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Thanksgiving Lessons and Devotionals From SIH Ministries…

ThanksgivingPosting

For other Bible Lessons on Thanksgiving please click on link:

A Christian’s Thanksgiving Day

Therefore, O God, We Thank Thee

Let The Redeemed Of The Lord Say So

The Three Great Benefits Of Thanksgiving  *NEW FOR 2014*

 

For the 30 part series of Thanksgiving devotionals please click on link:

A Month of Thankfulness” 30 Part Devotional Series

Our God Is On The Throne… Of This We Have NO Doubt!

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 4:2 KJV
(2) And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3SH

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “and one sat on the throne”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:2 KJV

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 

 

 

In this vision, John sees “a throne was set in heaven”.  As he continues to look, he then sees “one sat on the throne”.

Folks, a very wonderful truth is set before us this morning… in this vision given to John, our God is pictured as one that sits upon a heavenly throne.  In other words, God is revealed to John as the Supreme, Absolute, Ruler over all!  He is the One sitting on heaven’s throne, exercising authority and overwhelming power over all the events of history and the events that are yet to take place.

Think about what this means for us on a very practical level.  Because our God is the Sovereign over all His creation we can know assuredly HE IS IN CONTROL.

When we see the condition of the world around us, and the various occurrences of evil that take place… the acts of abuse, persecution, and injustice at every hand; the natural disasters that bring havoc upon great groups of men; and our own personal afflictions and trials; … we can rest assured that He isn’t surprised, nor ignorant of these events, but is causing or allowing them for His purposes.

As hard as this may be to understand, by faith, the people of God know that this is so.   Probably the best example of this principle is found in Acts 2:22-24…

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”

(see also: Acts 3:18, 4:28, 13:26-28, etc)

 

The very opposition, abuse and crucifixion of Christ was part of God’s “determinate counsel”.  In other words, it was a part of God’s plan for mankind which He decreed before the world began. Stop and think about it, if God had not allowed the sinful abuse and crucifixion of Christ to be a part of His plans for mankind, we would not, and could not, be saved.

Folks, no matter how difficult the trial that we may face today, no matter how bleak things may appear, we can know, with absolute certainty, what is taking place is a part of the Lord’s wonderful plan for us.  It is coming to pass for our good and His glory, and He will be with us every step of the way comforting us and interceding for us based upon our every need…

 

Romans 8:26-28 KJV
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Qa

Will We Open The Door Of Fellowship With Our Lord?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:20 KJV

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

 

 

 

For the SIH Devotional On This Subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Sm

Revelation 4:1-5 “The Throne Of God In Heaven”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

The Letter To Laodicea…

 

Revelation 4:1-5 KJV

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

(2)  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

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

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

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

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Chapter 4 begins a new section in the book of Revelation… “Jesus Christ In The Midst Of Heaven”.  Prior to this section, our attention was placed upon earth and the Lord in the midst of His assemblies, communing with them and instructing them.

In chapters 4 and 5, we will have our attention switched to the great worship taking place in heaven.  This worship will be pointed toward Christ and the Father.

A very brief outline of this section of Scripture:

Vision Of Heaven 4:1-5:14

  1. Worship Before The Throne  (4:1-11)
  2. The Throne Of God (vs 1-5)
  3. The Four Beast’s Worship Of God (vs 6-11)
  4. The Scroll And The Lamb (5:1-7)
  5. Worship Of The Lamb (5:8-14)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 4: -

(1)  After this I looked, 

Following John’s receipt of the vision of Christ’s messages to His seven local assemblies, he begins to receive a new vision from God.

and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: 

John sees a door that leads to heaven beginning to open.  This helps us to understand that this vision is about to reveal activities taking place in heaven.  Just like an open door allows us to see into another room, this open door will allow John to see heaven and heavenly activity taking place.

 

and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;

As the vision begins, John hears a voice speaking to him. By implication, this voice appears to be coming from heaven.  John describes the voice as being like a trumpet.  In other words, it was a loud, clear, easily understood voice.  This voice is probably the voice of an angel that will be showing John the greatness of heavenly worship..

A trumpet was used in Bible times to call an assembly to worship.  This is perhaps also a part of the reason why this voice was described as being like a trumpet. It was inviting John to approach and view a scene of great heavenly worship taking place.

 

which said, Come up hither,

John is now invited to “come up hither”.  In other words, this voice is inviting John to, through receipt of this vision, enter into heaven and view its worship.

