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A Message From Peter James
 


Overcomers

 

 

The Overcomers will rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years.

Today Christians are called to overcome Ourselves, Satan and the World.

Overcomes have always been the minority. We must come out of Babylon.

 

Many millions of people believe in Christ, and are indeed Christians.

Once saved, they have been guaranteed Salvation. But is that enough?

In Revelation believers are admonished to become overcomers.

Is there a difference between a believer and an overcomer?

Does it really matter, or is it a pointless confusing technicality?

 

We have to realise that there is a Religious Babylon and also an

Economic Babylon. Both are mentioned in the book of Revelation.

It is also stated that they will both be destroyed.

 

Interestingly according to scripture Babylon sees herself

as the nations also see her. That is as a lady.

 

The heading of Isaiah Chapter 47 in the Scofield Study bible says:

Judgment upon Babylon

 

Isaiah 47:5Sit you silent, and get you into darkness,

O daughter of the Chaldeans: for you shall no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.

7And you said, I shall be a lady for ever: so that you did not lay

these things to your heart, neither did remember the latter end of it.

 

The Eternal, however, refers to her as the MOTHER OF HARLOTS

and the abominations that are in the earth.

This must mean that she is not only the mother of harlots but

also the mother of THE ABOMINATIONS that are in the earth.

Surely we can all see that abominations surround us everywhere.

It is also no wonder that she is called BABYLON THE GREAT.

 

Revelation 17:5And upon her forehead was a name written,

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

 

It is very important that we see ourselves as God sees us and not how

we see ourselves or not how others see us.

God sees the real you, not the image you create about and around yourself.

We can fool others and even ourselves but certainly not the Eternal.

Many times in both Testaments, He claims to know our thoughts.

 

Matthew 9:4And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think you evil in your hearts?

Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is quick, and powerful,

and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing

asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a

discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

The word of God is none other than Jesus Christ.

 

John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

We are clearly told that there is no relationship between our thoughts and those of the Eternal.

 

Isaiah 55:8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.

Isaiah 55:9For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

We can see that even our thoughts are judged, and the thoughts

of the wicked are declared and 'abomination' by the Eternal.

 

Proverbs 15:26The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination

to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

 

We can see the Eternal's total awareness of thoughts and dreams even if we have forgotten them.

 

Right in Babylon, Daniel's first recorded task was when he was called by Nebuchadnezzar

to explain to him a dream which he, Nebuchadnezzar had. He had actually forgotten it.

Daniel Chapter 2 - the dream about the image.

 

Today there are many people with plans and agendas of lies, wickedness,

and murder which they think are secret. They need to wake up.

They are sadly mistaken.

Nothing is hidden from God.

These people are only carrying out the plans of the adversary who seems

to try at every step to pre-empt God's genuine plans.

 

The coming anti-Christ is designed to confuse people into believing that the anti-Christ is God.

A world government is only an attempt to pre-empt the kingdoms

of the world being taken over by the returning victorious Christ,

 

who will usher in the genuine manifestation of the Kingdom of God

after the catastrophic Tribulation and final battle at Armageddon.

 

Handel's Hallelujah Chorus puts this to music.

 

Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were

great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become

the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

The Eternal's word is always absolutely and irrevocable.

 

Isaiah 55:11So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth:

it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which

I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 

Meanwhile we have to overcome Satan and his evil co-workers.

 

Isaiah 59:7Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood:

their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;desolation and destruction are in their paths.

 

Isaiah 65:2I have spread out my hands all the day unto

a rebellious people, that walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts;

 

He is the accuser of the brethren, a liar and a murderer.

 

Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent,

called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast

out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation,

and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:

for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,

which accused them before our God day and night.

 

John 8:44You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your

father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode

not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie,

he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

 

Religious Babylon will be destroyed by the Anti-Christ when

he comes on the scene at the start of the Great Tribulation.

 

Revelation 17:16And the ten horns (Referring to the resurrected Roman Empire)

which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked,

and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

 

Whether it is Religious Political or Economic Babylon, all are Babylon and are

the creation and system of Satan which opposes God at every turn.

We are told to come out of her.

Babylon looks good and something to be desired but it is of the same

forbidden fruit that our first parents ate in the Garden of Eden.

The fruit, however, is death. There are many people who are sincere

in what they do, but they are deceived.

 

The Babylonian system tries to give the appearance that it is of God.

Gold represents the divinity of God, and similarly the harlot has a

garment adorned with gold, she also uses a golden cup.

It looks good but it is utterly evil.

 

We are told that it is a mystery religion.

Questions have to be asked.

Does your church have mysteries ?

Do you understand the mysteries ?

Do you even know what the mysteries are in the first place ?

Can the ordinary member understand what is said?

Where do the rituals and traditions of your church come from in the first place?

Have you checked to see how your church measures up against the bible?

Are you told that you can effectively buy your salvation by

penance and indulgencies whilst you live your life as you wish?

Have you a mediator other than Christ ?

Do you waste your time in pointless prayers to the dead who are utterly unable to help you ?

Are you under the control of a ministry who demands that you should be under authority to them?

Are your services just a routine or do they give you life ?

Do you feel that you are the one true church ?

Have you statues in your church which you claim are not idols but the bible claims are idols?

Do you bow down to them and kiss them ?

Does your church have garments of scarlet?

 

Every Christian organisation has to come under the microscope

of the bible. In fact even the non-Christian ones also as we are told

about the synagogue of Satan and those who are Jews but are not.

We are also told that there are those who say that they are apostles and are not.

 

From the above we can see that this is indeed a worldwide web of confusion and deceit

with tentacles which even destroys countries bringing them to the point of dire destitution and poverty.

 

We are told that the Religious Babylon is a Mystery religion.

By definition mysteries are things not easily understood.

 

The New Testament does refer to mysteries.

However, if you check them out you will see that these do not refer

to secret rituals and procedures. Rather there is simplicity in Christ.

 

2 Corinthians 11:3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve

through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

 

The gospel is a matter of take it or leave it.

If you are being called, you hear the gospel and you have to make a choice to accept or reject it.

 

Infinite things are too incredible for finite minds to fully grasp.

However, as we mature, more and more becomes a little clearer.

In the bible here are some of the following genuine mysteries.

 

God is said to be a mystery.

 

Revelation 10:7But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel,

when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished,

as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

 

The kingdom of God is said to be a mystery.

Mark 4:11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know

the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without,

all these things are done in parables:

 

Christ is said to be a'great' mystery.

