Pastor, “I just want you to know who is speaking to you”.

This Pastor is the recipient of these words from our Lord.

It is the Pastor who is responsible for the direction of the church.

It is the Pastor in charge, who received this message who is to preach this message from the Lord, to his congregation.

This letter is a letter of knowledge, “Jesus Knows” and then a commandment “to repent”!

If the members of a church begin to compromise the Word of God and give in to the world, it is the Pastor or Minister or whatever He is called, to preach the truth of God and warn those who are giving in to the world!

What is the truth of people? They will sell their souls for possessions, or for power, or for the so-called pleasures of this world!

What is the reality? We owe our lives to Jesus Christ!

We cannot jeopardize our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by giving in to the world and still be considered to be a child of God.

How did the Holy Spirit put it?

2Co_6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

This is why we are brothers and sisters in Christ, we have the same Father!

If we look back at the Church of Ephesus, they had left their first love and a church is not a church if they do not love the Lord Jesus Christ above all else!

The church at Thyatira was a busy church.

The church at Thyatira showed the love of God to everyone.

They supported missions.
They had a great youth program.
They had a great senior program.
They supported orphaned children.
They supported single parents.
They fed the hungry.
They would help the poor.

This was a great church! Their faith was strong! They loved the Lord and it showed!

This church was growing, but here lies the problem.

*****Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

This church was growing so fast, that they did not have enough qualified teachers and this church allowed teachers to teach who compromised with the world.

They allowed the newcomers to be baptized, without a confession of faith.

They allowed newcomers to be accepted into the church, without repenting and separating themselves from the world.

So who is this Jezebel?

First the original Jezebel: Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab of Israel. She was the daughter of a heathen king who claimed Baal as her god.

She was crafty, she was malicious, she was revengeful, she was cruel, and she hated God’s people.

She had no fear of God, nor did she fear any man, and she ruled her own husband.

She spared no pain in maintaining idolatry all around her!

Her idolatry was the most debased and sensual kind!

She was a seducer!

She was the daughter of Satan in her actions as seducer and murderer.

When the Lord says Jezebel, this is the type of persons that had been allowed into this hardworking church at Thyatira and in a short time this church was ruined!

It seems that this hardworking church had been contaminated through the seductive influence of a corrupt woman.

We should remember that it was a corrupt woman who had prayer and the Bible removed from our schools and the schools are now just as corrupt as she was.

There is another corrupt woman who is now in her 80’s but she does not miss a chance to slander the Word of God and the American women listen to her. I beleiver her name is Gloria.

We see that she called herself a prophetess. This meant that she claimed her message was from Jehovah when it was a false message made up from listening to Satan.

he claimed that it was Jehovah who had called her and ordained her and because of the great love this church had, she was allowed in to teach all the church.

She taught contrary to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

John wrote:

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:

The church became contaminated with the world and began sinking!

It was the Pastor that allowed this to continue!

The members of the church began to associate with the world.
They would attend the feasts where animals were offered to false gods.
They would then eat from the tables of those feast sitting before the altar of a false god.

Thyatira was known for its trade guilds and unions because dying of cloth and wool industry.

Act_16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

The church at Thyatira had begun in her home. It was a house church at first.

Act_16:40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

The church members were encouraged to attend those union gatherings to be secure in their jobs.

These were some of the things that this Pastor had to contend with, when he prepared his sermon.

If these people lost their jobs they could not tithe!

This church decided that they needed to fit in with society.

They decided they would be politically correct.

We must remember idols are anything that we put in place before our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, still the foundation of the Church.

Listen to this message to the church and the Pastor from the Apostle Paul:

2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2Th 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
2Th 3:8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
2Th 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

What did Jesus say?

*****Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

This person knew that what she was doing was wrong!
This person knew she was teaching against the Word of God.
This person had felt Holy Ghost conviction and rejected Him!

The Lord dispatched the Holy Spirit to this woman to show her the error of her ways.

Num_32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

She rejected the Holy Spirit and everything that Jesus stands for.

Her intent was to permanently ruin this church!

Her father was Satan!

Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Joh 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

So, here comes the warning, or the “or else”.

*****Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

One man wrote, “the bed of her sin shall be the bed of her sickness and anguish”.

There is an old saying, “she made her bed, she can lie in it” meaning she brought about her own destruction.

Everyone who rejectes the Word of God do bring about their own destruction!

As we see this Coronavirus as it goes from nation to nation, it may be that God is nearing the end of His patience!

Yes we must not be confused, God did say these things would happen!

Luk 21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
Luk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

It can also be called a plague or epidemic.

Lev 26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

The “judgment” of this Jezebel will match her sin!

Sadly the teaching of this “Jezebel” has caused many more to place something terrible in the place of our pure God!

What happened to the Jezebel of the Bible?

2Ki 9:7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.
2Ki 9:8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:
2Ki 9:9 And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah:
2Ki 9:10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.

Before anyone could get to her dogs had eaten her and deposited her remains

2Ki 9:36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
2Ki 9:37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

There comes the judgment of God upon all those who give in to Jezebel’s seduction and lifestyle. Those who refuse to turn to Jesus Christ and separate themselves from the world!

There is a warning to all those who feed at the table of Jezebel today!

Still, even such a woman is offered a chance to repent!

As long as we are alive and as long as the Holy Spirit comes to us with conviction, we can accept the truth of Jehovah God and be saved!

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Act 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

We must remember Jezebel is a person of the Antichrist inside the church.

What did Jesus say to this Pastor?

*****Rev 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
Rev 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

God will judge all those who compromise with the world. This is His truth!

So many today have twisted the truth of God into making Him a good old grandfather that would never harm His creation and they are fools!

Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Head of this universe and we will live or die according to the Words He has given to us!

This meaning is a Spiritual death without God or Eternal life in the presence of a Holy God!

Jesus told this church if they would just leave off compromising with the world and hold on the the truth of the Gospel and have patience, He would surely come and take His church home and out of this world of compromise.

I get tired of seeing our government and others doing what Europe does, when not much in Europe ever works very well.

I get tired of seeing our government compromise with things that have never worked, when the only thing that has ever worked in our nation is the Gospel and Freedom.

We fought to separate ourselves from the tyranny of England and gained our freedom. Why in the world would we want to give up our freedoms?

We cannot change to way the world thinks, but we can tell those we cross paths with, that there is a better way and patiently wait on the Lord to return!

He does not ask much from us but our commitment!

He says just be an overcomer!

*****Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
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.
Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.
Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Who is an “over comer”? A Christian who keeps all the works of Jesus Christ, until he takes us home, either by our own death or the Rapture of the Church.

Now I do not know what that power over nations really means, but I do know what the Scriptures say.

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.
Rev_5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

The “overcomer” will be given some power over nations.

This is then, ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ throughout eternity!

Jesus will return to conquer all the forces of evil.

To prove all those who will be with Him throughout eternity!

To give the overcomer the “morning star”!

What is this “morning star”?

Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

If we open our eyes and our ears and listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say knowing He will only lead us to Jesus, then all we have left to do is to overcome the weakness of our own flesh and let the will of God be our own will!

It is really a great time to be a Christian. Instead of looking down at all the wickedness in our world we just need to look up!

Luk_21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Amen

Let’s Pray!

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!