(Please remember, John’s spirit and body are physically located on the isle of Patmos, and throughout this vision, both will continue to reside on this island.  He was not literally, physically taken into heaven.  He was allowed to view heaven by means of this vision, and in that sense would “come up hither” to heaven)

 

and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

As his vision continued, he would be shown things that would take place from this point forward.  In other words, he would see events that would take place from the time he received this vision through the eternal reign of Christ on the New Heavens and New Earth.

The previous section of our study revealed to John what was taking place slightly before and during his time (the seven local assemblies and their condition before the Lord [Revelation 1:19, 2:-3:]).  Now, he will gradually begin to see what will take place in his future and the future of the world which will culminate in Christ’s second coming and His eternal rule.

 

(2)  And immediately I was in the spirit: 

John was now “in the spirit”, in other words, he was surrounded by the Holy Spirit’s power as the Spirit intervened in the life of John (Rev 1:10).  This allowed him to receive this vision as also the prior ones.  This was a common phrase used to describe the Spirit’s intervention in a Christian’s life allowing him to serve the Lord in great ways (Rom 8:9, Gal 5:16, 25 etc), including the receipt of visions (Ezek 37:1, 17:3, 21:10),

This is not teaching us that John’s spirit left his body and ascended to heaven.  Based upon a proper understanding of the Biblical phrase “in the spirit”, there is no reason to believe this is speaking of John’s human spirit within him.  Also, please note “spirit” in most translations is capitalized helping us to understand that we are talking about the Holy Spirit of God, not John’s human spirit. (See NKJV, ESV, ASV, ERV, ISV etc.)

 

and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

As John receives the vision from the Lord, the first thing that attracts his attention is the throne of God with God seated upon it.

The throne was looked upon as a seat of authority.  When one sat upon the throne, it was an outward declaration of the great authority that they held.  In this case, we will see in the following verses, it is God who is sitting upon this throne clearly revealing that He is the ultimate Authority Holder over all of His creation.

 

(3)  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: 

God is now described as appearing like a “jasper and sardine stone”.

The jasper stone was a clear stone found in multiple colors (Rev 21:11,18-19).  Its clearness is a picture of the great holiness and justice of God.  Upon him is no filth nor imperfections. He makes no mistakes nor is He unfair or unjust.  He is the sinless God who is perfectly just and holy.

The sardine stone was a blood red stone.  It points to shed blood which, in turn, reminds us of a two-fold truth about God.  Firstly, it reminds us of the shedding of the blood of lost mankind as they face His wrath for their sins. Secondly it reminds us of His great grace and mercy shown in the shed blood of Christ for His people.

In both, we have seen His great justice and holiness.  As a holy and just God, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished.  Therefore, either the sinner must be punished, or a substitute must be punished (Christ on the cross).

 

and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

Here the Lord’s faithfulness (rainbow) and role as Life-giver (emerald) comes into view.

Of course, the rainbow is a constant reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness.  The rainbow was placed in the clouds to remind us of His faithfulness to the promise He gave to Noah.  Likewise, the color of an emerald, green, reminds us of new life.

When we are told that John saw “a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald”, he seems to be describing a rainbow that is made up of varying shades of green.  What a wonderful picture for us all to try to imagine.  A throne surrounded by a beautiful rainbow filled with many shades of green!

 

(4)  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats:

John now notices that surrounding the throne of God are 24 “seats”.

It is important for us to notice that the word “seats” comes from the very same Greek word as “throne”.  In other words, John saw 24 smaller thrones surrounding the throne of God.  This helps us to understand that whoever is sitting in these seats (thrones) are holders of authority.  Implied is that their authority is delegated authority coming from the greater authority of God.

 

and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

24 elders are sitting on these thrones.

They are described as clothed in white raiment picturing righteousness that clothes them.  This can also be a picture of the white robes warn by the priests.

They also have crowns of gold upon their heads.  The Greek word for crown here is a word that is used to describe rewards given to those who are victorious.  One of the great rewards believers are promised is to share in Christ’s authority.  This involves the authority to judge, gain victory, and to reign with Him (1 Corinthians 6:2, Revelation 5:10, 19:14, 20:4-6, 22:5 etc).    The gold on the crowns reminds us that this reward of authority originates, is delegated by, and perpetuated by, God Himself.  It is all because of Him!

Who are these elders?  These elders represent all of those who are saved by God’s grace from both OT and NT time frames who have died and whose spirits are now in heaven with God (Rev 5:8-10).  It represents the redeemed as those who share an eternal citizenship and inheritance with Christ as members of the Lord’s nation and family.  They are given the white robes as believer priests and the gold crowns of victors and ruling authorities.    They are like the 12 tribes of Israel (symbolic of God’s OT followers) added to the 12 apostles (symbolic of God’s NT followers.)    They are believers of all ages who possess Christ’s righteousness and receive great blessings and rewards for their faithfulness throughout eternity.  They are surrounding the throne of Christ, enjoying communion and citizenship with Him (as priests), recognizing His authority and sharing in that authority (as victorious rulers).