The Church is said to be a mystery.

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery:

but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

 

Babylon and the mother of harlots is also said to be a mystery.

Revelation 17:5And upon her forehead was a name written,

 

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS

AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

 

You might well be saying that you are not in Religious Babylon and that

you attend faithfully your weekly services in some denomination.

That does not mean that you might not sincerely but unwittingly be

taking part in the activities of the MOTHER OF HARLOTS or of one

her daughters.

 

We have to come out of Babylon.

 

Revelation 18:4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,

Come out of her, (Babylon) my people, that you be not partakers

of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.

 

Revelation 17:4And the woman (The False Church - Religious Babylon)

was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls,

having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

††

Ask yourself does your church deck out its priests with the accoutrements mentioned above ?

Does the priest have a golden cup in his hands?

What is purported to be in the cup?

Is it claimed that it is the real flesh and blood of Christ?

Is this church completely mingled with and involved with a worldwide

business empire which has made it stupendously wealthy ?

 

In any language purple and scarlet, gold, pearls and precious stones

with gold cups or chalices are the trappings of great wealth.

You will not find these in the homes of the poor.

 

Revelation 17:6And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints,

and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her,

I wondered with great admiration.

 

The appearance was such that the apostle John was filled with great admiration.

Nothing has changed.

Murder was prolific to the extent that the woman (the false church)

was said to be drunk with the blood of true believers and followers

of Christ who were prepared to die rather than forsake their Christ.

 

You may say well at least I do not belong to that church.

The question still remains.

 

How many of her pagan practices have you

adopted, unaware that they are not of Christ ?

It is no accident that that the name is "Mother Of Harlots'.

Many daughter churches are exceedingly rich as their leaders drive

luxury Rolls Royce cars and the like. Some live in luxury mansions.

 

Children inevitably inherit the traits and appearance of their parents.

This is a biological fact of life.

 

On a personal level, the question is what unacceptable practices have

you taken on board, assuming them to be Christian, for whatever

reason? It might be that it makes you feel good.

It might be simply to keep the peace. etc.

 

This is written in November 2001.

Maybe you are busy doing your Christmas preparations, stocking up with

presents and food to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Any decent encyclopaedia will tell you that Christmas is a pagan practice

that has nothing whatsoever to do with Christ.

We cannot put Christ back into Christmas as he was not there in the first place.

In fact, it is like any pagan institution, an abomination as far as God is concerned.

You will not find the word'Christmas' nor mass anywhere in the bible.

The word means Mass of Christ.

The 'Mass' is nowhere suggested or promoted in the Bible.

But the followers of religious Babylon are not encouraged to read

the bible, so how would they know ?

You might say well it is nice for the family and the children.

I have to tell you that there are 365 other days in the year that could

be just as nice for the family and the children.

Why are we involved with sun worship?

 

What about this?

What does this sound like to you?

 

Jeremiah 10: 2Thus says the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen,

(A clear instruction not to act like the heathen does.)

and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out

of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4 They deck it with silver and with gold; (today gold and silver coloured tinsel)

they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne,

because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil,

neither also is it in them to do good.

 

Regarding Easter the other even more important Christian celebration.

I have to tell you that the word Easter does not appear at all in any

good translation of the bible. I use the AV and several other translations

extensively. In the AV there is an error, where the word Passover is unfortunatley translated Easter.

In the same Authorised Version of the bible, in the New Testament

the same word in the original is

pascha with a strong's number 3957. It appears 27 times.

26 times it is translated as "passover" and only once it is translated as

Easter. The translators should have been consistent and translated it as

the other 26 times, passover, many other translations do so.

This is exceedingly easy to check out.

Is this simply semantics?

No it is certainly not.

Why all the fuss?

Yet again we have what is a very important pagan practice branded

as Christian.

 

Ashtoreth (Astarte)

Easter is the Christian name for this season, derived from that

of a pagan goddess. She was the principal female deity of the

Phoenicians worshipped in war and fertility rituals,

She also appears under many different names.

Aphrodite, Asherah, Ashtoreth, Astarte by the Greeks and Romans,

Diana of Ephesus, Eostre Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic goddess,

Ianna, Ishtar of Assyria, Isis of Egypt, Ostara, Semiramis of Assyria,

Venus . . . regardless of her name,

she is one and the same, an abomination, a false pagan goddess.

She is also referred to as 'The Queen of Heaven'.

 

1 Kings 11:5For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess

of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

 

We might think that it is Christian and wonderful, the Eternal says

these things are an abomination.

 

Christianity and astrology which is everywhere do not mix either.

It is regarded as harmless fun. Many Christians run their lives by the stars.

That is not what we should be doing. We should be running our lives in Christ.

 

2 Kings 23:4Then the king gave orders to Hilkiah, the chief priest,

and to the priests of the second order, and to the keepers of the

door, to take out of the house of the Lord all the vessels made for

Baal and for the Asherah and for all the stars of heaven; and he had

them burned outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron,

and took the dust of them to Beth-el.

5And he put an end to the false priests, who had been put in their

positions by the kings of Judah to see to the burning of offerings in

the high places in the towns of Judah and the outskirts of Jerusalem,

and all those who made offerings to Baal and to the sun and the moon

and the twelve signs and all the stars of heaven.

19Then Josiah, ("means whom Jehovah heals" was king of Judah)

took away all the houses of the high places in the towns

of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had put up, moving the Lord

to wrath, and he did with them as he had done in Beth-el.

20And all the priests of the high places there he put to death

on the altars, burning the bones of the dead on them;

and then he went back to Jerusalem.

 

In verse 4above, the word Asherah is used. Some translations say

'grove' others say 'poles'. The New King James in a similar context says,

says wooden images.

 

Deuteronomy 12:3"And you shall destroy their altars,

break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images (Asherah)

with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy

their names from that place.

 

You would not have groves planted under trees, it does not make sense !

 

1 Kings 14:23For they also built them high places, and images,

and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.

 

The use of the word astrologers and astrologer centres in Daniel

the only additional place is Isaiah Chapter 47.

Seven times astrologers is used and once astrologer.

Every single time astrologer is used it refers to Babylon.

 

Isaiah 47:13You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels.

Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators,

stand up, and save you from these things that shall come upon you.

14Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them;

they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame:

there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

 

This shows us that astrology is not a small matter.

Astrologers are said to be destined for the fire.

 

Continuing with Easter we see,

 

Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire,

and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven,

(does that sound familiar?)

and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods,

that they may provoke me to anger.

