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The Reign Of The Saints

SIH STSTA ICON

 

In Revelation 5:8-9, we find the 4 beasts and the 24 elders (symbols of the people of God) praising the Lamb (Jesus Christ) for His great work on their behalf…

 

 

“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;”

Then, in the very next verse, they praise Christ for the blessings they receive through His work …
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

Here, we read of the saints being given two positions of great authority (“Kings and Priests”) allowing them to “reign on the earth”. What does this promise involve? Or put another way, In what way do the saints of God reign as Kings and Priests upon the earth? This is the question we will be answering in this Bible study.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Daniel 7:15-22; Daniel 7:26-27; Matthew 19:27-30; Matthew 24:45-51; Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 12:42-48; Luke 19:11-27; Luke 22:24-30;  1 Corinthians 6:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:26-27; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:8-10; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 20:4-5; Revelation 22:3-5

THE STUDY:

When we speak of the saints reigning, we are describing several different types of dominion that are granted to the redeemed of God. The following is a description of these types of dominion by subject in outline, form. What follows the outline is a listing of many of the Bible texts which teach these areas of dominion with a brief summary of each event listed in chronological order (when possible).

 

Dominion Over The Nations – The Saints God-Given Authority Involves the saint exercising great authority over the powers of darkness IN THIS PRESENT WORLD and in THE WORLD TO COME:

A) Saints are given DOMINION IN THIS PRESENT WORLD (the existing heaven and earth):

(1) This dominion involves the ability to overcome the control of our sinful flesh and powers of darkness in this present world. This is why the saints are described as “Victors over the world” or “Overcomers”.

(2) This dominion is displayed by the saints’ sharing of victory at Armageddon – the saints accompanying Christ at final defeat of lost mankind in this present world at Christ’s second coming

B) Saints are promised to receive DOMINION IN THE WORLD TO COME (the New Heavens and New Earth) in which we will live eternally:

(1) This dominion will be a reward for the saint’s faithfulness – The future dominion of the saints is given as a reward for victorious living now. This dominion involves dominion over the nations, and dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth…

(a) Dominion Over The World By Judgment – this will take place as the saints share in the final judgment of the wicked men and angels, both Jew and Gentile, both OT and NT lost mankind. This will be the ultimate defeat of the powers of darkness in the world to come lasting for eternity.

1. Judging Israel – Saints will judge Israel (who rejected Messiah and crucified Him) during judgment of the lost. Israel is a representative of all lost mankind due to their rebellion and rejection of Christ.

2. Judging Angels – Saints will also judge the fallen angels (demons) including Satan, himself at this final judgment of the lost.

(b) Dominion over New Heavens and New Earth – Reign on NH & NE in Christ’s presence will stretch from the 1000 year reign into eternity. This will take place from the creation of the NH and NE throughout eternity. This includes both phases of the eternal state (the 1000 yr reign and the finalized eternal kingdom of God)…

1. 1000 Yr Reign – Beginning Of Christ’s reign on NH NE. As believers are judged they receive authority over NHNE during this time period

2.  Eternal Kingdom – This is the ultimate proof of the saint’s victory over this sinful world. Their dominion over the world symbolizing the renewal of the Garden of Eden on the New Earth.

 

Scripture References For Above Outline:

 

Dominion Over The Nations

1. The Lord blesses those who are truly saved (overcomers) with dominion over the powers of darkness of this world….

Revelation 2:26-27 KJV “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

Note: “The nations” are referring to lost mankind (as part of the powers of darkness of this world). In this text, we are given representations of the two types of dominion possessed by saved mankind (dominion in this world and dominion in the world to come).
The phrase “rule with rod of iron” points us to the overcomers dominion over the powers of darkness in this world. This victory finds its completion at the Battle of Armageddon which is the last historic event that takes place on this present evil world.
The phrase “power over the nations” speaks of the dominion which the saints will possess in the future in the New world to come. This phrase speaks of the judgment of lost mankind at the final judgment and consignment to the Lake of Fire. This judgment is the ultimate, eternal defeat of the powers of darkness for eternity.

 

The Dominion Given To Saints NOW: “Overcomers”

1. The ability to escape the dominion of sin (context – false teaching) based upon power of indwelling Spirit…

1 John 4:4 KJV “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

2. Access to Godly power overcoming the dominion of sin (Satan, antichrist spirit, powers of darkness, our flesh) which is received through saving faith (resulting in Spirit indwelling)…

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

3. The Saints had overcome the dominion of sin (shown by thrones) and were now in Christ’s presence following their death …

Revelation 4:4 KJV “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.”

 

Victory At Armegeddon

1. The Lord, accompanied by His saints, returns to the earth and gains the final victory over the lost kingdoms of this current world…

Revelation 19:11-21 KJV “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

Note: The victory at Armageddon is an outward display of the authority given to the saints as Overcomers.

The Dominion Given To The Saints As A Reward For Faithfulness

1. Faithfulness of true believers will result in rewards and blessings of rulership at the believer’s judgment…

Matthew 24:45-51 KJV “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:14-30 KJV “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

2. The truly saved servant was faithful – he was rewarded with rulership. The lost servant was unfaithful and cast into hell.…

Luke 12:42-48 KJV “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

Note: Of those who were lost the greater the knowledge (responsibility) the greater the punishment. (Teaches us that levels of hell exist based upon amount of knowledge and willful rejection of truth)

Luke 19:11-27 KJV “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

Note: Those who are lost servants, who fear Lord as being unjust and hard will have their knowledge of God and hypocritical service made useless and they will be empty handed at day of judgment. The lost, who are outwardly rebellious and immoral, face immediate rejection by God as well.

Dominion Over New Heavens and New Earth

1. Saints, those who are redeemed through blood of Christ, are given authority to rule and enter God’s presence. Both types of dominion will be clearly seen as the saints enter eternity with the Lord, ruling over the New Creation and entering into His presence for an eternity.

Revelation 5:8-10 KJV “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

 

1000 Year Reign

1. This marks the first part of Christ’s eternal reign on the New Heavens and New Earth (immediately following the appearance of the NH & NE following Armageddon) At this point in time the saints are judged and they are given reign over NH and NE for eternity (restoration of Garden of Eden before fall).

Revelation 20:4-5 KJV “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

 

2. This time periods runs from the 1000 Year Reign throughout Eternity

2 Timothy 2:11-13 KJV “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”

Revelation 3:21 KJV 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.