These 24 elders represent God’s redeemed and their POSITION as the eternally blessed of God.

 

(5)  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: 

John’s attention returns to the throne of God where he sees God’s greatness on display.  John sees lightning and hears thunderings and loud voices (like trumpets), all three of these are used as pictures of the greatness of God’s presence in the Old Testament.

Some examples include His presence upon Mt Sinai at the giving of His law and as He led the Israelites through the Red Sea (Exo 19:16, 20:18, Psa 77:18).  Also in Revelation, His presence during times of wrath upon the earth is symbolized by these in Revelation (8:5, 11:19, 16:18)

 

and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Not only did the 24 elders upon thrones surround the throne of God, but also standing in front of the throne of God were seven burning lamps (implied: they are lamps containing olive oil which represents the Holy Spirit throughout the Scriptures).

Here, we are told that the lamps represent the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit (the seven Spirits of God) in the lives of God’s people.  Their arrangement in front of the throne helps us to understand that these ministries of the Spirit are performed at the bidding of God the Father.  This is much like servants who would approach the throne of a king awaiting the King to speak and give them His instructions.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

Although Christ not specifically mentioned in this section of our study, we can learn much about Him when we recognize He is equal with God (John 5:18, John 10:30).  The same attributes of the Father are shared by the Son.  These include His great authority, sinlessness, justice and grace.  Not only that but also He is the source of all life, being Creator of the Universe and Redeemer of His people.

What a wonderful Savior who is an equal person of the Godhead.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Our study brings to mind the preeminence of our God.  As John saw the heavenly throne of God, he saw a grand display of the greatness of God.  Folks, we serve a great Lord.  He is a Lord who cannot be described through mere words, nor through the symbolism found in the book of Revelation.  Although we see Him as a great Lord who far surpasses everyone and everything around us, we must always remember this is but a glimpse of His true supremacy.  When we enter into eternity with Him, it is only then that we will begin to see Him as He is…

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

May we always think upon His greatness and allow those thoughts to motivate us to trust Him in the fearful times, obeying Him during times of persecution and love Him no matter what our lot in life.  He is the Supreme Almighty God, in whom we have the privilege to love and serve.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “I stand at the door, and knock”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:20 KJV

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

 

 

 

In the context of our verse for this morning, we see that the Lord is offering to individual saved members of the local assembly renewed intimate fellowship with Him.  This can be had if the member willingly accepts His warnings, repents of their sin, welcomes His renewed fellowship, and do what they can to correct the sinful situation in the assembly.

Folks our Lord desires a close relationship with His people.  Stop and think about it.  Gaining and retaining a close relationship with His people is why the Lord saves us, instructs us, warns us, and chastens us.  It is why He so graciously gave us guidelines for living our lives on earth.  It is why He has prepared a place for us to dwell eternally.  These and many other blessings come our way because our Lord desires His people to love and commune with Him.

Sin separates us from God.  Even though God’s people are eternally secure in Christ, with their eternal destiny made sure based upon the work of Christ on the cross, their relationship with their Heavenly Father can be hindered through the commission of sin.  It is much like a disobedient child whose relationship with his parents is hindered while yet retaining his family membership.

This is probably the greatest danger of sin being allowed to dwell in a Christian’s life… it ruptures our communion with our Lord, replacing our peace with guilt, our assurance with doubt, and our familiarity with alienation.  We feel alone, miserable, ashamed and worthless.  This is the result of willful sin dwelling in the life of the Christian.

 

So what is the Christian to do?  The Book of 1 John was written to members of God’s family.  A portion of its text is dedicated to instructing Christians on how to deal with acts of willful disobedience to their Lord…

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
(1 John 1:8-10 KJV)

 

Basically, this text gives us these keys to dealing with sin in our lives…

  1. Recognize the sin – Take the time to honestly examine our lives in the light of God’s Word
  2. Admit the sin – Once we see the sin, we must own it and accept our responsibility for it
  3. Confess the sin – We are to say the same thing about our sin as God says about our sin. We must say that it is what it is, filthy rotten sin that only pollutes us and our relationship with the Lord. We must say it has no place in our life, turn our desires from it and submit ourselves to our Lord by ridding it from our lives through His gracious intervention.

