Fred Coulter - May 29, 2004

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

or Download

And greetings brethren. This is day 49 in the count to Pentecost, which will be tomorrow. And as we know this is a great significance as we have been studying coming up to the time of Pentecost, how that God deals and has framed everything around His holy days. And of course the season, as we have seen, shows that this is going to be a harvest of God. Now there are many lessons we can learn, so let’s go to 2 Chronicles 29 and let’s look at some things and make some comparisons between the state of the church today and the state of Judah and Israel at the time we find here in 2 Chronicles 29. Let’s go back a little bit to 2 Chronicles 28 because we need to see what things have happened here and how they have come about, and let’s look at the stage that was set for King Hezekiah. Because you see, human nature is such that it starts out at a low point of repentance and then familiarity breeds in, and then ‘getting along and going along’ breeds in, and then Satan is there and he begins to add in his things. And just like Israel and Judah of old, the churches of God begin to incorporate some of the doctrines of Satan the devil. And of course today that’s what so many of them have done. So let’s see the parallel here beginning in 2 Chronicles 28.

Let’s begin right here in verse 1, “Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father:…” And we find that’s so true. When one generation passes away and another generation comes, then it seems as though, and even in business they have said that in the third generation of inheriting businesses, the families cause it to just blow apart. So here we are in the third generation in our time, and what do we have? We have it blowing apart, and we have the doctrines of Satan coming into the church in many, many different forms. We have the doctrines from Judaism, we have the doctrines from Protestantism, we have doctrines from Catholicism. And all of these things have taken place within the church of God and caused great problems. So let’s see what Ahaz did here.

He didn’t walk in the way that God intended like David his forefather did. “…For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.” And of course as we know the sin of Israel was Sunday-keeping, just like the sin of Israel today is Sunday-keeping, which means that they kept the feast of Baal instead of the feasts of God. Now I want you to look at the state of the church today as we’re going through and seeing this, and I want you to consider that maybe there’s all whole lot more that we all need to do as individuals, and all whole lot more that we need to do in our lives in drawing close to God and in doing the things that we need to do. And I want you to also see that there are probably a lot of things that we need to do as a group together to do the things that God wants us to do.

Now let’s see what else he did. “Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom,…” And I want you to listen to this because then we are going to go to his son Hezekiah. And then after Hezekiah, Hezekiah’s son Manasseh went back and did the very same thing. Because you see what the problem is – people do not really want to follow God, God’s way. They get enough of God and they get enough of His Word and then they decide in their own minds that they want to follow God with this add-on it and with that add-on, and with the other add-on, and they end up telling God what to do. And the same thing has happened within the churches of God. It happened right here. “…And burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.”

So needless to say, when the Israelites came in, and God even used the hand of the Israelites to correct those in Jerusalem and Judah, and they slaughtered a great number and took a great number captive. But God intervened through the prophet Oded, and he said, “Do not take the captives with you.” So the children of Israel took of the spoil and they clothed them, they fed them, and they returned them back to Judah. So God didn’t want them to make slaves of them.

Now let’s see what Ahaz did, and why it was so abominable. Verse 22, “And in the time of his distress…” You see when you’re in trouble is when you need to go to God. But he didn’t. “And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.” See, because when we do what we think is right, or we do political things, or we look to other religions of this world to give us understanding of the Word of God, we’re going to be in great trouble just like it Ahaz was, and we’ll see that that was one of the problems within the church’s of God.

“And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers” (2 Chron. 28:1-5, 22-25). Now you see this was absolutely a terrible situation for his son, Hezekiah, to inherit.

Now let’s see what Hezekiah did. And here is a good example for us of what we need to do in the churches of God, what we need to do to get our lives squared around with God, and let’s see what he did. It was really quite spectacular.

Now 2 Chronicles 29:1, “Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, and said unto them, … sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify [cleanse the temple and the sanctuary] the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.

Verse 6,“For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken Him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs. Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel. Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.” So apparently Hezekiah did what God said – that he was to have a copy of the book of the law, and he was to read it all the days of his life. So he did what David did here.

Now look, let’s see how similar this is to what’s happening to the churches of God today. Verse 9, “For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.” Now notice his attitude – the attitude of repentance. The attitude of change. The attitude of really getting right with God and helping all of those with him to do so. “Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us” (2 Chron. 29:1-10).

