Inside The Throne Room of God

INSIDE THE THRONE ROOM OF GOD

Text: Revelation Chapter 4

When we began our study in the book of Revelation we found that this book is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. When we were in chapter 1 and verse 19 we found that Jesus Himself rightly divided this book for our continued study. Jesus gave us a commandment to do this and He helped us out here.

2Ti 2:15 says  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

To rightly divide is to handle the word of God correctly! This expression means “to cut straight” A carpenter, a stone mason, a surgeon, a farmer, a road builder all have a hope to cut straight. To those that refuse to handle the word of God according to His guidelines will be judged of God. Those who teach God’s word are to remain true to the word of God at all times. Those who hear God’s word and believe on it have this same responsibility.

Remember Jesus was a carpenter, and a stone mason, and a surgeon and a farmer and it is He that has provided the road to salvation!

The way Christ divided this book:

Rev 1:19  Write the things [which thou hast seen], and the things [which are], and the things which [shall be hereafter];

1.) The things that were seen: Jesus Christ Himself. Chapter 1
2.) The Things which are: The Church and the Church Age. Chapter 2-3
3.) The things that are to come: The Prophetic future. (after the church age) Chapter 4 till the end.

Let’s begin out third section of this great book.

The words “church” or “churches” are used 20 times in this book but 19 times in the first three chapters and then only one more time in this book:

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.

If we accept the fact that Jesus Christ is the author of this book and that all scripture is inspired of God.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Does this book have divine authorship?

This book is no different than what was told to Moses:

Exo 20:1  And [God spake all these words], saying,
Exo 20:2  I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Nor to Joshua:

Jos 1:1  Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that [the LORD spake unto Joshua] the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
Jos 1:2  Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

The words “the Lord spake” or “God spake” are use 157 times in the Bible. Add “God said” for 46 more times. “Thus saith the Lord” is seen 413 times in the Bible.

God says what He means and He means what He says!

The Apostle John says he is baring the record of the word of God!

Rev 1:2 says  Who [bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw].

Bare means: to be a witness, to bear witness, to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because it is taught by divine revelation or inspiration

We know God speaks through a mediator:

Again Moses:

Deu 31:24  And it came to pass, [when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book], until they were finished,
Deu 31:25  That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,
Deu 31:26  Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee

Samuel:

1Sa 10:25  [Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book], and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

Nehemiah:

Neh 8:5  And [Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people]; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
Neh 8:6  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

This happens all through the Old Testament and the New Testament.

It should not be too hard to accept that the Lord Jesus divided this Book of Revelation and the Church, the Bride of Christ will go to Heaven at the end of the Church Age.

Because the Lord also said these words:

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].

This would be the coming tribulation period.

Our Text:

*****Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

(After this)

After Rev 1:1-3:22

Among those who do not believe that the Second Coming of our Lord will be in two phases, they often point out that the word “rapture” does not appear in the English Bible. But, as we all know, the New Testament was written in Greek, not English. The word which is used in Greek to give us the understanding of the Rapture is harpazo – translated in I Thessalonians 4:17 with the English words “caught up.”

1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain [shall be caught up] together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

harpazo = catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

Additional usages of harpazo include Matthew 11:12; 13:19;

and all these others:

Mat 11:12  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent [take it by force].

Mat 13:19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and [catcheth away] that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

John 6:15; 10:12, 28-29; Acts 8:39; 23:10;

Joh 6:15  When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and [take him by force], to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

II Corinthians 12:2, 4; Jude 23; and Revelation 12:5.

Our English word “rapture” is a transliteration of the “Latin” translation of I Thessalonians 4:17 which uses the word “rapturo.”

So after the Church age ends with the Rapture of the Bride of Christ these other things will begin and the first thing we see is the Throne Room of God. This is the view the Church will have.

Paul wrote:

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Remember we just left the Laodicean church. This church will go through the tribulation period. (Jesus Christ was on the outside). He has given this church the opportunity to repent and this church has until the rapture to do so. At that time the period of “grace” will be over.

God has this message to all those that hear and reject His Word of Truth:

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.

There will be some saved during the tribulation period but not any of the Laodicean church period. They will have chosen their own destiny and it will not be in Heaven.

We must not be confused about the “rapture”. The Philadelphian church will be called out. The Laodicean church will be “spewed out”!

The Bible Says:

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

(I looked, BEHOLD the door)

The Apostle John had witnessed a lot of miracles of Jesus. He had seen the transfiguration of the Lord. He had Apostolic powers and had done miracles himself, possibly even raising the dead but John had never seen anything that compared to what was inside that door of heaven.

Behold means: To fix the eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care.

We as Christians know that  there is only one door that leads into Heaven.

Jesus says:

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.

Because He is the only way:

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.

The Apostle John is not the only one who got a glimpse inside this door.

Act 7:55  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

Stephen got a glimpse.

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 7:10  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Daniel got a glimpse:

Isa 6:1  In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Isaiah got a glimpse:

Eze 1:1  Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

Ezekiel got a glimpse;

Exo 24:9  Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
Exo 24:10  And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

We can see that Moses and 72 more got a glimpse of Heaven.

You see this door was closed to the Laodicean church and it will be closed to all unbelievers but it will be open to all the saints of God. Not to those chosen by men but only those that have chosen Jesus Christ as their saviour. There is only one way to become a saint. You have to invite Christ Jesus into your heart. He will come if you are sincere!

(trumpet)

In the Bible the trumpet was used to call attention to important announcements. This time it will be the greatest announcement for the church, the Bride of Christ.

“Come home, come home, it’s supper time!”

Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, [I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me].

1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

You see Jesus made a promise to the church:

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.

This “hour of temptation” is best known as the “time of Jacob’s trouble”.

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

The church is not appointed to this wrath:

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

Born again believers are not saved just to go through the wrath of God. There would be no time of “grace” if this was so. The church will be delivered from the wrath of God.

Most of this nonsense comes from the teaching that the church is the true Israel. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Israel and the Church are two different peoples with two different walks that lead to the gates of Heaven. Not another way, because the only way will still be through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church has obtained true salvation and it begins the moment you allow Jesus Christ into your heart.

Christ in your heart will deliver you daily from the power of sin, the world, the flesh, the devil and God’s coming wrath on this world.

1Jn 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The Lord knows how to deliver the Godly from temptations:

2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

We have the proof in God’s word:

In the day of the world wide flood, not one drop of rain fell until Noah and his family were safe inside the Ark!

Gen 7:1  And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

In the day of the destruction of Sodom not one spark of fire and brimstone fell till Lot was safe.

Gen 19:29  And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

Lot placed himself in the middle of Satan’s evilness but he was still righteous in God’s eyes.

2Pe 2:7  And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
2Pe 2:8  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Certainly the Bride of Christ is loved as great as these. The church will not see any of the wrath of Christ:

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

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.
Rev 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

(the things that will come)

John is telling us of some things that will happen as believers enter into Heavens Gates. We first will see the door. We know that door is Jesus Christ. John will describe these in Chapters 4 and 5. The things here after begin in Chapter 6.

Heaven is a real place. We have already said that Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel, Stephen and even the Apostle Paul got a view of Heaven. John gives us the Heavenly view. When John is told not to write some things we can praise God because those will be some things that the church will never know because they are so horrible. Probably done by Satan but allowed by God.

Our Text:

*****Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Rev 4:3  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

(in the spirit)

As I have said we must remember the Apostle John had powers way beyond the normal man as did all the Apostles. That power died out with the Apostle John and does not exist. The power of the Holy Spirit exist but all other powers returned to the Almighty God.

What I’m trying to say is John had seen some wondrous things but nothing as wondrous and wonderful as what he was looking at just then at the door of Heaven. These are the beginnings of the things that are here after.  (Rev 1:19).

John says “and immediately”

1Co 15:52  In a moment, [in the twinkling of an eye], at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

John was in the spirit. It is the Holy Spirit of God that will rapture us off this planet. He will go home when God calls Him home and the Church will go with Him. We know that Jesus could not give us His Spirit until He had ascended back to heaven and He cannot come back until His Spirit is back in Heaven. The Holy Spirit will go back to the workings He did before the Church Age. We see this in the Old Testament and in the Gospels.

Joh 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9  Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Joh 16:10  Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Joh 16:11  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

This process will be in reverse when the Lord returns. He will recall the Spirit with the saints and He Then He will return to this Earth.

(The Throne)

We as Christians know this throne now as the “Throne of Grace”. If we humble ourselves we can approach this throne through our prayers.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

We know Christ Our Lord is there in Heaven to receive our prayers:

Heb 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16  [Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace], that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

After the rapture we will see the throne that John is telling us about now.

Psa 100:4  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psa 100:5  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

This will probably be the throne we will face Christ at His Judgement Seat (Bema) but this will “not” be the throne of the White Throne of Judgment as there will never be sinners allowed into Heaven.

Psa 89:14  Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
Psa 89:15  Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.

The Lord God Almighty is the one that sits on this throne!

Our text:

*****Rev 4:3  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

In Rev 21:11 we see a description of the Jasper Stone:

Rev 21:11  [Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal];

Stone: The Greek word “lithos” Apparently a primary word; a stone

Most Precious: The Greek word “timios” valuable, that is, (objectively) costly, or (subjectively) honored, esteemed, or (figuratively) beloved: – dear, honorable, (more, most) precious, had in reputation.

Jasper: The Greek word “iaspis” a gem.

The word Jasper is used exactly seven times in the Bible and we know the importance of the number seven in the book of Revelation.

Jasper in the Old Testament from the Hebrew word “yashpheh” meaning to polish.

No matter what the modern world thinks of this stone it is precious in the Bible.

In this description of Lucifer:

Eze 28:13  Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, [and the jasper], the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Oliver Green tells us these things:

“And thou shalt set in it [the high-priest’s breastplate] settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their enclosings” — Exodus 28:17-20

“In Exodus 28, we read of these stones in the breastplate of the high priest. The Sardius (the blood-red) stone having to do with Reuben is mentioned first, and the Jasper stone last. Revelation 4 speaks first of the Jasper stone–the clear white stone of Benjamin. This is not to be taken lightly. There is a definite reason for reversing of the stones, putting the first last, and the last first.

“The Sardius was blood-red, speaking of the sacrifice of blood, pointing to the cross and the first coming of Jesus to shed His blood for the remission of sin. The name is derived from two Hebrew words meaning ‘behold the Son.’ It pointed to the person of whom John the Baptist said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). It also tells us that He (the Lord Jesus) was the first born of every creature, and the first begotten–the ONLY begotten–son of God (John 3:16).

“The Jasper, the last stone in the Old Testament breastplate, represented Benjamin. This was a clear stone, speaking of total victory. On the Jasper stone was Benjamin’s name, which is a combination of two Hebrew words (BEN and JAMIN), so scholars tell us, meaning ‘the son of my right hand’…or, as one authority puts it, ‘the son of my power.’ The first and last stones pointed forward to the first and second coming of the great High Priest–none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

“However, here in Revelation 4, the order of the stones is reversed. John the Beloved sees Him (Jesus) first as the Jasper, and second as the Sardius. The reason is clear: In the Old Testament the saints looked forward to the day when the Lamb would come, they looked forward to the cross, and therefore saw the Sardius…the blood-red stone…first. They looked beyond that and saw the Jasper, the clear white stone representing His power and His rule at His second coming to set up the kingdom. However, when John had the experience we are now studying, he was on this side of Calvary and the Rapture, and was looking back. John saw, first of all, the Jasper stone, the clear one–and then the red stone, the cross and sacrifice.”

We must realize that there is no way John could put what he saw into words:

1Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

What John did see was God sitting on His Throne. Praise God no matter what is happening here on Earth, it is God that still sits on the Throne.

John saw glorious colors. The Emerald color of the rainbow, the red of the Sardine stone and the multiple colors of the Jasper stone. Glory in all it’s brilliance. More beauty than could be imagined by a man in the spirit of a vision. Praise God, this is the view He gives until He shows us the real thing.

The Bible Says:

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

John got a glimpse of the unsurpassed splendor of a Holy God.

Jasper stands for the Holiness of God Rev 21:11
Sardine stands for the blood atonement demanded by God for the remission of sins. Here it represents the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh and His death on the cross.

It is the white stone of glory the people will see at His “Second Coming”.

The “rainbow” is a reminder of His promise about the flood. God never breaks His promises!

The color green denotes God’s grace and all these things together denote the love that God has for His Church, His Bride.

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God’s mercy endures forever and is unbroken to those that believe on Him:

2Jn 1:7  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
2Jn 1:8  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

Let’s keep in mind that if you do not meet Jesus Christ at this throne, you “will” meet Him at the White Throne of Judgement! Every Knee will bow to this righteous God!

Rom 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

You do not have to believe that this will happen but the truth is the truth and God said let the ignorant remain ignorant.

Paul wrote:

1Co 14:37  If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
1Co 14:38  But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

Our Text:

*****Rev 4:4  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Who are these Elders?

In the Old Testament there were 24 priests on duty at all times. They represented all the priests in Israel. The Bible teaches that every born again child of God is a priest.

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.

It can be said that these 24 Elders represent all the saints that are children of God. All God’s children are priests.

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

(clothed in white)

White stands for the Righteousness and the Holiness of God.

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.

Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

(the crowns)

These Elders set forth royal dignity:

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:

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].

The Bible mentions 4 more crowns:

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 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive [a crown of glory] that fadeth not away.

2Ti 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me [a crown of righteousness], which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

1Co 9:25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we [an incorruptible].

This may mean that the Judgement Seat of Christ has already taken place and the rewards distributed. These are rewards but the saints will not rule with Christ until the Millennium. The 12 Apostles will judge and rule and administer to the 12 tribes of Israel.

Luk 22:29  And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
Luk 22:30  That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

And some of the Saints will be given some authority over cities and maybe regions and nations.

Luk 19:17  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
Luk 19:18  And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
Luk 19:19  And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

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.

Our Text:

*****Rev 4:5  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Rev 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

We absolutely do not have a clue to what it will be like to be in the “presence of God”.

In Exo 19:16-19 and Exo 20:18-19 we can see that the children of Israel feared for their lives!

Exo 20:19  And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

In 1Sam 7:10 we can read where the entire army of the Philistines ran for fear of God!

1Sa 7:10  And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.

Note: this will happen again at the second coming of the Lord.

Note: the saints of God, the “born again” will miss the day of wrath.

In our world, thunder and lightning announce the coming of an approaching storm We know the Bible says there will be the terrible storm of God about 7 years after the rapture of the church. The days of the Antichrist will also be terrible days.

(seven spirits)

We have looked at these 7 spirits in earlier lessons and they denote the Spiritual perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is our: 1.) Faithful witness:

Joh 18:37  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

2.) The first begotten of the dead:

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

3.) The Prince of the Kings of this Earth:

Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

4.) The one who loved us!