Is the Lord knocking on the door of our heart wanting communion to be renewed?  Do we feel the urging of the Holy Spirit to deal with a sin that resides with us?  Is the chastening hand of the Lord upon us, attempting to persuade us to forsake the sin that we are knowingly harboring?

May we all deal with sin appropriately, realizing that our fellowship with the Lord is at stake!

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Q6

Chastening Is A Mark Of Christ’s Love For Us!

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:19 KJV

(19)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

 

For the SIH Devotional On This Subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Si

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:19 KJV

(19)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

 

Although we have a tendency to forget this…. One of the greatest blessings that a Christian can receive from the Lord is the blessing of His chastisement.  Keep in mind, the chastening hand of the Lord comes upon us to renew a right relationship with Him, to restore our Godly testimony in the eyes of others, and most importantly show us His love.

Folks, the chastening hand of God in the life of the Christian is a wonderful reminder of His great love for us… it is the Lord saying, “I love you so much, I will not allow you to stray far from me;  I will not allow you to harm yourself through the exercise of sinful excesses; I care, and will always care, about your well-being and your relationship with Me.”

 

This is why the Lord specifically gives us instructions on how to most greatly benefit from His chastening hand…

 “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Hebrews 12:5-11 KJV)

1.  Do not despise it (hate it)
2.  Do not faint from it (be discouraged and quit)
3.  Recognize it as an indication of His love for us
4.  Recognize it as proof of our genuine membership in His family
5.  Allow it to bring us into subjection to our Father
6.  Recognize it as being for our benefit
7.  Keep our mind on the end result of this chastening… we will bear more spiritual fruit.

 

Do you see the chastening hand of the Lord at work in your life?  May you accept His chastening hand in a Biblical way, allowing it to encourage and strengthen your walk with Christ!

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Q6

Is The Lord Disgusted With His People?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:16 KJV

(16)  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Se

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “I will spue thee out of my mouth”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:16 KJV

(16)  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

 

“I will spue thee out of my mouth”.  What a horrible thing to hear our Lord say!   Stop and think about the different implications to that statement:

First of all, the idea of spueing (spitting) out of the mouth implies a dislike for something. It is saying, “I do not like this”.

But it also implies separation.   When we spit something out of our mouth we are separating ourselves from it. It is saying “I need to get this out of my system ASAP”.

But finally, and most importantly, it implies disgust.  Many times, when we spit, it is done out of anger and repusion. It is saying “I loathe this.  I want nothing to do with it.”

It is the Lord saying, although you are one of my own, you are displeasing, and irritating me to the point of disgust.   Although you are still loved and a part of my family, there is now a breach in our relationship and you are to blame.

 

What could possible cause the Lord to react in this way?  In the context, the Lord is speaking to a local assembly about their lukewarm attitude.   However, this same type of attitude can enter the hearts and lives of individual Christians as well.

What does a lukewarm attitude comprise?  It is a “no care” attitude about sin.  It is saying, “I don’t care if sin is in my life and I will not make the effort to examine myself and deal with any sin I may find.”  The Lord put it this way “thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Rev 3:17)

It is a child of God saying, “I do not care what my heavenly Father desires for my life”, “I do not care if I am pleasing Him”, “I do not care if I am hurting Him and openly defying Him with my actions”.  “I just do not care!”

 

Do we care about sin in our lives?  If so, we will be diligently examining our lives to see if any sin dwells within us.   And once the examination is finished, we will confess any sin that is found, turn from it, and seek to live a Godly lifestyle for Christ.

Anything short of consistently dealing with sin in our lives is simply saying “I do not care.”

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Q6

 

Christ Is The Source of Our Physical and Spiritual Life!

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:14 KJV

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

For the SIH devotionals:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3S6

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “to whom be glory forever and ever Amen.”

SIH HALTAL ICONHebrews 13:21 KJV

(21)  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Unto Our Lord Jesus Christ deserves all the glory, forever and forever!   With this verse, we come to an end of our series.  I trust this series has brought honor and glory to our Lord Jesus! 

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the beginning of the creation of God”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:14 KJV

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

 

Jesus is the One that brought God’s creation into existence, and authoritatively rules over it!

 

Colossians 1:15-17 describes Jesus as “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

Not only does the title “the beginning of the creation of God” reveal that Jesus is the Creator and Ruler over all, but it also teaches us that Jesus is God Himself.  Remember, He is the One that created “the creation of God” (ie “the creation that is created by God”.)   Well, if Jesus brought into existence “the creation that was created by God”, then it only follows that Jesus must be God!

Folks, let’s always recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as our Creator, Lord and God!  May we appreciate Him as our Creator, submit to His will and ways as our Lord, and worship Him as our God…  Today and every day of our lives!