And brethren, that’s what it has to be with us. If you don’t think the fierce wrath of God has been against His churches you’ve got another thought coming. And that’s why it’s in the disarray that it is in. Now the remnant of those of us who are trying to help piece it back together, we have to do just like Hezekiah did here – to have it in our heart to do it. See, we’re not here to do our thing. We are not here to do what we desire. We are not here for organizations or numbers or peoples, we are here to preach the Word of God. And we are here to live our lives according to God’s Spirit. And we are here because we have a holy mission and a holy calling of God to do what He wants us to do in our individual lives and collectively together. And so we can pretty well say this is the kind of covenant we need to have in our hearts. And I know when I was studying, preparing for this sermon that that really got to me, that this is the thing that we need to do. Each one who has the Spirit of God needs to make the same covenant with God to get their lives right, to get them squared around, and to do so with love and with zeal, and with determination as never before.

Now then he told the Levites, “You go ahead and you get in there and you clean it up, and you do the things that need to be.” So here it was, they weren’t doing what they needed to be doing. It took them a tremendous time to go ahead and clean out the temple. As a matter of fact they didn’t get it done until the 16th day of the first month, so they missed the Passover and on into the Feast of Unleavened Bread because the temple was so absolutely filled with abominations and destroyed by king Ahaz that it took all this time and it went beyond the Passover. So we come to chapter 30 and we see what they did here.

So here’s what Hezekiah did, 2 Chronicles 30:1, “And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel.” Now remember, as we have already covered that the Passover is the most important thing of God, because there is no covenant relationship with God unless there is the Passover. So notice how he started out here with the Passover. And we’re going to see as we go through this that it continued on into the time of Pentecost, and actually carried forward to the fall feasts in the seventh month. So this is really a tremendous revival that has been taken place by Hezekiah. And what it does it shows this: it shows that if the people of God returned to Him they will keep not only the Sabbath but also the Passover and the holy days of God. Now you can just witness the Seventh Day Adventists. Yes, they keep the Sabbath. Yes, they have some fairly good things that they do, but they have incorporated too many of the doctrines of Protestantism, and they don’t know the plan of God. Because as we have seen, the plan of God, the framework for it is the Passover and the holy days. So it’s significant that he sent out the letters for them to keep the Passover, and it was the Passover in the second month, as we will see in the next verse here.

“For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.” Now you can read that in Numbers 9, that if someone is unclean because of touching a dead body, or in a journey afar off, that they could keep it in the second month if they were clean within one month, or if they were back into the land of Israel at that time. Now the people were all unclean spiritually, so it’s certainly was a very important thing for them to do, to keep the Passover in the second month. And that was a right judgment to do so.

“For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. For they could not keep it at that time [that is, the first month], because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.” So it pleased everyone. They sent out a letter, and here is the sum of the letter. You can read it, let’s come down here to verse 8 where Hezekiah makes it very clear.

He says, “Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into His sanctuary, which He hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if ye return unto Him.” So that was the letter that went out to all of it Israel, to all the cities of Judah, and up into Ephraim and Manasseh.

So they gathered together to keep not only the Passover, but verse 13, “And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.” Now let’s understand it this way: Just like this year the Passover was on the night of the fourth of April, the second Passover was on the night of the fourth of May. Exactly one month later. Then like this year Pentecost is on the thirtieth of May. So you go from the fourth of May to the thirtieth of May and you have just right at 27 days left, don’t you? Actually inclusive counting, 28 days or four weeks. So what they did, they came, they kept the Passover and Unleavened Bread.

Now let’s come to verse 21 and see what they did. “And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD. And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings,…” and so forth.

Now verse 23, “And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days:…” So now we’re dealing with two weeks involved, right? Yes, so they kept the other seven days. And it was a tremendous thing that took place. So let’s come down here to verse 26. “So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.” So this was a great revival. “Then the priests…arose…” and did all the things they needed to do. (2 Chronicles 30:1-2, 8-9, 13, 21-23, 26-27).