1Jn 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

5.) He is the “One” who washed us from our sin in His Own Blood:

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

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

(seven lamps)

We know that oil in the Bible can represent the Holy Spirit. The candlesticks earlier represented the church. Here we see the word lamps. The oil of the Holy Spirit fills those lamps and the flame of Jesus shines brightly. The perfect Son of God. We also know that God’s church is now in Heaven.

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

You know this is the third time these spirits have been mentioned and they represent the fulness of God of Whose “essence” is the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says of these lamps: They are of Life, Intelligence, Knowledge, and Guidance.

The Bible also says:

1Co 1:9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Co 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Php 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php 1:28  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

In this book of the “Unveiling” of the Lord Jesus Christ, it would help to think like He does, after all it is His Spirit that abides inside of us.

Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

This is why so many will be left behind sitting on those pews, they forgot about Jesus!

(that Sea of glass)

That Sea of Glass is the reflection and perfection of a Holy God. Those four beast have it right, Holy, Holy, Holy the Lord God Almighty.

The Bible said it would look like ice, and with those colors mention by John it certainly would look so beautiful and wonderful. (Read Job 28)

In the Old Testament the wicked are said to be like a troubled sea:

Isa 57:20  But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

There is no wickedness in Heaven so it will be like a Sea of Perfection, the perfection of Peace. When we look back at the Old Testament see these words.

1Ki 7:29 (read through verse 45)  And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

For what purpose?

Exo 30:18  Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.
Exo 30:19  For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat:
Exo 30:20  When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD:
Exo 30:21  So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.

Exo 38:8  And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

We can see the that Crystal Sea in Heaven would never have a ripple because all that come into the congregation of Heaven needed no washing.

God has given us a glimpse of this before:

Exo 24:10  And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

Eze 1:22  And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

Remember even this Earth the Lord Jesus said to the Sea of Galilee these words:

Mar 4:39  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, [Peace, be still]. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mar 4:40  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Without “faith” we will never see this Sea of Heaven and the beauty and glory of it. Even the sailor knows the calmness of the open sea.

(the 4 beast)

Of those four beast. The Greek word “zoon” is used here which means a living creature and some animal. If we compare this beast to the one in Rev 6:8 we can see a lot of difference. That one is of the Greek word “therion” which means a dangerous animal.

These “beast” before the throne are not dangerous animals. These in the eyes of John were some living creature that he had never seen on Earth so he will give us some things that they resembled.

The number four represents things of this world in scripture: These four living creatures, also the four winds of Revelation, the four seasons, the four points of direction (NESW), the four rivers of Eden, the four corners of the Earth and we could go on to others.

We can be sure that these four living creatures are also angelic creatures maybe representing the living creatures of this Earth.

The Bible says “All” the Earth will worship Him:

Psa 66:4  [All the earth shall worship thee], and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

“All” flesh:

Isa 66:23  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, [shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD].

Now the Bible says animals will not go to Heaven but we know there are already some there!

So these four beast are Angelic creatures that denote God’s creation. There is nothing hideous about these creatures.

Ezekiel saw them in a vision:

Eze 1:4  And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
Eze 1:5  Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
Eze 1:6  And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.

Isaiah saw them also:

Isa 6:2  Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
Isa 6:3  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

He called them Seraphim and Ezekiel said Cherubim but they are probably the same.

(full of eyes)

The Greek word “ophthalmos” is used for the word “eyes” in this verse. This word means vision and denotes that these creatures had great vision. This can also mean they had a great faculty for knowing, which is obvious as we see them continuously singing Holy, Holy, Holy to the Lord God Almighty. We should envy these creatures if it were not sin.

There is nothing like them here on Earth because John gave no examples as he did the Sea. The word “like” is not the same as the word “as”.

God has a purpose for everyone of His creations and these creatures needed no rest from the purpose they had. They “worship” God!

Angels do not know everything like God does but they have been real close to Him for 6000 years. But it is they that are envious of the born again Holy Ghost filled child of God:

1Pe 1:10  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; [which things the angels desire to look into].

Our Text:

*****Rev 4:7  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

1.) The Lion denotes strength, it represents the tribe of Judah and the Blood line of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some say the Book of Matthew speaks of this trait of our Lord.

2.) The Ox(Calf) denotes patient labor, working for the good of others. Some say the Book of Mark paints that picture of Our Lord.

3.) The man represents intelligence. Even though some would teach a falsehood, man is the most intelligent of God’s creation. Only humans can accumulate knowledge to share with each other. After all man is created in the image of God. Some say that the Book of Luke best explains the humanity of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

4.) The flying eagle denotes God’s deliverance of His children:

Exo 19:4  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself].

Rev 12:14  And to the woman were given [two wings of a great eagle], that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

It is the Lord that leads us to this throne in Heaven.

Deu 32:11  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
Deu 32:12  So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

That’s why it’s called faith!

Isa 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Some say it is the Book of John that denotes this trait of Our Lord.

No matter what we think of these winged creatures they got that praise part right. They feed from the praise they offer up to God. They do not want or need anything else. They are happy doing what they are doing. For He is the one which was, and is, and is to come.

Our Text:

*****Rev 4:9  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
Rev 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

1.) Glory: Praise ascribed in adoration; honor.

Psa 7:17  I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

2.) Honor: Reverence; veneration; or any act by which reverence and submission are expressed,as worship paid to the Supreme Being.

Psa 89:7  God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

3.) Thanks:  Expression of gratitude; Gratitude is the feeling or sentiment excited by kindness; thanks are the expression of that sentiment.

Psa 117:1  O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
Psa 117:2  For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Eph 2:7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

We see that the signal is issued to join in when the saints arrive and see this praise. They have already been to the judgment seat. The time has come after seeing these beasts praise Him that the unworthiness of wearing a crown before such an Awesome God sets in and those crowns are cast to the Savior’s feet and all join in on the praising of the Lord God Almighty. Praise God “That truly will be a glorious day”.

The deliverance that has been written about has happened to the Church, the Bride of Christ and we are at home. It will truly be overwhelming.

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Let’s Pray!

Message to Laodicea

Message to Laodicea

Revelation 3: 14-22

In our study of the Book of Revelation we have made it to the church at Laodicea. Christ our Lord has been in the midst of all His church until this one. I’m sure when this church began it was centered on Jesus Christ but we now see He is out side standing at the door. We know that there are lost souls in every church but we now see a church that does not have one saved soul in it’s congregation.

Laodicea was the wealthiest of all these seven cities. Banking was the predominate source of it’s wealth but there was also a clothing based on it’s black wool products and the manufacture and sale of medicines also helped in the riches of this city.

There was plenty of money, high fashion and drugs! A combination that led to self-righteousness. In fact the word Laodicea means (Lao) people and (dicea) to justify. Meaning people who justified themselves. We live in a worldwide society right now in 2010 that simply believe they can justify anything they do. Not only the terrorist but also the do-gooders. The government use to say “by the people and for the people” but not now. They are all on their own agenda, justifying the work they do themselves.

We also see the same thing in our spiritual climate. After all even the true church is filled with sinners saved by the grace of God. The whole world is filled with self righteous people.

God says:

Isa 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and [all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags]; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Not many realize that the term “filthy rags” used here was the rags that were used to wrap the sores of the leper. Leprosy was very contagious and the disease could be caught from those filthy rags. Our own self righteousness is a disease that is contagious to all our family and anyone else we get around.

It seems every one in the world including preachers and other clergy have written “self-help” books. Some even to help you in your Christian walk. We already have that book. It’s called the Bible, the Word of God. If we will not adhere to God’s word, no other book will help at all unless of course you are just looking for a way to justify yourself.

God says:

Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

If we are not justified by our faith in Jesus Christ then we cannot be justified!

In AD 1870 the Roman Catholic Church “declared” the Pope to be infallible when he speaks in his official capacity. There is only one infallible word that that is God’s word. Now we have people rewriting God’s word at a faster pace than ever, changing the truth of God’s word to suit themselves.

Laodicea did not receive a single commendation from the Lord Jesus Christ. They were rich in material things but poor in “spiritual wealth”. They knew the term “lukewarm” because they had a pipeline, an underground aqueduct to bring water from some hot springs close by but by the time the water reached the city it had lost most all it’s heat and it’s healing properties. It was to cool to be relaxing and to warm to be refreshing. If you drank it it would make you vomit.

Our Text:

*****Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

(amen)

The word “Amen” basically means the same in every language. “it is so” or “so be it” or “so let it be”. Jesus Christ will be the center of the true church, those that disagree are of the church of Satan.

Jesus says “it is so” and “so be it” “so let it be”. This the only place in the Bible where Jesus is called the Amen and He said it Himself.

Gal 1:10 says  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Joshua said:

Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

The words of God will come true just as He has written them because it is He that is the Author of this Book we call the Bible!

Joh 14:6 says  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.

He writes to the unbeliever:

Isa 65:13  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
Isa 65:14  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
Isa 65:15  And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:

(faithful witness)

A faithful witness tells the truth of what he has seen. Jesus Christ sees all that goes on in every church and in every place on this Earth.

Pilate ask Jesus a question one day and Christ answered in this fashion:

Joh 18:37  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. [To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice].

Pilate heard the truth that day and he did not know how to respond than to just say “I find No Fault In Him”.

There are no faults in our True and Faithful Witness.

Jesus ask this question:

Luk 18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, [shall he find faith on the earth?]

The faith of the Laodicean church will not be enough to get you into Heaven!

This final stage of the church is full of “Apostasy”.

This city was rich and “most” of the time riches produce rotten living!

1Ti 6:10  [For the love of money is the root of all evil]: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

God would not say this if it were not true!

Joh 17:17 says  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

(beginning of creation)

This church was led to believe that this world we live in, the physical world, is more important than the spiritual world of God and the world that is to come. Jesus Christ was not the first one created of God, it was by Jesus that everything else was created.

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

Col 1:16 says  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Christ is the beginning of the spiritual order. Our new birth happens when we accept Him as our Savior. We then become a new creature. “This the beginning of creation mentioned in this verse”.

2Co 5:17 says  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
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.

*****Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

That word “cold” can be interpreted as icy cold as ice water.
That word “hot” can be interpreted as boiling hot or fervent heat.

Cold could be also said “dead” and hot could be said “on fire for God”. We all fit somewhere in between these two extremes. Jesus has already said what He thinks of lukewarm!

What were the works of this church? They were indifferent to the faith. This church was lost(Jesus on the outside). They had no spirit inside them. They had never been born again. They made our Lord sick.

I know I am not always as fervent serving the Lord As I should be. Could I be giving My Lord the upset stomach. It will make you think or it does me.

This church knew Christ and even some believed, but so does Satan.

Heb 4:2  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: [but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it].

This is the most dangerous stage of all states of the person because many believe that they are truly saved and will not seek to be sure. They will continue in works trying to prove themselves but they will never invite the Lord Jesus into their hearts and He will not force His way in. They will never take a stand either way.

We see this every day in our world when so called Christians will not take a stand against abortion, against evil, against the gays, and against corruption.

This type of church is sending more people to hell than any of the vices of this world ever did.

Heb 2:3  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Heb 2:4  God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Joh 3:18 says  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The church at Philadelphia will be called out!
The church at Laodicea will be spewed out!

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.

The church age will end under a dark cloud. The days of Noah and Lot are repeated, darker and darker until the “Morning Star” appears.

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.

You know every message that was preached at this church probably made everyone happy. There was no Holy Ghost conviction. The music was worldly. The word “blood” was not in the song book. Nothing about the “cross”. Just the occasional name of Jesus mentioned “as a real good man”.

These members did not need the Gospel, they already knew it all.

God does bless with physical things some times, thank goodness, but this not to be compared to spiritual blessings. These people were not free but bound by their own ways. They had decided it could not get any better than what they had. They thought they had the light but they were so blind they were in total darkness to the truth.

*****Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

1.) Not rich, but Poor.
2.) Not increased with goods, but Wretched and Miserable.
3.) Not having need of nothing, but Blind and Naked.

Notice they (thou Sayest) bragged on themselves. They would tell everyone of their perfect church.

God says:

Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

And:

Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Wealth at the expense of Spirituality is a tragedy and a curse. The church at Laodicea and this church age will fulfill the prophesy of Matt 24.

Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

These were well educated people with plenty of book smarts but were ignorant to the word of God.

2Ti 3:7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God said in His own words: “thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”

*****Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

What was the Lord’s counsel?

Buy of Me!

Isa 55:1  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and [he that hath no money]; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Isa 55:2  [Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread]? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Isa 55:3  [Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live]; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

“Buy of me”, the things that can only come from Jesus Christ:

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:
1Pe 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

(white clothing)

This church was dressed in the fashion of the day even in the spirituality of this last church age but in their own righteousness.

The Bible says:

Isa 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

You know when the Bible mentions these filthy rags it is talking about the old rags that were wrapped around the body of the leper. These rags were not only filthy but carried the disease. Our sins and our own righteousness carry the disease of sin. We have no righteousness on our own.

until:

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

To the church:

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.

Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

(eyesalve)

Eye salve first burns, then blinds and then it heals. Spiritual eyesalve (The Holy Ghost) opens up the eyes of the lost and makes the sinner see. We can see the Salvation of the cross and the blood through His eyes if He is within us.

Spiritual eyeglasses:

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Unless the Lord Jesus opens the eyes of our understanding we will never know the truth that makes us free of the sin of this world and break the bonds of Satan’s yoke.

*****Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Any person who can live in sin, prosper in sin, be happy in sin and continue in sin, without the chastening of The Lord has never been saved.

Pro 3:11  My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
Pro 3:12  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Pro 3:13  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
Pro 3:14  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

God does these things for Himself! He will not have a people that will not honor Him!

Psa 23:3  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness [for his name’s sake].

These people of Laodicea changed the truth of God into a lie. They may not have been against God but they were not for Him. They were lost in the middle of the highway going no where.

*****Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

These are the saddest of any group of people. Jesus on the outside means He had already removed the candlestick from this church. Glory be He is still knocking to get back inside. Jesus will knock on the door of every heart where His word is heard. That’s why we as Christians are to deliver the Word of God to all we can.

You see these people would not go to the door because they knew who was outside that door. They would open the door to a stranger but not to Jesus. Our world is so full of these people today trying to find their own way to Heaven when there is only one way.

How many churches of today have pushed the Lord Jesus Christ out the door but in His Grace, He still stands at the door and knocks to see if we will let Him in.

God came to this Earth in the flesh of Jesus to seek and save all that would believe on Him:

Luk 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

There is a down side to those that ignore the word of God:

Luk 19:27  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Christ is at the door asking, are there not any in this church that hear my word?

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Rom 10:18  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

1.) We must invite the Lord into our heart.
2.) We must believe the word He gives to us.
3.) We must receive Him as Lord and Savior

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.

Can you imagine sitting in the church at Smyrna and hearing this message written to the Laodicean church. They could not have understood such people. The saints of Smyrna will willing to give their life for the Lord and these of Laodicea would not even open the door to Christ Jesus.