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Q6

 

Christ Is Perfectly Reliable… Do We Trust Him?

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

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3S0

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “Working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ”

SIH HALTAL ICONHebrews 13:21 KJV

(21)  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Through Jesus and His work on our behalf, God works His pleasure in us.

 

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

http://www.settledinheaven.org

 

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the Amen, the faithful and true witness”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:14 KJV

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

 

 

 

As the Lord writes to the church at Laodicea, we find the Lord identifies Himself as “the Amen”, and “the faithful and true witness”.

Although these are two separate titles, they go hand in hand.  The title “Amen” points to the person and life of Christ as the trustworthy, dependable One,  while the title “the faithful and true witness” speaks of the promises and teachings Christ as the One whose speech can be trusted and is actual to fact.

 

Folks, do we ever stop and think what life would be like if Christ could not be totally trusted?

If Christ cannot be totally trusted, His promises to us would hold no meaning.  We would always be fearful that He would break His promises to us and look the other way when we needed Him the most.

If Christ cannot be totally trusted, we would live in constant doubt of His life-example and teachings.  As we read the gospel accounts of His life and words, we would find them shallow and without substance.  After all, just because He was merciful in the times of the N,T there would be no guarantee that He would not change.  Just because He taught many things about God, there would be no reason to accept them as truth.

And above all else, if Christ cannot be totally trusted, we would be placed in a positon where we would be obligated to question our very salvation and eternal destiny.   His decree that our sins are forgiven and our eternity is secure may simply be a cruel joke on His part, leaving us spiritually destitute and condemned when we face His Father at the final judgment.

 

But folks, we can know that He can be absolutely trusted.  As the “Amen” and “the faithful and true witness” we can rest assured His promises are certain, His life example is genuine and sincere, and His words to us are perfectly true!

Let’s thank Him for His dependability in word, deed and promise.  And show our appreciation by keeping them in our mind and trusting Him every minute of every day!  In all that we do, let it be by faith and reliance upon Him.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 KJV “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”

Hebrews 11:6 KJV “But without faith it is impossible to please him:…”

Romans 14:23 KJV …for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”   

 

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Q6

 

 

As Children Of God We Are His Eternal Possessions!

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:12 KJV

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RR

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “that great shepherd of the sheep”

SIH HALTAL ICON

Hebrews 13:20 KJV

(20)  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

 

Jesus is the Ultimate Leader, Protector, and Sustainer of His People.

 

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

http://www.settledinheaven.org

Revelation 3: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

 

 

 

 

 

In our previous studies we have seen that Revelation chapter 3:, beginning our section on the individualized letters to the seven churches of Asia, contains 3 main divisions:

 

  1. Revelation 3:1-6 – Christ’s letter to the church at Sardis
  2. Revelation 3:7-13 – Christ’s letter to the church at Philadelphia
  3. Revelation 2:14-22 – Christ’s letter to the church at Laodicea

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

1.   Revelation 3:1-6 – Christ’s letter to the church at Sardis

In this letter, we see Christ presented as the One who controls and authorizes the Holy Spirit and His Pastors to present His Word to His people.

We also see the condition of the church at Sardis was grave.  They were described as spiritually “dead” and yet did not see the horrible condition they were in.  They believed themselves to be alive and well.

We saw that the remedy for their situation was for them to wake up and recognize their need; hold fast to the areas of service that was still in existence; take heed to the warning from Christ, and repent of their spiritual laxness and lack of concern.

They received a warning that if they did not deal with their sin that Christ would come upon them quickly and unexpectedly, not to bless but to chasten them for their apathy.

Christ promised them that those who were faithful to His commands, proving they were genuinely saved, would be assured of receiving eternal rewards and dwell forever in His presence.

Finally, we saw that He promised those who were genuinely saved (overcomers) would possess the righteousness of Christ, are eternally secure in Him, and be presented to God with Christ proclaiming their innocence based upon His shed blood.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3OE

 

 

 2.  Revelation 3:7-13 – Christ’s letter to the church at Philadelphia 

In this letter, we see Christ presented as the promised Messiah of the Old Testament.

We also see the church as being faithful having great opportunities of service open before them.  Even in the midst of great persecution, they remained faithful to Christ, His Word and continued to profess Him as their Lord and Savior.

The Lord promised to them that based upon their patient service towards Him, He would graciously without some of the great Roman persecution that would take place in the future.

The Lord leaves them with the promise of His quick return and the responsibility to remain faithful so that they would not lose their eternal rewards.