Now let’s come to chapter 31 and we will see that since there were only two more weeks until Pentecost, what they did up to the time of Pentecost, and what they did from the time of Pentecost on down to the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. Quite an amazing thing. Now let’s read it here. Verse 1, “Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves,…” So this was a tremendous revival, you see. And I tell you what, this is what we really need in the church of God. All the ministers, all the elders, all the people need to go into their lives and cut down their images, and groves, and high places, and all their vanity, and stupidity, and all of the false doctrines that they have brought into the church, and all of the false calendar information that everyone is going to have one-ups man-ship on how smart they are, how great they are.

And let me just tell you this: God gave the calendar long before the Naval Observatory ever came into existence. When you start dealing with the calendar things… Now there’s one out there… There are so many calendar things out there that I can’t name them, but let me tell you something: God did not give the Calculated Hebrew Calendar to Hezekiah and the Levites, which we’re reading of right here, in vain. He gave it so it would set the feast straightforward from that time forward, and it is mathematically in tune with everything that there is in the universe. And puny little men going around looking for the wave sheaf offering, ignoring Christ, marrying themselves to Judaism and trying to get the people of God to do that are committing great sin against God. So we need to do exactly what they are doing here. Get rid of all of those doctrines within the church. Get rid of all of those selfish, self-serving beliefs. There’s even one man claiming (he’s supposed to be a minister of God) that he is “that prophet.” Now “that prophet” was Jesus Christ. Now I would say this: he doesn’t have too long before God’s judgment comes on him because he is representing himself in the church of God as a false Christ. Now see, we need to understand this. The God means business. He’s not going to give the eternal life and cause people to be resurrected in the first resurrection because they try. God expects us to do.

Now let’s read on. So what they did, he set it all up. After they did that then notice verse 3, “He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings,…” We will see they brought in all the tithes and everything. And those tithes were more than just agricultural products and animals, because Hezekiah made a foolish mistake in his pride at the end, of showing all of the ambassadors from Babylon the great treasure of the tithes and offerings that were stored up at the temple because of what the people had given. And that was all the gold and the silver and everything like that. And so one of the great limiting factors that people have today is they don’t believe in tithing. Will what you want to do, you ought to go to God and tell Him you don’t believe Him. Yes, ministers have abused tithing but that doesn’t eliminate the law. Just like people have abused Sabbath-keeping, that does not justify Sunday-keeping. See, now we need to get our heads screwed on right. If we are going to be the firstfruits of God, if we are going to be to the glory of His praise, then God expects us to do the things He wants us to do just like here.

So the long and the short of it was verse 5, “And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits…” So it shows, because it says they kept the set feasts – was not Pentecostal one of the set feasts? What is firstfruits connected with? The Feast of Pentecost. That’s what they were doing. “…Of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.” So what they did, there was so much coming in that Hezekiah had to build storehouses. And it kept coming in all summer, and they continued to do this. Here verse 7, “And in the third month they began…” [because the tithe of the holy things were consecrated to God] and they began to heap up all of the store of everything, and so he had to build storehouses. So anyway, he laid the foundation and they “…finished them in the seventh month” (2 Chron.31:1, 3, 5, 7). So all during the summer as the harvest would come in they would bring it in. And it carried right down to the seventh month.

Now likewise with us, the things that we are doing – it starts out with the Passover and Unleavened Bread and then into Pentecost. And then it comes down to what we are going to be doing after the first resurrection when Christ returns, how that we are going to be the ones who are going to help restore this world to the kingdom of God. And if there is any one thing that the events in the world are portraying today is this: that you cannot have world government without the rule of God, and without one set of laws, and with out those who are dedicated to serving God. It cannot work.

Now let’s continue on. Let’s look in the New Testament and see how the seven churches were also affected by the exact same sins that Israel was. And so we need to do just like Hezekiah here. We need to be like the people that followed him. We need to all make a covenant in our hearts to serve the Lord our God with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and being so that we can accomplish what God wants us to do in our individual lives. And whatever door that God opens for us to do to the world then we’ll do what He wants us to do. We’re not going to go out and do our thing. We are not going to go out and to create a false work of God and run down the road and say, “This is the work of God. This is the work of God. And oh, by the way God, since this is Your work, You’ve got to bless it.” Well you see, God doesn’t have to bless anything unless He is behind it. God doesn’t have to bless anything because we think we are who we are. We have to be what God wants us to be, and we have to be led of the Spirit of God to do what God wants us to do. And that’s how things are going to be accomplished. It won’t be accomplished any other way.

