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Revelation 14:6-13 “The Warnings Of The Three Angels”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 14:6-13 KJV

(6)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
(7)  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
(8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
(9)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
(11)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
(12)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Warnings Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note in the following passage the messages of the three angels are related and should be taken as one unit.  We can see this when verse 9 says “the third angel”.  This points us to the fact that these three angels present a series of three warnings that refer to the same basic event…. The wrath that falls during the second coming of Christ.

Also, please remember these warnings of coming judgment are being proclaimed prior to the second coming of Christ.

When these warnings are delivered, both lost and saved still dwell on the earth.  It will be in the immediate future that Christ appears, takes His children to be with Him, and begins to release His wrath upon fallen mankind that remains upon the earth…

 

Rev 14:6-13 KJV

 

I…  Warning Of God’s Wrath That Is Ready To Fall Upon All Mankind

 

(6)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,

John says that he sees another similar angel flying in heaven.  “Another” implies that there was a previous angel that John has seen.  Which angel is he referring to?  The last angel that delivered a message was the angel written about in Revelation 11:15, the angel that announced the final stages of wrath that would bring God’s punishment upon mankind to a conclusion.

The angel we are reading about in this verse is a similar type of angel.  He, too, is delivering a message of the impending wrath of God that is ready to fall upon lost mankind.

 

having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

This angel possesses the everlasting gospel message (death, burial, resurrection) of Christ that he will be proclaiming to the entire world giving the lost one last chance to repent before the judgment falls upon them.

This angel and his message is symbolic of the gospel being proclaimed throughout all the world during the last days prior to Christ’s coming.  Christ said that this would take place….  Mat 24:14 KJV – “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

The gospel, in actuality would be proclaimed by the Lord using nature, His people and, especially, His local churches.  This is shown to us by the symbol of the “angel” (the gospel proclaimed by a “messenger” of God).

 

(7)  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The angel, in the context of the gospel message, proclaims mankind’s need to “Fear God and give glory to Him”.  This is describing mankind as coming to salvation and honoring and worshipping their Lord.   Why should they act immediately? “for the hour of judgment is come”.

The angel also reminds mankind that the God they are to worship is their Creator… the One that holds the ultimate authority over them (Roms 9:19-26).

 

 

II…  Warning Of Certainty Of God’s Wrath

(8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

The second angel now explains that God’s wrath has already been accomplished in the eternal counsels of God.  it is as good as done.  That is why he makes the statement “Babylon IS fallen, IS fallen”.  This fall is prophesied in Isaiah 21:7-10 and Jeremiah 51:6-10.

Please note: “Babylon” is a term that is being used to describe Satan’s kingdom(s).  This would include the religious and political aspects to that kingdom.  We will see this in much greater detail in Rev chapters 17-18.

Why does “Babylon” to refer to his kingdom?  Babylon finds it beginning with the tower of Babel event of the Old Testament (Gen 11:1-9).  The tower of Babel was mankind’s first attempt at organized rebellion against the Lord.   It is mankind wanting to pridefully “make us make a name (for ourselves) and seek to always remain united in their rebellion “lest we be scattered abroad”.   This is the epitome of Satan’s kingdom.  Both the political and religious aspects of his kingdom seek to rebel against the Lord, relying entirely upon themselves (their knowledge, strength, and abilities) instead of humbly recognizing their need of God and submit to His worship and service.

Babylon’s fall comes upon her because she has corrupted lost mankind to commit acts of uncleanness (fornication) with her.  Therefore she must partake of the fitting results of her sins and corrupting of the lost.  She entirely deserves the wrath that is about to fall upon her.  Her certain fall brings a just end to her sinful ways.

 

III…  Warning Of God’s Wrath That Is Ready To Fall Upon Satan’s Kingdoms

(9)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

The third angel now delivers his warning to those who are members of Satan’s kingdom.

He describes these members of Satan’s kingdom as those who “worship the beast”, “worship the beasts image”, and “receive his mark in his forehead or his hand”. These descriptions mirror the description of lost mankind found in Rev 13:11-18.  Those who follow the political, religious kingdoms of Satan show themselves to be:

  1. worship the beast – those who honor and submit to Satan and his kingdoms
  2. worship his image – those who worship themselves, their abilities, their works, their knowledge etc
  3. receive the mark in his forehead or in his hand – bear fruits of sinfulness in their thoughts, desires, and outward works

 

(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,

Anyone with these above marks will face God’s wrath at Christ’s second coming…

 

which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;

God’s wrath pictured as being undiluted and based upon God’s “indignation” (violent passionate anger).  Sin angers God, especially when that sin is propagated through methods of deceit and enticement of the lusts of the flesh….

Rom 1:18-19 KJV – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;   Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”

 

and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  (11)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,

The wrath of God being poured out involves being “tormented” (tossed and pained) with fire and brimstone. This symbolism comes for the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:23-28, 2 Pet 2:4-6)

This torment begins at Christ’s second coming when His wrath falls upon sinful mankind on the earth (2 Peter 3:10-12, Luke 17:29-20, Psalm 11:4-6, 2 Thess 1:6-9) and then continues for an eternity in the Lake of Fire immediately following their time of judgment before God (Matt 25:41, Mark 9:43-48).

When both of these punishments take place, at the second coming and the final judgment of the lost, the Lamb and the angels of God will be present (Mrk 8:38, Lk 12:9).

 

Verses that teach the existence of an eternal punishment:

Isa 33:14 KJV – “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”

Isa 66:23-24 KJV – “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.   And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”

Dan 12:2 KJV – “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Mat 5:29-30 KJV – “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.   And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

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

Mat 10:28 KJV – “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Mat 25:41 KJV – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

Mar 9:43-48 KJV – “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.   And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

Luk 8:30-32 KJV – “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.  And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.  And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.”

Luk 16:19-31 KJV – “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

2Th 1:6-9 KJV – “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Heb 6:1-2 KJV – “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

1 Pe 3:19 KJV – “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;”

 

Based upon these verses, we can see the teaching of eternal punishment is found in both Old and New Testaments, in a multiplicity of verses and texts.

