Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Revelation 3:2-4

Rouse yourselves and keep awake, and strengthen and invigorate what remains and is on the point of dying; for I have not found a thing that you have done [any work of yours] meeting the requirements of My God or perfect in His sight.
·         This doesn’t mean that this church isn’t doing things. It means that they are taking credit all of the credit for what they are doing. They are glorying in human abilities and supposed human free will.
·         Jesus tells us in the Gospel’s to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect, Matthew 5:48. Jesus can say this to us, because this is how He is, He is perfect, and we are now one with Him. This is why our burden is light and our yoke easy. Being perfect is easy for Jesus! But yet we read that the church of Sardis is dead, they are dead because their works are human, so nothing they do can be perfect. Jesus plainly tells them that He knows their works, not that He knows the works of the Father within them.
·         Notice here too, that Jesus tells these people to rouse themselves, not that they should seek the power of our Father to be great within them. The Shepherd, our Lord, is leading the wolves, the elders of Sardis, away from the flock here. Jesus is speaking directly to them, and they are being told to go and do it on their own. While Jesus is telling true believers through the Holy Spirit within them, that we can do nothing without Him being the power doing it, John 15:5. When we read the Gospels we can clearly see the difference in Jesus’ teachings for the saved and what He is telling these church leaders. 
So call to mind the lessons you received and heard; continually lay them to heart and obey them, and repent. In case you will not rouse yourselves and keep awake and watch, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know or suspect at what hour I will come.
·         Jesus doesn’t tell these people to call unto Him. He proclaims that they are to arouse themselves. Where do we ever read in the Gospels that we are to call upon ourselves to walk in the ways of the Lord? But here all of a sudden this is how it is done? No! This is Jesus speaking to those whose hearts are not right and He is clearly speaking to them in a parable, unless hearing He should have to come and heal them. 
·         For this nation's heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them. Matthew 13:15
·         For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death]. 2 Corinthians 7:10
·         These people are told to trust in themselves and to look to themselves. Their efforts will absolutely fail and it will bring sorrow and grief and that will finally lead them to seek the Truth that will set them free.
Yet you still have a few [persons’] names in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes, and they shall walk with Me in white, because they are worthy and deserving.
·         Once again Jesus is telling His truly chosen ones in Sardis, “I have your back and I know what is going on!” Think of what a relief that hearing this is to these true believers. They are always hearing the leaders of the church bragging about what the church is doing, when they know that it is actually dead. They see men being elevated and praised and they have to be thinking, where is Jesus in all of this vain glory? And then Jesus has John write to them. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Revelation 3:1

And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Sardis write: These are the words of Him Who has the seven Spirits of God [the sevenfold Holy Spirit] and the seven stars: I know your record and what you are doing; you are supposed to be alive, but [in reality] you are dead.
·         Sardis means those who come out.
·         We are empowered with the Holy Spirit to come out of being in a dead church, a dead group of supposed believers. Those who have a form of godliness but deny the power of it.
·         The Truth for a born again Christian is that we are crucified with Christ, and nevertheless we live, yet it is not us who lives, but it is Christ within us Who lives, Galatians 2:20. We are now dead and our lives are hid in Christ in God, Colossians 3:3.

·         Jesus however starts off by telling the church of Sardis, that they are dead, He is not alive in them. Do you see how these churches that we have studied so far in Revelation 2 and 3 cannot truly be part of Jesus’ real church. Jesus is speaking to them, but He is not speaking to them as actually being one with them. He is pointing out their strengths and faults, but God is not getting the glory for their strengths and Jesus is not being given His glory as their Shepherd Who will lead them to righteousness. They can’t be part of Jesus’ Church, because Jesus is not dead, He is alive! Jesus cannot leave Himself or allow false teachings into Himself. This is another reason that I believe these letters are to styles of churches and not to true church ages or periods in our growth. I just can’t believe that there has been a time in our history when Jesus allowed His church, which is His body, to be dead! 

·         Remember what the Seven Fold Spirit represents: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, reverence, and obedience. Jesus has control of the Holy Spirit and who Jesus is One with has the full force of the Holy Spirit operating within them. This is why Jesus told the Disciples that it was better if He went away, John 16:7, because if He did, He would send the Holy Spirit to us. This means that Jesus has sent us the strength of our Father to cause us to be wise, understanding, mighty, knowledgeable, reverent, obedient, and so that we would always have our Fathers righteous counsel. We have been sealed with all of the power of our Savior until the day of our redemption. So it is impossible to leave our first love, allow false teachings in, or be dead. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Revelation 2:25-29