Now let’s come to Revelation 2 and 3 and let’s see the parallels here. Now let’s see how the book of Revelation starts out because this is profoundly important for us to understand. In our relationship with Jesus Christ, as we have seen, Revelation 1 is the Passover and Unleavened Bread. Revelation 2 and 3 represent the seven weeks harvest. Now tomorrow we’ll talk about the 50th day harvest. But let’s see what is important here for us to realize. And let’s understand that at the set time Jesus Christ is going to come back. God’s plan and purpose has been predetermined and it’s going to be, and we have been called. And so this is why we need to understand the message to the seven churches and look at the parallels that we have seen back there in 2 Chronicles 29 through 31, and see the parallels in the churches. Because Satan the devil is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and so he’s going to use the same tactics. Maybe just a little different application. And Revelation shows us how he was doing that and what Christ thinks of it, and what we need to do.

Now first of all let’s pick it up here in Revelation 1:1. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, to show to His servants the things that are ordained to come to pass shortly; and He made it known, having sent it by His angel to His servant John;…” Now in God’s eye and view from the time of John till now is shortly. “…Who gave witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and all the things he saw. Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy…” Now let’s look at that for just a minute and understand it. You have to “read it and hear” means “to hear and to do.” Now if you want a very interesting study, why don’t you go through the book of Revelation and outline it according to the Ten Commandments, and see if not all the Ten Commandments are there.

Now let’s just if you one to start with. Revelation 14:12 (FV). “Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” See, you have to have both.

Now another thing that’s important: Unless you are keeping the things that are written in this book, you won’t understand it. That’s what’s important. And we’re living in the time of the fulfilling of the these things. And if we’re going to understand it we need to understand it in the way that God has put the framework of the Passover and the holy days in it because the book of Revelation is the ultimate fulfillment of the holy days of God. “…And who keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand.” So here’s the message. It goes to the seven churches.

Now notice who it’s from. “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come;…” And Jesus promised that, “if I go again, I will return.” And He is coming, and it’s going to be powerful, and it isn’t going to be a sweet nice little Jesus like most of the deceived professing satanic churches of the world, who profess a Christ. It’s going to be in power, it is going to be in might, and it is going to be an earth and universe shaking event. Because God said He is going to shake the heavens and shake the earth and the sea and everything that is in it. And this is the opening here that God gives to the book of Revelation, and then the first thing He talks too, as we will see, is the church, because the church is the most important thing in the mind of God. He can always take care of the world. His plan is eventually going to take care of it. But right now the immediate business is with the church of God. All the prophecies are going to work out the way He determines. Not one is going to fail. We may not all understand them in the way that God does, and what we do understand that has to be from what God gives us.

Now let’s continue. “…And from the seven spirits that are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,…” Passover, right? Yes. “…And has made us kings and priests…” That’s the goal. See, what Jesus does when He begins this, He holds out to us the whole purpose and the goal of where we are headed, and what we are to do, which is the greatest thing that can be in this life. You see, all of the other churches in the world, and too many churches of God, have made it a business of being better people. Well God’s business is not only for you to be better people, God’s business is to train you for eternal life. God’s business is so that you qualify through Christ. God’s business is so that you can be kings and priests and reign with Him. That’s what it’s all about.

“…To Him be the glory and the sovereignty into the ages of eternity. Amen.” He says every eye is going to see Him. Then He shows what He is like in His very spirit existence, shining as the sun in full strength. Now notice verse 8 what He says, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending,’” says the Lord, “‘Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come—the Almighty.’” Now that’s who has called us. That’s who has personally chosen us. That’s who has placed us in the church of God. Jesus Christ Himself, and God the Father together have made that choice for you. Now you see, when we get into the churches here in just a little bit, we’re going to see that God wants the church to stay in the condition that it was when it was washed with His blood. That is to stay in a state of spiritual righteousness with God, right-standing with Him continually. And we’re going to see where the church’s of God, because of human nature and because of Satan the devil, and sure enough you can get along with your human nature for a while but know for sure that when you do, guess who’s going to be right knocking at that the door very shortly after – Satan with his devices. And we will see that this happened to the church’s of God.