 

who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Who are the recipients of God’s wrath?  Those who are followers of Satan and members of his political and religious kingdom.

 

 

IV…  Summary Of Above Warnings

 

(12)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Knowledge of the coming judgment of the Lord against the abusers of His people is a source of great patience for His people.  There are the people whose lives are characterized by an obedience to the commands of the Lord and continuing proclamation that hands down to others the truths of God’s Word.

 

(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

After seeing the horrible end of the wicked, John is now prompted to emphasize the great blessings of the saved who are kept secure in Christ and pardoned from sin’s penalty.

What a drastic difference between the lost and saved!  The lost are destroyed at His coming, and sentenced to an eternal punishment. While the saved, on the other hand, enter into a Godly rest from their earthly labors (Hebs 4:8-9. Isa 57:1-2) and gain rewards for their obedient works (2 Cor 5:10, 1 Tim 5;24-25).

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we find a four-fold revealing of Christ…

  1. In the message of the first angel, we can see the GRACE & GREATNESS of Christ revealed as He consistently presents the gospel message to the lost up to His second coming. This gives lost mankind every possible opportunity to repent and come to faith.   In this message He is also revealed as the True God and Creator of all mankind illustrating His greatness in comparison to fallen mankind.
  2. In the message of the second angel, we can see the SOVERIEGNTY and VICTORY that He has won over Satan and His kingdoms. His victory is an absolute certainty, being won at the cross and manifest at His second coming.
  3. In the message of the third angel, we can see His WRATH and His JUSTICE on display as He clearly displays His victory over the powers of darkness.
  4. In the angels’ instructions to John, we can see the FAITHFULNESS of Christ, as He remains faithful in keeping the promises of future blessings for His people to enjoy.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Servants of the Lord, may we all find encouragement to continue to take the gospel into the lost and dying world around us.

We have learned of the great need of the lost to come to Christ before they face their eternal punishment, the blessings awaiting each one of us, and the Lord’s promise of future victory and retribution in Him.

May we allow these truths to burden our hearts and motivate us to greater service to Christ!

 

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Revelation 13:11-15 “The Beast From The Earth”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

Rev 13:11-15 KJV

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
(12)  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(13)  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
(14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
(15)  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

We have looked at the POLITICAL powers of the world and how Satan has used them throughout history to afflict the people of God.  We saw this aspect of Satan’s kingdom in vs 1-10.

In the middle portion of chapter 13 (vs 11-15), we will learn more about the SPIRITUAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portion of chapter 13, we will be introduced the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 13:11-15 KJV 

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

After John sees the beast of the sea (the political kingdoms of the world being used by Satan to afflict the people of God), his attention is turned to another beast.   This beast will be symbolic of the RELIGIOUS kingdoms of this world, ie the false religions of this world, that are used by Satan to oppose God, His truths, and His people.  He is called “the false prophet” in Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10.

John gives us a very detailed description of this beast.  First of all it is described as “another” beast.  This word means “another of the same type” of beast.  In other words, it is another wild, dangerous, enemy of God and His people.

 

John continues with a description of the physical appearance of the beast…

 

Description References Symbolism
Comes Up Out Of The Earth Daniel 7:17 This beast finds its origin in the sinful fallen earth. False religions appeal to the carnal nature in men, who desire to fulfill the spiritual viod in their life, but refuse to submit to the true God.  In response, they create false gods and willingly submit to them.
2 Horns Like A Lamb Daniel 7:8, Matt 7:15 This beast appears as a lamb, counterfeiting Christ.  All false religions attempt to replace the True Lamb of God as the source of life, salvation and blessings.   Horns are pictures of power and weapons.  The false promises and teachings given by false religions are the source of their strength and weapons of warfare against the Lord and His people.
Speaks Like A Dragon John 8:44,2 Cor 11:3,2 Cor 11:13-15,2 Thess 2:9-11,Matt 24:24 This beast speaks as Satan speaks… with great lies. This beast’s ministry centers on lying to his followers, just as Satan is the Father of lies.  Satan uses the false religions of this world (their teachings and miracles) to lie, mislead and deceive the world.  In doing so, he is stealing away the worship that Christ alone deserves.

 

(Please notice that, just as the previous beast, this beast finds its origins in Daniel 7)

 

The first beast which represented the POLITICAL powers of the world is described as a horrifying beast.  This refers to the kingdoms of the world’s great military might, and powerful vicious leaders.

In comparison, the second beast, the RELIGIOUS powers of the world, is pictured as a gentle, kind lamb-like beast. It deceitfully shows itself to be harmless, but in reality, is incredibly harmful, misleading others to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

 

(12)  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

This beast possesses the same (power) authority as the first beast…

  1. The political powers of the world were said to possess the authority to speak blasphemies against the Lord… so too, the false religions of this world.
  2. The political powers were said to have the authority to rule over every area of the world. Likewise, the false religions of the world appear in every nation, language and families found in this world.

The state religions of the world have been used throughout time to lead men to submission to the political powers of this world.  Throughout the history of the world, false religions have caused many wars to take place between political powers.  In an attempt to force men to worship a specified religion, the political powers of the world have forcibly dominated nations and opposing religious groups alike.  In every case, the end result was forced worship and submission to the invading political government and its state religion.

(Perhaps the greatest example of the political powers and religious powers of the world working in harmony against the cause of Christ can be seen at the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ.  In that case, we have the Jewish religious leaders worked in harmony with the Gentile Roman government to put Christ to death. (John 18:1-40 etc)) 

 

(13)  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,  (14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;

One of the greatest tools used by false religions to mislead mankind are “great wonders”, many various unexplainable feats.  These great wonders will be a consistent tool used by false religions until their ultimate defeat at the coming of Christ to the earth.