Judging The World

1. Saints will judge lost world (fallen world) during final judgment of lost…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

2. This judgment also involves fallen angels (including Satan) as well as lost mankind…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

Note: saints will judge fallen angels during GWTH (Jude 1:6) (Satan included?) Saints, as Overcomers were given authority over demons during Bible days pictured saints holding authority over demons (John 12:31). Likewise, angels ministering to believers is a sign of man’s authority over angels as well.

3. A part of this judgment involves the nation of Israel (those who rejected and crucified Christ) picturing all lost mankind.

Matthew 19:27-30 KJV “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

Note: “The regeneration” is speaking of the reformation of the Heavens and Earth resulting in the New Heavens and New Earth. The Lord is reigning upon the earth with His saints at this time.

Luke 22:24-30 KJV “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

Eternal Kingdom

1. Saints given “the kingdom” beginning with the end of Armegeddon (appearance of NH and NE) into 1000 yr to GWTH to Eternity

Daniel 7:15-22 KJV “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”

Daniel 7:26-27 KJV “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

 

2. The eternal, perfect, dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth. This is tantamount to the blessings of the Garden of Eden restored to mankind. The curse of sin being totally undone…

Revelation 22:1-5 KJV “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “I will give him the morning star”

SIH TOTT ICON

Revelation 2:28 KJV

” And I will give him the morning star.”

 

The lost world is currently buried in the darkness of sin.  Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, sin has touched every aspect of our physical life on earth…

Psalms 82:5 KJV  “They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.”

 

Christ, in our text, describes Himself as “the morning star”.    In other words, He is like the dawn sun that arises and gives light to the world. ..

Luke 1:78-79 KJV – “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,  To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

He is like the sun that arises in our hearts (at our salvation) and, someday, will arise in this world and chase away sin and the powers of darkness (at His second coming)…

2 Peter 1:19 KJV – “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”

 

Folks, when we see the sun that arises in the morning may it remind us of the true Light of the World, our Lord Jesus.  It is this same Jesus that enlightens our heart, leading and guiding us in the midst of this sinfully dark world…

2 Samuel 22:29 KJV – “For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.”

 

But also, when we see the morning sun, let it remind us of the closeness of His second coming.   Folks, the day is at hand, may we all see the urgency of service to Him while we yet have opportunity..

Romans 13:12 KJV – “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

 

And may we be encouraged knowing that soon we will be home with Him for an eternity…

Revelation 22:1-5 KJV – And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.   In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

May we all keep the Word close to our hearts and minds this day and everyday.

 

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-3NL

Do We Hold Fast The Truths Of His Word Or Are They Slipping Through Our Fingers??

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 2:25 KJV –  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “that which ye have already hold fast till I come”

SIH TOTT ICON

Revelation 2:25 KJV

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

 

 

 

What a blessing it is to come to a knowledge, understanding, and application of God’s Word to our lives!  How sad it is when we allow those same truths to then slip out of our lives.  The writer of Hebrews, possibly Paul, addresses this very issue…

Hebrews 2:1 KJV – “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”

Here, we have explained to us the importance of diligently pointing our mind (“give more earnest heed”) towards God’s Word which keeps the Word from moving or departing from us (“slip”).   To put this in today’s terms, “We should be careful to keep our mind on the Word so that it will not slip away from us.”

Folks, how often do we open God’s Word to learn and remind ourselves of its contents?  How often do we think of God’s Word during the course of our day?  How often do we, on purpose, consider God’s Word in our decision making processes?  How often do we share the Word with others as the Lord opens the opportunity?  When we do these things, we are assured that the Word will not slip away from us.

May we all keep the Word close to our hearts and minds this day and everyday.

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-3NL

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…the last to be more than the first”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 2:19 KJV

(19)  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

 

 

 

One of the commendations the Lord gives to the Thyatira assembly is that their service their acts of service has grown over time.  Their works, charity, service, faith, patience and the effort they have expended had all increased (“the last to be more than the first”).

What a wonderful thought… as an assembly or as individual Christians, to know that, since we made our commitment to serve our Lord, our service has grown in quality and amount.   This should be one of the great goals of our lives… to shine more brightly for Him as we live our lives on earth…

Proverbs 4:18 KJV –  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.   

 

So how do we do this?  How do we increase in our life of service to our Lord?  The Apostle Peter has much to say on the subject…

1 Peter 2:1-3 KJV  – Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:   If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

 

In this text Peter points to 3 fundamentals to spiritual growth…

  1. we must be saved by His grace…“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
  1. we must turn from our known sin… “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”
  1. we must feed on His Word…“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”

It is this same Word that is used by God to bring about the spiritual cleansing and growth of His local assemblies…

Ephesians 5:25-27 KJV  – Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

 

May we all see the need to live daily in the Word of God, realizing that it is through His Word that we will grow in grace and knowledge and increase in our service to Christ…

2 Peter 3:16-18 KJV – As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.   Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

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-3NL

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “His feet are like fine brass”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:18 KJV

(18)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

Christ is symbolically described as having feet “like unto fine brass”.  This helps us to understand that the Lord rules (places enemies under His feet) and judges (brass) His enemies in a just, perfect way (fine brass).

How thankful we should be that our Lord’s ruling hand of judgment is perfect.  He NEVER judges His enemies too harshly, nor does He meet out a judgment that is based upon “favorites” or “emotions”.  No, He judges His enemies justly, giving to them exactly what they deserve…

Romans 2:5-12 KJV – “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

For there is no respect of persons with God.  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;”

If you have never trusted in Christ as your Lord and Savior, this should be your first priority in life.  As you can see, apart from Christ and His work applied to your account, there is no escaping the punishment for the sin you have committed.  If you are sorry for disobeying the Lord, by simply turning from those sins and turning to Christ as your Savior, being willing to follow Him as Lord of your life, you will be delivered from the awaiting judgment for your sins.

For those who have experienced God’s saving grace, we need to take this to another level.   Although He never judges too harshly, many times He withholds deserved judgment through His great mercy and love for His people.   How can a just God do this?  How can He pardon and withhold judgment from those who are guilt of sin?  The key to understand this truth is found in the work of Christ…

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Christ, the One “who knew no sin”, “became sin for us” so “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”.  In other words, Christ took upon Himself our sin and the punishment we deserved, so that we might receive God’s pardon for our sin and looked upon as innocent of sin.

Folks, as we go through our day, if we have been saved by God’s grace, we can know that we stand before God as innocent, the blood of Christ has covered our sins.  What a wonderful thought.  No matter what our day may hold for us, we are loved by God and declared innocent through the work of Christ, nothing can change this!    His love transcends anything we may face on earth (Rom 8:35-39).  His forgiveness applies to all of our sins.  They are forgotten, hidden, and forever washed away (Isa 38:17, Micah 7:19, 1 John 1:7).