(See also Jeremiah 44:19,25)

The cakes which Greeks offered to Astarte and other divinities

were called bous or boun, from which the word "bun" is derived.

The Babylonians/Chaldeans offered similar cakes to the

"Queen of Heaven."

Some churches acknowledge the Queen of Heaven without being

aware of the real origin of this pagan goddess.

 

There are many references which refer to the false gods mentioned

above. Here is one passage and how God views it.

 

B.B.E. Judges 2:11And the children of Israel did evil in the eyes

of the Lord and became servants to the Baals;

12 And they gave up the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had taken

them out of the land of Egypt, and went after other gods,

the gods of the peoples round about them, worshipping them and

moving the Lord to wrath.

13 And they gave up the Lord, and became the servants of Baal

and the Astartes.

14And the wrath of the Lord was burning against Israel,

and he gave them up into the hands of those who violently took their

property, and into the hands of their haters all round them,

so that they were forced to give way before them.

15Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them

for evil, as the Lord had taken his oath it would be; and things became

very hard for them.

16 Then the Lord gave them judges, as their saviours from the hands

of those who were cruel to them.

17 But still they would not give ear to their judges, but went after

other gods and gave them worship; quickly turning from the way in

which their fathers had gone, keeping the orders of the Lord;

but they did not do so.

 

We can see clearly from the above what the people did and

how God reacted. As God is not a respecter of persons we can expect

that his reaction will be the same today.

 

Acts 10:34Then Peter said, Truly, I see clearly that

God is no respecter of persons:

 

Here are some of the activities that you might see in your church

and God's view on them.

 

2 Kings 17:11And there they burnt incense in all the high places,

as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them;

and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:

 

Psalm 135:14For the LORD will judge his people,

and he will repent himself concerning his servants.

15The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of menís hands.

16They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they,but they see not;

17 They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.

18 They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusts in them.

 

Does this sounds like what is happening to us today ?

 

Ezekiel 22:1Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2Now, you son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city?

yea, you shall show her all her abominations.

3 Then say you, Thus says the Lord GOD,

The city sheds blood in the midst of it, that her time may come,

and makes idols against herself to defile herself.

4 You are become guilty in your blood that you have shed;

and have defiled yourself in your idols which your have made;

and you have caused your days to draw near, and are come even unto

your years: therefore have I made you a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries.

5Those that be near, and those that be far from thee,

shall mock you, which are infamous and much vexed.

 

It is clear that we need to carefully consider many things that we do and ask if they are

pleasing to God or if we are rather satisfying our own desires, our fallen flesh.

 

I am sure that we can see that there are many things that we need to

carefully and prayerfully consider to see whether we are pleasing God or

causing him to be angry. We should consider whether we are enjoying

His blessings or are we being cursed.

††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

Darby 1 John 5:1†† Every one that believes that Jesus is the Christ

is begotten of God; and every one that loves him that has begotten loves

also him that is begotten of him.

4For all that has been begotten of God gets the victory

(Other Translations, overcomes) over the world;

and this is the victory which has gotten the victory

(Other Translations, overcomes)over the world, our faith.

5Who is he that gets the victory

(Other Translations, overcomes) over the world,

but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

 

Young's Literal Translation 1 John 5:4 because every one who is

begotten of God doth overcome the world, and this is the victory

that did overcome the worldóour faith;

Our faith is none other than Jesus Christ

1 John 5:5who is he who is overcoming the world, if not he who is

believing that Jesus is the Son of God?

 

These verses tell us clearly that when we believe we are begotten of God.

It also tells us that at that time we become overcomers.

However, it does not end there.

The book of Revelation tells us specific problems that need

to be overcome. We are told that all who are begotten by God have the

victory over the world. It does not say will have, the present tense is used,

and we can even say that it is the present continuous tense.

How is this victory achieved?

It says we overcome by faith.

Have you the faith to overcome?

Absolutely not.

The faith that overcomes, is the faith of Jesus Christ who dwells in us.

Like all the spiritual attributes, faith is Christ.

 

We can say that a Christian has indwelling the requirements

to be victorious. When you are victorious you have moved from being

a believer to an overcomer. This is achieved by allowing the indwelling

Christ to live his life through us.

The reality is that many believers need to take the necessary steps

to become overcomers, that is why in Revelation 2 & 3 we have the

personal letters from Christ to the churches.

 

In Revelation chapter 1we get as it were a composite of

introduction to the first 5 letters to the churches and also the 7th letter.

The 6th introduction we see in Revelation 6:10.

 

The point is that we get a confirmation that all these

introductions which follow are referring to Christ.

 

The references which refer to Christ in the letters to the churches

on Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are:

 

(1).Ephesus

Revelation 2:1 These things say he that holds the seven stars in his

right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

 

(2).Smyrna

Revelation 2:8These things say the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

 

(3). Pergamos

Revelation 2:12These things say he which has the sharp sword with two edges;

 

(4). Thyatira

Revelation 2:18 These things say the Son of God, who has

his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

 

(5). Sardis

Revelation 3:1These things say he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;

 

(6). Philadelphia

Revelation 3:7 These things say he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David,

he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;

 

(7). Laodicea

†††† Revelation 3:14These things say the Amen, the faithful and

†††† true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

 

There is a link between Revelation chapter 1 and 6 of the letters

to the 7 churches. The cross reference is shown below.

The letter to the church is highlighted by a number in a blue bracket ( ).

The one reference to Christ which is not directly mentioned in

Revelation 1 is seen in Revelation 6:10.

 

This is Revelation Chapter 1.

 

Revelation 1:4 from him which is, and which was, and which is to come;

(5) and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

 

5 (7)And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,

and (2) the first begotten of the dead,

11Saying, (2)I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:

13(1) And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like

unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot,

and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow;

and (4)his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15(4) And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a

†††††††† furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16(1), (5) And he had in his right hand seven stars:

(3) and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword:

and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength.

 

The remaining reference is Revelation 6 which refers to the 6th church.

 

Revelation 6:10And they cried with a loud voice, saying,

How long, (6) O Lord, holy and true, dost you not judge and avenge our

blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 

The fact is the entire book of Revelation is about Christ, either the

individual or the corporate Christ which is the church.

It is interesting to see the consistency even in the details.

 

We will look at each of the seven letters to churches in Asia Minor.

Each letter admonishes us to become overcomers.

Sadly the reason for these warnings is that the church has become

degenerated from what it should and must be.

 

Christ cannot return until his bride, the church has made herself ready.