2Th 2:8-10 KJV – “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 

 

The one “marvel” used to represent all the wonders that the false religions performed is that of calling fire down from heaven.  Throughout the OT times and also during the early NT times fire falling from heaven was consistently used as a sign of the true worship of Jehovah:

  1. 2 Kings 1:10-14 – Elijah 2.  Lev 10:2 – Jehovah               3.  Nums 11:1 – Jehovah
  2. Num 16:35 – Jehovah 5.  Judges 6:21 – Jehovah           6.  1 King 18:38 – Jehovah
  3. Exo 9:13-on – Jehovah 8.  Acts 2:7 – Local Church

(This helps us to understand that all the miracles that are performed by the false religions are counterfeits of the true miracles of God.  They are used to deceitfully misled men into believing the false religion is approved and authorized by God.)

 

These false wonders are done in the eyes of men in an effort to mislead them, but also done in the sight of the beast being approved, authorized, and used by the political powers of the world.

Keep in mind, despite of all these “great wonders”, they are still false religions that will face the judgment of God in the future…

Mat 7:22-23 KJV – “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

 

saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Following the deception of their followers, the false religions then instruct them to create idols of false worship and present them to the powers that be.  This is a very important point that should not be overlooked:

  1. It proves they are now accepting of false worship – The creation of idols and images are always associated with false worship and relying on the works of man to please God. Images were very commonly employed in false religious worship (Ex 20:4, 2 Kings 3:2, Isa 40:19, Dan 3, Jud 17:3, Isa 40:19, Jer 10: 14 etc etc)  This is blasphemy at its worst.
  1. It proves they have readily accepted humanism (man is the supreme authority) as the ultimate truth – God is the only One who is capable of creating an image of Himself. He did that for us when He created man (Gen 1:26-27).  To create any other supposed image of God is an act of blatant humanism.  It is believing that man, with the works of his own hands, can create an image of Almighty God; or, it is saying that mankind has the ability to create their own gods and to worship it as they see fit.  In either case, it is false worship and humanism at its worst.

 

Note: This is saying that their acts of idolatry and humanism were created to be presented to the beast of the sea.  This was to prove that the beast of the earth has accomplished its task…

It is saying to the political powers, I have successfully misled your citizens to no longer worship the true God.  They are now worshipping their own creation.  They now are reliant upon themselves and their own abilities to develop and worship as they please.  Now they are yours for the taking.  Their knowledge of God and possibility of coming to the worship of the true God is no longer standing in your way.  You can now be the ultimate authority in their life to do as you please.

 

(15)  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Please remember:

  1. The image of the beast represents the ACTS of false worship of mankind and the humanistic PRACTICES followed by mankind.
  2. The giving of life to the image is speaking of continued deceit being used to mislead those watching to partake of this false worship and humanism.

Keeping this in mind, “giving life unto the image” is speaking of Satan’s continuing attempts to make false worship and humanism appealing to mankind.  Basically, it is speaking of the continuous changing of false worship and humanism so that it appeals to the masses:

  1. One example of this is the ancient religions of the far-east now being repackaged as “the New Age” religions. Nothing in the New Age movement is new, it is simply presented in a new way to lost mankind.
  2. Another example would be repackaging of humanism as “the power of positive thinking” and “situational ethics” etc etc.
  3. Another example would be the practices and festivals of heathen worship incorporated into the “holy days” of the Catholic Church.

 

When our text says “that the image of the beast should both speak”, it is describing two basic principles…

  1. These acts of false worship, gradually, over time have gained a voice of their own, becoming a source of enlistment to these false religions. Many acts of false worship can be used to entice others to join the false religions from which they originate.  It no longer matters what the doctrinal stand of a false religion might be, now simply seeing their practices and wonders, many people ignorantly choose to follow them. There are many lost who believe that the acts of worship (many times the wonders that are performed) prove that a false religion is of God.  Based upon this, they will participate in this false worship without ever comparing their teachings with God’s Word.
  1. Also, these acts of worship speak for themselves by becoming “proofs” of a person’s participation in a given religion. Judgment is now made based upon their participation in these acts of worship… “Do you observe the holy days?”  “Do you speak in tongues?”  “Do you speak to the dead?” etc etc.  All of this is done in an effort to judge true from false worshippers and is used by Satan to bring persecution upon those who do not participate in the false and humanistic worship that he strives to promote.

It is in these two senses that the acts of worship now speak as clearly as the false religions that they represent. The existence of the “experience” (or act of worship) attracts and justifies the participants of that religion.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

When we look at the “ministry” of the false religions of the world, we can clearly see their results worked among men.  They seal a man’s spiritual death, leading them down the path of destruction through deceit.

In comparison, our Lord describes Himself as “The way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).   What a blessing it is to know the Lord that we serve is the way that gives us access to His Heavenly Father.    He supplies to us the absolute truth of the very Word of God.  He is the One that is the source of eternal life to those who trust in Him.

Joh 14:5-7 KJV

“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

When we see the deceitful workings of the false religions of the world, and the power behind those religions (Satan), we come to understand their great danger to mankind.   May we all come away from this teaching with two determined attitudes.

First of all, may we all learn to diligently guard ourselves against doctrinal impurity and participation in the ungodly practices of these false religions.

Secondly, may we also learn to appreciate our Lord, “the way, the truth and the life”, who has so graciously delivered from error, supplied to us the truths of His Word, and continues to lead us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  What a wonderful Lord we serve and how much He deserves our entire commitment to Him and His will for our lives.

 

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Why Is The Resurrection Important?