No matter what we may face in this life, let us remember how good He is to us!

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-3NL

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “His eyes like unto a flame of fire”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:18 KJV

(18)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

 

Our Lord knows all things.  Period.  End of sentence.

 

This basic principle is clearly shown to us in this letter to the church at Thyatira with the statement, “His eyes like unto a flame of fire”.   Nothing is darkened to His sight, nothing can hide in the darkness of the blackest of nights.  Our Lord’s eyes are like a flame of fire that “shines the light upon” all things revealing their true nature.   He has knowledge of all things.  There is no greater source of knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

Our Lord knows all things.  He knows our spiritual condition.  He knows our strengths and our weaknesses.  He knows our acts of service and our acts of sins.  He knows the motives that lie behind every outward action.  He knows our fears.  He knows our sufferings.  He knows our sorrows.  He knows our hurt feelings.  He knows our joys.  He knows the sources of our pride.  He knows our humility.   He knows what awaits us and what our history holds.  He knows the events of our childhood and their lasting effects on us.  He knows why we did what we did.  He knows us better than ourselves.

Our Lord knows all things.   He knows how to comfort us in our time of grief. He knows how to deliver us from every evil that may come upon us, He knows how to teach us His truths.  He knows how to “grow us” into strong Christians.  He knows how to give us the words to speak.  He knows how to lay burdens of service upon our hearts.  He knows how to love us when we are so unloveable. He knows how to forgive us when we do things that are unforgiveable.  He knows how to save us from our sins.  He knows how to prepare us for the troublesome times that are ahead.  He knows how to keep us eternally safe and secure.

Our Lord knows all things.

Psalms 139:1-6 KJV
(1)  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
(2)  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
(3)  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
(4)  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
(5)  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
(6)  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Our Lord knows all things.  Let us be sorrowful, mourn, and repent this day.  To the lost individual… His knowledge of all is a plague that constantly should weigh on your hearts.    He knows your sins, He knows the selfish motives of your mind, He knows your sin darkened heart.  He knows, and someday you will stand before Him covered in filthy robes of sin and rebellion.

Our Lord knows all things.  Let us be glad and rejoice this day.  To those who have been saved by His grace… His knowledge of all is a constant source of strength and peace in the midst of tribulation and distress.  He knows the pardon we have received.  He knows our struggles in His name.  He knows our acts of service.  He knows, and someday we will stand before Him covered in robes of Christ’s righteousness and purity.

 

For those of us who are saved… let us rejoice today… the Lord knows all things!  For those of us who have never been saved… let us turn from our sin to Christ, trusting in Him as our Lord and Savior… the Lord knows all things.

 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-3NL

Revelation 2: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

 

 

 

 

 

In our previous studies we have seen that Revelation chapter 2:, beginning our section on the individualized letters to the seven churches of Asia, contains 4 main divisions:

 

  1. Revelation 2:1-7 – Christ’s letter to the church at Ephesus
  2. Revelation 2:8-11 – Christ’s letter to the church at Smyrna
  3. Revelation 2:12-17 – Christ’s letter to the church at Pergamos
  4. Revelation 2:18-29 – Christ’s letter to the church at Thyatira

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

 

1.  Revelation 2:1-7 – Christ’s letter to the church at Ephesus

In this letter, we see Christ presented as the Shepherd who possessed an intimate relationship with the Pastors of His local assemblies.

We also see the wonderful OUTWARD testimony of the assembly involving their seeming faithfulness in many differing areas of service.  However, in spite of their outward faithfulness, they were failing to put Christ first in all things.

This precipitated the need for Christ to warn them that, in the event they refused to repent, He would have to remove them from His circle of churches and break His fellowship with them.

Finally, we saw that He promised those who were genuinely saved (overcomers) that they could be assured of the receipt of eternal life in the presence of Almighty God.

 

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

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

 

 

 2.  Revelation 2:8-11 – Christ’s letter to the church at Smyrna 

In this letter, we see Christ presented as the ultimate Victor over the powers of the darkness of this world.

We also see the condition of the assembly, although they were impoverished and persecuted they remained faithful in their stand for Christ.  The Lord continues by encouraging them to not fear, although greater persecutions would come upon them they were headed for great eternal rewards for their unflinching faithfulness.

Finally, we saw that He promised the overcomers that they would be assured they would not face eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.

 

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

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

 

 

3.  Revelation 2:12-17 – Christ’s letter to the church at Pergamos

In this letter, we see Christ’s Word presented as the weapon which is able to destroy every spiritual enemy of Christ.

We also see the church’s great faithfulness in the midst of intense persecution, while allowing false teachers to continue to dwell in their midst.  What a seeming contradiction this is.. to remain faithful in presenting the truths of Christ while allowing those who hold to false teaching to continue in their membership.  Christ warned that if they did not discipline these false professors that He would come and deal with them using the Word.

Finally, we saw that He promised the overcomers that they were assured of receiving increased intimacy, knowledge and assurance that can be found only in Christ.

 

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

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

 

 

 4.  Revelation 2:18-29 – Christ’s letter to the church at Thyatira

In this letter, we see Christ presented as the just and fair Judge over all mankind.

We also see the churches condition was serious.  Although they were faithful in many areas, they were allowing a false prophetess, Jezebel, to mislead others in their assembly to commit idolatry.  He promised He would come and judge her and her followers.  In doing so, he would be setting an example from which other churches could learn.

Finally, we saw that He promised the overcomers that they would receive ruling and judging authority as well as additional truths about Christ.

 

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

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

 

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In our next lesson, we will finish looking at the personalized letters to the local assemblies found in chapter 3:. In the next chapter, we will be looking at the messages to the churches at Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

 

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.

 

We will see that 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

 

May the Lord continue to bless us as we continue in our study of The Revelation Of Jesus Christ!

 

 

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

 

Revelation 2:18-29:“Christ’s Letter To The Church At Thyatira”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

The Letter To Thyatira…

Rev 2:18-29 KJV

(18)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
(19)  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
(20)  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
(21)  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
(22)  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
(23)  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
(24)  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
(25)  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
(26)  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
(27)  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
(28)  And I will give him the morning star.
(29)  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 andNicolaitans(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 Pergamos.
1. Description of Christ (v 18)
2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences (v 19)
3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences (v 23-25)
4. Promise to Overcomers (v 26-29)

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 2: – 

(18)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; 

The Lord, through the Apostle John, now addresses the church that was located in Thyatria.  Thyatira was a center for the manufacture of many goods.  Some of the goods manufactured here included wool and linen clothing, dyes, pottery, bronze and leather goods, and baked foods. Because of all this manufacturing activity there was great opportunity for its citizens become financially wealthy and self-reliant.  Due to all of this Thyatira became known as a prosperous city that attracted many individuals in search of the riches of this world.