The lost of this world know when Jesus is not in their heart. It’s the false doctrine that is taught in the church that tells them that they are OK. To not be secure of your salvation is most likely to be lost. These people of this church were not asked if they were saved, they were told by the church leaders that they were saved. They removed that one on one relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He will stand at that door as long as there is one that might listen to Him. There is no door handle on the outside, it must open from the inside.

*****Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

We are to walk with Jesus. It is Jesus that chose the path. It will not always be an easy path but He goes down this path before us and it is He that knows the way.

Jesus still sits at the throne as our Great High Priest:

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

Stephen saw Him there before he joined Him in Heaven:

Act 7:55  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Act 7:56  And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

It is Christ that paved our way:

Heb 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Heb 5:9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

This time of Grace is fast coming to an end and Jesus will return as King of the world:

Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And Jesus says:

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Mat 19:29  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Who can deny the work of the Living God?

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.
Act 2:33  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Act 2:34  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Act 2:35  Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

*****Rev 3:22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Holy Spirit who will never leave us says please listen to what I am telling you!

Every church on this Earth will fall into the category of one of these seven churches. Every church is made up of people and there are some of these same type people in every church. Many move around from place to place seeking a place they fit in but there is a reason why God chose our place of worship.

A church is not buildings but it is people. No church is more spiritual than the people inside that church. That’s why we cannot have a government rule over the church. Governments have no Spirit. That’s why you cannot have a Pope or a Cleric or any one that would rule and not teach because they will not have the Spirit. You see we cannot truthfully judge our own church until “we truthfully judged our own selves”. James writes:

Jas 1:23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

But if we will look to the Lord:

2Co 3:16  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
2Co 3:17  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2Co 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

We have a lot of responsibility in our service to God’s house as Christians and we have very little time to be that good servant that “Steward” of God’s word.

Jesus Christ had nothing good to say to the Laodiceans. What would He say about the church that you attend.

Let’s pray!

Message to Philadelphia

MESSAGE TO PHILADELPHIA

Our Text Revelation 3:7-13

In our study so far in this great book given to us from Jesus Christ our Lord, we have seen Ephesus the church that lost it’s first love. The church that is not based on the Rock of Jesus is not the true foundation of God’s children and is then not part of God’s church on this Earth. We have seen Smyrna the persecuted church. We know there are places in this world where it is really hard to be a Christian. Persecution will follow any church but it is greater in some locations in this world. We have seen Pergamos the church that was giving in to the world. Boy, can you go anywhere and not find one of these places of worship. We’ve seen Thyatira where to keep a job the church became lax with the commandments of God and joined the world in the name of making a living. God says to come out from among them and God’s arms are not to short to take care of His children. We have seen the church at Sardis where the congregation just died. They were corpses that could sit up but they were just as dead as if they were in their coffins.

We will now see the church at Philadelphia. The church at Philadelphia and the church at Smyrna were the only two places of worship that did not receive any rebuke from the Lord Jesus.

Let’s take a moment and look at the Church that Christ built.

Mat 16:18 says  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.

We could talk about what is said about Peter here in this verse but we can do that later. In the Greek words used here, Peter would be a small stone and the Rock of Jesus would be the greatest of all mountains.

Peter himself said we are all also lively stones just like he is in the work of the church:

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.

What Christ Jesus does say is that “He will build His Church”. In other words the church had not been built at this point in time. The Church of Christ did not exist in the Old Testament. The Church of Christ did not exist as long as Jesus was on this Earth. In fact Jesus said:

Joh 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9  Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Joh 16:10  Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Joh 16:11  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

The church could not be built until Christ went back to Heaven. We know that Jesus was being rejected by His own people and He was near the end of His earthly ministry. God had written many years before this these words:

Isa 49:5  And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
Isa 49:6  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: [I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth].

At the Cross and at His Resurrection Jesus Christ provided the Salvation that is mentioned here in Isaiah. When Christ went back to Heaven and sent the Holy Ghost at Pentecost then began the Church.

Eph 1:19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, [and gave him to be the head over all things to the church],
Eph 1:23  [Which is his body], the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

The Church is then the Body of Christ!

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

You have to be Baptized with God’s Holy Spirit to be a part of the Body of Christ!

The Church was given to Christ by God Himself:

Joh 17:8  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

It was Peter who first took this message to the Jews and to the Gentiles after Pentecost:

Act 15:14  Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, [to take out of them a people for his name].

We know that the Apostle John is the last of this group sent out to start His church. The Church has stood without the Apostles since that time and will continue to stand until Christ Jesus returns to take His church out of this world.

How do you get into the Church that Christ is building?

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

That “whosoever” says it does not matter where you come from or where you have been or what you have done. It only says to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has taught the Church, His body, The Body of Christ.

The purpose of God in this Church age is not to establish His Kingdom but to call out the Church that some be saved, not all but, all that will come, whosoever will come. Every person still has that freewill to choose. That will not be so in the Kingdom to come after  the “church age”, This time of “GRACE”.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Col 1:25  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

At Philadelphia we see the best resemblance of the young vibrant Body of Christ that Jesus intended on this Earth. Philadelphia means “brotherly love”.

Rom 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with [brotherly love]; in honour preferring one another;

1Th 4:9  But as touching [brotherly love] ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

These also are the Greek words for “Philadelphia”. This church of Philadelphia practiced the art of brotherly love. This church needed no corrective measures nor a reprimand from The Lord Jesus Christ. We can see from this church that it is possible to serve the Lord Jesus without His criticism. Every church should study this message to obtain what this church had even though there will be more Smyrna’s as time goes on. Christ did not criticize Smyrna either. We also know there will be many more Laodicean churches as time passes.

Scholars will say these ages of the church are in this following order:

Ephesus [30-100] Apostolic Church
Smyrna [100-313] Roman Persecution
Pergamum [313-600] Age of Constantine
Thyatira [600-1517] Dark Ages
Sardis [1517-1648] Reformation (The weakness of it)
Philadelphia [1648-and on through the Rapture] Missionary Movement
Laodicea [1900-until the Rapture] Apostasy

Our Text:

*****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;

As Christ Jesus describes Himself, lets look at what He says: Note, We seem to have no problem wanting to be called Christians. To be a Christian is to be like Christ. Are we holy and true?

1.) He is Holy: We call a man holy,when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated by the divine precepts. Then, holy is used as nearly synonymous with good, humble, and godly.

To be holy is to be hallowed; consecrated or set apart to a sacred use, or to the service or worship of God; a sense frequent in Scripture; as the holy sabbath; holy oil; holy vessels; a holy nation; the holy temple; a holy priesthood.

A holy people! Just and good. A holy witness. We can be none of these things unless we are filled and sealed with the Holy Ghost.

Jesus tells us:

1Pe 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1Pe 1:14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

2.) He that is true:

To be true is to be a fact. God’s word is true because it states the facts. Anything that does not conform to God’s word is then false.

There are many counterfeit religions in this world. There are many false Christians in this world but Jesus Christ is the truth of God in every sense. He is God incarnate.

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.

Paul writes:

Rom 3:3  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
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.

Matthew says:

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

It does not matter if we believe or not!

2Ti 2:13  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Because He is true!

Heb 6:17  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
Heb 6:18  That by two immutable things, in which [it was impossible for God to lie], we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Heb 6:19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, [both sure and stedfast], and which entereth into that within the veil;
Heb 6:20  Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Because Jesus is faithful and true, the church will accomplish what God wants while we are in this church age.

3.) He has 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.

There was an evil man named Shebna who had managed to get control of as sort of prime minister to the Kingdom of Judah. God stopped this and place it in the hands of Eliakim who was the son of the High Priests, Hilkiah. What the Lord Jesus is saying in our verse is that it is He (Jesus Christ) that has the Key as “prime minister” of the church in all affairs of the church. The church belongs to Jesus Christ. It is He that has all power and all authority and not anyone that assumes so on this Earth.

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The command to go and witness comes from “He that has the authority” to direct the true mission of the church. (Jesus Christ Our Lord)

4.) He that opens and shuts:

When Christ gave the commandment to go forth to the church He also gave some direction to proceed:

Act 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

God gives any church as Philadelphia the open door to missions. We limit our own selves when we get caught up in worldly things.

1.) To Jerusalem [or the Home city of the church].
2.) To Judea [or the Home nation of the church].
3.) To Samaria [or the neighboring countries of the church].
4.) To the entire Earth [or missionaries to the world].

The first door that is opened is to begin the local church and that’s the first direction to evangelize. The Lord Jesus said it was he who would open the doors and close them from then on.

*****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.

This church at Philadelphia had a little strength.
They had kept the word of God in other words Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-20.
They had not denied the deity of Christ.

We can see why the doors to any such church would remain open. The reason that the doors of spiritual power have been closed to so many churches is that they have ceased to believe that the Bible is truly the “Word of God”. They do not even preach the word any more. They do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. They do not believe in the Blood atonement. They do not believe in the Virgin birth. They do not believe in the Resurrected Christ They do not believe that Christ is the only way to the Father in Heaven. They do not believe in the work of the Holy Spirit.

They have veered from the fundamentals of the Bible and traveled down their own path to destruction. God has closed the doors to these places of worship and the best they can do is to be like Sardis(dead) or Thyiatira(lax).

They have forgotten the truth!

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.

1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in 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.

These people are described to us in:

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.

What is a true 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.

These that do not have the praise of God but are liars will be forced to come worship before the church. They will know that the Lord Jesus loves His Church, His Bride.

What do we know of liars?

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.

We must not be confused with the statement “worship at your feet”. Jesus is “not” saying it is the church that will be worshiped. He is saying that the church will be present when the world bows down to the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.

Every knee will bow!

Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

*****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.

(word of my patience)

I believe James the half-brother of the Lord says it best:

Jas 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, [the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain].
Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

I believe we are in the period of the latter rain now of this time of “Grace”.

Jer 5:24  Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: [he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest].

As Jeremiah was telling the Jews, I believe the Lord has reserved to the Church these appointed weeks of the harvest. This age of Grace is winding down. The time of Christ is drawing nigh. Only a blind man could miss all the signs of His coming and those signs are for His return to this Earth. The Church will have already been taken out. Just as this verse says.

Paul wrote:

Rom 2:6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Rom 2:7  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

That’s why they call it faith:

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 follow the direction of the Holy Spirit who will always lead us to the Lord Jesus:

2Th 3:5  And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

(I will keep thee from the Hour)

There is almost no clearer indication that the Rapture will happen before the Tribulation than what it says in this verse.

Peter wrote:

2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

The Bible says:

Psa 4:3  But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

Patiently waiting is having faith!

What we know is that Noah and his family were delivered before the flood:

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Heb 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

God has shown His patience in waiting until the proper time:

1Pe 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1Pe 3:19  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1Pe 3:20  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

God will spare His people from His wrath!

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
2Pe 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2Pe 2:6  And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
2Pe 2:7  And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
2Pe 2:8  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

These examples are in the Bible for us to learn from. The godly in Christ Jesus will observe the tribulation period from Heaven!

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

This is not idle words in the Word of God. These are the truths of the Bible. Job knew, King David knew, Samuel knew, Abraham knew, Paul, Peter, John, James and all the other writers of the New Testament knew because the Holy Ghost saw fit for us to know this miracle of the Rapture of the Church.

Remember what Jesus said:

Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and [the things which are], and the things which shall be hereafter;

The Church is not again mentioned after Revelation 4:1 until the end of the Kingdom Age!

(upon all the world)

World here is the inhabitants of this Earth!

Isa 13:9  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

God has this message to all that remain. This is the message of the tribulation period. There will be none of the saints left on this earth during this time and the Millennial Kingdom follows this.

*****Rev 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

The Lord Jesus says “look”, fix your mind on this thing. It’s going to happen and (quickly) it will happen all of a sudden. Like a thief!

Jas 5:9  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

Again the Apostle Paul:

1Th 5:1  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

(take your crown)

It is again Paul who tells us of this crown:

2Ti 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, [but unto all them also that love his appearing].

This may not be a solid gold crown ringed with jewels but it will be the crown of royalty.

The Greek word used here is “stephanos:.

stephanos means an apparently primary “stepho” (to twine or wreathe); a chaplet (as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; but more conspicuous and elaborate than the simple fillet, G1238 (would be a crown of gold)

This same crown is found in these words of Peter:

1Pe 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

We cannot lose our salvation but we can lose our crowns!

Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

Luk 10:41  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Luk 10:42  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

*****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 is it to overcome?

Jesus said:

Joh 16:31  Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
Joh 16:32  Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
Joh 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

You see if we only believe and place our faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ Our Lord we can also be overcomers:

1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jn 4:5  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

You will never overcome the evil in this world without Jesus Christ buried deeply into your heart and soul. He cannot be seen by others until His light shines within you.

(A pillar)

The Greek word “stulos” is used for the word pillar in this verse. It means a “post”.

Jesus asked this question of the Jews one day:

Mat 11:7  And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

This was John the Baptist a solid post for Christ!

In the Apostle Paul’s instructions to Timothy he said these words:

1Ti 3:14  These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

It is the true church of Jesus that is the pillar of truth in this world.

James, Peter and John were pillars of the truth:

Gal 2:9  [And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars], perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

As all these are examples of things on this Earth. Jesus says the church will be the pillars of God’s Temple in the New Jerusalem in Heaven or that will come down from Heaven. Never to go no more in and out. There will be no need to run from evil because it will not exist. No need to run from persecution, it will not exist. No need to worry about the Synagogue of Satan, it will not exist. No sickness, no death, no crying, no pain. They will not exist.

The name of the God of Jesus:

1.) Everyone in New Jerusalem will be godly or have God-likeness.
2.) Everyone in New Jerusalem will be adorned as the Bride Of Christ.
3.) Everyone in New Jerusalem will bare the Name of the Bridegroom as the church (the bride of Christ) is married
to Our Saviour. Every bride gets the name of her new husband.

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

We must always listen to the Holy Spirit of God. We are going home soon.

Are you ready!

Let’s pray!

Message to Sardis

MESSAGE TO SARDIS

Our Text: Revelation 3:1-6

As we study these churches in the book of Revelation we should see and learn from the things Our Lord points out as He counsels these members. When He speaks to the church, Christ speaks to the Body of Christ but He also speaks to us individually. It should prick our heart as we see the errors made then and what we know of in our day now. It can readily be seen that we just haven’t been steadfast in God’s word as we should and have allowed Satan in the doors of every church to set up his nonsense. I would like to see the day that angel tosses him into that burning lake of fire. Kick him in the head Jesus!