Bible Lessons and Devotionals For Easter Week…

Easter Promo

Easter Week Devotion: The Sufferings Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-hO

Video  http://youtu.be/je1FlxVv5gA

Easter Week Devotion: The Importance Of The Resurrection

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-iq

Video http://youtu.be/9Nqrtwb2q-I

Easter Week Devotion: The Resurrection Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-ih

Video http://youtu.be/Jj26nfVrpgo

Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings Of Christ On The Cross

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-i7

Video http://youtu.be/4o7gisGPQPI

Bible Lessons and Devotionals for Easter Week…

Easter Promo

 

Easter Week Devotion: The Sufferings Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-hO

Video  http://youtu.be/je1FlxVv5gA

Easter Week Devotion: The Importance Of The Resurrection

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-iq

Video http://youtu.be/9Nqrtwb2q-I

Easter Week Devotion: The Resurrection Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-ih

Video http://youtu.be/Jj26nfVrpgo

Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings Of Christ On The Cross

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-i7

Video http://youtu.be/4o7gisGPQPI

SIH Valentine’s Day Devotionals…

SIH STSTA ICONShare Christ And The True Meaning Of His Love With Others!

 

 

SIH Valentine’s Day 3-Part Devotion Series: The Greatest Of These Is Love:

Part  #1 – The Importance Of Love

Part #2 – The Eternal Nature Of Love

Part #3 – The Supremacy Of Love

 

 

SIH Valentine’s Day Devotional Video Playlist:

SIH Valentine’s Day Devotional Playlist (4 Videos)

 

 

 

 

The Seven Seals Compared To Matthew 24:

The visions of the seven seals given to John in Revelation, and the teachings of Christ concerning the signs of His second coming found in the gospels correspond perfectly with one another.  In order to emphasize the meaning of the seven seals of Revelation, I would like us to come to an understanding of the perfect alignment that is found in these two Scripture texts.   

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Matthew 24:1-51

Mark 13:1-37

Luke 21:5-36

Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-9:21, 11:15-19, 16:1-21

 

THE STUDY:

First, the lesson taught by Christ concerning the signs of His coming can be found in three of the gospels. Each account is parallel in nature, the Bible is recording this one lesson from three different perspectives. Keep in mind, these three texts record a SINGULAR LESSON that is taught by Christ Himself…

 

Segment of Teaching Matthew 24: Mark 13: Luke 21:
The Question 24:1-3 13:1-4 21:5-7
(1)  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.(2)  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (1)  And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!(2)  And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,(4)  Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (5)  And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,(6)  As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(7)  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
Trials Faced By Lost and Saved Alike 24:4-8 13:5-8 21:8-11
(4)  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.(5)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.(6)  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.(7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.(8)  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (5)  And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:(6)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.(7)  And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.(8)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (8)  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.(9)  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.(10)  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(11)  And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Trials Faced By All Christians 24:9-14 13:9-13 21:12-19
(9)  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.(10)  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.(11)  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.(12)  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(13)  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.(14)  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (9)  But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.(10)  And the gospel must first be published among all nations.(11)  But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.(12)  Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.(13)  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. (12)  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.(13)  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.(14)  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:(15)  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.(16)  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.(17)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.(18)  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.(19)  In your patience possess ye your souls.
Trials Faced By The Jewish Nation 24:15-29 13:14-25 21:20-26
(15)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoreadeth, let him understand:)(16)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:(17)  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:(18)  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.(19)  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(20)  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:(21)  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.(22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.(23)  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.(24)  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.(25)  Behold, I have told you before.

(26)  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

(27)  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(28)  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

(29)  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

 

(14)  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him thatreadeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:(15)  And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:(16)  And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.(17)  But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(18)  And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.(19)  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.(20)  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.(21)  And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or,lo, he is there; believe him not:(22)  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.(23)  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.24)  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

(25)  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

 

(20)  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.(21)  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.(22)  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.(23)  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.(24)  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.(25)  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;(26)  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
The 2nd Coming Of Christ 24:30-31 13:26-27 21:27-28
(30)  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.(31)  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (26)  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.(27)  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.  (27)  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.(28)  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Parable Of Fig Tree 24:32-36 13:28-33 21:29-33
(32)  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:(33)  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.(34)  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.(35)  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.(36)  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (28)  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:(29)  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.(30)  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.(31)  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.(32)  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.(33)  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. (29)  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;(30)  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(31)  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.(32)  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.(33)  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
3 Examples Of Unreadiness 24:37-44
(37)  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(38)  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,(39)  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(40)  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.(41)  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.(42)  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.(43)  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.(44)  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Exhortation To be Ready 24:45—51 13:34-37 21:34-36
(45)  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?(46)  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.(47)  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.(48)  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;(49)  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;(50)  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,(51)  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (34)  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.(35)  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:(36)  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.(37)  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (34)  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.(35)  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.(36)  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

 

 

From this table, it is very easy to see the parallel nature of the accounts of this event found in Matt, Mark and Luke.  Matthew’s seems to be the most detailed.  This makes sense because Matthew is the only author of the three that personally accompanied Christ during His earthly ministry.  Both Mark and Luke wrote their accounts from second hand sources.

In the other portion of our lesson, I would like us to examine the seven seals presented by John in Revelation with the above accounts of Christ’s teaching on the same subject… the signs that will take place before His second coming to the earth.

Because the account of Christ’s teaching in Matthew is the most detailed, we will use the Matthew text in this comparison.  However, it would be possible to use any (or all) of the three gospel accounts in comparison with the seven seals of Revelation…

 

Seal # Descript Revelation TextRev 6:1-17 Affects WorldMatt 24:4-8Matt 24:29-31 Affects ChristiansMatt 24:9-14 Affects Jewish NationMatt 24:15-28
1 Anti-Christs& False Teachers 6:1-2 24:4-5 24:11-13 24:23-28
(1)  And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.(2)  And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (4)  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.(5)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (11)  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.(12)  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(13)  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  (23)  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.(24)  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.(25)  Behold, I have told you before.(26)  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.(27)  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(28)  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
2 Wars & Rumours Of Wars 6:3-4 24:6-7a 24:15-21
(3)  And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.(4)  And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. (6)  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.(7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (15)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)(16)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:(17)  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:(18)  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.(19)  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(20)  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:(21)  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
3 Famines & Shortage 6:5-6 24:7b
(5)  And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.(6)  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
4 Horrific Deaths 6:7-8 24:7c-8 24:22a
(7)  And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.(8)  And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.(8)  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
5 Persecution  Christians 6:9-11 24:9-10 24:22b
(9)  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:(10)  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?(11)  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (9)  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.(10)  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Six Darkness In Heavens 6:12-17 24:29
(12)  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;(13)  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.(14)  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.(15)  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;(16)  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:(17)  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? 29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
InterLude Protecting God’s People /Prelude To His Coming Revelation 7:1-17 Matthew 24:30-31
Text Omitted Due To Length(Please refer to Bible for these passages) (30)  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.(31)  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
7 God’s Wrath At The 2nd Coming 8:1-13; 16:1-21; 19:11-21
Text Omitted Due To Length(Please refer to Bible for these passages)

 

 

As you can see from the above, chart the very same events that are described in Christ’s teachings on the signs of His coming are identical to the seven seals of the scroll of Revelation.