 

These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

In this description of Christ, we can see a main focus on:

  1. the Son of God – As the Son of God, He possessed great authority to judge others.
  2. His eyes like unto a flame of fire – Christ’s knowledge of all things (omniscience).
  3. his feet like brass – the perfect judgment He executes based upon His comprehensive knowledge.

What a blessing it is for each of us to understand these truths about Christ.  We should never allow concerns about His “fairness” or His “severity in judgment” to concern us.

Christ will, always, treat every human being fairly and justly.  He will always either withhold judgment that is deserved (His mercy and grace based upon His work on the cross) or He will always give that which is deserved (His justice).  He will NEVER judge more harshly than deserved, He will NEVER meet out a punishment more severe than the infraction demands.

He truly judges with His “eyes illuminated” enabling Him to see all the relevant information needed to make a perfect decision on the judgment that is meted out as He tramples upon His enemies.

 

(19)  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Just as in the other letters, Christ now encourages the church by speaking well of them for their service to Him:

  1. works – the effort they took to accomplish the tasks He had given to them.
  2. charity – their self-sacrificial love that motivated their service
  3. service – their effort to minister to others needs as an act of obedience to Christ
  4. faith – their reliance upon Him as they served
  5. patience – their willingness to bear up under the pressures of service, not caving in to the pressures
  6. works – their spiritual growth as they served in greater ways now than when they first began to serve.

 

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

Jesus now begins to explain the areas where they have failed in their service.  They were allowing “that woman Jezebel”, a false prophetess, to spread doctrinal error and lead God’s people into sinful acts.  This was due to either a spirit of compromise (knowing that she was a false teacher and allowed her to continue) or a spirit of gullibility (not understanding that she was teaching falsely but believed she was actually the prophetess of God).

There is much that can be said about the name “Jezebel”:

1.  Some believe that this was her literal name given to her by her parents.

2.  Others suggest that this woman was given this name by Christ to link her to the OT character Jezebel (1 Kings 18:-21:). 1Ki 21:25 reminds us of the work of this wicked woman… “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”    

Just as the NT Jezebel was seducing others to commit idolatry and related sinful acts and turn from the Lord, so too, the OT woman was a horrible influence in the life of her husband, leading him into idolatry and opposition to Jehovah

3.  Others believe that Christ gave her this name to reveal something of her character, apart from the OT woman. There are MANY different ideas as to the meaning of her name. The best I understand, if it has Hebrew origins, it means “to be cast down” or “to be demoted”, or “to not be exalted”.  If this is so, it is teaching us of her end.  Although she claimed to be a prophetess of God, on judgment day she will not be honored by God but disowned, demoted and put to shame.

However, the most interesting view that I read was that there are scholars (cited by John Gill) who believe “Jezebel” comes from an Arabic word “Zebel” which meant dung. This would make perfect sense considering her teachings and works were simply “dung” in the eyes of the Lord and her end would be rejection by God much like a dunghill that laid outside a city.  (An interesting note…. The OT Jezebel’s end was as “dung” (2 Kings 9:37)

My personal belief is that all of these reasons for this woman’s name to be Jezebel could easily be true.  Our Lord, who is sovereign, controlled the name of this NT woman.  Perhaps, He allowed her parents to give her this name to link her to both the OT woman and the meaning of her name.

Her work caused men to fall into the sin of idolatry which included acts of fornication (acts of sexual or spiritual uncleanness) and eating idolatrous meat.

 

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

(22)  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

(23)  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

The Lord graciously gives time for Jezebel to turn from her wicked ways, but she refused.  Therefore the judgment of the Lord would fall upon her.

The Lord’s judgment would be based upon her wicked acts (symbolized by being judged in the same bed in which she committed the sins).  Their (her and those with her) only hope of escaping judgment was to repent of their sins.  She would be judged by placing her in the midst of overwhelming pressure and those who followed her false teachings and practices would be killed and face eternal death.

The Lord’s judgment would prove to the churches that He is the One that knew all things, even the thoughts and intents of the heart and that He would then “follow up” by dealing with each sin appropriately.

 

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

The Lord now addresses those who have remained faithful to Him by not following after the teachings of Jezebel.  He describes those who have followed the idolatrous teaching as knowing the “depths of Satan”.  Folks, the worship of other gods is the lowest possible act of blasphemy against the Lord.   For a person to place their allegiance upon other gods, serving them, worshipping them and sacrificing for them is the most horrible of events that find their origin in Satan.

Those who have remained faithful to the Lord in the face of this blasphemous teaching are called upon to not forsake the truths they possess but use all their strength to protect them.

 

(26)  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end,

The Lord now addresses those who will be victorious and faithful to the Lord until the end.

 

to him will I give power over the nations:
(27)  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
(28)  And I will give him the morning star.

The Lord promises to bless the victorious ones by:

  1. power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. – they will receive authority to rule over the lost.  This authority will involve them judging the lost and taking part in their destruction at His second coming. (1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Rev 19:11-21).  This authority will be delegated to the Lord’s people by Christ, who originally was given this authority by the Father.  (Luke 22:29)
  1. And I will give him the morning star. The “morning star” is a title taken by Christ Himself, “I Jesus… am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Rev 22:16)  To give the faithful saints of Thyatira “the bright and morning star” is to say that the saints will be given Christ throughout eternity.

How will this take place?  In at least two ways:  they will enjoy His person being in His presence, they will enjoy learning more about Him as they are taught throughout eternity.  This is how He will give Himself to His chosen people to enjoy throughout eternity.

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

Once again, the Lord is stressing that this message was meant only for those who were truly saved members of the church. It was meant for those who had ears that were opened (by the gracious intervention of the Lord) to receive and understand the truths of His Word.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this passage of Scripture we see several truths about Christ presented.  He knows everything there is to know about  us.  Our outward actions and our inward desires and motives.  Based upon His Omniscience, He judges all mankind justly. When we consider Him as the All-knowing Just Judge over all mankind, it helps us to understand that He deserves to be given all of our worship, adoration, and service.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, do we see our need to discern teachers of truth from teachers of error?  Do we see the need to expose and refrain ourselves from anyone who teaches error?  We all understand that our Lord is the Ultimate, Just, Judge that knows all things.  As such, we must make sure we are not partaking in the deeds of those who oppose Christ.  When we, knowingly, receive false teaching into our lives and follow its dictates, we are setting ourselves up to share in the judgment that awaits those who would lead us astray.