Therefore, when we see the tragic state of affairs which surrounds us,

we need to accept our that it is because of our present unprepared

state that Christ has not returned as yet. Even if every single person

on planet earth were saved today that would not make Christ return.

 

Many people are trying to work out prophecies to calculate when Christ

is going to return. They get tangled up regarding how long a generation is

and all sorts of confusion. We were specifically told that we will not know the day nor the hour.

Yet we can know exactly when Christ is going to return.

At present we are in a period of grace of unspecified duration.

It is because that God is God that He knows when the bride will be ready.

He knows everything about everything.

 

Christ will return as soon as his bride, the church has made

herself ready and not one moment before.

 

It is an exceedingly sobering thought that we collectively are delaying

the return of Christ. It is even more sobering when you consider this point.

Let us say that Christ's plan requires that there are 1,000,000 kings to

rule in the millennial kingdom.

Let us say that 999,999 of those required are completely ready.

Let us say that you are the 1 that is required to complete the 1,000,000.

What will you say when you learn that you are causing the delay because you are not ready?

I dread to think.

It really does not bear thinking about the fact that you might be the one

prolonging the very suffering that you are complaining about.

 

Will you say but I was too busy earning a living ?

††††††††††††† ††† I was keeping all the laws ?

††††††††††††† ††† I went to service every week ?

††††††††††††† ††† I paid my tithes ?

††††††††††††† ††† I did many good works ?†† etc. etc.††††††††††††††††††

 

Luke 12:40Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh

at an hour when you think not.

 

Revelation 19:7Let 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.

 

That is the lesson of the letters to the churches.

These letters were to believers, they were people who were saved

and had the Holy Spirit. This is very sobering.

We need to realise that although the letters had a previous historical

application the problems to which they refer are still with us today.

Therefore we need to take the recommended action before it is too late.

So let us go through these letters applying them to ourselves where necessary.

Sadly, it is because of the degraded state of the church that

necessitated the letters in the first place. Most denominations have an

unacceptable form of godliness in these last days.

We should also pay attention to the other points mentioned in 2 Timothy 3.

 

2 Timothy 3:1This know also,

that in the last days perilous times shall come.

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

 

There is a pattern to the letters, the following six points are common to all the churches.

 

A) †† All the letters are delivered to the angel, this can also be translated

messenger of each church.

 

B) †† All the letters explain clearly at the beginning that they are

written by Christ personally to each church.

 

C) †† A different description of Christ is given in each letter.

 

D)††† All the letters end telling us to listen to the Spirit, therefore

they confirm if we did not know it before that the resurrected

Christ who we stated in (2) wrote the letters is also the Spirit

who signs off each letter. This is an extremely important point

which alone proves that the Holy Spirit is not a power but the

Holy Spirit is God. The Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God

are one and the same. This is confirmed in,

 

Romans 8:9But you 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.

 

We are told that that the Spirit of Christ has to dwell in us.

We are told that the Spirit of God dwells in us as we His temple.

 

1 Corinthians 3:16Know you not that you are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

 

This is one and the same Spirit we do not have two spirits of God

dwelling in us. It is by the transformation of Christ by the process

of resurrection and ascension that the Spirit of God could dwell in us

from then. There is but one God.

 

E)†††† Each letter encourages us to become overcomers.

†††††† The rewards affect our position in the thousand year reign of

Christ on the earth.

The Christian's guaranteed salvation is not affected.

 

F)†††† Each letter encourages us not only to have ears that hear

but also to hear.

 

Acts 7:51 You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,

you do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you.

 

Often we are no better than our children. We tell them can't you

†††††† hear what we are telling you? But the truth is that we might not

†††††† hear ourselves. As the above verse said our ears need to be

†††††† circumcised. Deafness requires a miracle to be healed.

†††††† That is what it really means.

Many times we also need to humble ourselves and pray for this

†††††† miracle so that our ears and hearts will be opened so that we will

†††††† hear and understand what the Eternal is telling us.

 

Some have said that the churches were told their good points and

then they were told their bad points which need repentance.

They say that we should use this same principle when correcting others.

The fact is that this is certainly not true, as you will see. For example

the letter to the church in Ephesus told them good points,

followed by bad points followed by good points.

The point of correction is that it should be done in love.

 

1)†††† Each church is told what the strong points are.

 

2) ††† Each church is what the faults are if there are any.

 

3) †† Each church is told the action needed.

 

4)†††† Each church is told what the reward is for overcoming,

or the penalty for not overcoming.

1
 


*******†††††The Church at Ephesus

 

The word Ephesus in Greek means desirable:

 

Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel (messenger) of the church of

Ephesus write; These things say he that holds the seven stars in his

right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; (Christ)

 

2I know your works, and your labour, and your patience,

and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them

which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:

3 And have borne, and have patience, and for my nameís sake have

laboured, and have not fainted.

4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against you,

because you have left your first love. (first translated best Luke 15:22)

5 Remember therefore from whence you are fallen, and repent,

and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly,

 

and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent.

6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans,

which I also hate.

7 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches;

To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the

tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

 

1)The Strong Points

It did works,

It laboured in the name of Christ tirelessly.

It was patient.

It had borne the difficulties it faced.

It hated those that were evil.

†† It identified the false apostles, who were just pretenders.

It hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which Christ also hated.

†††

††† Scofield Notes on (Nicolaitanes)

 

††† From nikao, "to conquer, " and laos, "the people, " or "laity."

††† There is no ancient authority for a sect of the Nicolaitanes.

††† The Greek word means "conqueror of the people" or "the laity".

 

††Christ made it abundantly what our relationship should be with

†† each other, besides loving others as ourselves. He also said that

†† we are brethren and should be servants to others.

 

Matthew 23:8But be not you called Rabbi: for one is your Master,

††† even Christ; and all you are brethren.

 

†† Matthew 20:25But Jesus called them unto him, and said,

You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great

among you, let him be your minister;

27And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.†††††

 

1 Peter 5:3Neither as being lords over Godís heritage,

but being ensamples to the flock.

 

†† We are supposed to be brethren not lording it over others by

our human generated position of authority.

 

††† In the church in Ephesus the Nicolaitans were referred to as "deeds".

 

By Pergamos it had escalated to become a doctrine Revelation 2:15.

††† So you have also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

†††

Revelation 2:6But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

 

The deeds of the Nicolaitans were practices which were set up and

subsequently became an intrinsic part of church doctrine.