1.)The lesson of Ephesus is we must keep our focus on Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the foundation of the Church.
2.)The lesson of Smyrna is that we are going to see Christians persecuted until the Rapture and it is going to get worse. If we do not get up to serve Christ now, we certainly will not serve Him as things get worse.
3.) The lesson of Pergamos is that we just cannot allow the world into the church. A house divided will simply not stand. The Lord said to come out from among them.
4.) The lesson of Thyatira is that we just cannot get so lax as the Body of Christ to allow false teaching into the Church. Our Pastors must preach the entire word of God and the Church must adhere to the exact word of God.
5.) In Sardis we will see the results when we do not do these things! The dead church.

Sardis was a prominent city and obtained its wealth from textile manufacturing, jewelry trade, and the dye industry.  Generally speaking, the city was pagan with many individual mystery cults.  The temple of Artemis was one of the major points of interest.  Five hundred years before John wrote this letter Sardis was one of the richest and most powerful cities in the world.  It became ethically complacent and morally degenerate, but to all appearances it had every reason to be proud and boastful.

Sardis was in an ideal location in the plain of the River Hermus Valley. It was the meeting place of several major  trade routes.  Sardis was guaranteed commercial prosperity.  It was built on a 1500 foot high plateau with steep cliffs on three sides and a narrow road leading to the city on the fourth side.  This made Sardis virtually impenetrable to attack.  Sardis was so blessed the river which flowed through the town carried gold dust.  How blessed can you be?

It is no wonder that Sardis became a rich and splendid city.  Sardis became the capital of the kingdom of Lydia.  Their most famous king was Croesus.  His very name is synonymous with wealth.  This is where the saying “as rich as Croesus” came from.  Despite all of its blessings Sardis had a problem.  It became over confident. Life had become too easy.  The citizens came to think of their town as unconquerable, no matter who their enemy may be.

Our Text:

*****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.

We already know that the angel of the church is the pastor. The seven stars are the pastors that have been called of God. We must not forget there are some claiming to be called to preach but called themselves. They are not of God.

Salvation comes to those that believe and call on the Lord!

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? [and how shall they hear without a preacher]?
Rom 10:15  [And how shall they preach, except they be sent]? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Rom 10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17  [So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God].

It is Jesus Christ that has the Spirit of God. We have talked about the seven fold characteristics of God’s Spirit from the book of Isaiah:

Isa 11:1  And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Isa 11:2  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Isa 11:3  And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

1.) The Spirit of the Lord (Jesus).
2.) The Spirit of “wisdom”.
3.) The Spirit of “understanding”.
4.) The Spirit of “counsel”.
5.) The Spirit of “might”.
6.) The Spirit of “knowledge”.
7.) The Spirit of the “fear of the Lord”.

The “One” that had all these things was and is the Lord Jesus Christ. He wanted this church in Sardis to know exactly who sent this message. He wanted this church to know that every church would need the Holy Spirit and all these qualities of Him to survive in what we call the “church age” or the “Time of Grace”.

Christ said that He knew their works but we do not see any good works mentioned! This church did not have the right “Spirit”.

If you were a member of the community where this church was located you would have seen an active church. You would probably have seen a church trying to civilize the whole city, building a big magnificent building and a lot of community activities. Not all of this wrong but there has to be a reason for the work of God. That reason and purpose is laid out in God’s word. You may have seen a big fancy building and all of it growing. We see a lot of these churches in our modern worldly churches of today but saving the lost is not first on their list of things to do.

Now God said the church grew everyday and I believe it still does.

Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. [And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved].

How did this growth come about?

Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even as many as the Lord our God shall call].
Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, [Save yourselves from this untoward generation].
Act 2:41  [Then they that gladly received his word were baptized]: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

God said to come out from among them!

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,

What we do not see in Sardis is any persecution. Not any mention of false religion that we know was there. Not any mention of any thing much. In other words this whole city was one big happy family they tolerated each other. This all sounds so well and good but we know Satan hates Christians and Satan hates the church.

God warns us:

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

We know that to be Born Again comes from faith in the word of God and the work of His Holy Spirit but listen to what else Peter wrote:

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, [not of corruptible seed], but of incorruptible, [by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever].

Not only do we see that it is the word of God that is incorruptible and [we see that there is some corruptible seed that is sown].

There was corruptible seed being sown in Sardis!

God tells us about this in one of His parables:

Mat 13:24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25  [But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way].
Mat 13:26  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Mat 13:27  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Mat 13:28  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Mat 13:29  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

We can see that there was some corruptible seed sown in this church at Sardis. Why because the church had fallen asleep. This church had been dying for a long time and even at this time of Christ, this church was dead.

This church had not worshiped in Spirit and Truth as was commanded:

Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

There was little if any truth left in this church! While the church had fallen asleep the enemy had come in to sow the corruptible seed.

We can be sure this church had some works because Christ Jesus said He knew them. It is evident the community surrounding this church saw things going on at this church but they did not see any Evangelism. They did not see any mission work. They did not see any church outreach at all.

They probably did see bazaars, socials, picnics, fundraisers and other such things involving this social club calling itself a church.

*****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.

Jesus says: Wake up Church! You cannot be watchful and still be asleep. The Greek word “gregoreuo” is used here and it simply means to keep awake. Be vigilant. Remember what Peter said. (Be sober, Be vigilant). Christ knows all His children and there were a few hanging on here at this church. They were still doing a few things right. Keep in mind Christ speaks to His church. This pastor was to preach to everyone in the congregation. They both were to get this message because even these few things that remained were ready to die.

The Bible says:

Rom 6:19  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; [even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness].
Rom 6:20  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Rom 6:21  [What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death].
Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23  [For the wages of sin is death]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This church was dying because of sin!

(to strengthen)

The Greek word “sterizo” is used for strengthen in this verse. It means to turn towards the things of God and establish them in order to stop this death and destruction. Like the Greek word “histemi” it means to establish the things of God. Like the Greek word  “stereos” it means to make the things of God solid, stable, and steadfast.

(works perfect)

When the Lord Jesus Christ uses this word perfect, He does not mean in sinless perfection but He means Spiritually developed and Spiritually matured in Godliness.

Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Chapter 5 in the book of Matthew gives us some guidelines of what is expected of each and every Christian. Though these words were written to the Jews we can still use them to guide us in our daily living for Christ. It is easy to see that this church in Sardis was not following these guidelines. This gives us a picture of what was lacking in Sardis.

The Bible says:

Eph 4:10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

I have said before we that sit in the pews in the House of God no matter where we are located have an obligation to our Savior. He bought us and He owns us surely we can serve Him.

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.

We can know that this church in Sardis came up short in this also and most all of us do.

There were many in this church at Sardis that were just going through the motions. They had never accepted Christ as Savior nor as Lord. They just imagined they were saved by the works they were doing. Christ said their works were not perfect, He didn’t say they were not working. It appears that all walks of life in Sardis were traveling the same path to destruction.

The Bible says:

1Pe 1:14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1Pe 1:17  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1Pe 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

*****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.

We must not forget, all the Apostles except John had been martyred at this time. The time of the Apostles was coming to a close. The age of the church had begun, so most all the church probably still had what we call charter members. There would be some in this church that had been there from the beginning. They had heard the word of truth at one time and some had been gloriously saved.

Christ tells them to recollect the teaching they had first heard. Recollect the Doctrine of the Apostles, the Doctrine of Christ.

Paul wrote to the Galatians:

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

These words would hold true to this church at Sardis. There is a song that goes “Roll back the curtain of memory now and then”. If we are saved we cannot lose that salvation but it doesn’t hurt to look back at that dirty, nasty, sinful life we all once had and know that a return to that life would be foolish. Jesus Christ holds on to our salvation. We could not save ourselves nor can we keep ourselves saved. It is the intercessory power of the Lord Jesus Christ that keeps us saved, So He is not saying to hold onto our salvation but He is saying to hold onto the teaching of faith in His saving power and His commands to further the Gospel to this lost world. If the light of the church of Sardis had just a flicker left and it did at this time, then Christ said to burn brighter in His name. To repent is the change your mind and this change should be for the truth. It is God’s word that has all truth.

Rom 3:3  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
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.

Christ said “wake up church” you have been asleep to long now. But If You Will Not Wake Up!

Jesus Christ did not say He was a thief but that He would come as a thief!

What is a thief? One who secretly, unlawfully and feloniously takes the goods or personal property of another. The thief takes the property of another privately; the robber by open force.

When Christ comes as a thief He is saying that that thief would not warn you when he would come to steal your things. Jesus Christ says “I will come to get my church, those that believe on Me, and I will not warn you of the hour, day, or the season”.

What’s so sad about this is with the choice of the words used here, Jesus says some of you will not even be aware that I have come though you sit on the pews of this church.

There will be many that will miss the day of the rapture and will return to their place of worship not even realizing the church is in Heaven. They will do business as usual and burn in Hell.

The Bible says:

1Th 5:1  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Of those that miss the rapture:

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
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.

If you miss the rapture of the church you will not miss the time of the Antichrist nor the tribulation period, that is unless you are already in Hell.

*****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.

(names)

What’s in a name? When we are born our name is written into the book of the living.

Psa 69:28  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Luk 10:20  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Php 4:3  And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

When the flesh dies that name is removed from that book. But the Born Again child of God, since that person never really dies their name will remain in that book. Now we know that as soon as the child of God accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior that they are also written into the Lamb’s Book of Life. So there are at least two records of the ones who will have eternal life. You name has to be in both books! There is also a book of the works done since you were saved but that book is for rewards and not for salvation.

This verse says that even in Sardis, the dead church there were those that had accepted the Lord Jesus as God. To the rest, they will hear these words at the judgment seat and there will be no record of their names. A person needs to accept the truth of the Gospel before their physical death because no matter what some religions teach there is no way to get your name into the Lamb’s Book of Life after physical death. There is no praying that can change that and “it certainly would not be something that could be bought”.

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(even in Sardis)

Even in a place that has all religion and evil under one roof like Sardis, God’s truth, God’s word will still reach a few of the lost! The world is trying it’s best now to place all religion under one roof, saying that all religion are based on the same thing and Jesus Christ is not the only way to Heaven.

I have to base my salvation on God’s word! That’s why it’s called faith! God’s word still has this teaching.

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.

Christ fulfilled too many prophecies for me to say He is a liar. I’ll just stay with Christ.

(walk in white)

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that “white” stands for purity.

Psa 51:7  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

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

To know a bit more what that means study the transfiguration of our Lord.

Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

You know most all brides dress in “white”!
The Bride of Christ will be in “white”!

(they are worthy)

Worthy means: Deserving; such as merits; having worth or excellence; equivalent; with of, before the thing deserved.

The word “worthy” is used 54 times in the New Testament.

The Church will not see the tribulation period because God will take us on home through His Son but only through His blood can you be found worthy!

Luk 21:36  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, [that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man].

The Church will stand before Christ at His Judgment Seat!

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.
2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before [the judgment seat of Christ]; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2Co 5:11  [Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord], we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

That terror of the Lord is the tribulation period!

*****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.

(To overcome)

To overcome is to gain the superiority; to be victorious.

We have victory in Jesus!

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1Jn 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

(Raiment)

Zec 3:4  And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

Raiment is Clothing in general; vestments; vesture; garments.

(Book of Life)

Rev 21:23  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Rev 21:24  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Rev 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
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].

(Confess His  name before The Father and His angels)

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mal 3:17  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

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

Luk 12:8  Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
Luk 12:9  But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Jud 1:24  Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jud 1:25  To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

This verse by mentioning The Father speaks also of the Holy Trinity:

The Father
The Son
The Holy Ghost

Notice those are “His” angels.

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

The Holy Spirit says open up your ears, clean the wax out, and Hear What He is Saying!

Let’s Pray!

Message to Pergamos and Thyatira

MESSAGE TO PERGAMOS

Revelation 2:12-17

In each of the seven churches Christ first addressed their works. At Ephesus they had two works: first was evangelism and second was defending the faith. Both were commended by Christ but he preferred the church return to its first work of loving the Lord Jesus and putting Him before all other things. At Smyrna, Christ again addressed the works of the church which consisted of submitting to tribulation, poverty and death, all without renouncing their Christian faith. Christ did not rebuke the church at Smyrna. Not because it was a perfect church because there is no church that does not have some problems. After all they are all filled with sinners that are saved by the “grace” of God. These people were doing the best they could in a terrible place.

Now at Pergamos, Christ is once again addresses the works of Christians which works are relative to where they live. They lived in the wickedest city on earth where Satan himself had set up headquarters. Here are our Savior’s words to this church: “I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.” The problem the church at Pergamos faced is defined in the city’s name which means “mixed marriage.” As capital of Asia Minor, Pergamos was a city of mixed religions from all over the world and it was a city whose politics were married to the state religion of emperor worship.

Living in Pergamos would indeed test the faith of Christians for a mixed marriage of religion and state is a marriage made in hell!

Jon 2:8 says  They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

We can see that just as it is in our day, all other religions can go hand and hand with each other and welcome each other with open arms that is all except Christianity. Christianity get’s it’s name from Jesus “Christ” our Lord. We cannot bow to false god’s and neither could these of Pergamos. There is no universal church. There is only the church built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The world does not agree because the world is of the church that Satan built.

1Jn 3:1 says  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: [therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not].
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1Jn 5:19 says  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

When Satan was cast out of heaven, he set up headquarters on the earth. The location of his headquarters had always been at the center of political and military power. So, as one world power conquered another, Satan’s seat moved to the new ascending world power. To control that world power, Satan merged his mystery religion with the state. If people of that nation wanted to prosper they worshiped in the state religion.

We can see that in the time of Nimrod, the time of Solomon, the time of Nebuchadnezzar and all others. I believe we can see such a time when Satan was moving his seat during the time of Daniel.

Dan 10:13 says  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

We can see this happening in our world today, even in America!

To understand the wickedness of Satan’s seat is to comprehend the significance of Christ’s commendation of the Pergamos church. Christ’s commendation has two parts: [holding fast to his name and not denying his faith]. The first implies that [the key battleground was once again the deity of Jesus Christ]. In a city devoted to many gods, in a city that demanded emperor worship, to hold fast the name of Christ was indeed commendable. The question “who is god?” was at the heart of the struggle. The resounding answer faithfully preached by the church “Christ is God incarnate, the Lord of all, the king of Kings, his name is above every name!” Holding fast to his name was central to their faith. Pergamos believers never let go of the basic doctrine of Christianity that Christ is God incarnate. I pray that we in the Bible Belt of America hold on to this fact of Christ was God in the flesh.

All those that say we all have the same God but leave out Jesus Christ as that God in the flesh are worshiping some other god, not the God of the Bible!