 

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 give him a white stone,…”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:17 KJV – He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

As those who have trusted in Christ as our Savior, although we are guilty of many heinous sins against God, we are declared innocent of our sins.  This wonderful act of God’s mercy is symbolized by the receipt of the white stone, which was a public declaration of release from guilt or debt.  (For more on this white stone and its symbolism, please see the Bible study link at the bottom of this devotional.)

Throughout God’s Word, this acquittal (declaration of innocence) is described by the word “justification”.  Listen to what the Bible teaches us about the justification of God’s people…

Rom 4:24-25 KJV – “But for us also, to whom it ( righteousness) shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

 

Folks, stop and think about it… we are told in this verse that our justification is related to two events that took place in the life of Christ…

  1. “Who was delivered” – Christ was delivered into the hands of sinful mankind, He was falsely accused, abused, put to public shame, unjustly punished, experienced separated from the Father, shed His blood and died on the cross. He submitted to all of this, willingly, so that His people might be delivered from their sins (Isaiah 53:5-6).

 

  1. “Who… was raised again” – Following His death, three days later, Christ arose from the dead. This resurrection publically testified that His work was sufficient to secure the justification of His people.

How can we know with absolute certainty that we are justified (declared innocent of our sins)?  We can know this by the resurrection of Christ.  As we see Christ coming out of the tomb, we can know that His sacrifice had been accepted by God, He had satisfied the sin debt of His people, and had accomplished the work He had been given to do.  It is through His resurrection that we have the faith and hope in out eternal deliverance from sins at the hand of Almighty God (1 Peter 1:18-21).

 

As we begin our day for Christ, may we all have thankful hearts…  Christ willingly suffered and shed His blood so that we might be declared innocent from our sins.  And then, let us all be thankful that He arose from the dead, proving to us that He accomplished our justification through His great sacrifice on our behalf.

May we not allow anything to discourage us this day… we can know without doubt, if we have trusted in Him as our Savior, that in His resurrection we have proof that He has secured the deliverance from our sins.   We are forgiven, we are secure in His hands, we are headed for eternal glory in His presence, and NOTHING can separate us from His love…

Rom 8:35-39 KJV – “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?    As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.   For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  

How can we know these things?  He died on the cross and then arose from the dead.  He accomplished that which He set out to do.  He has saved us from our sins!

 

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-3MO

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “I give to eat of the hidden manna“

SIH TOTT ICON

Rev 2:17 KJV

(17)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

 

 

What is the “hidden manna” that is promised to those who are victorious over this world?   Christ clearly teaches us that He is that manna from heaven…

Joh 6:47-51 KJV – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

 

Why does eating bread picture the salvation experience of the believer?

  1. When a person is saved they are appropriating Christ and His work to their very person.  When bread is eaten that is appropriating the nutrients found in the bread to the physical body of the one partaking of that bread.
  2. The saved individual becomes one with Christ, just as He becomes one with the saint. When an individual partakes of bread, the bread and the one eating the bread becomes one.
  3. When saved, Christ’s work is applied to the saved person making him into a new creature in Christ. When the individual partakes of the bread, the bread aids the process of physical change (growth and maturity).
  4. At salvation, Christ enters into the saint in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit. When an individual eats bread, the bread enters into the body of the individual.

This is why the partaking of Christ and His work, through saving faith, is pictured as eating the manna which comes from heaven.

 

When Christ promises that overcomers will be given” to eat of the hidden manna”,  He is promising that true believers will partake of Christ on an enhanced level throughout eternity.  Once we receive our glorified bodies, we will experience Christ in a much more clear and intimate way.  Our knowledge of Him will become greater, our relationship to Him will be much closer, and we will forever live in His presence.

1Co 13:12 KJV –  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

1Jn 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.

 

What a blessing eternity will be for all of God’s people!  Just think about it.  We will be dwelling with our Savior and our Lord, enjoying an intimate relationship with Him.  May we all allow this promise to encourage our hearts to serve Him in greater ways as we enter our day, and the rest of our lives.

The wonderful promise given to the believing members of the church… For those who are victorious over the dark forces of the world, the Lord will give to them “hidden manna”.   This is speaking of the Lord giving to His people a type of nourishment that cannot be seen in this temporal world…. a more intimate relationship with Him.  In other words, in eternity the Lord will give to His people a much greater knowledge of Himself and a much greater communion with Himself (1 Cor 13:12).

 

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-3MO

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you “

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:13 KJV   I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

 

Antipas, a faithful member of the church at Pergamos, was faithful to His Lord….even unto death.  What an awesome display of faithfulness and self-sacrificial love for our Lord and Savior.  What a great honor to give back to Him, in a very small, insignificant way, for the great sacrifice He made for us on the cross.  To be called upon to give our lives for the cause of Christ is truly a privilege.  However, the opportunity to give our physical lives for Christ may never be opened to us.

Is there any other way that we can sacrifice our lives to Him for all He has done for us?  Hebrews 13:13-16 gives us the answer to our question…

“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

By continually praising Him with our lips, pleasing Him with our actions, and being charitable to those in need we can be living sacrifices for the Lord’s honor and glory.  Think about it, instead of giving our physical lives through the act of death, we can give our physical lives through words of praise, pleasing the Lord with our actions and meeting the needs of others around us.

 

This is what Paul is speaking of when he describes our need to be “living sacrifices” to the Lord…

Rom 12:1 KJV –  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Note that Paul tells us that offering our lives as a living sacrifice is simply our “reasonable service”.  Why is this?  It is because, when we consider the great sacrifice He made on our behalf … i.e. coming to this fallen world, giving up the exercise of His divine attributes, suffering great temptation, persecution and false accusations, being put to public shame, giving His life on the cross, being separated from His Father as He bore our sins etc… it is only logical and rational that we would be willing to give our lives for Him.

Whether through martyrdom, or acts of praise and service to Christ and others, may we all be ever willing to give of ourselves as the opportunity arises.  By doing this, we will be bringing honor and glory to the One who has given so much for us…

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

 

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-3MO

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Thou holdest fast thy name, and hast not denied my faith”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:13 KJV   I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

What a wonderful commendation to hear from the lips of our Lord!  To know that we have faithfully grabbed and held tight to His name and did not disowned the doctrinal truths we have learned!