Finally, we saw that He promised the overcomers that, because they were owned by the Lord, they would be permanently in the presence of the Lord throughout eternity, would be recognized as citizens of New Jerusalem, and would experience a new level of intimacy with Christ.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Pn

 

 

 3.  Revelation 2:14-22 – Christ’s letter to the church at Laodicea

In this letter, we see Christ presented as the One who possesses authority, reliability, and ability to instruct us. lead us and rule over us.

We also see the church was oblivious to their true spiritual condition. They were described as being (spiritually) wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.

They did not see the sin in their midst and quickly repent (hot to be obedient to Christ), nor did they see the sin in their midst and stubbornly resist repentance (cold in their obedience of Christ), instead they were unaware of their own sin (so unconcerned about their sin they didn’t make the effort to examine themselves (neither cold nor hot… lukewarm).  Because of this the Lord declares that if they do not take action, He will reject them and their hypocritical worship.

To remedy their situation, they were to begin rise up, take action and serve the Lord anew by searching the Scriptures for insight into their horrible condition.

The Lord warned them that if they remained lukewarm, He would chasten them for their disobedience.

Finally, we saw that He promised those who were genuinely saved (overcomers) that He would begin to convict each member individually, desiring renewed fellowship with them.

The Lord promises to overcomers in the church that they would rule with Him over a new heavens and earth throughout eternity.  It would be much like a restored Garden of Eden that would include man’s perfect dominion over the newly reformed earth.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Q6

 

 

 WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In the next lesson in our series, we will be looking at Revelation 4:. In this chapter and the following chapter, we will see a vision of heaven and a glorious scene of the worship of God and the Lamb (Christ) by the dead saints who have gone on before us.

The following is a short outline of our next two chapters…

 

  1. Vision Of Heaven 4:1-5:14
  2. Worship Before The Throne  (4:1-11)
  3. The Throne Of God (vs 1-5)
  4. The Four Beast’s Worship Of God (vs 6-11)
  5. The Scroll And The Lamb (5:1-7)
  6. Worship Of The Lamb (5:8-14)

 

 May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog:               http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog:              http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

Revelation 3:14-22 “Christ’s Letter To The Church At Laodicea”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

The Letter To Laodicea…

 

 

 

Revelation 3:14-22 KJV

(14)  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
(15)  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
(16)  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
(17)  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
(18)  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
(19)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
(20)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
(21)  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
(22)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

 

From our previous lesson, we saw a very basic summary of the contents of these letters include:

 

Church Location Name Meaning Areas of Faithfulness Areas of Unfaithfulness Possible Punishment Reward To Overcomers (proof of genuine salvation)
Ephesus Desired or Allowed Many areas of faithful outward service.  Hate doctrine of Nicolaitanes. Left first love (Christ)Service not motivated by love for Christ. Removal of candlestick (church no longer enjoying fellowship w God) Eat of Tree of Life in Paradise
Smyrna Myrrh Spiritually rich N/A N/A Not hurt by second death
Pergamos Fortified Tower Faithfulness in face of persecution Allowing doctrine of Balaam and Nicolaitans(physical and spiritual fornication) Will war against those who hold false teaching Be given hidden manna and white stone with new name
Thyatira Sacrifice, Offering, Corpse Works of love, service, faith, patience False Prophetess in midst. (sexual immorality and idol worship) Sickness, tribulation and death upon her and her followers. Be given power over the nations
Sardis Depart, Escape, Exit A few faithful areas of service remain. A few faithful members remain. Testimony that they are spiritually alive but really dead.  Their works not “perfect” before God. Will come upon them as a thief (implied removing anything of value leaving spiritually destitute) White garments.  Name not blotted out of book, confess his name before the Father
Philadelphia Love Of The Brethren Kept Word not denied name of Christ. Persevered in trials N/A N/A Permanent pillar in temple of God.  Name of God and New Jerusalem upon them. New name given to them
Laodicea Judgment Of The People N/A Lukewarm service.  Blinded to their spiritual destitution. Spew out of Lord’s mouth. Rebuking and chastening from Lord. Sit with Christ in throne.

 

 

Beginning in chapter 2 through chapter 3, John writes personalized messages to the 7 churches.  Each message contains four basic parts:

  1. Description of Christ
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences
  4. Promise to Overcomers

 

The first of these personalized messages is written to the church at Laodicea.

  1. Description of Christ (v 14)
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences (N/A)
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences (v 15-20)
  4. Promise to Overcomers (v 21-22)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 3: - 

 

(14)  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;

Laodicea was located in the Lycus Valley which was route of travel and trade for many who were traveling from the east to west.  The great amount of wealthy traders that passed through the city caused the city to become very wealthy and self-sufficient.  At one point it time, the city was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake.  The citizens chose to reject monetary help from the Roman government and totally rebuilt the city by their own means.