 

So instead of being brothers and sisters of equal rank, there were

many ranks of authority which were used to control and manipulate the

membership. This still takes place in most denominations where most

fail to understand that the offices mentioned are positions of service

and not of rank. All the gifts and positions of service were to benefit

the entire body. Of course there will always be more mature brothers

and sisters in any church group. They are therefore in a position to

should serve more. Superiority of over others is almost and inevitable

consequence of a paid ministry. Of course it is the responsibility of the

membership to support those who feed the flock andunbelievers.

This doctrine was started around the time of Constantine.

An elaborate system of deacons, priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes, etc. etc., was made.

The Protestants and other denominations followed with pastors,

ministers, curates, wardens elders, etc. All serving the same function, which God says He hates.

 

It seems that when Constantine was converted and he was promoting

his brand of Christianity, which he declared to be the state religion in

the Roman empire, many people were converted !

One has to wonder what part the gifts of money and the couple

of changes of clothes played in these conversions.

Faced with a large intake of unlearned people, a learned class was established to teach the unlearned.

This basic principle is in force worldwide today.

It opposes the fact that at this time we are called

to be priests serving God directly and to be brothers to one another.

We are all different with varying gifts but we are all equal before God.

 

1 Corinthians 12:4But there are distinctions of gifts, but the same Spirit;

5and there are distinctions of services, and the same Lord;

6 and there are distinctions of operations,

but the same God who operates all things in all.

7 But to each the manifestation of the Spirit is given for profit.

(NKJV of all)

 

Originally in Exodus we read that God intended the whole nation of Israel

to be priests. When they worshipped the golden calf after they came out

of Egypt only the tribe of Levi, who were faithful were allowed to be priests.

 

Exodus 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said,

Who is on the LORDíS side? let him come unto me.

And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

 

In this dispensation of grace we are again called to be kings and priests.

Revelation 5:10And has made us unto our God kings and priests:

and we shall reign on the earth.

 

The problem with the Nicolaitans was that only the select few were put

in charge of the many. Thus was not in accordance with the plan of God.

 

The last part of this verse also presents many problems for those who teach

that heaven is the reward of the saved.

If God, the kings and priests and those in the kingdom of God who are being

ruled over are on the earth,

there won't be anyone in heaven so why would we want to go there?

Surely the whole point of Eternal Life is to be with God.

 

Christ said that the Ephesian church hated the controllers and

manipulators of the brethren in the church and He also hated it.

 

2) The Faults

It no longer had the same love for Christ as when they first

†† became converted.

†† It was told to return to the best love and the works which

†† was associated with this time.

††

Many people today claim to be 'Apostles', but we are clearly told that

they are not Apostles, but they are liars.

Lying, and control and manipulation, appear several times in the seven letters.

Unfortunately the position of 'Apostle' is seen as one of rank

and not one of service. We are warned that the false apostles tell lies.

The word Apostle means a delegate, a messenger,

one sent forth with orders. This of course applies to the twelve disciples.

This means that there will be people claiming to be sent by God and also

to be doing God's will, when this is not the case at all.

They can expect to be told:

 

Matthew 7: 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not

prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils?

and in your name done many wonderful works?

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

 

There is another exceedingly important lesson here for us.

It is clearly stated that because someone uses the name of the Lord

to prophesy, cast out devils, and perform wonderful works,

that does not mean for a single moment

that they are messengers from God. On the contrary they are called by

Christ Himself, workers of lawlessness or wickedness.

 

Matthew 7:16You shall know them by their fruits.

Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit;but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

What does this mean?

It means that whatever you are doing must match up to your lifestyle.

This can only be the case if Christ is living His life through you.

In other words what you do and say and your life must be one and the same.††

 

Some seem to feel that the words 'In the name of Jesus' are some sort

of magic words, and as soon as we say them Satan flees and all will be well.

This is not the case at all. This is rather ridiculous if you think about it.

It would mean that even atheists could be doing works of God by simply spouting out these words.

Rather it is to do with our relationship with God and knowing who and where

we are in our relationship with Him. The seven sons of Sceva became quite

unstuck by trying to mimic the apostle Paul.

 

Acts 19:13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon

them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus,

saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.

14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?

16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them,

and overcame them, and prevailed against them,

so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

 

All that happened was that the evil spirit looked at them and could not see

the indwelling Christ, so they had no authority. Their words were just empty

and powerless utterances, therefore the demon gave them a good beating.

 

3) The Action Needed

†† Repent

†† Do the works they did originally.

†† If they did not repent their candlestick, which is the church

 

Revelation 1:20 ...The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches:

and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches.

 

4) The Reward For The Overcomers

Overcomers are given the very same opportunity that Adam had

in the garden of Eden. They can partake of the ultimate reward,

Christ, who is the Tree of Life.

††† To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the

††† tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

†† The tree of life is none other than Christ Himself.

It was God's intention from the time He created man that he should

eat of the tree of Life and also be in the paradise of God.

We will therefore be enjoying Christ in the millennial kingdom.

 

Genesis 2:16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying,

Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat:

††

†† This included the Tree of Life. The only exclusion was the tree of

death, which was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

†† The subject of eating is a massive subject and one that is found

throughout the entire bible from Genesis to Revelation. Christ said,

 

John 6:55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

John 6:56He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.

 

†† What does this mean?

It means by believing Him we receive Him into our being.

†† This is what breaking bread, or communion symbolises.

†† We acknowledge Christ and what He accomplished for us and at

the same time we acknowledge his corporate body on the earth

the church. We are acknowledging that we are all brothers and sisters of the one Christ.†††

 

†† We will be then eating Christ which is to be enjoying him for Eternity.

†† This is what His plan was for us in the first place.

It is just that we messed up. We do not need to point to Adam and Eve.

We have all messed up each and every one of us.

2
 


*******†††††††††††

*******††

The Church at Smyrna

The word Smyrna in Greek means myrrh, which is symbolic of suffering.

 

Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel (messenger) of the church in Smyrna

write; These things say the first and the last, which was dead,

and is alive; (Christ)

9I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty,

(but you are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say

they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10Fear none of those things which you shall suffer:

behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison,

that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days:

be you faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.

11 He that has an ear,

let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches;

He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.

 

We previously referred to the fact that Christ was the first and the last.

This really means that to us He has to be our everything, our primary focus,

the beginning and the end.

 

My understanding of the recent emergency legislation proposed

in the United Kingdom and the United Stated makes it possible for any

one to be regarded as a threat to national security.

Without any proof you can be locked up.