25 Only hold fast to what you have until I come.
·         Jesus once again is confirming to His chosen ones in Thyatira, “I know what is going on, your absolutely correct, it isn’t right and I will cause you to hold fast.” Yet to the false leaders, they will read this letter as if they have to hold fast, through their own human strength. They will teach on it, placing all of the burden on their congregations, telling them the works that they must do to satisfy Jesus. But for the true chosen ones, the Holy Spirit will remind them of His Truth, that He is the One keeping them until the day of their redemption.
·         Consider the churches today, homosexuals are allowed in leadership, men who have been divorced, people who are constantly taking about money, arrogant people, prideful people, people and families who do not even begin to meet the definitions of 1 Timothy. Jesus is not the focus in so many fellowships, there are false teachings and people are being abused by it.
·         It gets clearer and clearer, these seven churches are not church ages, but church styles. These church styles are not the true body of Christ, they are not true chosen believers. True believers are always kept by God, sealed with the Holy Spirit, and Shepherded by Jesus. We cannot lose our first love, because we have become one with Him. We cannot have false teachings overtake us, our Father prunes them out, Jesus refines them out, and the Holy Spirit causes us to remember the Truth, because we now have the mind of Christ! 
26 And he who overcomes (is victorious) and who obeys My commands to the [very] end [doing the works that please Me], I will give him authority and power over the nations;
27 And he shall rule them with a sceptre (rod) of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, and [his power over them shall be] like that which I Myself have received from My Father;
·         Look at what our future is, we rule the nations right along with our Lord Jesus. There is no maybe here, because we have our Father’s Spirit within us, causing us to walk in His ways, we will rule along with Jesus. Through Christ we are more than victorious, we are one with His power and His authority and we will serve the people as Jesus serves them.
·         These verses provide us with just a little glimpse, a foreshadowing, of what Jesus will declare to us later in His Revelation. Our present and our future with Jesus is Great! During the Great Tribulation we will see how powerfully Jesus uses His true church, we will see how we are used during His millennial reign, and then Jesus will show us how we are one with Him for the rest of eternity. The Truth of our salvation is that we are gloriously used to serve others from the moment that our Father calls us to be used! We are one with Jesus, and the part that our Father has Jesus play on this earth, we are directly involved with, because we are one with Him. Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us. Our heritage and future are absolutely victorious! 
·         Notice here that we will rule the nations. So there must be nations still around after Jesus returns for us to rule.
28 And I will give him the Morning Star.
·         The Morning Star is Jesus
·         Jesus gives us Himself and He ever lives to serve us so that we are saved to the uttermost.
29 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the [Holy] Spirit says to the assemblies (churches).
·         We are able to hear only because our Father has called and empowered us with His Spirit to hear. There will be many who try and tell us that we can’t hear everything that our Father has to say, they are wrong! There will be many who shy away from the Book of Revelation, don’t follow them. We are one with Jesus and He is far greater within us than anything that is in this world. Read and listen to this Book being read out loud, there is a special blessing in doing so!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Revelation 2:23-24

23 And I will strike her children (her proper followers) dead [thoroughly exterminating them]. And all the assemblies (churches) shall recognize and understand that I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts, and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves.
·         Notice that Jesus’ correction is realized by all assemblies. Don’t ever fret about a church that is doing wrong. Jesus is aware of what is going on and He personally deals with it. He will do the same with the anti-christ’s church.
·         We are shown here that we will receive works according to what we have done. We will be rewarded for what is in our hearts and in our minds.
·         For the born again this is a really awesome thing because we now have the Mind of Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:16
·         We now have new hearts given to us by our Father, Ezekiel 36:26
·         And without Jesus we can do nothing, John 15:5.
·         So we will receive the same reward as Jesus, because we are His body, flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone, Ephesians 5:30.
·         As for the all others, where their sin abounds, our Father’s Grace will much more abound, Romans 5:20.
·         Because of Jesus we all win! Romans 5:18
24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not explored and known the depths of Satan, as they say—I tell you that I do not lay upon you any other [fresh] burden:
·         This shows us that satan is active in churches with his false messages. The messages aren’t blatant either, they are subtle. His lies will sound religious, they will seem to be inclusive, they will seem to lay down laws that are for our good, or that show respect, but they are destructive by focusing all of our thoughts towards what we are doing and not what our Father is doing through us.
·         For those of us who have been truly called and chosen to serve we have no real burden, our yoke is easy and our burden is always light, Matthew 11:30, regardless of where our Father has us.   