This is important for us to understand, because it is another proof that the seven six represent the events that must take place before Christ’s 2nd coming.   The seventh seal reveals the wrath of God that falls at His 2nd coming.

 

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.”

Micah 5:2 – “Bethlehem”

SIH STSTA ICON“Micah 5:2 – Bethlehem”

(Christmas Lesson 2014)

 

One of the most well-known of all the Old Testament prophecies touching upon the birth of Christ is found in Micah 5:2…

 

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

 

By taking a moment to study this passage, we can learn much about our Wonderful Savior who was born in this small and greatly celebrated town of Judah.

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

 

Mic 5:2 KJV – But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Luk 2:4-7 KJV – And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

THE STUDY:

Before we begin to take a detailed look at Micah 5:2, we need to recognize that this prophecy was given to Micah approximately 700 years before the birth of Christ.

Stop and think about this amazing truth.  Our sovereign God perfectly revealed to man a detailed description of the birthplace of Messiah 700 years in advance.  The historical record of this prophecy’s fulfillment can be found in Luke 2:4-7…

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) … And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

He then took things a step further by giving to Micah a specific description of the Lordship and the Divinity of the Messiah that was to be born.  Although the giving of this prophecy is a great miracle, it is greatly overshadowed by its miraculous fulfillment, the

birth of the Messiah…

 

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah,

  1. The “house” of Jesus, in other words the place of His birth, was “Bethlehem” which means “house of bread”. This helps us to understand the importance of the Messiah… the Messiah is the “bread of life”, the source of spiritual life for sinful mankind (John 6:32-59).

When a lost man turns from his sin (repents) and trusts in the Messiah as his Lord and Savior, he is partaking of the Messiah much like a person partakes of bread.  Just as bread gives strength and sustains the life to man, so too, when we partake of the Messiah through repentance and belief He secures for us forgiveness, spiritual life, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. In this prophecy, Bethlehem is further identified as “Ephratah”. This distinguishes it from another town named “Bethlehem” that existed in the land area of Zebulun.  “Ephratah” signifies “fruitfulness” or productivity.  In this title of the Messiah’s birthplace, we can see the manifold accomplishments of Messiah being referenced (John 21:25).  These accomplishments came about through His teachings, miracles, life-example, and His death and resurrection)

The Messiah successfully accomplished the complete mission upon which the Father had sent Him.  This included: presenting truths concerning His Father to the world through His words and deeds; redeeming His people from their sins; and gaining the victory over sin and death.  His life, that was begun in the insignificant town of Bethlehem Ephratah certainly was perfectly productive and bore manifold fruit for His Father.

 

 

though thou be little among the thousands of Judah,

Bethlehem, which was among the thousands of cities and towns of Judah, was irrelevant in the eyes of men, it was chosen by God to be the birthplace of the Messiah!

This helps us to understand that although man may judge people, places and things as irrelevant, when God chooses to use them for His glory, they are relevant in His sight and hold great significance for His purposes.

Why does God choose that which appears irrelevant to man to hold positions of great importance in His purposes?  By doing this, He rightfully secures all of the honor and glory for Himself by displaying His greatness to all.  (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

 

 

yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;

When the Messiah came forth from Bethlehem, Bethlehem was giving birth to One that would be the eternal Ruler of Israel.

The Messiah, who came from the line of Jewish Kings, was recognized as the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and was given the eternal rule over the spiritual nation of Israel (Hebs 1:8) .  This spiritual nation is made up of saved Jews and Gentiles (Roms 9:6-8, Gals 3:26-29, Phils 3:2-3) all of whom will accompany Him at Armageddon and dwell with Him eternally in the New Jerusalem (Rev 17:14, Rev 21: and 22:).

 

 

whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

This same Jesus, who is the Bread of Life, the Flawlessly Fruitful One, and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is the Eternal God.

Jesus, who was born as a babe in Bethlehem, was God come in the likeness of sinful flesh (Roms 8:1-4), which allowed Him to experience temptation (Heb 4:14-16) and give His life on the cross to secure the salvation of sinners (Phil 2:5-8).

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION/SUMMARY:

For this small town of Bethlehem came God Himself, born of a woman, born in the likeness of sinful flesh, to become the King of Kings and Savior of His people.  As we enter this time of year may we all keep our minds on these very important truths from God’s Word…

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.  (Isa 9:6-7 KJV)

For the Christian, young and old, our central attention concerning Christmas should not be placed upon Santa Claus, gift giving, or socializing and partying.  We should be placing our attention upon the Lord Jesus Christ, His coming to the earth, His ministry, and most importantly, the miracle of salvation by grace that He has accomplished through His death and resurrection.

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

For more Christmas Resources please click on the following links:

 

Miscellaneous Subjects Concerning Christmas:

Christ Or Santa Claus? Man Am I Confused!

Should Christians Participate In The Christmas Celebration?

Tis The Season To Deny The Existence Of God

 

The Biblical Christmas Account:

The Christmas Story In Matthew Part #1

The Christmas Story In Matthew Part #2

The Christmas Story In Luke Part #1

The Christmas Story In Luke Part #2

The Christmas Story In Luke Part #3

The Christmas Story In Luke Part #4

The Christmas Story In Chronological Order

 

Christmas Devotionals:

Think On These Things Devotional Luke 2:10-11 Part #1

Think On These Things Devotional Luke 2:10-11 Part #2

 

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Happy Thanksgiving From SIH Ministries!