This should be our ultimate goal in this life, to remain faithful to our Lord through a consistent Christian testimony based upon the truths of His Word.  How do we hold fast to these things when we live in the midst of a sin-sick fallen world?   2 Timothy 1:12-14 gives us the three keys to retaining a Christian testimony in the eyes of others…

2Ti 1:12-14 KJV – For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.   Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.   That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Keys to consistent testimony in eyes of others:

1.  I know whom I  have believed – Possession of an unwavering reliance upon Christ.  None of us will remain faithful to the Lord of our own abilities, but we know that as we rely upon Christ we can do all things for Him.

2.  am persuaded that He is able…that day – Absolute confidence He will keep His present and future promises .  His current promises of protection and enablement, along with His promises of future blessings and rewards throughout eternity, we will be motivated to remain faithful to Him.

3.  keep by the Holy Ghost   –  Indwelling Spirit’s enabling.  Recognition of the existence of the Lord’s presence and empowerment through the indwelling Spirit, we can find peace and security knowing He is ever with us and enabling us.

Folks, these are the keys that will enable us to be like the church members of Pergamos… holding fast to the name of Christ while affirming the truths of His Word.   May we all keep in the forefront of our mind the need to rely upon Christ, knowing He will fulfill His many promises to us, through the Holy Spirit who is constantly indwelling us.

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-3MO

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;”

SIH TOTT ICON

Rev 2:12 KJV  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

 

In the letter to the church at Pergamos, the Lord describes Himself as “he which hath the sharp sword with two edges. “  As we have seen in a prior devotion, this sharp two-edged sword is a symbolic representation of the Word of God.  This is not the only place where the Word is described as a sword…

Heb 4:12-13 KJV – “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.   Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

In this Hebrews passage we can learn much more about the Word and why it is symbolized as a two-edged sword.  Please notice the main points of this passage…

The Word of God is pictured as a sword because it’s work involves:

  1. piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, – can clearly separate between physical and spiritual natures of a man
  2. piercing even to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow – can clearly separate between the joints and marrow of which they are made
  3. a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart – can clearly reveal the calculations and motives taking place in the mind

In all the above the basic idea is that the Word can clearly divide, expose and bring to recognition the most intimate, secret and personal aspects of the human being.    It is much like a scalpel being used by a doctor to open the patient and reveal the innermost body parts and their condition.

 

No one can fool the Word of God.  When an individual uses the Word for self-examination, he will be able to clearly see his innermost condition.   When brought into the light of the Word all sinfulness and depravity are brought into clear view.  This is why we are told that the lost “will not come to the light”…

Joh 3:19-21 KJV – And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.   For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.    But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

 

Folks, may we always be willing to open up ourselves using God’s Word to expose and bring to our mind the sin that we harbor in our lives.  Once the see our sin in the light of the Word may we confess it and turn from it, relying on the Lord to cleanse us and give us victory over it.

It is only through this process that we may keep ourselves “unto honour, sanctified, meet for the Master’s work , and prepared unto every good work”…

2Ti 2:19-21 KJV  – Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.   But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.    If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

 

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-3MO

Revelation 2:12-17:“Christ’s Letter To The Church At Pergamos”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:  The Letter To Pergamos…

Rev 2:12-17 KJV (12)  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; (13)  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. (14)  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. (15)  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. (16)  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (17)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

 

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 Pergamos.

1. Description of Christ (v 12)

2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences (v 13)

3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences (v 14-16)

4. Promise to Overcomers (v 17)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:  

Revelation 2: –    

(12)  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write;

This letter is addressed to the members of the local church at Pergamos. Pergamos was filled with citizens that worshipped the sun God Zeus (which had begun with Egypt with the worship of RA and then in Babylon with the worship of Baal).  The altar dedicated to Zeus was located in the city.

It is believed by many that the pagans of Pergamos choose to gradually assimilate themselves (and their beliefs) into the church at Pergamos instead of opposing the church and seeking to overcome it with violence.  Based upon the contents of this letter, it seems that they were successful in joining with the church, but unsuccessful in persuading the church to join them in their idolatrous beliefs and practices.   

 

These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Christ describes himself as “he which hath a sharp sword with two edges”.  This points us to Christ’s Word and its ability to destroy the enemies of Christ.  We find Christ using this sword in Revelation to judge and devour His enemies in Rev 19:11-21.

Many times we think of the Word as being an instrument used by the Lord to deliver salvation to His people.  However, we need to also realize that, the very same Word that saves us from our sins is also a tool of judgment that is used by our Lord to destroy His enemies (Isaiah 11:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:8).  This is the symbolism of the sword found in this letter (v 16).

The very same powerful Word that spoke all of creation into existence, is the same powerful Word that can work salvation into the hardest of man’s hearts and is the same Word that can defeat the most wicked of those who oppose Christ.  This is the basic principle behind the Lord’s Word being pictured as a two-edged sword.  

(13)  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

The Lord now lists for the church several areas of faithfulness that they are exhibiting in their service to Him:

1. works, – their acts of service to Christ

2. where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: – they were located at the seat the sun worship of Babylon and Egypt

3. thou holdest fast my name, –  they retained the name of Christ and continued to associate themselves with Him even though efforts were being made to persuade them to worship Zeus.

4. hast not denied my faith,…who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. – They not only kept the name of Christ but also continued to keep the Bible truths and practices.

Antipas (“against all”) was a man who was willing to stand fast against all of the false worship taking place in the city.  Because of that, he gave his life for the cause of Christ and the furtherance of the truths of God’s Word.    

 

(14)  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Christ now exposes the sin that existed in their midst.  They were allowing those who had never repented of their worship of Zeus to join and then continue in their membership.  Instead of exercising church discipline to remove them from their membership, they allowed them to stay and continue in their heathen beliefs and practices.

Please note: the pagan worshippers are described as: 1. them that hold the doctrine of Balaam (“destroyer of the people”) – Balaam deceived the Israelite men (through use of Moabite women) to worship idols at Baal-Peor, leading them astray from the true God. (Numbers 25:1-18 and Numbers 31:16) 2. who taught Balac – Balac was the king who had been counseled by Balaam in the idolatry of Baal-Peor (Nums

  1. to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, – the teachings of these pagans was intended to “trip up” the Christians at Pergamos
  2. to eat things sacrificed unto idols, – the church at Pergamos was to abstain from eating meats sacrificed to idols due to their location among idol worshippers. By eating the meat, it would APPEAR as if they were approving of idol-worship and actually partaking of idol worship.  This would serve to confuse those around them and trip up weaker Christians in their midst. (1 Corinthians 8:4-13)  This is why the pagans were trying to persuade them to eat of the meat.
  3. to commit fornication. – to commit fornication with the temple prostitutes as a part of the idolatry. Also, by worshipping false Gods, the pagans would be enticing the Christians to commit acts of spiritual uncleanness.