Due to their great wealth and prosperity, the city became the home of great monuments, schools of science, medicine and art as well as other cultural attractions.   The city was originally called “the city of Zeus” and was a center of Zeus worship.   Many of its citizens were Jews who continued to monetarily support the temple in Jerusalem.

The city received its supply of water from a series of pipes that ran from springs outside the city.  Many believe that this is a source of reference for the Lord’s description of them being like “lukewarm water”.

 

These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

This description of Christ comes from John’s vision of Christ in Rev 1:5 & 8…

  1. the “Amen” or “thus it shall be” – Christ’s purposes will come to pass. He is the Almighty God who is in control of all
  2. the “faithful and true witness” – He can be trusted to speak factually. His testimony is reliable.
  3. the beginning of the creation of God – He is the originator of all God’s creation. As Creator, He holds authority over all.

When we look at these descriptions, we can see that Christ is presenting Himself as the Lord who possesses the authority, ability, and reliability to instruct us and rule over us.  His teachings are not to be ignored, nor to be accepted half-heartedly.  They are to be accepted and willingly submitted to.

 

(15)  I know thy works, 

The Lord now explains to them their spiritual condition.  Instead of commending them, He immediately turns to explains the great need of the assembly.

“I know thy works” – He sees our acts of labor for Him.  He knows what we do, why we do it, and the pain we encounter as we serve.

 

that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  (16)  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,

What was the condition of the church?

  1. thou art neither cold – Their attitude was not cold, seeing the need of repentance and STUBBORNLY REJECTING restoration.

2.  thou art neither… hot – Their attitude was not hot, seeing their need of repentance and ACTIVELY SEEKING restoration.

3.  thou are lukewarm – They did not even see their need of repentance.

They were not motivated to turn from or seek restoration through repentance, they continued along their way not even seeing the great need of the assembly.  They did not care about their spiritual condition, they were not willing to make the effort to examine themselves and see their great need.

What a horrible condition to be in.  To be one of the Lord’s assemblies and not seeing the sin that lies within.  They were caught between cold and hot, feeling at comfort and at ease, thinking they were fine, when really they were in a shameful condition with great spiritual needs.

This is the worse condition to be in.  In the case of those who are hot, if they see their sin, they will repent. In the case of those who are cold, if they see their sin and refuse to repent, the Lord can convict them and eventually bring them to repentance. In either case, it is better to be hot or cold so the Lord may deal appropriately with the sin.  To be lukewarm is to be condemned to spiritual failure not seeing our sin, not feeling guilt nor feeling the need to repent.

 

 

I will spue thee out of my mouth.

As long as the need of repentance is not recognized, it can never be dealt with.  This was the sad condition of the church at Laodicea.  They were so lax and uncaring they did not see their great needs.  The Lord was disgusted with them for being lax in such important matters as these.  As long as they remained in this sinful condition, they would lack fellowship with the Lord and be rejected by Him.  (1 John 1:5-7)

 

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

Their condition in further explained…

They thought their condition was wealthy, overflowing with riches and lacking nothing. They were more concerned about their physical state (their wealth, overabundance, and self-sufficiency) than their spiritual condition.

In actuality, they …

“knowest not” -  they were ignorant of their true spiritual needs.

“wretched” – balancing great hardships, distressed (juggling spiritual deficiencies without remedying them)

“miserable” – pitiful, needing great mercy and compassion

“poor” – spiritual beggars

“blind” – unable to see due to callouses (their sinful conceit  blinding them)

“naked” – spiritually stripped and shameful

 

They were in a horrible condition having great needs, without recognizing them and, therefore, not dealing with them.

 

(18)  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;

The Lord tells them the three remedies they need…

1.   gold tried in fire – acts of Godly service that proceeds from persecution (1 Peter 1:7) – in doing this they will be laying up riches for their eternity with Christ. They would have to wake up and see the great needs around them, deal with the sin in their midst, and begin again to serve their Lord in Spirit and in Truth.

  

and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;

2.  white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed – acts of righteous, Godly service that covers the shame of disobedience and laxiety. They needed to no longer continue to drift, but to rise up and serve the Lord in a way pleasing to Him. In doing so, they will be clothing themselves in works of righteousness through the gracious intervention of the Lord in their lives (Ephesians 4:24).

 and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

3.  anoint thine eyes with eyesalve – wake up! Open their eyes to their true condition and be honest with themselves. Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we examine ourselves to see the sin that lies within us (1 John 2:20-24)

Please note all three of the remedies mentioned point to the need of an awakening to self-examination and active service for Christ… please notice the three basic remedies teach us three aspects of good works of service:

  1. gold in fire – service to the Lord holds great eternal value
  2. white raiment clothed – righteous works that prevents the shame of sin
  3. anoint with eyesalve – righteous works are direct results of spiritual sight, understanding the Word and seeing the needs around us.