ThanksgivingPosting

 

 

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day To All Our Followers and Visitors To SIH Ministries…

 

 Be Blessed, Safe, And Loved On This Day That Is Set Aside To Meditate On The Lord And His Goodness To Us!

You Have Been, And Continue To Be, A Source Of Great Encouragement To Us!

 

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

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

The Letter To Laodicea…

 

Revelation 4:1-5 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

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

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

A very brief outline of this section of Scripture:

Vision Of Heaven 4:1-5:14

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

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 4: –

(1)  After this I looked, 

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

and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: 

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

 

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

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

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

 

which said, Come up hither,

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

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

 

and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

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

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

 

(2)  And immediately I was in the spirit: 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

24 elders are sitting on these thrones.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

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

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

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

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

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

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

 

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

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

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

The Letter To Laodicea…

 

 

 

Revelation 3:14-22 KJV

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

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 3: – 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

(15)  I know thy works, 

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

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

 

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

What was the condition of the church?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

I will spue thee out of my mouth.

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

 

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

Their condition in further explained…

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

In actuality, they …

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

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

“miserable” – pitiful, needing great mercy and compassion

“poor” – spiritual beggars

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

“naked” – spiritually stripped and shameful

 

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

 

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

The Lord tells them the three remedies they need…

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

  

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

In Song of Solomon 5:2-6 –

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

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

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

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

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

 

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

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

Revelation 3:7-13 “Christ’s Letter To The Church At Philadelphia”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

The Letter To Philadelphia…

Rev 3:7-13 KJV

(7)  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

(8)  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

(9)  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

(10)  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

(11)  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

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

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

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

  1. Description of Christ (v 7)
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences (v 8-11)
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences (N/A)
  4. Promise to Overcomers (v 12-13)

 

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

 

Revelation 3: –

 (7)  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; 

The Lord addresses this letter to the local church located in Philadelphia.  The main north-south and east-west trade routes intersected at Philadelphia.  This caused the city to be greatly influenced by the Greek traveler/merchants/traders that passed through the city.  Their influence included introducing the worship of Greek Gods into the city.  Those who began this idolatrous worship turned against the local church there and persecuted its members.

Besides these idolaters, the city also contained many radical Jewish citizens that actively persecuted the members of this church.

The city had undergone a very severe earthquake about 80 years earlier which had resulted in a majority of the city being destroyed.  Following this massive quake the city suffered from aftershocks for many years afterward resulting in great destruction and the need to be constantly rebuilding the city.

 

 

These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

The Lord now, using symbolism from the vision of Himself seen by John in chapter 1, describes Himself using symbolism that points to Him as the promised OT Messiah:

  1. He that is holy – He that is sinless and separated for God’s use (Isaiah 47:4)
  2. He that is true – He is the One that is genuine, sincere, and only speaks with veracity (Psalm 31:5)
  3. He that hath the key of David – He possesses ultimate authority over the physical and spiritual nations of Israel (Isaiah 22:22)
  4. He that openeth and no man shutteth and shutteth and no man openeth – He is the Sovereign Lord who controls all things, His will cannot be stopped by anyone. (Isaiah 22:22)

 

Every one of these titles for Christ are used in the OT in reference to the promised Messiah.  When Christ refers to them in this letter, He is giving the local church at Philadelphia a very strong reminder that He is the promised Messiah who will gain the ultimate victory over His enemies…

Psa 21:7-10 KJV – For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.    Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.   Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.  Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.

During this time of great persecution at the hands of both Jews and Gentiles, the church could know with certainty that the Lord they serve is the True Messiah who will have the ultimate victory over those that oppose His people.

 

(8)  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

The Lord now commends them for their faithfulness in these areas:

  1. I know thy works – the great effort they expended as they served their Lord
  2. thou hast little strength – although they had much spiritual strength, they had very little respect (“clout”) in the eyes of the world. They lacked great authority, social status, education and wealth. (Many times the Lord uses the weak of the world to bring Him the most glory and honor.  The weak cannot claim their strength won the victory, they must acknowledge that any victory they are given is through the power of God and not their own.)
  3. thou hast kept my word – they possessed, guarded and maintained the truths of God.
  4. thou hast not denied my name – they neither disowned nor blasphemed His name.

I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it – Because they were faithful in these areas, the Lord blessed them with additional opportunities to serve Him.

The Lord blesses faithfulness by giving greater responsibilities and opportunities of service.  Likewise, when we are unfaithful in the responsibilities we have been given, many times He will decrease the opportunities of service. (Matt 25:26-28)

 

(9)  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Just as in the city of Smyrna (Rev 2:9), the local church at Philadelphia faced persecution at the hands of physical Jews who mistakenly believed their lineage made them a part of spiritual Israel (God’s spiritually chosen people.)  Note that these physical Jews were called “the synagogue of Satan” because they were, in actuality, worshipping and serving Satan by denying that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

The Lord gave them the promise that someday these lost Jews would be defeated and the saved members of the church would be given positions of rulership over them.  This will take place during the Battle of Armageddon and final judgment of lost mankind (Rev 19:11-16, 1 Cor 6:2)

 

(10)  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Another blessing they would receive of the Lord, based upon their faithfulness, was that the Lord would “keep thee from the hour of temptation…”

In other words, the Lord would keep them separated from the great Roman persecutions under Trajan that would touch the lives of all men on earth.  These same persecutions would fall specifically on churches and individual Christians in various nations as a time of trial or “temptation” upon Christians (to forsake Christ and turn from His teachings).  The Lord protected the church at Philadelphia from these Trajan persecutions.