 

(15)  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Nicolaitan (“conqueror of the people”), was the NT version of the OT Baalam.  In both cases, the promotion of the idolatrous worship and teachings is in view.  Those who believed in this sinful doctrine were included in the membership of the church.  Instead of dealing with them, by removing them from the membership, they put up with them in their membership.    

 

(16)  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

The Lord’s instructions to them was to “repent”, this includes changing their minds about those idolatrous members, then forsaking their sin by disciplining them in a Scriptural fashion, and finally determining in their hearts to properly guard their membership from this point forward. The Lord further explained that, if they ignore repentance for this grave sin, the Lord would take matters in His own hands. By doing this, He is saying He would deal with both the believing and unbelieving members of the assembly.

He describes His dealings with the believing members as “coming unto” the church, in other words, He would send His chastening hand upon them in discipline to bring them back to obedience. He describes His dealings with the idolatrous unbelievers as “I will fight against them”, in other words, He would actively oppose and judge them using the power of His Word.  (Perhaps, this is speaking of the Lord raising up Godly teachers who would reveal their heresies which would eventually drive them out of the assembly.)

 

(17)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

The wonderful promise given to the believing members of the church… For those who are victorious over the dark forces of the world, the Lord will give to them “hidden manna”.   This is speaking of the Lord giving to His people a type of nourishment that cannot be seen in this temporal world…. a more intimate relationship with Him.  In other words, in eternity the Lord will give to His people a much greater knowledge of Himself and a much greater communion with Himself (1 Cor 13:12).

He will also give to the overcomers a “white stone” with a “new name” written upon it.   White and black stones were used to vote or choose.  (Note In Acts 26:10 – “voice” is word for pebble). The white stone was a sign of acceptance, selection, or acquittal… the black stone rejection, to cast off, or guilty. In this case, the white stone given to the overcomer is an outward declaration he has been chosen by God to salvation and is given admission to eternal glory.

The “new name” is probably speaking of a new name for Christ, the One who selected and invited us into glory.  It is displaying who “owned” or cast this vote.  The name represents new titles for (truths about) Christ being revealed to His people in eternity. (Rev 19:12-13).  He is given a new name in eternity as the veil is taken off our eyes and we see Him as He truly is (1 John 3:2).

Another popular view is that the “new name” is the name of the recipient of the stone.  It would be the name of the one who has overcome.  If this is the case, then it would be described as a “new name” that only the recipient knew because a person’s true spiritual standing before God can only be known by that person and God Himself.  A person’s salvation can NEVER be known with CERTAINTY by another individual.    

CHRIST REVEALED: In this section of Scripture, we can see Christ, as the ultimate Judge and Warrior who promises to come back to the earth someday judging the evil that is committed. We can also see Christ as the Holy One who cannot overlook evil, but deals with wickedness in the lives of the lost through His hand of wrath and in the lives of the saved by His hand of chastening.    

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Our Lord hates wickedness, we can see that through His promised dealings among the lost and saved in the church at Pergamos.  Because of His hatred of sin, it is very important that His people are on constant guard to not allow it in our lives.   But sadly, because we are fallen creatures, sin will slip into our lives.  When it does, the Lord has given us repentance as the means with which to deal with that sin. May we all hate sin, reject it, and when it slips into our lives, repent of it.  By doing these things, we can have confidence that the Lord’s hand of chastening will not come upon us.   

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: “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:11 KJV  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Keep in mind, one of the great blessings of a genuine salvation experience is receiving the ultimate victory of the powers of darkness of this world (i.e. Satan and demons, temptations, the dominance of the sin nature, and the influence of the lost mankind etc etc).   Because of this promise of victory, the believer is described as an “overcomer”…

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

A part of the Lord’s letter to the church at Smyrna includes a very special promise to overcomers.  It is promised that they “shall not be hurt of the second death”.  What is the second death?  The “second death” involves the resurrection, judgment, and eternal consignment to the Lake of Fire for all lost mankind…

Rev 20:13-15 KJV – And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:8 KJV – But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Folks, when the Lord promises to overcomers they will not “be hurt of the second death”, He is promising that they will never be found guilty for the sins they have committed and will never face eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire for those sins.

How can this be?  How can fallen, sinful mankind be proclaimed innocent of the sins they have committed?  This all takes place based upon Christ’s shed blood which can cover the most heinous of sins and pay the price for the most wicked of deeds.  The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin…

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

As Christians, may we never forget this truth.  It is only through the sacrificial shed blood of Christ that we were cleansed from our sins and delivered from the wrath to come.   Through His death we were given eternal life.  As Christians, we owe Him our all.

Lost mankind is in desperate need of Christ’s shed blood as well.  May we always remember, the first priority in our relationship with others who are lost is to share Christ with them.   We can do this in many ways, we can tell them of Christ through our words, we can show them Christ through our actions, we can recount  our personal experience of Christ, we can invite them to our church, we can recommend Bible teaching radio and tv ministries to them,  the list is seemingly endless.

For those who have never experienced God’s saving grace in their lives, may they see their sinful condition, become sorrowful for their sins and recognize their need to turn from them, recognize the truth about Christ’s person and work and turn to Him, and by faith accept Him as their Lord and Savior.

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-3LW

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:10 KJV  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

A continuing theme throughout the letters to the churches, and the entire book of Revelation, is the Christians’ willingness to give their life for their Lord.  In this case, the church at Smyrna is given encouragement as they faced imprisonment, trials, tribulations and the possibility of martyrdom in His service.

Christ, during His earthly ministry, warned His followers of these types of persecutions when He said…
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and [some] of you shall they cause to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake.  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.  In your patience possess ye your souls.”  (Luke 21:16-19)

 

Please notice in this passage several truths concerning the persecution and martyrdom of God’s people:

And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends;

Some of the most difficult of persecutions is when family, friends and other loved ones oppose us in our service for Christ.  Any persecution for our faith is difficult to bear, but when it comes from those we love and hold dear to us it can be seemingly overwhelming for us.

 

 and [some] of you shall they cause to be put to death. 

Here, Christ clearly warns that some of His followers would be called upon to lose their life to remain faithful to their Lord.  In the context of this passage, “they” (the ones who would cause the Christian to be put to death) refer to the ones who are the very closest to the Christian.  How hurtful and difficult that is for anyone to face.