 

(19)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

The Lord explains to the church at Laodicea that, due to His love for them and the assembly as a whole, that He will warn, convince and discipline them to bring about repentance for their sin.  They should not take these warnings as a sign of His hatred and anger, but as a sign of His love and concern for them.

Also, because these warnings are given from a heart of love and concern, the church was to take them very seriously and act accordingly.

There are three basic results of sin as the Lord deals with sin in the lives of Christians or churches:

  1. separation from God (inhibited fellowship)
  2. rebuke – guilt (the revelation and conviction of sin)
  3. chastening – discipline (punishment to restore fellowship in the rebuke is ignored)

 

 

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

Although the church as a whole is separated from the Lord due to sin within, the Lord now offers each individual member to willingly accept His warnings, welcome His renewed fellowship and do what each person can to correct the situation in the assembly and their own personal lives.  If they do, He will restore fellowship with them as individuals, in spite of the condition of the church as a whole.  In this we can see His great love and mercy.  Although He was disgusted with them and ready to spue them from His mouth, His mercy still called out to them willing to renew fellowship with them.

 

It is much like His teachings in Luke 12:36 –

“And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”  

In other words, Christ is speaking to His servants knocking at the door wanting them to welcome Him in and receive His instructions for them.  This should have been the attitude of the members of the church at Laodicea.

 

In Song of Solomon 5:2-6 –

“I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?  My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.  I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.  I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.”

This gives us the perfect of example of a local church that ignores the Lord’s desire to renew fellowship and communion.  Because, they were occupied with other matters, and careless about their spiritual condition, they are too late to receive Him when He comes to knock.

 

Please note: the Lord is not speaking to lost men, contextually, He is clearly speaking to members of this church with whom fellowship has been broken.  The members must individually take action (submit to His will, and see the great need of the assembly) for things to change in the assembly.

He is not speaking to the church as a body, but to each and every individual member, note the “any man” and “him” and “he”… clearly singular individuals.  This helps us to understand that any change that takes in an assembly must start in the hearts of individual believers. Without individual members submitting to His will, the church as a whole will never come into submission and renewed fellowship with Him.  It is only when members see the needs of the assembly and then submit to His will, that genuine change will take place in the assembly as a body.

 

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

The Lord now promises those who are truly saved “overcomers” or “victors” (Revelation 12:11) to enjoy great blessings in eternity.  One of the greatest blessings is to rule with Him as authority holder in judgment and rulership (1 Corinthians 6: 2-3, 2 Tim 2:12)  During the 1000 Year reign we will be ruling over the new creation of God (Revelation 20:4-6)

This is simply following the example of Christ who was the Victor over sin and death and then was exalted to His Father’s right hand (Eph 1:20-23)

2 Timothy 2:12 KJV – “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:”

Suffering for the cause of Christ (a sign of genuine salvation experience) will result in His people sharing in His authority over all.  If a person denies Christ (a sign of a lost individual) will result in Christ’s rejection of the denier in the last day.

Those in the church who would awaken to the desires of the Lord and do what is necessary, would show themselves to be genuine believers and share in His authority.  Those who remain in denial of the truths of God and reject His hand of chastening, show themselves to be unregenerate, and therefore will not share in the inheritance of God’s people.

 

(22)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Lord speaking to the members of the church at Laodicea says,  “If you are truly saved, pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is telling the churches.”

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this section of Scripture, we see Jesus shown to us as the One who possess the supreme authority, ability, and reliability.    We also see Him as One who cares so much for His people that He takes the time and effort to chasten those whom He loves, while standing ever-ready to forgive those who come to Him with a genuine repentant heart.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Based upon the person, work and love of Christ, He deserves passionate, committed service from His people. He deserves for His people to recognize their desperate need of Him as the chief supplier of all their needs and desires.  Above that a careless, halfhearted, lukewarm commitment to His service will not be tolerated.

Do we care enough that we take the time to examine ourselves, recognize our true spiritual condition, and deal with our sin promptly?   Do we look to Christ as the Ultimate Provider of all of needs and abilities?  Do we live for Him, or do we live for our own comfort and ease?  Do we really care or do we simply go through the motions of service as long as there is little or no cost to us?

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog:               http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog:              http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

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