Remember, the Lord had told the church at Smyrna that they would face tribulation (Rev 2:10).  This helps us to understand that the Lord deals differently in the lives of those who are faithful to Him.  We need to always be sure and not try to guess why the Lord deals with His people as He does.  His mind is greater then ours, His ways are higher than ours.  We can never begin to really understand all His workings among men.

This great promise of escape from temptation was given to them because they had kept God’s Word patiently, while under great persecution and stress.  They were willing to wait on the Lord to remove the persecution from them, instead of taking matters in their own hands, forsaking the truth, so that their persecution might end prematurely.

 

 

(11)  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

The Lord promises the church that He will come suddenly and unexpectedly. This is speaking of the Lord’s intervening protection keeping the church safe from the Roman persecutions.   They were to hold onto the areas of faithfulness that existed so that they might receive eternal rewards at His second coming.

In other words, “Church at Philadelphia, don’t give up.  I am coming quickly to protect you in the midst of the persecutions that will take place around you.  By remaining faithful NOW it will secure many eternal rewards for you when I come back at the second coming.”

 

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

To those who were true believers in Christ (overcomers) he promised:

  1. will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: – the overcomer will become a “permanent fixture” in the temple of God. In other words, he will forever be in the presence of the Lord, honoring, praising and serving Him.  This is emphasized by the phrase “he shall go no more out”.
  2. and I will write upon him the name of my God, – showing ownership, much like a servant who wore the mark of his master upon him.
  3. I will write upon him… the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: – showing the overcomer’s citizenship in the New Jerusalem (heaven on the new earth – Rev 21:1-2)
  4. and I will write upon him my new name. – showing the new relationship that will be enjoyed by the overcomer and His Lord Jesus. He will see Christ in a new way and experience a new level of intimacy with Him.

 

 

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

Those who are genuinely saved, able to understand the Word through the ministry of the indwelling Spirit, are invited to read this letter, understand it and put it into action in their own personal lives and the life of the corporate assembly.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this letter to the Philadelphians, we can see Jesus as the Promised Messiah of the Old Testament.  It is this same Jesus that holds the ultimate authority over Israel, the physical nation separated for His use in the times of the Old Testament; and the spiritual nation of Israel (found in both Old Testament and New Testament times) made up of all the elect to salvation, sanctification, and eternal glory.

Jesus, the Messiah and King of Israel, is shown as the Loving Lord who rewards the faithfulness of His followers with increased opportunities of service and temporal blessings of protection and strength and eternal blessings of security, fellowship and revelation of Himself.

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, we can see in this short letter the need for faithfulness in times of trials.  May we be motivated to this faithfulness by remembering our Lord is in control.  He is in control of the opportunities of service placed before us, our temporal physical and spiritual needs being met, and our security and eternal glory.

May we honor and serve Him knowing He is truly the Sovereign King that constantly is at work on behalf of His chosen people.

 

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

 

 

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

Do We Have A Godly Fear Of The Lord?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV – “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he that hath the seven Spirits of God (4)”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

 

In this devotional, we will continue to look at the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2), which is described in this passage as the “seven Spirits of God”.  For our devotion this morning, we will be looking at “The Spirit of knowledge” and “The Spirit of the fear of the Lord”.

What do we learn about the ministries of the Holy Spirit from these titles?   These two ministries of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people go hand in hand.  As we learn more about the Lord, we are moved to reverence, and fear Him in greater ways.   Truly. with knowledge comes a greater respect for the Lord, a recognition of our frailty, an admittance of our continuing sinfulness and our great need of the Lord’s mercy.

It is very important that we understand the meaning of the word “fear” for this lesson.   The word fear is the Hebrew word “yare” it is translated in the Bible as “afraid”, “fearful”, “dreadful”, “exceedingly”, and “fearfulness”.  It always carries with it the idea of fear or anxiety, or distress, and many times is linked to the idea of greatness, veneration or astonishment.

The idea is this whenever “yare” is present in the life of a person:

  1. it shows itself as “fear” which comes from anxiety based upon…
  2. the realization of the greatness or overwhelming ability of the thing feared.

To put it simply, when Christians come to a greater knowledge of the Word they also come to an  understanding of  The Lord’s greatness, His overwhelming power, His authority and His holiness.  This in turn reminds us of our frailty, sinfulness, and inability to please Him of our own ability.

These truths (about God and ourselves) cause us to reverence His person and to fear His chastening hand in our lives.  It is much like a child who, not only reverences their Father, but fears His hand of discipline.   This type of fear, in no way, minimizes the work of Christ, nor the assurance of salvation that the Christian possesses.  It is simply a recognition of our continued failings in life and His love for us in as a heavenly Father, disciplining us to renew a heart of obedience to Him.  (Hebs 12:4-17)

There are some that mistakenly believe a Christian is only to reverence the Lord and not to fear Him.  However, if we correctly understand the scriptures we know that a Christian is to have a healthy fear of the chastening hand of God in our lives which is one motivation, among many to live Godly lives for Him.  Although we do not fear losing our salvation, nor Him sending His eternal wrath upon us, we are to fear what He may do in our lives when we fall into known, unrepentant sin.

This principle is clearly brought out in Isa 11:2 as a ministry of the Spirit in our lives, this is why He is called “the Spirit of the fear of the Lord”.  We can also see the same principle in many verses including…

Psalms 2:11 KJV – “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”

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

Psalms 119:120-122 KJV – “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.  AIN. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.   Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me. “

Isaiah 66:2 KJV – “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

Hebrews 12:28-29 KJV – “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:  For our God is a consuming fire.”

 

May we ask the Lord to develop within us a Godly reverence and fear in our lives through the intervention of His Spirit and increased knowledge of His Word.

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-3OE

 

 

Are We Led And Empowered By The Spirit? Or Are We Doing It On Our Own?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he that hath the seven Spirits of God” (3)

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

 

 

 

In this devotional, we will continue to look at the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2), which is described in this passage as the “seven Spirits of God”.  For our devotion this morning, we will be looking at “The Spirit of counsel” and “The Spirit of might”.