It is theoretically possible for your beliefs to differ from some

government and you can end up in prison. Verse 10 is a thought that is

certainly worth our consideration.†††

 

1)The Strong Points

They did works that were acceptable.

 

They had endured tribulation.

They seem to have been poor in physical goods but

They were rich in the spiritual blessing that is the actual experience

of the life of Christ in a practical way.

They also suffered blasphemy from false Jews, workers of Satan..

In the synagogue of Satan they would be studying the Old Testament,

with all its statutes and judgements not realising that Christ has

fulfilled all of these things. Their focus is law keeping and rituals.

 

In Romans 10 the Apostle Paul explains what the commands, statutes,

and laws are for the Christian today. He is quoting directly from

Deuteronomy 30 and shows that they are all the Word Of God.

Verse 10 gives us the context in which these verses are written.

 

Deuteronomy 30:10If you shall hearken unto the voice of the LORD

your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written

in this book of the law, and if you turn unto the LORD your God with all

your heart, and with all your soul.

 

John 1 tells us that Christ is the Word of God.

 

John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,

(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)

full of grace and truth.

 

Romans 10:4For Christ is the end (termination) of the law for

righteousness to every one that believeth.

5For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law,

That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

6But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise,

Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

7Or, Who shall descend into the deep?

(that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

8But what says it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth,

and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

 

They denied that Jesus was Lord, which in fact showed that they had the spirit of anti-Christ.

They were indeed co-workers of the evil one.

Persecution can never destroy the church. It has the opposite effect.

 

1 John 2:22Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ?

He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son.

 

2) The Faults

Wonderfully, this church had NO FAULT mentioned against it.

 

3) The Action Needed

The only thing they needed to do was to endure further tribulation

until the end. This would be possible by the indwelling Christ.

Christ would be their peace and comforter in these times of distress.

It was persecution that they had to overcome.

 

4) The Reward For The Overcomers

They would receive the crown of Eternal Life and

never experience the second death.

 

The crown means a reward in the millennial kingdom.

 

As these two items are mentioned separately,

This seem to suggest that the second death is something that can be

permanent or a temporary purification process.

The reason for this statement is as follows.

 

The Temporary Aspect

All the letters were written to the church.

The church is made up of those who are saved, that is believers.

Our salvation is irrevocable.

We are told that the Overcomers will not experience the 'Second Death'.

 

It follows that those who do not will experience the 'Second Death.'

However, the letter was written to Believers therefore the conclusion is

that Believers can experience the 'Second Death'.

 

As all Believers are guaranteed salvation then there must be two situations

regarding the second death. It seems that there is a temporary

situation in the case of Believers.

We are told that overcomers will not be hurt by the second death.

To be hurt is not the same as to be destroyed.

 

Additionally we are also told,

 

BBE 1 Corinthians 3:15If the fire puts an end to any manís work,

it will be his loss: but he will get salvation himself, though as by fire.

 

From this we can see that it is possible that our works are not

profitable and they will be destroyed but we ourselves will be saved.

It will not be easy.

It will be the equivalent of going through fire.

The prospect of fire is so terrifying that people will jump from

sky scrapers hundreds of feet in the air knowing that in a few seconds

they will crash to their death rather than face the flames.

 

The permanent aspect,

The difference is that this is deemed to be for ever and ever,

in the case of the False Prophet and the Anti-Christ.

 

Revelation 20:10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake

of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are,

and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

 

The whole point of this document is to help us to avoid this

purification situation.

 

33*******††††*******†††††††††††††

*******

 

The Church at Pergamos

The word Pergamos in Greek means marriage, suggesting union,

and fortified tower.

 

Revelation 2:12And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write;

These things say he which has the sharp sword with two edges; (Christ)

13I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satanís seat is:

and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith,

even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr,

who was slain among you, where Satan dwells.

14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there

them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast

a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed

unto idols, and to commit fornication.

15So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans,

which thing I hate.

16 Repent; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will fight against

them with the sword of my mouth.

17He that has an ear,

let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches;

To him that overcomes 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 knows saving he that receives it.

 

1)The Strong Points

Their works were acceptable.

They were faithful to the name of Christ and did not deny Him.

 

2) The Faults

Sadly there were serious faults.

(a) They held the doctrine of Balaam which was a stumbling block,

(b)††† They ate things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

(c) †† They also had some who held the doctrine of the Nicolaitans,

(d)††† Since the world is the place where Satan dwells and this church

†††††† had an illicit relationship with the world, both dwell in the same place.

 

(a) Scofield refers to the doctrine of Balaam as worldliness.

The church under the imperial favour of Constantine settled in

the world.

It seems to be the marriage of church and state.

Balaam was a Gentile prophet who sought to earn money from cursing and

blessing people. He encouraged them to commit spiritual fornication and idolatry.

B.B.E. Numbers 31:16 It was these who, moved by Balaam, were the cause

of Israelíssin against the Lord in the question of Peor, because of

which disease came on the people of the Lord.

 

Numbers 22:5So he sent men to Balaam, son of Beor, at Pethor by

the River in the land of the children of his people, saying to him,

See, a people has come out of Egypt, covering all the face of the

earth, and they have put up their tents opposite to me:

6 Come now, in answer to my prayer, and put a curse on this people,

for they are greater than I: and then I may be strong enough to

overcome them and send them out of the land: for it is clear that good

comes to him who has your blessing, but he on whom you put your curse is cursed.

7 So the responsible men of Moab and Midian went away,

taking in their hands rewards for the prophet; and they came to Balaam

and said to him what Balak had given them orders to say.

 

Balaam was not allowed by God to curse Israel so he changed his plan

and instead he encouraged the people of Israel to marry the Moabite

women which ultimately meant that they would give up the true God

and worship the false gods of their wives instead.

 

Numbers 25:1And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began

to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

2And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods:

and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

3And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of

the LORD was kindled against Israel.

 

Baalpeor Strongs No 01187

The deity worshipped at Peor with probable licentious rites.

 

Scofield Note says:

That Baalam reasoned from natural morality, and seeing the evil in Israel,

he supposed a righteous god must curse them. He was blind to the higher

morality of the cross.... The reward may not be money, but popularity or applause.

 

We can see the definition of spiritual adultery. It is the union of the

church and the world. This makes us and enemy of God.

 

James 4:4You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that

the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

 

We can see that we have to avoid false prophets.

 

We have to be careful for those who promote spiritual idolatry and fornication.

We have to be careful with those whose main purpose is personal gain.

1
 


(c) Nicolatians explained in section *******††††† to the Church in Ephesus.