 

And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake. 

These differing forms of persecution would take place due to hatred in the heart of fallen mankind.

 

But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 

How can the Lord say this… He has just warned us that we will face various types of persecution, including death?

The key is to understand the word “perish”.  To “perish” means to utterly destroy or to lose permanently.  Folks whatever we may lose on this earth in the name of Christ will be restored to us in eternity…
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.   (Matthew 19:29)

There is nothing that is sacrificed for the Lord in this world that will not be recognized and rewarded throughout eternity.

 

In your patience possess ye your souls.

It is through the Christian’s patience endurance during times of great affliction that gives public proof for all to see of a genuine salvation experience and dedication to Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life…
Mar 13:13 KJV   And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

 

“Possess your souls” or “gain your physical life”… by using our physical lives to patiently serve our Lord, will result in eternal gain on our behalf.   This gain is described as “the crown of life” or eternal rewards (treasure) in heaven.    This stands in stark contrast to the lost man who wastes his physical life and, therefore, loses it throughout eternity by forsaking the wondrous inheritance of God, and suffering forever in the Lake of Fire.

May we all see the need to be “living sacrifices” for Christ.  In doing so, we become wonderful testimonies of His grace on earth and we gain eternal rewards for our glorified life on the New Earth.

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-3LW

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:…”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:10 KJV  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

 

 

The church at Smyrna suffered greatly at the hands of those who opposed Christ.  They were pressured on every side, poverty stricken, and faced those who proclaimed a false gospel message of salvation through the law and physical lineage.   They had much to fear.  What a blessing it was for them to hear the words of Christ… “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer”!  What a blessing for us as well.

We all, to varying degrees, face fearful times in our lives.  This fear can be the greatest opposition we face in our service for Christ.   But even in the midst of our greatest fears, if we have trusted in Him as our Lord and Savior, He whisperers into our ears… “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”.    With this great promise in our hearts, we can face anything that may come upon us, as we cry out “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

This is the peace and security that a Christian possesses.  We have the Almighty Creator of the Universe watching over us, accompanying us, and bringing to pass what is for our good and His glory.  Out of appreciative hearts may we all submit to His will for our lives (including the fearful times) and seek to do His will, knowing He cares…

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”   (1 Peter 5:6-7)

 

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-3LW

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “… them which say they are Jews, and are not,…”

SIH TOTT ICON

Rev 2:9 KJV  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

 

The people being described in this section of Scripture were physical Jews that did not accept Christ as their Messiah.  They were making a claim that they were members of Jehovah’s nation of Israel and, therefore, had found favor with Him.

 

They were being truthful when they claimed they were a part of the physical nation of Israel, however they were wrong in assuming because of their physical lineage they were accepted by God.   This is where the “blasphemy” came in.  By making a claim that “God accepts people based upon their physical lineage” is a blasphemous statement that demeans the great Lord that we serve.  They were picturing the Lord as a respecter of persons and One that forgave sins based upon the keeping of the OT laws.  No wonder they are charged with blasphemy!

 

Although they were physical Israelites, these unbelievers due to their unbelief were not accepted by God, nor counted as a members of His spiritual nation.  Their sinful condition separated them from their God and their lack of faith in Christ exempted them from the redemptive work of Christ.   In that sense, they were not a part of the people of God and, therefore, they  “say they are Jews, and ARE NOT”.

 

The Lord goes on and describes them as being “of the synagogue of Satan”.  In other words, their religious acts of worship and service were actually furthering the cause of Satan.  Through their proclamation of a false means of acceptance by God (their physical lineage) they were leading men astray and condemning their followers to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

 

To this day, the unbelieving members of the physical Jewish nation believe their hearts are right with God.   But apart from Jesus Christ’s gracious granting of repentance and belief, they will not be found acceptable in God’s sight.  Apart from them turning to the Lord Jesus Christ through faith in His name, they will be eternally condemned with all others members of fallen mankind.  God is no respecter of persons and, as such, does not save based upon our good works, physical lineage, social status, amount of wealth possessed, level of intelligence, or position of authority we may hold.

 

Folks, we need to always keep in our minds that the only way that any of us can be found acceptable in the sight of God is through faith in Christ and His work on the cross…

 

Eph 2:7-9 KJV

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.   For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:   Not of works, lest any man should boast.

 

If we have been truly saved, it is ONLY because of the Lord’s gracious intervention in our lives.  We deserve absolutely ZERO “credit” for our salvation… everything that led up to our salvation and that secured our salvation were acts of intervention in our lives by a gracious, Sovereign Lord.

 

May we all serve Him with renewed hearts of thanksgiving, knowing He loves us, died for us,  lead us to repentance and belief in His name, all of which resulted in the eternal deliverance from our debt of sin and the receipt of His eternal inheritance on the New Earth in the New Jerusalem, the home of His spiritual nation… “The Israel of God”…

 

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace [be] on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

(Galatians 6:15-16)

 

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-3LW

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: I know thy poverty, (but thou art rich)…

SIH TOTT ICONRev 2:9 KJV  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

 

How can it be that the members of the church at Smyrna can be said to be in “poverty”, and yet be “rich”?   For us to understand this statement, it is important to remember its context.  Please keep in mind that this statement is part of a list of good qualities that the church possesses.   Understanding the context of this statement begs us to ask the question …

How can being in poverty be pleasing to the Lord?  The reason for their physical destitution holds the key to the answer.  Smyrna remained faithful to the Lord in the face of great persecution.  One of the many ways the lost world persecuted them was by shunning them economically.   This brought upon the church great poverty while the lost enjoyed worldly prosperity.   This is what made their poverty commendable in God’s sight.    They willingly chose to forsake material wealth for the sake of their testimony of Christ.

There is yet another question we need to answer… If they are poor and destitute, how can the Lord describe them as “rich”? Although this church was materially poor and needy,  they were spiritually wealthy in Christ, both now and in the ages to come. As they faithfully served the Lord, their faithfulness in putting Christ first was displaying that they possessed the Godly riches of:  the Word, spiritual discernment, a heart of dedication to Christ, and unity within the church.  All of these were of great, current value for the church members who were pursuing Godliness.

But they were also spiritually rich for the eternity that awaited them.  Because of their commitment to Christ, they were “laying up in store” rewards that will be of great spiritual wealth throughout eternity.

 

Folks, may we all remember this  very important principle:  By being willing to give up all this world has to offer to follow our Lord, we will receive overflowing blessings of spiritual wealth in this world and in the world to come….

Mark 10:28-30 – Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.   And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,   But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

 

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-3LW