The second part of Christ’s commendation is that they had not denied his faith even in those days when Antipas was Christ’s faithful martyr. This implies that even under pain of martyrdom the Pergamos church held strong to the faith of Christ. Although the faith of Christ and the deity of Christ are related, there is significant difference between the two. Whereas the deity of Christ centers on who he is, the faith of Christ centers on our unbending trust in him because of who he is. The key word to the faith in Christ is “denied.” The Pergamos church had not denied the faith of Christ. Denied in Greek means “a verbal or written disavowing, rejection or renunciation of the Christian faith.” At what time in church history were Christians faced with a verbal or written renunciation of their faith in exchange for life? Christ gave the answer when he said “thou hast not denied my faith even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr who was slain among you.” Antipas could have been the pastor of the local church at Pergamos but he could have been a leader that stood up to the evil of Satan’s seat. Historically we know that he was the first martyr of Asia Minor. The method by which he met his demise is more barbaric than any mentioned in our previous study. According to tradition he was slowly roasted to death in a bronze kettle during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian. Domitian began the second wave of persecution in 81 AD. Christians who stood before this savage ruler were given a chance to live if they would renounce their faith. The test was an oath they had to take during renunciation. When they refused to deny their faith in written or spoken word even under penalty of inhumane death, Christ commended them.

The city of Pergamos in Asia Minor set the standard for the broader Pergamos church period for not only was it a city of mixed religions and mixed doctrine, it was also a city where religion and state were married. Here In America where our forefathers wrote into the Constitution that the State could not interfere with free worship has been turned around by Satan’s followers to a lesser and wrong meaning that the true Church cannot influence the nature of government. The forefathers never intended for Christian principles to left out of government and so the battle rages of the evil trying to dominate the good in our nation the U S A. As a Christian I already know good will win out in the end but I’m not sure America will survive until that day. I live in the greatest nation of modern day but also in a nation that get’s further and further from God just as Israel did.

Our Text:

*****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;

What does a sword say?

The typical Asian sword was made with two edges compared to the typical European sword which was made with one cutting edge. The main advantage is obvious as a two edge sword would cut in two directions. Many times in the Bible we can see where many have died by the edge of the sword.

In the Book of Genesis we see a sword that cuts from all sides or all it’s edges.

Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

This would be a very destructive sword. It believe we see this sword again in the Book of Revelation.

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.

We know the Lord Jesus is coming to make war.

But in our verse we see the two edged sword. There are only a few places in the Bible we see this sword. We know that Christ is speaking to the Church and that being so that He has already judged the church. So we know that here in this verse He is pointing out things to improve the church. Some would say warning the church. Some would say counseling the church. It is probably some of both.

If someone uses an argument that could both help them and harm them, then they are using a two-edged sword sword; it cuts both ways.

We can see that the Lord Jesus Christ is counseling His church but these things are also a warning to some, thus the twoedged sword.

Counseling means: Advising; instructing; admonishing.

The Bible says in Isaiah:

Isa 11:4  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

This is a two edged sword!

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.

This is using a two edged sword!

The word of God is sharper than this sword, so I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is using His words on this church.

God expects His children to also be familiar with this sword!

Psa 149:5  Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
Psa 149:6  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
Psa 149:7  To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
Psa 149:8  To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
Psa 149:9  To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

God is not telling us to murder our enemies. “God is telling us to use the Word of God on the Lost”.

*****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 may think we can hide our works from God but that is impossible.

Pro 15:3  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

The ways of man:

Pro 5:21  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

None can hide:

Job 34:21  For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
Job 34:22  There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

There are no secret places to hide from God:

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].

Blessings and also the Hickory(the rod of correction) will come from what God sees, not what we think we do!

Jer 32:19  Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: [to give every one] according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:

And not Satan nor any other creature can hide from God:

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].

Where is Satan’s seat?

Lets look at the definitions of that word “seat”.

1.) Seat: That on which one sits; a chair, bench, stool or any other thing on which a person sits.

2.) Seat: The place of sitting; throne; chair of state; tribunal; post of authority; as the seat of justice; judgment-seat.

3.) Seat: The place where a thing is settled or established. So we say, the seat of the muses,the seat of arts, the seat of commerce.

4.) Everywhere Satan sits becomes an evil place if he remains seated there!

In the Strong dictionary of Greek terms we find this:  “thronos” From   a´  thrao¯ (to sit); a stately seat (“throne”); by implication power or (concretely) a potentate: – seat, throne.

What’s a potentate?  A person who possesses great power or sway; a prince; a sovereign; an emperor, king or monarch.

Now we can know that God our Father knows exactly where Satan is sitting or standing or walking at this very moment. BUT God also knows where Satan has set up his place of business. Satan’s business is to destroy anything that is of God.

We know of some things that Satan is the prince of, (not king of but prince of):

1.) He is the true prince of “devils”.

Mat 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but [by Beelzebub the prince of the devils].

2.) He is the prince of “this world”.

Joh 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall [the prince of this world] be cast out.

3.) He is the “prince of the power of the air”.

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to [the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience]:

It is he that works in children that do not obey. This includes all grownups.

Christ our Lord also knew where Satan was at all times!

Joh 14:30 says  Hereafter I will not talk much with you: [for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me].

We find in Pergamos a lot of ungodly things. The symbol of Asklepios was the serpent as it is of Satan(all doctors still have this emblem on their doors and some even on their persons as badges). There was, besides this, a great throne altar to Zeus cut on the Acropolis rock, symbol of “rampant paganism” (Swete) and the new Caesar-worship with the recent martyrdom of Antipas made Pergamum indeed a very throne of Satan. Pergamos was in a center of heathen idolatry. Pergamos was a notorious center of idolatry.

1Jn 5:21 says  Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

These believers in Pergamos probably had many reasons to deny their faith. We can see that at least one (Antipas) had been Marty rd by the ruling government of Pergamos. Satan had firmly planted his evilness (his seat) in this government. America is getting worse just as the Bible says but it hasn’t reached that point here yet. But God’s children are Marty rd in many places in this world every day. It is a true statement to say that Satan has a seat in every church on this earth but if we worship as we should “in spirit and truth” then we can at least keep his feet moving toward the door and his thoughts on getting out of there and maybe giving him ulcers and put him on Valium or some pain killer.

Satan can only be in one place at a time but once he entrenches himself in government he becomes an obstacle to the church and we must stand steadfast against all false doctrine and ungodly laws and lawmakers. Our vote is more important that it ever has been. Satan has entrenched himself into most all education of children and we find it harder every day to battle the foolishness of false science and those that control the books used in education. This is another of Satan’s seats that we allow him to much freedom in. Wake up America!

Oh, by the way, it is believed Antipas was slow roasted in the housing of a bull. One legend is that he was burnt to death in a brazen bull. The Bible is not about legends but there are those that will die before they deny the Lord Jesus Christ.

This church did not deny the Lord Jesus Christ. They held fast to His name and did not deny His faith.

James wrote to us by the Holy Spirit that after salvation the born again Christian should be noticeable in the way he lives and serves God.

Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jas 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Jas 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

We cannot please our Lord without our faith in Him.

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

*****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 is the doctrine of Balaam?

The Apostle Paul wrote of these people:

Php 3:17  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Php 3:18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Balaam had the secular world leaders (King Balac) convinced that he could influence the true church because he could gain special favor from God that he could get a special message from God. That is if those needing his service had enough money.

Num 22:7  And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed [with the rewards of divination in their hand]; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.

God did not allow this and reproved Balaam many times. We know if God reproves someone claiming to be a Christian often enough He will sometimes put and end to it.

Pro 29:1 says  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, [shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy].

Before the death of Balaam he did give Balak the means to hurt the work of God’s people.

Num 31:15  And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
Num 31:16  Behold, [these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor], and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

The children of Israel had been influenced when Balak(Balac) had sent many women to live among them. This caused inner marriage with them. They brought their religion in to intermingle with the truth of God causing confusion and causing the children of Israel to sin. Even eating things that were sacrificed to Idols.

Not only was there fornication outside the marriage but there was adultery within the marriage and then add to that the worldly influence came into the church.

God had given these words to his children:

Gen 24:3  And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, [that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites], among whom I dwell:
Gen 24:4  But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

Num 36:6  This is the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, [Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry].

These words hold true even today in our time because God does not change!

Marriage:

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.

Fornication:

Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Things sacrificed to Idols:

1Co 10:19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
1Co 10:20  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

The church in Corinth had a lot in common with this church in Pergamos as does a lot of the church in 2010. Satan does not have to change his tactics in any age.

Balaam met his bitter end just as God said:

Jos 13:22  Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, [did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them].

Just as Proverbs 29 had said.

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].

He was still hanging out with the enemies of God and trying to fill his pocketbook. The secular church in our day and time is filled with this influence of Balaam because there are still many Balaams who have climbed behind the pulpits of many churches and they hang right with the ruling elite of today trying their best to fill their pocketbooks in any way they can.

Paul warns us again:

Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18  [For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple].

Jude says:

Jud 1:16  These are murmurers, complainers, [walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage].
Jud 1:17  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jud 1:18  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, [who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Jud 1:19  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit].

Remember God said this church had these people already inside the church and not outside trying to get in. If you do not have the Holy Spirit inside of you then you are not saved.

*****Rev 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

At the church of Ephesus the Lord had said they hated the the deeds of the Nicolaitans but now this group of people had gained entrance into the church of Pergamos. These are the ones that want absolute rule of the church. The so called perfect ones.

The Apostle John wrote of these:

3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, [who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not].
3Jn 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

These come in the form of members, deacons, and ministers among other things. It is the church that Christ is writing to. It is the church that rules the church with the instruction from Jesus Christ our Lord. The church belongs to Jesus or it is not a church.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

Paul also had this warning which has held true:

Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, [not sparing the flock].
Act 20:30  [Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them].

Satan will do anything to hinder the work of the church of Jesus Christ.

Note: Read more about the Nicolaitans in the lesson “Message to Ephesus”.

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

Repent!

When we look in any direction besides unto God, we are in need of repentance!

Isa 45:22  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

We have to turn from unrighteous works to the living God:

Act 14:15  [And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things?] We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you [that ye should turn from these vanities] unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
Act 14:16  Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

We have to lay aside all forms of evilness:

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2  [Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith]; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Remember that twoedged sword. One side of that sword is counseling to make the church better. The other side of the sword is the rebuke of the Lord, His wrath. God is giving these massages to His church in order that [more lost souls be saved]. This is the purpose of the church, to carry God’s word to the lost. When those Nicolaitans show up in our church, we need to expose them for what they are, give them room to repent and if to no avail we need to turn them over to Satan.

1Co 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1Co 5:6  Your glorying is not good. [Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump]?

It is the Church, those Born Again Saved Souls of Christ, that are to see that the Church goes forward for Jesus!

*****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.

Again the Holy Spirit encourages all the church of Jesus to listen to these words.

Heb 6:17  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
Heb 6:18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

What is the hidden manna?

Manna was the food God sent down from Heaven to feed the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness. Some was gathered at one time and place in the Ark of the Covenant.

Exo 16:33  And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.

This Ark was placed in side the Veil of the Tabernacle.

Heb 9:2  For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
Heb 9:3  And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Heb 9:4  Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
Heb 9:5  And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

We find out later that the pot of Manna is missing from inside the Ark.

1Ki 8:9  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

So is this now what is called the “hidden manna”.

The Ark has never been located but we know that the Earthly ark was built by a pattern in Heaven.

Rev 11:19  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and [there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament]: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Has God taken it all back to Heaven.

We do have these words of Jesus.

Joh 6:31  Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Joh 6:32  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but [my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven].

What is the true bread?

Joh 6:49  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, [and are dead].
Joh 6:50  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and [not die].
Joh 6:51  [I am the living bread which came down from heaven]: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Is this the “hidden manna”? I believe this is the “hidden manna”.

Joh 6:58  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: [he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever].

The Bible says.

Col 3:2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and [your life is hid] with Christ in God.

Is this the “hidden manna” the word of God hidden in your own heart?

Jesus Christ had these words.

Joh 4:31  In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
Joh 4:32  But he said unto them, [I have meat to eat that ye know not of].

There are some mysteries in the Bible.

Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

God’s children will know most all His secrets.

Psa 25:14  [The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him]; and he will shew them his covenant.

The food from Heaven will satisfy all hunger.

Psa 36:8  They shall be abundantly satisfied [with the fatness of thy house]; and thou shalt make them drink of [the river of thy pleasures].

This food will bring life to the soul.

Pro 3:22  So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

We will never hunger again.

Isa 65:13  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
Isa 65:14  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
Isa 65:15  And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and [call his servants by another name]:

That new name will go on that “white stone”!

It is believed that this term the “white stone” comes an ancient voting custom. There were white and black stones. A white stone was cast for approval and a black stone was cast for rejection. We get our phrase “blackballed” from this system of voting. This system may have even began in the arenas where athletes performed. It could also have been a means of the Sanhedrin Court. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says.

Act 26:10  Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, [I gave] my voice against them.

The Jews were well aware of this system of choosing as they had, had the Urim and the Thummim all these years in their religion.

Exo 28:30  And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

In our Christian dispensation, the high-priest’s peculiar treasure, [consultation of God’s light and truth, belongs to all believers as spiritual priests].

The “white stone”, has been regarded as referring to the pebble of acquittal used in the Greek courts; to the lot cast in elections in Greece; to both of these combined; to the stones in the high priest’s breastplate; to the tickets presented to the victor, at the public games; or, lastly, to the custom of writing on stones.

We know that a “white stone” always means the God has chosen the church through His Son Christ Jesus in this time of grace and in this time of the Church Age.

Let’s pray!

MESSAGE TO THYATIRA

Our Text:

Revelation 2: 18-29

In our study of the book of Revelation we have reached the fourth church. We have seen Ephesus the church that lost it’s first love. Any church that does not have the Lord Jesus Christ as it’s foundation is not really a church but only a meeting place for lost souls. We have been to Smyrna the persecuted church. If you follow the Lord Jesus you will see the hate the world has for the true God of love. We’ve been to Pergamos the worldly church. It is a true statement that the place of a ship is in the water but if the water gets into the ship it will sink. We now come to Thyatira and we will find a place where this church got so lax that they also were giving in to the world.

Thyatira lay about 40 miles to the southeast of Pergamum. It was situated on the postal route between Ephesus and Laodicea. The city was originally formed as a Greek outpost. However, the city was built on flat, unprotected land, so therefore there were no natural fortifications to protect the area. Eventually, around 190BC the Romans took over the area.

We don’t know a lot about the city’s religious or political history. It was not steep in culture or Roman Emperor worship like some of the other cities we have studied. We do know that Thyatira had a “guardian” deity called Tyrimnos. A warrior and protector god that is associated with the many trade guilds found in Thyatira. It is also believed that there was a temple to Apollo, the ‘sun god’.

The one major thing we know about Thyatira is that it was a successful commercial center. Due to its location along the trade routes, it prospered commercially and became economically strong. Along with this prosperity, came the formation of several trade guilds, or what we may relate to as unions. They had guilds representing workers in the wool, linen, leather, bronze, pottery, baking, dying and slave trades. While we don’t know much about the cities overall religious activities, we do know that these guilds involved several forms of pagan worship in their meetings and activities including sacrifices to the pagan gods, eating of sacrificed meat that had been offered to the pagan idols and large sexually immoral gatherings.