 

†† However, we are told that Christ was going to fight against these

†† Nicolatians with the Sword of his mouth - His Word.

 

3) The Action Needed

†† Repentance was required.

†† This means turning away from idolatry and spiritual fornication and

†† returning to Christ. Realising that they were not to lord it over each

other and that before God they were equal. This is how they were

to live in reality. The union of the church and the world had to be

overcome.We have to worship God the Creator not the thing created

whatever that might be.

††

4) The Reward For The Overcomers

Christ will 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 knows saving he that receives it.

The hidden manna once again is Christ for our enjoyment.

Christians are undergoing a transformation from clay to the precious

stones of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21.

As a new transformed creation we will also have a new name.

As Christ calls things what they are, we can expect this new name

to represent what the transformed person has now become.

The white stone shows our purification and righteousness which is

also Christ produced. White portrays purity and righteousness

many times in scripture. It has nothing to do with skin colour.

In the book of Revelation, we have white Garments, white Horses.

 

44*******†††††*******††††††††††††††††††††††††††

*******†††††† *******

The Church at Thyatira

 

The word Thyatira in Greek Strongs No 2363 odour of affliction

 

Revelation2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write;

These things say the Son of God, who has his eyes like unto a flame

of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; (Christ)

 

19I know your works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your

patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you

suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess,

to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat

things sacrificed unto idols.

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

22Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery

with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall

know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give

unto every one of you according to your works.

24But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have

not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan,

as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

25But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

26And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end,

to him will I give power over the nations:

27And 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.

28And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that has an ear,

let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

 

1)The Strong Points

Works, charity, service, faith, patience, works;

and the last to be more than the first.

The word charity here is Agape, the same as in 1 Corinthians 13.

It means love. This church had grown, their latter position was

better than their former position.

 

2) The Faults

They had the doctrines of Jezebel who claimed to be a prophetess.

This means that in this church was a self appointed leader who

falsely claimed to actually be the direct representative of God.

She seduced the people of God to commit spiritual fornication

and idolatry to the extent that they knew the depths of Satan.

This was a great evil. Godly things were mixed with devilish things.

A false prophet would be teaching false doctrines and carrying out

practises condemned in the bible. In fact the bible would not really

be the guide that they would follow. They would replace the bible

with themselves as the ultimate authority.

The deep things of Satan are the mysteries that are reserved for

a select few. They hurt the church as they are sinful.

We are clearly shown how a prostitute operates.

 

Proverbs 6:23For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light;

and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25Lust not after her beauty in your heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece

of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

27Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

 

Jezebel was a pagan woman who married Ahab who was king of Israel.

She had no scruples. She thought it nothing to kill the prophets of God.

 

1 Kings 18:13Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew

the prophets of the LORD...

 

She had a huge number, 800 in fact of idolatrous pagan priests on her payroll.

 

1 Kings 18:19And now send, gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel,

and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets

of the Asherah four hundred, who eat at Jezebelís table.

 

She had Naboth stoned so that she could steal his vineyard and give it to her husband Ahab.

 

1 Kings 21:15And it came to pass when Jezebel heard that Naboth

was stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise,

take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jizreelite, which

he refused to give thee for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

 

It seems that the name Jezebel as a prostitute can be equated with

the great whore of Revelation 17 We see her conduct and appearance:

 

2 Kings 9:22And it came to pass when Joram saw Jehu, that he said,

Is it peace, Jehu? And he said,

What peace, so long as the fornications of thy mother Jezebel and her sorceries are so many?

 

2 Kings 9:30 And Jehu came to Jizreel; and Jezebel heard of it,

and she put paint to her eyes, and decked her head,

and looked out at the window.

 

Revelation 17:1And there came one of the seven angels which had the

seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither;

I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters:

4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour,

and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls,

having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

See verses through to verse 6 for full details.

 

3) The Action Needed

Hold fast till I come, and keep my works unto the end.

They were to persevere and continue doing the proper things

which it is mentioned they were doing while avoiding spiritual

fornication and idolatry.

 

4) The Reward For The Overcomers

He will be given power over the nations.

He shall rule them with a rod of iron.

This is the same authority that was given to Christ.

 

Psalm 2:9You shall break them with a rod of iron;

You shall dash them in pieces like a potterís vessel.

 

Some people cannot wait to start smashing their subjects

with the rod of iron. We need to realise that the rulers though strong

and with power they are none the less shepherds.

Not like the despicable shepherds of Ezekiel 34 and Jeremiah 23.

 

Darby Revelation 2:27and he shall shepherd them with an iron rod;

as vessels of pottery are they broken in pieces,

as I also have received from my Father;

 

He will be given the morning star.

What is the morning star?

It is defined as the marvellous and wonderful Christ.

Revelation 22:16*I* Jesus have sent mine angel to testify these things

to you in the assemblies. *I* am the root and offspring of David,

the bright and morning star.

 

 

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The Church at Sardis

The word Sardis in Greek means the remains, the remainder,

or the restoration.

 

Revelation 3:1And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;

These things say he that has the seven Spirits of God,

and the seven stars; (Christ)

I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead.

2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are

ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.

3Remember therefore how you have received and heard,

and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch,

I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.

4You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their

garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

5 He that overcomes, 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.

6He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

 

1)The Strong Points

This only applied to some.

They had not defiled their righteousness, therefore

they shall walk with Christ in white: for they are worthy.

 

2) The Faults

There are important things which have not received attention

and are ready to die as the works were not perfect before God.

Many denominations today think that they are living.

However, the experience in reality is that they are not living at all.

They may have gained some life from the reformation but it has all

ebbed away. Again they fit into the scenario in Ezekiel 34, which

condemns the shepherds and the sheep.

The criteria for judging if we are living is answered by

the question. How much of Christ is there in us?

 

3) The Action Needed

Remember how you have received and heard,

and hold fast and improve on the things that are good and righteous,

but are in a pitiful state, to the point of death.

 

Repent of the evil things.

Also be awake, watch and be prepared in your daily walk with Christ

so that you will not be caught unawares by his sudden return.

 

4) The Reward For The Overcomers

To be clothed in white garments. This concerns our righteousness which

is seen in our daily walk with Christ. The word garments is in the plural.

The word says He who overcomes will be clothed in white garments.

Witness Lee says that these are the garment of justification and salvation.

 

To have his name in the book of life means that the reward that he will

receive in the Millennial kingdom will remain against his name.

Not to have overcome will mean the reward will be deleted from his name.