What do we learn about the ministries of the Holy Spirit from these titles?   It is from the Holy Spirit that the saint is given divine guidance and instruction (counsel), and the strength and the boldness (might) to follow that His leadership.

The Holy Spirit leads us to do the will of our Heavenly Father.  Without this leadership in our lives, we would be unable to begin to discern the Lord’s will and know the path of life we are to take.  Then, following the Spirit’s guidance, we then find that the He strengthens us to boldly follow the will of the Lord in the face of persecution and sacrifice…

Psalms 18:32 KJV – “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”

This is the two-fold ministry that the Spirit performs among all of God’s people.  This is why He is described as “The Spirit of counsel and the Spirit of might”.

 

Folks, do we appreciate the Holy Spirit’s leadership for our lives?  And, likewise, do we appreciate His enabling grace which allows us to bravely do what we have been called to do?   Following His leadership and seeking His strength are two keys to living a successful Christian life.

May we all remember our frailties and the great need of the Spirit’s daily leadership and strength as we seek to fulfill our life’s callings.

 

 

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-3OE

 

Do We Appreciate The Spirit For Giving Us Understanding and Wisdom?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV – “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he that hath the seven Spirits of God” (2)

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

 

 

 

In this devotional, we will continue to look at the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2), which is described in this passage as the “seven Spirits of God”.  For our devotion this morning, we will be looking at “The Spirit of wisdom” and “The Spirit of understanding”.

What do we learn about the ministries of the Holy Spirit from these titles?   The Spirit of God is the One that opens the eyes of God’s people giving them a comprehension of God’s Word (understanding), as well as insight into its application to their lives (wisdom).

A.  understanding – When we possess understanding, we not only accept His Word as a series of facts, but we are also given insight into WHY these things are so. This is vital for the life of every Christian.  An understanding of His truths greatly effects the MOTIVATIONS for our service.

For example, it is one thing to know that we are to live lives pleasing to the Lord.  But when we grasp that obedience results in the following, our motivation for service is drastically effected:

  1. a display of Christ to a lost world,
  2. a display of appreciation for all He has done for us,
  3. a display of our status as members of both the spiritual nation of Israel and the family of God,
  4. and the receipt of temporal blessings and future rewards,
  5. etc etc

 

B.  wisdom – When we possess wisdom, we are aware of how to apply the principles of God’s Word to our day to day life. Wisdom shows us HOW to make Godly decisions, HOW to avoid temptations, HOW to pray… the list is endless. Wisdom effects the ACTIONS of our service.

For example, wisdom shows us the way to avoid temptations involve:

  1. keeping our minds upon Christ and His Word
  2. learn how Satan works
  3. learn the areas where we are most susceptible to temptations
  4. avoid situations where we will be tempted
  5. be ever vigilant to recognize attacks that are taking place
  6. consistently recognize our inability and seek Christ’s enablement to overcome temptation
  7. etc etc

Understanding answers the WHY…. Wisdom answers the HOW.  Understanding affects our MOTIVES for service… Wisdom affects our ACTS of service.

Both understanding and wisdom are recognized as essentials for service in the cause of Christ…

Colossians 1:8-10 KJV – “Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,…”

Both of these come to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.

 

Folks, as we open His Word on a day to day basis and we have thankful hearts pointed towards the Holy Spirit.  It is only through Him that we can come to an understanding of the truths of the Word and the wisdom needed to apply those truths to our lives!  What would we do without either of these?  Our service to the Lord would be impossible.

 

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-3OE

Do You Recognize The Seven Ministries Of The Spirit In Your Life?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he that hath the seven Spirits of God” (1)

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

 

 

 

In this text, our Lord is described as having “the seven Spirits of God”.  The last time I looked in the Bible there was only one Holy Spirit.  So what in the world could “the seven Spirits of God” be talking about?

We find the answer to our question in Isaiah 11:2…

“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

Here, we find listed the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people.  It is in that sense that there are seven Spirits of God working in our midst.

Everything that the Holy Spirit does for the people of God can be categorized in one, or a combination, of these seven:

  1. The Spirit Of The Lord
  2. The Spirit of wisdom
  3. The Spirit of understanding
  4. The Spirit of counsel
  5. The Spirit of might
  6. The Spirit of knowledge
  7. The Spirit of fear of the Lord

Here, we find listed the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people.  It is in that sense that there are seven Spirits of God working in our midst.

Please note the four natural divisions of these workings of the Spirit… ““And the spirit of the LORD”, “the spirit of wisdom and understanding”, “ the spirit of counsel and might”,” the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

 


In this, and the next three devotionals, I would like us to take a quick look at these four divisions of the seven Holy Spirit ministries to help encourage our hearts by reminding us of the many daily blessings we receive through the ministry of the Spirit.

For this morning I would like us to simply look at the first division which contains only one title of the Spirit… “The Spirit of the Lord”, or “the Spirit of the One who is our Master, Ruler, and King”.

It is the Holy Spirit that brings God’s people to recognize that Jesus is their Lord.

 

This title reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the One that brings upon the people of God a spirit of repentance and submission to the will and ways of God.    It is the Holy Spirit that softens the sin-hardened heart and leads it into compliance with the will of God…

Psalms 143:10 KJV – “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”

 

 

Folks, before our salvation, how did we come to a knowledge of our sins and the need to turn from our sins to the Lord?  It was through the ministry of “The Spirit of the Lord”.

How did we recognize Christ as the Lord of our life and the One to whom we are to serve?   The Spirit of the Lord showed us these things.

After our salvation, as we read God’s word and become convicted over the sin that still dwells within us, how did this take place?  It is through the ministry of the Spirit of the Lord”.

As we live our life and recognize the proper decision that we are to make, how do we come to these decisions?  It is by the intervention of “the Spirit of the Lord” guiding us and leading us to do His will.

As we enter our day, let us all be thankful for the Spirit’s leadership in our lives, as He brings us into a greater submission to the will of God, the Lord of our 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-3OE

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