We have no history of the start of the church at Thyatira. It is believed that Jewish families flocked to the city because of its commercial success and the Christian church probably formed out of that body. There is no evidence that the Christians of Thyatira were persecuted by the government the way they were in Smyrna and Pergamum, however it seems understood that there were issues with the trade guilds and the impact they had on the holiness of the Christians life.

A European named Lydia was the first one saved from this city though she was at Philippi when this took place.

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.
Act 16:15  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Our Text:

*****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;

Again John was to write for the Pastor of this church who was to deliver the message.

(Son of God)

The phrase “Son of God” is used 46 times in the New Testament but only this “one” time is it used in the book of Revelation. Christ wanted this church to know it was the Son of God that gave this message to their pastor.

Mar 1:1  The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

Joh 6:69  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

There is a reason for everything Christ does and we will see why He used this name shortly, but we already know the He wanted it known the source of this message to this church. That source was the “Son Of God”. This speaks of the deity of Christ but also of the Holy Trinity of God.  He does not bear this title in consequence of his miraculous birth, nor of his incarnation, his resurrection, and exaltation to the Father’s right hand. This is a title of nature and not of office. The sonship of Christ denotes his equality with the Father. To call Christ the Son of God is to assert his true and proper divinity. The second Person of the Trinity, because of his eternal relation to the first Person, is the Son of God. He is the Son of God as to his divine nature, while as to his human nature he is the Son of David.

Rom 1:3 says  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

(eyes like unto a flame of fire)

The phrase “flame of fire” is used exactly seven times throughout the Bible and we know the importance of the number “seven” in in this book. Christ sees everything that happens in His church.

Exo 3:2; Joe 2:5; Act 7:30; Heb 1:7; Rev1:14; Rev 19:12 and in our verse Rev 2:18.

We already know that these angels of the church represent the pastors of these churches. In Hebrews we see:

Heb 1:7  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

Heb 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

But they are also the stewards of God’s word:

1Co 4:1  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1Co 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

They are also accountable to God:

2Co 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

God knows we will be tempted just as his pastors are tempted:

Gal 4:14  And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

Not only do those eyes of Christ see all these things but He shows us He will be with us through all these things but with these eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ there is also that warning of that devouring flame, that all consuming flame when there is no obedience.

Isa 29:6  Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

Heb 12:29  For our God is a consuming fire.

Job said:

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

God sees even every thought that we have!

(fine brass)

We already know that this fine brass would be more like sterling silver. Showing how our Lord had spent His time on this Earth sin free, unstained, untarnished and willing to walk us through the flames of purification to refine us.

Mal 3:2  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

John the Baptist said:

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:

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

These are the eyes of Our Lord that watch over us every day and this is the same Son of God that had this message for these of Thyatira this day.

*****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.

We must not forget that this message was intended for the church. The bride of Christ. Their work of salvation already complete (to believe on the Lord Jesus and Repent their ways). These works are the works done since coming into the family of God.

Rom 6:13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, [as those that are alive from the dead], and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

As those that are alive would be those that are “Born Again”. Saved by the “grace” of God. Our works are good only when they are for the love of God and have the “glory of God” as the objective.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, [created in Christ Jesus unto good works], which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

(charity)

We throw the word “love” around throughout this world but only our English word “charity” can come close to describing the “Agape love” of Christ. This is love based on principle and action. This is love that can have feelings and shared emotions but are not ruled by those emotions. I love my children because they are my children. I’m not going to stop loving them just because they do foolish things. God will never stop loving His children and it shows in His actions. He did send His only Son to save a lost world. He loved us while we were still sinners and lost. We are still sinners but no longer lost if you are Born Again.

1Co 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

If I had charity, I would not strap a bomb on myself to go kill other people for “any” reason. Nor would I take a rifle to kill the innocent. There is a difference in a true soldier and a killer terrorist.

(service)

It is because of that “agape love” that these believers at this church could serve a Holy God. The word “service”comes from the word “deacon”. In other words that service would be directed toward others and for their benefit. If a deacon does things for his own glory then he is not serving God.

A Deacon is a person in the lowest degree of holy orders. The office of deacon was instituted by the apostles, Acts 6, and seven persons were chosen at first, to serve and to minister to the wants of the poor. Every child of God is a servant, a deacon, for the church of the living God, though some may be specifically chosen to perform this honor in the church. And God does have some guidelines for those that are chosen.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

The Strong dictionary of Greek terms says this of “service” in the church: “diakonia”: attendance (as a servant, etc.); figuratively (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher)

And from “diakonos” (to run on errands); an attendant, that is, (generally) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specifically a Christian teacher and pastor: – deacon, minister, servant.

Christian service extends in all directions. Our focus should always be on the unsaved but we should also be of service to our brothers and sisters, our church family is another priority and we cannot forget our service extends to God and our Lord Jesus Christ “first”.

Christ was pleased with the service of these saints at Thyatira.

(faith)

It took your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ to be saved. It will also takes faith to do the work of God.

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

These saints at Thyatira served God faithfully because they believed on Him and His word. The worst any situation gets, the more we need our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

(Patience)

It is the “agape love” of these saints of God and their saving faith that gave them the patience to be those faithful servants. Patience is being steadfast no matter what Satan throws at you. Remember how Noah preached for 120 years while he built that Ark. He never got a single person to believe on God. That took a lot of patience to preach a saving God and no one ever listened.

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
2Pe 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Just because people do not believe the word of God does not make it a lie. When the flood rains from Heaven began those of Noah’s day became instant believers but the door to safety had already been closed.

Gen 6:3  And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

We have to many examples of the truth of God. We have too many prophesies that have been totally fulfilled and not to forget the work of the Holy Spirit in our own souls to not believe what God says in His word. When you can witness the life saving grace of God in peoples lives and the change that takes place when the best rehabs and clinics fail you know what to be “Born Again” really means.

This church at Thyatira had patience!

(more than the first)

Because of their patience this church persevered in the work of God. These saints started well and continued in the race to the finish line.

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

These saints were not on again, off again Christians. They continued to grow spiritually and in theirs works of the church! Christians should never become complacent in their work for God nor should we ever feel satisfied of the work we are doing.

1Sa 12:24  Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: [for consider how great things he hath done for you].

*****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.

You know the saints of God sitting in the pews have a responsibility! We cannot allow any teaching that goes against the word of God!

(sufferest)

The Strong dictionary of Greek terms says of the word sufferest: to let be, that is, permit or leave alone:

Suffer in the Webster dictionary says: To allow; to permit; not to forbid or hinder.

Eph 5:11 says  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

1Ti 5:20 says  Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Tit 2:11 says  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

(Jezebel)

Who was Jezebel?

The dictionary says of this name Jezebel:  An impudent, daring, vicious woman.

Vicious means:  Addicted to vice; corrupt in principles or conduct; depraved; wicked; habitually transgressing the moral law.

You know when a real name “Jezebel” has it’s own definition in a book of word meanings, then she must have fit that desription.

There was another Jezebel in the Bible.

1Ki 16:31  And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.

This wife of Ahab who worshiped Baal.

Who was Baal? An idol among the ancient Chaldeans and Syrians, representing the sun. The word signifies also lord, or commander; and the character of the idol was varied by different nations, at different times. Thus Baal Berith is supposed to signify the Lord of the Covenant; Baal Peor, the Lord of the dead, Baal Zebub, the god of flies, etc.

She killed God’s prophets.

1Ki 18:4  For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD,

She installed her own prophets who Elijah proved were false.

1Ki 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
1Ki 18:22  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
1Ki 18:23  Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
1Ki 18:24  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

Jezebel made vows to her own false god.

1Ki 19:2  Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. (She would kill Elijah)

Jezebel controlled her husband Ahab.

1Ki 21:7  And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
1Ki 21:8  So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

This woman Jezebel did everything she could to make the children of Israel worship a false God. We can see that this Jezebel defied everything about God. She had placed everything on her on false beliefs. She had become a Queen being in her beliefs and now she answered to no one. She even dominated her husband the King of Israel. She was proven to be a pagan and murderous wife. She condoned immorality in her own family. (Ahab had seventy children). This Jezebel of Thyatira was so named of our Lord because she resembled the ways of the wife of Ahab.

There is a pretty good chance this woman at Thyatira was not named Jezebel even though she could have been, but she had the qualities of a Jezebel. Though some say that she was the wife of the Pastor, even that may not be true but it makes sense.

It is more than likely that this Jezebel was a person of some degree from the worship of Apollo, who was in this city, the sun god just as Baal. We can be sure she was not saved but a person as defined who would take charge if so allowed and it was happening at this Church at Thyatira.

1.) It seems she was being allowed to teach men or more probably young men or young adults.

1Ti 2:12  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
1Ti 2:13  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
1Ti 2:14  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

2,) She was teaching immorality and idolatry!

Idolatry is anything we put between us and God. Immorality is every action which contravenes any divine precept, or which is contrary to the duties which men or women owe to each other.

Luk 10:27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; [and thy neighbour as thyself].

The word “fornication” is used here in this verse and “not adultery”. This tells me this Jezebel may have been teaching young single adults. We know that this is the doctrine of Satan. Get them hook on sin while they are still young. We see in our own school systems where abstinence is not being taught but that it is OK to indulge in these immoral things. It was bad then and bad now. She taught that it was acceptable for Christians to engage in fornication. Remember King Ahab had, had at least 70 children. This was a common practice in these guilds, these unions of Thyatira and their pagan rituals. This philosophy still lives in our humanistic and atheist societies. Many today believe that business is business and we have to go along with business to get along in this world. When we teach the young people of this world to live immorally, they carry that wrong all the days of their life.

Every evil doctrine or false science, sinful ways seems to find it’s way into the schools. We cannot allow it in our Church!

God says?

Jer 17:5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

God’s arm is never to short to take care of His children.

Jer 32:17  Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

If business principles collide with Christian principles then most people will set aside their Christian belief to make what they call a living. The truth is we don’t have a clue to what would happen if we totally yield ourselves to the Lord.

King David wrote in his time:

Psa 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Psa 37:24  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; [yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread].
Psa 37:26  He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
Psa 37:27  Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

Jesus Christ held the church responsible for the teaching of this evil woman. The saints of God have a responsibility even when we are sitting in those pews. This church needed to stand up against this teaching. When we violate the authority of God’s word, then God is no longer in control of our lives and we are in deep sin. If whatever you are living for and whatever makes you happy is not centered around the Lord Jesus Christ “then you have a new god”.

Notice she made her own self a prophetess. We already know that their are no more prophets in our day nor were there in this day of Jezebel.

One of the purposes of the Book of Revelation is to show us that it was Christ who was the last prophet of the coming future and He alone. There are no more prophets after Jesus who is our only Saviour!

This woman Jezebel still has followers today. This is another reason God gave us this wonderful book, to show us Satan never changes and sadly he does not have to. His old methods still work. They have for 6000 years.

Christ said her followers would go through the great tribulation. Billy Graham once said that 85% of those sitting on church pews were not saved. Another preacher said 97%. The truth is the first Sunday after the Rapture of the church many will go to church as they always have and will not realize that the church is already in Heaven. Many will slide off the church pew straight into Hell.

Jesus also said that this woman had children which means she had many that had converted to her doctrine. These will suffer at the White Throne judgment seat. This is the “death” of all unbelievers. This is the only sin that will put you in front of Jesus at the White Throne. (The Sin Of Unbelief).

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

3.) This woman was totally unrepentant!

The Jezebel of the Bible, wife of Ahab was still flirting with danger when Jehu came to town.

2Ki 9:30  And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
2Ki 9:31  And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?

She was eaten by the dogs at the bottom of a high window!

The name Jezebel still represents sinful ways in our day.

What is “doctrine”? In a general sense, whatever is taught. Hence, a principle or position in any science; whatever is laid down as true by an instructor or master.

Man’s doctrine will not work in Heavenly matters.

Only the doctrine of the gospel are the principles or truths taught by Christ and His Apostles.

Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Jesus Christ told this church to continue in the works and even to improve. He recognized that just to hold on in such a wicked place would be enough of a challenge for these believers.

In the time of Paul, the Apostles had given some details of salvation to the Gentiles:

Act 15:28  For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Christ our Lord still gives these details to the church of Thyatira.

The Bible says:

Luk 18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. [Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?]

To be steadfast in God’s word and being a doer of that word should be the goal of every believer no matter what obstacles Satan places in our path. We are going to fail from time to time but God will pick us up and dust our pants and set us back on His path.

What is the depth of Satan?

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

If your conscience is seared with a hot iron, then you will not have one!

Satan seeks to destroy the church from within. A house divided cannot stand.

Mar 3:25  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

Churches can be divided over such mundane things as traditions and politics. But if Satan can get a false Preacher, Pastor, or any Teacher in a church they can take a congregation away from Biblical Doctrine and insert their own doctrine that may never be corrected before the house falls. It is important for every church to be based on the written word of God and [not some ones opinion of that word]. The best way to avoid these things is to take God’s word and study it for yourself.

God’s word says what it means and it means what it says!

What’s our challenge?

1.) Be an over-comer.
2.) Keep the word of the Bible(KJV).
3.) Be steadfast in the work of the Lord!

What is His promise?

To rule over these nations with a rod of iron. This rule will be to obey the word of God. A pot broken in shivers cannot be repaired, it would have to be replaced. This is the rule of Jesus during the Millennial Kingdom.

Psa 2:7  I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Psa 2:8  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Psa 2:9  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Psa 2:10  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Psa 2:11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psa 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

What is a 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.

It is Jesus Christ our Lord! He gives Himself to everyone that believes on Him.

Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, [If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him].

He’s coming again and it will be soon. If you have the Morning Star within you now you will come with Him when He returns the second time!

It seems so simple because it is!

Let’s Pray!

Message to Smyrna

THE MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH OF SMYRNA

Our Text: Revelation 2:8-11

Last week we learned about the message to the Church of Ephesus. This was a big modern city of her time and was home to the temple of Diana, once listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the known world. The lesson we learned was that we can never take our eyes off of Jesus. It was Jesus Christ that paid our debt that we could not pay. It is Jesus Christ that will lead us in to Heaven and eternal life. There is no other way to get there. You know Peter took his eyes off of the Lord when he got out of that boat and he began to sink but it was the long arm of God that reach out to him and carried him back to the safety of the church. That church, the one that clings to the Lord Jesus as a loving bride is the one that is going home soon to Heaven.