That is really quite amazing to think that God puts the reward against

our name in eternity past because that is what He wants for us.

We have to cause Him to remove it by not cooperating with Him.

To have his name confessed before the Father and the angels by Christ.

 

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The Church at Philadelphia

The word Philadelphia in Greek means brotherly love.

 

Revelation 3:7And to the angel (Messenger) of the church in Philadelphia

write; These things say he that is holy, he that is true,

he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts;

and shuts, and no man opens; (Christ)

8 I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door,

and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength,

and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.

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 your feet,

and to know that I have loved you.

10 Because you have kept the word of my patience,

I also will keep you from the hour of temptation,

which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have,

that no man take your crown.

12Him that overcomes 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 comes down out of heaven from my God:

and I will write upon him my new name.

13 He that has an ear,

let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

 

Note the synagogue of Satan contrasted with the new Jerusalem, city of God.

 

Many Christians like to believe that they belong to the Philadelphia

church. Some even have it as part of their name. The reason is this

church has no faults mentioned against it.

I think that in reality there are far fewer Philadelphian Christians than those claiming to be so.

 

1)The Strong Points

They have an open door that no man can shut.

God has made His truth clear to this church who was faithful

although it only had a little power. This after the terrible state

of the other most of the other churches.

 

The previous church in Sardis was actually said to be dead.

Christ knew the works, which were good and acceptable.

They kept the word of Christ's patience,

†† They have not denied Christ's name.

†† They endured the lies of the false Jews, of the synagogue of Satan.

†† Although this church was weak they were patient and their works

†† were acceptable to Christ.

 

2) The Faults

†† None mentioned.

 

3) The Action Needed

†† Holding fast to that which they had was all that was required

for them to be overcomers.

 

4) The Reward For The Overcomers

Wonderfully, this church was said to already have its crown.

It had to hold fast that it did not loose it

 

The false Jews of the synagogue of Satan who opposed them will

come and worship before your feet, and know that I have loved you.

These Jews had held on to Judaism rather than Christ, whom they deny.

They hold on to a material temple, rituals, physical blessings

and law keeping.

 

They were going to made pillars in the temple of my God,

 

They were going to be in the presence of God always.

 

They were going to have three names written on them.

The name of God.

The name of the city of God - the New Jerusalem.

Christ's new name.

 

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The Church at Laodicea

The word Laodicea in Greek means opinion, judgment of the people.

 

Revelation 3:14And unto the angel (Messenger) of the church of the

Laodiceans write; These things say the Amen, the faithful and true witness,

the beginning of the creation of God; (Christ)

15I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot:

I would you were cold or hot.

16So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,

I will spue (vomit) you out of my mouth.

 

17 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods,

and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched,

and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may

be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed,

and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear;

and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:

be zealous therefore, and repent.

 

20Behold, 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.

21To him that overcomes 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.

22He that has an ear,

let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

 

1)The Strong Points

†† None mentioned.

 

2)The Faults - there were many

They were lukewarm - today we would say cool.

This was so offensive that Christ wanted to vomit them up.

They felt that they were rich, and increased with goods,

They had need of nothing.

They did not know their true position that they were

wretched, miserable, poor, blind, naked.

 

This is a terrible indictment when our blessings blind and deceive us

so that we do not recognise how really desperate is our situation.

Unfortunately materialism has blinded us to reality.

Their experience of the reality of Christ was negligible, thus their

poverty. They felt that they had doctrinal truth but the fact is that

this was of little positive consequence, rather it was utterly negative.

We need real gold.

 

1 Peter 1:7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious

than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire,

might be found unto praise and honour and glory at

the appearing of Jesus Christ:

 

It is clear that what they were doing was all in vain.

We need to examine ourselves and see if we fit into this category.

 

3) The Action Needed

Turn again to Christ and purchase the true riches.

Salvation is the only freebie in our calling.

From that point on there is a cost to everything.

I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich;

and white raiment, that you may be clothed,

and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear.

Pray that blindness is removed by the miracle of healing that blindness required.

 

Christ healed many people that were physically blind.

The important parallel which is much more important is spiritual blindness.

Accept the rebuke and chastening which is given in love.

Be zealous therefore, and repent rather than be lukewarm.

Christ stands at the door of the church knocking on

the door has to be opened, however, we as individuals can open the door.

Repentance and a return to Christ is a critical.

 

4) The Reward For The Overcomers

The overcomers will be co-rulers with Christ in the millennium.

 

Christ will come into them and they and will be with him

eat with and enjoy Him.

 

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Although we do not like to speak about Satan, the fact is that in the

seven letters his method of operating is mentioned several times.

There was Nicolaitans, Balaam, Jezebel.

But he is also referred to directly four times and these are also in relation to the church.

For those who think that we do not need to worry about Satan in the church we need to think again.

It is really quite surprising how many times he features in these letters.

 

Revelation 2:9which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

 

Revelation 2:13 I know even where Satanís seat is: where Satan dwells.

 

Revelation 2:24have not known the depths of Satan,

 

Revelation 3:9 them of the synagogue of Satan,which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie

 

A fifth time he is referred to as the devil.

 

Then he is seen as the source of the believers being cast into prison.

 

Revelation 2:10Fear none of those things which you shall suffer:

behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison...

 

There is only one way to be an overcomer and that is by exercising

the indwelling Christ who lives in a Christian.

That is to let him live his life through us.

 

John 14:20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

 

It is because Christ has overcome the world that we can also overcome.

 

1 John 5:5Who is he that overcomes the world,

but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

 

Romans 8:37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 

1Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Let us start by

2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing

that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into

captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

 

The reward for overcomers is the greatest prize in the universe.

 

Revelation 21:7He that overcomes shall inherit all things;

and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

 

Let us therefore all strive not to simply be believers

but rather as we have been admonished

let us become victorious Overcomers.

 

†††† As Overcomers we will reign with Christ 1,000 years, that is our reward.

 

Additional Resources though not necessarily quoted directly.

The On Line Bible with multiple bible versions and multiple commentaries.

The Recovery Version of the New Testament with footnotes by Witness Lee.

Life Study of Revelation by Witness Lee.

Scofield Study Bible with notes.

 

 

The only way out of this dilemma is Jesus Christ.

†††††††† He is the only way of escape.

†††††††††††††††† Praise the Lord.

††††††††† Come soon Lord Jesus.

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Amen.

††††

Messages By Peter James

(Bible Explanations, Messages of Life, Hope & Encouragement)