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rvelation 2:21-22

21 I gave her time to repent, but she has no desire to repent of her immorality [symbolic of idolatry] and refuses to do so.
·         Jesus knew that Jezebel wouldn’t repent, but yet He gave her a chance! Jesus is the Shepherd of the True Church, the true chosen ones, and Jezebel was a wolf who tried to pass herself off as a chosen one. Jesus never lets a wolf overtake His sheep! He may allow a wolf to take over a religion, a denomination, a building but never one of His chosen ones! 
·         While I was with them, I kept and preserved them in Your Name [in the knowledge and worship of You]. Those You have given Me I guarded and protected, and not one of them has perished or is lost except the son of perdition [Judas Iscariot—the one who is now doomed to destruction, destined to be lost], that the Scripture might be fulfilled. John 17:12
22 Take note: I will throw her on a bed [of anguish], and those who commit adultery with her [her paramours] I will bring down to pressing distress and severe affliction, unless they turn away their minds from conduct [such as] hers and repent of their doings.
·         Jesus is zealous over His true church. When He came into the Temple, He personally overturned the money changers. And here we see that Jesus Himself will throw Jezebel down! People like to always say that such things only come from satan, but Jesus Alone holds the keys to death and hell, Revelation 1:18. We will study on this in far greater detail during our study of the Great Tribulation, later on in Revelation. But the Truth is that satan is not always the one causing bad things to happen for humans.
·         For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. Hebrews 12:6
·         Our Father loves everyone, even those who are in sin, so everyone will be corrected, Romans 5:8.
·         Our peace is that Jesus’ correction is always done in love and not to get even with us. Jesus’ correction is to set the people free. It may seem bad at the time, but it is always for our own good.  
·         Death of the flesh actually sets a lot of people free from sin. They may have to go to Hades for a while, but Jesus went and cleaned Hades out once before, 1 Peter 3;20, and He will do it again.
·         The Rich Rulers heart, who was cast into Hades, was changed while he was there. He actually started to desire the well being of others above himself, Luke 16. Our Father is not a dictator, He is a loving parent to all men.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Revelation 2:19-20

19 I know your record and what you are doing, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your recent works are more numerous and greater than your first ones.
·         When Jesus was personally asked about His Own works, He said that it was the Father within Him doing the works, John 14:10. Jesus doesn’t say here to the people of Thyatira, that I know our Father is using you more now than He did at your beginning? Jesus told us that many people will do even miraculous works, but He will proclaim that He never knew them, Matthew 7:23. The people who Jesus knows, are the ones Who He is doing His works through. Our Father does the works!
·         The anti-chrits’s church will be full of works. They will work so much that every last detail of our lives will be under a rule or a law. It will all be in the Name of fairness, godliness, and unity. But all of their works and all of their laws will bring glory to man. Causing men to be prideful, arrogant, boastful, and lovers of self, 2 Timothy 3:2.
·         So just because a church is active isn’t necessarily a good thing. The true glory of a church is when our Father is being fully acknowledged as the power for all things and when there is humility. 
20 But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols.
·         Sexual sins will destroy a church. They do because it is such a selfish sin. It is all about the person and gratifying the flesh. To allow a person to come into leadership who encourages it, will destroy a fellowship.
·         Think of today’s churches and how they are allowing leaders in who do not meet what our Father had written in 1Timothy and Titus. According to the Word leaders should be the husband of only one wife, not given to drink, knowledgeable of the Truth, their children should be well behaved, and they shouldn’t be desirous of money.   
·         Many churches fail to bring in true anointed leaders who meet the criteria set by our Father because they are trying to be inclusive, but leaders have to be what our Father said they should be. Everyone is welcome into a True Church, but everyone is not called to be a leader. Only those who are anointed by our Father and who He has empowered to be what He said they should be.
·         It doesn’t mean that our Father doesn’t love all people; He just hasn’t called all people into leadership. Be thankful, leaders are held to a higher standard. Not being a leader doesn’t mean that you will not be used by our Father, it just means you haven’t been anointed to be a church leader.
·         Not many [of you] should become teachers (self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation]. James 3:1

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Revelation 2:17-18

17 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (conquers), I will give to eat of the manna that is hidden, and I will give him a white stone with a new name engraved on the stone, which no one knows or understands except he who receives it.
·         We have studied about three churches now, one has left Jesus, one is being persecuted, and now one is letting multiple false teachings in. We can look at churches today and see the exact same things happening. And once again to the truly saved, Jesus is letting us know that even with all of this, that He will cause His chosen ones to be with Him where He is. Those who just have a form of godliness will read these letters and proclaim what we have to do to be right with our Father. Those who are called and chosen will read them and glorify our Father for doing what is needed through us. 
·         Remember though, Jesus is still among us all. Even if we are wrong, He is with us. He may not let us be leaders, or lamp stands, but He is still with us.
18 And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, Who has eyes that flash like a flame of fire, and Whose feet glow like bright and burnished and white-hot bronze:
·         Thyatira means hill graveyard.
·         Thyatira was none for its dyeing trade, it was the center for the indigo trade. The city was located in Western Turkey and was about 50 miles from the Mediterranean Ocean,
·         The reference of Jesus’ feet glowing like bronze is letting us know that Jesus always stands firm. He is unshakeable. He is greater in us than anything that is in the world. He causes us to be more than conquerors and He causes us to have life and have it more abundantly. This gives us peace as we are still in this world where there is tribulation.
·         The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:10
·         To a truly saved person this is a great message because we know that Jesus is always going to be stable and victorious and we know that He will never leave us or forsake us, Hebrews 13:5.
·         The Bible tells us that our eyes are the windows to our souls. We see here that Jesus is filled with fire, the Fire of the Holy Spirit. So we know that He is full of power.