Today we look at what Christ said to the Church of Smyrna. The church in Smyrna was a much-persecuted church in a wealthy city that had little time for Christians. The city itself, founded about three centuries before Christ, was a well-planned accomplishment of Alexander the Great. The commercial center of Asia Minor, it was on the direct trade route from India and Persia to Rome. The large variety of coins found by archaeologists in the city clearly indicates that it was a wealthy city. The Jewish segment of the population seems to have been most irreligious and neglectful of spiritual things. Few specific details are known of the history of the Smyrna church other than what is given here in the book of Revelation. It can be safely deduced, however, that it was a most faithful church in the face of persecution. From this account, the known characteristics of the conditions in the church at Smyrna indicate that the judgment seat of Christ will reveal this church to be one of the most outstanding local bodies of believers in all of church history.

The city’s name means “myrrh”, which is obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense and tastes bitter. Myrrh was used chiefly in embalming the dead, because it had the property of preserving dead bodies from putrefaction. This type of embalming was used in Egypt and Judea. Smyrna was located about 40 miles to the north of Ephesus and was likely founded by the apostle Paul. The celebrated Polycarp, a pupil of the apostle John, was in the second century a prominent leader in the church of Smyrna.

The origins of the Christian community there, which was established in the 1st century, are unknown. Ignatius of Antioch stopped at Smyrna on his way to martyrdom in Rome in 107 AD, and he sent a letter back to the Christians there from later in his journey. Smyrna’s bishop, Polycarp, was burned at the stake in Smyrna’s stadium around 156 AD.

Some say this church represents the Age of the persecuted church but if you ask some in India, and China, and Russia or especially any of the Muslim dominated countries you will see persecution is still rampant in this world. It can be said that many more than 100,000,000 Christians have been murdered since the time of Christ and many of those by the so called Christian church. The false church of Satan is alive an well in this world and we will learn the destruction of this beast in this very book we are studying.

Our Text:

Rev 2:8-11

*****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;

Here again we see this word is given to the pastor of the church. We know the work of the pastor.

Jeremiah said:

Jer 17:15  Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.
Jer 17:16  As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; [thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee].

A true Pastor has to preach God’s word in truth:

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].

A true Pastor has a mission from God Himself:

Eze 3:19  [Yet if thou warn the wicked], and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

A true Pastor will preach the entire word of God:

Act 20:27  For I have not shunned to declare unto you [all the counsel of God].

A true Pastor is always aware of the false preachers so, they will always speak of Christ:

2Co 2:17  [For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God]: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Does our church have a true Pastor? I know we do here at Gethsemane Baptist Temple. Does yours?

Then they should also preach this Book of the Revelation of Christ Jesus. He (Jesus) gave these words to the Pastors of these seven churches to “Preach”.

(Is alive)

The last time our Lord was seen on this Earth, He was alive!

Act 1:6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, [while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received
him out of their sight].

He was seen of the Apostle Paul after that:

Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, [but by the revelation of Jesus Christ].

Eph 3:3  How [that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery]; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

In fact Paul gave us these words:

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:
1Co 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of [due time].

I believe Paul thought he should have been one of the 144,000 by his words due time. I try to pay my bills before they are due. That is a future date not one from the past.

We are also taught of God that by Jesus were the worlds created:

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

There is only one true God:

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

My God is alive. He walked on the Earth with Adam. He walked on this Earth as Jesus. He walk out of that grave as Jesus, “alive” not some ghost. He walked on this Earth for forty days after the grave in a body which was glorified. He was alive when the Apostles saw Him go into that cloud. He was alive when Paul saw Him and he was alive when The Apostle John saw Him this day. Our God is alive and He always will be.

Rev 10:6 says And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

If we are with Him as He says then this very day of endless time will be our beginning of “eternal life”.

*****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.

(Thy works)

The phrase “I know thy works” is used [exactly seven] times in the Bible and it is only used when Christ addresses these seven churches.

Does God know everything?

Job said God had perfect knowledge: Job 37:16
The Psalmist said God’s understanding was infinite: Psa 147:5
Samuel says the Lord looks all the way into the heart of man: 1 Sam 16:7
King David told Solomon that God understood every thought of man: 1 Chron 28:9
Jeremiah wrote God knows everything we do: Jer 17:10

It tells of this in Hebrews and, In Isaiah, in fact Isaiah says God even knows the future before it happens: Isa 41:21-24

Isa 42:9 says  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Jesus said God even knew how many hairs were on the head of each and every one of us: Matt 10:30

God knows everything and He knows what we are doing and what we have done since we got saved. Jesus gave this message to the pastor so the pastor could preach to the church. Jesus is talking to you and I on a personal level when He says “I know your works”!

James the half-brother of the Lord writes:

Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

And you can say that a church without good works will be dead also.

(Tribulation)

If God knows our works He also knows how much we have suffered to do those works. Now this is different from punishment for sin. God will use that Heavenly Hickory from time to time. This is different from the things that happen because of the curse on this world. The Sickness, and things that come from aging, and things from more natural causes.

This is the tribulation we suffer just because we say we are “Christians”  and just because we are trying to do the work God has commanded us to do. We are all suppose to be Evangelist for Jesus in any way that we can and with all our heart. We have freedoms here in America that some do not have in other countries, So God will expect more from us but He expects us all to do our part. Even when we are old and weak, we can pray for the word of God to go unhindered throughout the world. We can pray God will place a hedge of protection around His children, His sheep.

During this time in Smyrna it was a time of Emperor worship. The Caesars had declared themselves god’s and it could mean death to not bow down to them or their statues. The Temple of Zeus was there which goes back to the days of Nimrod. The Temple of Cybele was there which was their version of Diana and the queen of heaven. This was a hard place to be a Christian. The Romans hated all Christians. The imperial laws against Christians were enforced severely in Smyrna. At that time this helped the Jews who also hated all Christians.

The Smyrna church was a persecuted church. The name Smyrna comes from the word myrrh, the sweet smelling
incense. The aroma permeated the space when myrrh is crushed. It is used even today is incense. The Smyrna church was sweet smelling sacrifice to God. You could say it was bitter-sweet to be a Christian in this place. They were mercilessly put to death by fine Roman methods -lions, stakes, and torches. Romans were connoisseurs of torturing. To this tortured persecuted crushed church Jesus writes a comforting letter.

The Church at Ephesus in it’s period had lost it’s first love; therefore, the Lord permitted chastisement to come to that Church. In Smyrna the prophecy of persecution and death is seen. We now will also see there are rewards for the sealing your testimony with your own blood.

(Thy Poverty)

Any person that converted to Christianity in Smyrna were not only persecuted but they were not allowed into the system. No employment. No place to sell their wares and what they owned was taken away from them. Sadly this still happens in Muslim control countries and in some other places as well.

But they were rich:

Jas 2:5 says  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and [heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him]?

Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and [what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints],

2Co 6:10  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; [as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things].

Mat 5:12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: [for great is your reward in heaven]: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Mat 10:41  He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and [he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward].

2Jn 1:8  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

(That say they are Jews)

There are always people that claim to be something they are not. There are many living in America today that call themselves Americans but do everything they can to change things to something from their past. These Jews probably were not as persecuted because it was the time of the Church. They were still suppose to be God’s people! When they added to the persecution of the Church they brought the wrath of the Lord down upon them. Jesus Christ Himself was born a Jew in the flesh through His mother Mary but He is the foundation of the Church.

Rom 2:28 says  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.

These are His words recorded here to His own Earthly race. God does not sugar coat any of His words. His word is always true.

Rom 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Just because they had a family tree in the Jewish history it did not make them Jews. The Lord said if you were Abraham’s seed you would do the works of Abraham. And what was the work of Abraham.

Joh 8:37  I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Joh 8:38  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Joh 8:39  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, [If ye were
Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham].

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, [Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God].

A friend of God would not persecute other believers!

Gal 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Synagogue of Satan:

If you do not belong to God then you belong to Satan and wherever you gather you are in his house. Today we hear that all religions should pull together under one roof. This could never be the truth without the truth first and only being Jesus Christ.

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.

Two names are used for the enemy of mankind in Revelation:

1.) Satan- which means “adversary”.
2.) Devil- which means “slanderer”.

He is both these things to the church of the Living God. He is the instigator of all persecution and of all slander brought forth to the Church.

*****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.

We that know God, know that all power comes from Him.

Psa 62:11  God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

Satan cannot come close to one of God’s children without His (God’s) express permission!

God said to Satan about Job: Job 2:6  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

There is no power but of God:

Rom 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: [the powers that be are ordained of God].

To resist God’s power is to ensure your place in Hell:

Rom 13:2  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and [they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation].

The persecution of Saints has it’s own purpose and God is in control of it’s use and it’s outcome! God’s purpose of persecution will cause repentance, purification and will strengthen the love, faith and courage of the Church.

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Luk 12:4  And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
Luk 12:5  But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Luk 12:6  Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Luk 12:7  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Luk 21:12  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

That number “Ten”. The first thing we should know is that this is not referring to any time of the tribulation period. That would be later and the Church will already be with our Savior.

Ten is a big number in the Bible.

1.) There are “Ten” Commandments.
2.) God would not have destroyed Sodom had He found “Ten” righteous men.
3.) God named the place we live Earth in the “tenth” verse.
4.) God tells us of the Generations of Noah in the “Tenth” Chapter.
5.) There are “Ten” Generations till the time of Noah.
6.) There are only “Ten” recorded Passovers in the Bible with Jesus dying on the Cross of Calvary at that “Tenth” one.

There are also “Ten” known era of Christian persecution with the last one, the Diocletian period lasting exactly “Ten” years.

1.) Nero (66 A.D.)
2.) Domitian (93 A.D.)
3.) Trajan (102 A.D.)
4.) Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Verus (166 A.D.)
5.) Septimus Severus (201 A.D.)
6.) Maximin (237 A.D.)
7.) Decius (251 A.D.)
8.) Valerian (259 A.D.)
9.) Aurelian (273 A.D.)
10.)Diocletian (302 A.D.)

Ten is also one of the perfect and complete numbers with three, seven and twelve being the others.

The number ten is the start of a whole new order of numbers and the culmination of the numbers that come before it. This may seem to be merely a distinction given to ten under our decimal numbering system. However the numbering systems in use in the time that the Bible was written were also based upon the number ten. Furthermore numbering by tens is built in to our very anatomy, count up on your fingers and when they are all used, make a mark on a piece of paper and start from your first finger again. Soon you will have a number of marks, each representing ‘two hands’ worth. Thus in ancient times as in modern times ten is the start of a whole new order of numbers and the culmination of the numbers that come before it.

Let’s make it simple:

In the Book of Daniel we see these words:

Dan 1:12  [Prove thy servants], I beseech thee, [ten days]; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

Because Daniel and his friends stayed by the word of God, God gave them wisdom and understanding.

Dan 1:17  As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

In fact they were “ten” times better than those false men of understanding.

Dan 1:20  And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

God is no respecter of persons:

Act 10:34  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Act 10:35  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

God could not do for Daniel and not do for these that were persecuted in Smyrna. He would only allow Satan to prove them for “ten” days. Their end result would be a homecoming!

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.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mar 8:35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

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 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

*****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.

Seven times to these churches does the Holy Spirit tell the individuals to hear what is said. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to hear God’s message that is taught in the Church. God will accept no excuses at the Judgment Seat. We cannot depend on others to do our learning, our hearing, our praying nor our confessing.

He that overcomes will not be hurt in the second death.

It is a good saying, that he that is born once will die twice but he that is born twice will die only once.

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.

The first death is the death of the flesh. That second death is in the Burning Lake of Fire. No “Born Again” child of God will ever see the Burning Lake of Fire.

A person has to reject God’s word to get there and sadly many will. To be a child of God, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, you will suffer persecution that will increase as time goes by. It may cost you some friends. It will cost you some popularity. It may cost you your job. Many of these Saints at Smyrna lost their lives because of their faith. God pity you and I if we cannot suffer some in the name of Jesus Christ.

1Pe 1:6  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
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:

Let’s pray!

Message to Ephesus

THE MESSAGE TO EPHESUS

Our text for today: Revelation 2:1-7

There are some things we need always to remember in our study of God’s word. He does things in order and He has a purpose for everything He does. We also know that God’s purpose and His order will always work out for the best for His children, every believer.

1Co 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

So why did He choose to begin with the church of Ephesus?

First let’s remember how the Lord Jesus Christ Himself divided up this book for our study.

Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

In chapter one we had the things which the Apostle John had seen. We now will look at the things that are. The things that are, are the church age which we still live in. This is the age of “mercy” and “grace” God has provided for those that will believe. It will last until the time of the rapture of the the church, which could happen at any moment as there is no other prophesy that needs to be fulfilled for this time to end. The Apostles new about the “ages” because they wrote of them.

Eph 2:7  That [in the ages to come] he might shew [the exceeding riches of his grace] [in his kindness] [toward us] through Christ Jesus. (that toward us is the church of the living God)

You know the Apostles Doctrine did not begin until the book of Acts. The Gospels is our record of their discipleship. Only after the Holy Ghost came upon them at Pentecost did they begin the work assigned to them of Christ.

Joh 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; [It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you].

Joh 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, [he shall testify of me]:

The love of Jesus and our service to Him must be the primary motivation and activity in every true church. All ministry, service, deeds and actions must spring from our affection for Jesus Christ. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will also be led by the Holy Spirit who still testifies of Christ Jesus and Him only.

Mar 12:28  And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

The church belongs to Jesus Christ. If we do not put Christ Jesus first in the church then it cannot be called a church. That word is used an awful lot in America and throughout the world but by definition a church has God as it’s founder and the foundation of God’s church is Jesus Christ.

1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
1Co 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11  [For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ].

What is a church? The collective body of Christians, or of those who profess to believe on Christ, and acknowledge him to be the Savior of mankind.

Most people now refer to the building where the children of God meet as the church but it is actually just a place where God has placed His name.

Jer 7:12  But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, [where I set my name at the first], and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

Deu 15:20  Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year [in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household].

What is a true church?

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

So then a church is only a church when they are gathered around Christ Jesus!

Jesus Christ sent these messages to seven churches in Asia. They seem to be seven typical places of worship. We will see that it is He(Jesus Christ), not we as members, that decides if these places are what he expects. We must ask ourselves, “is Jesus Christ happy with our church”.

I believe these seven churches also represent the changes the church has gone through in different periods of time up till the day we are in now.

The entire book of Revelation was written to these seven churches. Every church got to read what Jesus said about every other church and every church got to read about the future and every church got a copy of the book of Revelation. We will need to see how the place we worship compares to these of the Bible as they are the examples given to us to learn by. This book was not written to the lost of this world nor to the governments of this world nor to the Jew. This book was written to the bride of Christ. The church of the Living God.

A little history of this city Ephesus:

Ephesus was a very prominent city on the western part of the Roman province of Asia, had enjoyed the ministry of Paul for three years (Acts 20:31). Timothy also had apparently served this church as pastor. Later, before his exile to the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John had served as one of the pastors of this church.

Ephesus was a large city with an excellent harbor, and it was known at this time as the marketplace of Asia. It was also a banking center because of its great vault in the Temple of Diana, which was considered the safest place in Asian Minor. “Ephesus was also an important religious city. The Temple of Diana (or Artemus, as the Greeks called her) was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The goddess Diana was the patron of all the prostitutes and, with her many-bosomed image, represented fertility and sexuality. Many writers in ancient times described the immorality of the city.

One pillar in the Ephesian economy was the production of silver images of Diana by the many silversmith who plied their trade there. Devotees of this goddess brought much gain to the city (Acts 19:23-27). Black magic was also widely practiced in Ephesus.

Ephesus was known as the light of Asia at this time and it was the strong hold of Satan’s power over the then known world. The Apostle Paul wrote an entire epistle to the church at Ephesus.

OUR TEXT:

**********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;

(unto the angel)

That angel we have already established to be the pastor of this church.

Rev 1:20 [The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches]: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

The Strong dictionary: a?´??e??? aggelos ang’-el-os
From a???e´??? aggello¯ (probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings); [a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication a pastor: – angel, messenger].

G71 a?´?? ago¯ ag’-o
A primary verb; properly [to lead]; by implication to bring, drive, (reflexively) go, (specifically) pass (time), or (figuratively) induce: – be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open.

G34 a??e´?? agele¯ ag-el’-ay
From G71 (compare G32); [a drove: – herd].
If you are to lead a herd then you are typically the shepherd.
1Pe 2:25  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
These angels of the church are the shepherds called to lead the flock until the true Shepherd (Jesus our Lord) comes again.
By saying He is holding them in His hand, Christ says it is He that has the power over the these shepherds. Any pastor or preacher that is not led by the Holy Ghost will not be a true pastor or preacher.
Heb 5:4  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, [but he that is called of God], as was Aaron.
Being the pastor of a true church is not a job, “but a calling of God”.
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
*****Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? [and how shall they hear without a preacher]?
*****Rom 10:15  And [how shall they preach, except they be sent]? as it is written, [How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!]
Paul said:
1Co 1:17  For [Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel]: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 9:16  For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: [for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel]!
*****Now we can see the location of our Lord. We know that He sits at the right hand of God.
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We know that He is also walking in the midst of the church. We already know that is where He said He would be.
Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Christ is not just walking about in these seven places of worship but He walks in the congregation of every true church when they meet in His name. If a congregation is gathering together in any other name then they are just having a meeting. They have not come together to worship God. If we do not gather in His  name, worship in His name, or pray in His name, we have missed the point of “salvation”. It’s all about Jesus and not about any other so called god, Allah, Mohamed or any other such or so called prophet. It’s not about Buddha, or Confucius, or any of the others. Jesus Christ is still the only way to get to 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.
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.

There is no other God and there is no other way!

**********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:

(thy works)

Though there are those that still believe it is by the good works they do that will get them into Heaven, there is only one work that is acceptable. That work is to simply believe on the finished work of our Saviour. The works of this verse is work that takes place after Salvation.

Rom 6:13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: [but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God].

We are to yield our bodies to be instruments for the use of God. Jesus tells this church at Ephesus that He is keenly aware of their good works.

Rom 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Paul reminds us that it is who we yield ourselves too that we will obey. If we yield to Jesus then we will obey Jesus Christ. If we yield to Satan then we will do the works of Satan. You cannot do the works of Satan and call yourself a Christian. The gospel of salvation by grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true, unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. “Neither adulterer, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkard” shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Works are “good” only when, they spring from the principle of love to God and “good works” have the glory of God as their objective.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

(thy labor)

We must remember this church was located in Ephesus, the sin capitol of the world at this time. The Temple of Diana which served also as the seat of government at times was there. This temple was listed as one of the seven wonders of the world. It would have been hard to do the work of God in this city.

The Apostle Paul wrote of this city(Acts 19):

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.

The word beast in the Strong dictionary:  “the¯riomacheo¯” (thay-ree-om-akh-eh’-o)
From a compound of G2342 and G3164; to be a beast fighter (in the gladiatorial show), that is, (figuratively) to encounter (furious men): – fight with wild beasts.

These were furious men who defended their false religion. It was hard to be a witness for Jesus in Ephesus.

Again Paul wrote:

2Co 1:8  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
2Co 1:9  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
2Co 1:10  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

It was not any different and probably worse in this time of the Apostle John.

(thy patience)

patience used here: “hupomone¯ ” (hoop-om-on-ay’)
From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

You know our job is to sow the seed. It is God that will control the increase. If we do not see any fruit from our labor it does not mean it’s our fault. If we patiently do the work of God with all our heart there will be results and the rewards of our labor will be shown to us when we meet Jesus. This is not a part time job and we cannot retire from it. So it’s best to have patience. In other words get out of God’s way. Just surrender yourself to Him in everything we do.

Luk 1:74  That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
Luk 1:75  In holiness and righteousness before him, [all the days of our life].

(have tried them that say)

Not everyone that say they are Christian are!

Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The Apostle Paul said use him as an example:

Php 3:17  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Php 3:18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Paul also admonishes us:

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

There were only 12 Apostles and there will never be any more.

Act 1:22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

You had to see the resurrected Christ to become an Apostle. Only the Apostle Paul was not with these original disciples but he saw the Lord Jesus Christ on at least three different occasions.

These believers of Ephesus had put all those that had come to preach in Ephesus to the test. It’s not that hard to see a liar if we have God’s word and accept it as truth as our standard of truth.

2Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14  And no marvel; [for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light].
2Co 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Paul said it’s going to get worse:

Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing [shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock].
Act 20:30  [Also of your own selves] shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

All we need do is listen to the false doctrine being preached behind most all pulpits in America and throughout the world to know this is true and sadly only a few believers seem to care.

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

(and has borne)

Jesus told this church that even as tough as it was they had truly stayed with it and endured all the persecution for witnessing for Jesus. Again with patience continuing in the work of the Lord.

(for my name’s sake)

You open a window to get air. We work to get a paycheck. We read the Bible to get instruction. We witness for the sake of Jesus or we are doing it all for the wrong reasons. This church was doing things for the right reasons. The phrase “name’s sake” is used 30 times in the Bible. God does these things to make the world know that “there is a God”.

Psa 106:8  Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

(Hast labored)

In verse 2 we saw the word labor: The Greek word “kopos” (kop’-os)
From G2875; a cut, that is, (by analogy) toil (as reducing the strength), literally or figuratively; by implication pains: – labour, + trouble, weariness.

This just meant it was troublesome to do the work of God in Ephesus. Remember what Paul had said about the “beast” (furious men) of Ephesus.

Here in verse 3 The Greek word “kopiao¯” (kop-ee-ah’-o)
From a derivative of G2873; [to feel fatigue; by implication to work hard]: – (bestow) labour, toil, be wearied.

This means that even though the work was very hard these people had remained faithful to the work. Why should we be so busy for the Lord Jesus?

2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, [we may be accepted of him].

Now this has nothing to do with salvation but it does have something to do with the day we meet the Lord in the air.

Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

If our work for the Lord is not because we trust Him then our salvation is based on the wrong things. How does that song go? (Only Trust, Only Trust Him Now)

Heb 2:13  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

(hast not fainted)

To faint is to become feeble; to decline or fail in strength and vigor; to be weak. This church had not become weak in God’s work. They had remained strong.

2Co 4:1  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2Co 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Gal 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

This is a must do for any true church. Persecution of the church is on the rise. If we do not go the work of the Lord now, we surely won’t go when things get worse.

**********Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

(Nevertheless)

Ouch! What a word! This word is actually used 97 times in the Bible. This the Greek word “alla” and I believe we get our word alas from this word. Jesus says contrary to the good things I have just told you, you need to know this also.

(I have somewhat against you)

The word “somewhat” was not in the original text but was added in this English translation to clarify the words. In other words Jesus was saying He was  disappointed or disturbed about this one thing.

(Thou has left thy first love)

What is the first love of the Church?

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, [Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.]

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. (the rock of Jesus)

The church is built on Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God!

Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, [The first] of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30  [And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment].
Mar 12:31  And [the second] is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

What we do not realize sometimes as a church is that we can get so involved in the work of God, that we actually make an “Idol” out of that work. What is an “Idol”? An “Idol” is anything we place between us and our Lord God. It is also sin!

1Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

1Jn 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

When we quit dwelling in the Love of God and dwell in anything else we are in sin to God. We will not lose our salvation but we lose the basis of the church. We will remain saved but it will not be very long before that church will close the doors and not exist any more.

The church belongs to Jesus!

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

The modern day humanistic church that has removed, the blood of Christ, the Virgin birth of Christ, The Cross of Christ, The Deity of Christ have surely like this church at Ephesus left there first love.

It’s all about Jesus. The Church, The Bible, And the Bride. Who wants an adulterous bride for a wife. Think about it church!

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.

We certainly were not chosen just so we could forget the one that saved us! If not for the mercy of God we would all burn in Hell.

**********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.

(remember)

To remember is to preserve the memory of; to preserve from being forgotten. This not the same as to recollect something we have temporarily forgotten. Jesus says to lock this thing in to your mind. Preserve this fact. This is  something to never forget.

Take this quick test:

1.) Am I willing to separate myself for Jesus?
2.) Am I totally focused on Jesus?
3.) Am I steadfast for Jesus?
4.) Am I bringing Jesus to others?
5.) Is Jesus All I need everyday?

Jesus Christ is the “Rose of Sharon” and the “Lily of the Valley” can you say “yes” to these questions?

(therefore)

Remember (for that or this reason, referring to something previously stated).

(whence thou art fallen) (Remember that because you have forgotten the first love). This is a fallen position. This a change of direction. This is being disobedient to God. This is being in sin.

(repent)

There is only one option when we are in sin. We had to repent to be saved and that is where we met our first love. We never have to repent to keep our salvation again but we must repent every sin to God on a daily basis. Sometimes on a moment by moment basis. It’s best to repent as soon as you realize you have sinned. And even when you may not realize it but you can feel the tug of the Holy Spirit, it’s best to ask the Lord to forgive.

1Jn 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
*****1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The lesson of repentance:

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].

Obey our Father in Heaven and go and do what He tells us to do!

Ecc 12:13  [Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.]
Ecc 12:14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

(do the first works)

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.
1Jn 5:21  Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Remember an Idol is anything that we put before our God.

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and [we in him]; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, [and we by him].

Any other way is the wrong way!

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, [the love of many shall wax cold].

Without the first love there can be no love for others. We see this result now in our own lifetime.

(come to thee quickly)

There are many churches closing down every day. I read not long ago that as many as 50 were closing their doors monthly for various reasons. When you take out the blood, the virgin birth, the cross, and forget about the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ our Lord, the doors will soon close. Those that are false churches were never a place where God placed His name.

(will remove the candlestick)

The candlestick is not the light. The candlestick is the place where the light would emit. If the church has no candlestick then there will be no place for the light of Jesus, who is that light of salvation, to shine from. There is no need for the candlestick without the true light.

Joh 1:6  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
Joh 1:7  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
Joh 1:8  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Joh 1:9  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Joh 1:10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

1Jn 2:8  Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and [the true light now shineth].

(repent)

There are three steps to take to recover from this fall.

1.) Remember
2.) Repent
3.) Do the first works.

We cannot recover from any fall until we have done these things.

1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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

1.) Nikos = dominating the defeated
2.) laos = working class people
3.) tan = the

4.) The deeds = Power of action.

The Apostle John writes of such persons:

3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, [who loveth to have the preeminence among them], receiveth us not.
3Jn 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, [prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would], and [casteth them out of the church].
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].

This is someone in the church that assumes lordship over God’s people. An elder, a pastor, a pope or such (but false).

Jesus Christ says He hates this thing. He didn’t use the word hate very much.

Luk 16:13  [No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other]. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Proof:

2.The name, Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes), is a compound word which is composed of three Greek words, and which, because of being a proper noun, is transferred instead of being translated into English. As thus transferred, it is subject to the laws of Greek construction in regard to ellipsis, contraction and phonetics.

3.The Greek words used in its construction are first: “Nikos,” of which we use the English equivalents instead of the Greek letters, as we shall also of the other two. [Nikos is defined as “a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered]; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated.” Another transferred name in which this term is used is “Nicopolis,” i.e., Niko – conquest; polis city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory. Also Andro — nikos a man of conquest, of victory.

The second term used in the name under consideration is “laos,” — people, another use of which is Nicolas, which is transferred and is composed of Nikoslaos and means [one who is “victorious over the people,”] the letter “s” being, in both words, the nominative case ending, which is retained only at the end of the word to denote the case, while “a” short and “o” short are contracted into “a” long.

“Laodicean” Also, a still further transferred use of “laos” is found in the name Lao(s)diceans, compounded with dike or dice as the Greek “k” is the equivalent English “c.” Thus, in the name Laodiceans, [we have laos — “people”] and dice judgment, or vengeance, i.e., the people of my judgment, or of my vengeance. Also the Greek word la(ic)os means “laymen,” of which laos is the root and stem, which selfsame word, with the “o” short contracted to “i”, to which root and stem the plural definite article ton is joined to form laiton — is a Greek phrase meaning “the laity.”

The third and last word entering into the construction of the proper name Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes) is ton, in which omega, the long “o”, is contracted into long “a”, thus making the word “tan” which is the genitive case plural in all the genders of the definite article ‘the.’

Therefore, we have, without the legal Greek construction, the English hyphenated word Nickos-laoston, but which, with its lawful elisions and contractions, becomes the English name: Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes), the full meaning of which, in its native tongue and in its ecclesiastical setting, [is that the bishops and prelates of the Church have gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the laiton — the laity — until they have been compelled to submit to the arbitrary dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates – (‘Lords over God’s heritage’):]

1Pe 5:1-3 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (Neither as being lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.) ”

Jesus Christ Our Lord said:

Mat 23:8  But be not ye called Rabbi: [for one is your Master, even Christ; and (all ye) are brethren].
Mat 23:9  And call no man your father upon the earth: [for one is your Father, which is in heaven].
Mat 23:10  Neither be ye called masters: [for one is your Master, even Christ].
Mat 23:11  [But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant].
Mat 23:12  And [whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased]; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

**********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.

(He that hath an ear)

Remember these letters were sent to the church. Then every brother and sister in Christ should open their ears to these words. The Holy Spirit said “listen to what I am saying” This is important stuff. We know John was told to write what he saw. We know he saw Jesus standing in the midst of these seven churches. Now we see it is the Holy Spirit that still guides the words that are said.

Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

And the Holy Spirit will always speak of Jesus Christ!

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, [he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you].

(eat of the tree)

Where else have we seen this tree?

Gen 2:8  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Gen 2:9  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The way to this tree was blocked because of sin!

Gen 3:22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Gen 3:23  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Here in this verse we see it is the brothers and sisters of the church that will have access to this tree, that is located in the New Heaven.

Rev 22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Only those that obey God have the rights to this tree.

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.

THIS IS THE PARADISE OF GOD!

Let’s pray!