Now let’s come over here to verse 16. We won’t go through the full description of Him, but just this one here. “And in His right hand He had seven stars, and a sharp two-edged sword went out of His mouth [which is the Word of God], and His countenance was as the sun shining in its full power.” And John said, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead; but He laid His right hand upon me, saying to me, “‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last, even the one Who is living; for I was dead, and behold, I am alive into the ages of eternity. Amen. And I have the keys of the grave and of death. Write the things that you saw, and the things that are, and the things that shall take place hereafter.’” And we’re going to see that’s the whole key in understanding the book of Revelation. Because you see by the time we go through all of the holy days of God and come to the Last Great Day after the Feast of Tabernacles, we have gone through the whole book of Revelation. Now that’s profound, because the book of Revelation lays out the plan of God according to His holy days.

Now let’s go on. Then He says, “‘The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven lampstands that you saw are the seven churches’” (Rev. 1:1-6, 8, 16-20, FV). Now this is not like candelabra that was in the temple. The that was like this with three on each side and a center one. Christ is walking in the midst of the seven lampstands so it’s more like a circle. He’s in the midst. Christ is in the midst of His church. Christ is in each one of us through the power of the Holy Spirit, and we each one being a temple of God. In other words, God is living and dwelling in us with the earnest of the Spirit that He has given us, and we combined are the temple of God. And just like in the days of Hezekiah, the temple of God had to be cleansed, rebuilt, and rededicated to God. So likewise, the spiritual church of God needs to do the same thing.

Now let’s see what He says beginning with the church at Ephesus. “‘To the angel of the Ephesian church, write: These things says He Who holds the seven stars in His right hand, Who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.’ ” You see Christ is in the midst of His church. That’s why it is His church. Now here’s something we need to understand: God knows everything about us. Dwelling in us, He knows all of our faults, all our mistakes, all of our sins. He knows our hearts, He knows our minds, He knows our thoughts, and everything, doesn’t He? Yes, He does.

He says, “‘I know your works, and your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot bear those who are evil;…’” And I still don’t think we fully understand the tremendous assault that the New Testament church was really under during the times of the apostles and the establishing of the churches. And I think we’re beginning to get a glimpse of it right now today through the Nag Hammadi library that was discovered in upper Egypt where all of these false gospels are out there depicting supposedly many things that were done in the church, which were actually the forming of the false church which later became the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church - those things emanating out of Egypt. And the powers to be in the theological centers of the world today are looking at all of these gospels as a means of amalgamating all religions together. So we need to understand that they had a tremendous battle. And just like when the church first starts out “‘…you cannot bear those who are evil; and that you did test those who proclaim themselves to be apostles, but are not, and did find them liars;…’” That’s why it’s to the Word of God. Everything must be to the Word of God, and the truth of God. It’s not how important they are. It is not how good a speaker a person is. It’s not what they may say, it is what they do that’s important. So you have to check everything out by the Word of God. And the first thing that we need to do here is what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.” The only way you can prove all things is by the Word of God. And the only way you can hold fast to all things is that you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, that you are walking in His commandments and you are doing the things that are right. The that’s the only way the you are going to be able to find out truth from error.

Now let’s finish verse 3, “…And that you have borne much and have endured, and for My name’s sake have labored and have not grown weary; nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” And that means slacking off on the commandments - the first four commandments toward God; and of loving God with all of our heart, and mind, and soul and being. And they became involved in being more of a social club and more of do-gooders. In other words everything became so automatic. And I hear this today. People who hear some of the sermons and things that we give out, they say, “I was so bored, I was never even challenged in the church of God that I was in.” And they feel as though they’ve gotten out of a spiritual concentration camp. They lost their first love just like it is here. So here is the message. And let’s see this is for all the churches.

“‘Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works;…’” And that’s what we need to do brethren. We need to always be in an attitude of repentance toward God, because spiritual growth takes place bit by bit, day by day. A cleansing, a changing, a rebuilding, a renewing, and that only comes from deeper repentance and understanding to God. “‘…For if you do not, I will come to you quickly; and I will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent’” (Rev. 2:1-5, FV). Why have so many ministers and people left the church of God? Because of this very thing. They lost their first love and they didn’t repent.

Part 2

And now brethren, let’s look in Ephesians 5 and let’s see what Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus on how they needed to conduct their lives. And also we’ll see here that he gave them warnings about their own personal conduct, and warnings about people coming in and deceiving them. Ephesians 5:1, “Therefore, be imitators of God,…” Now that’s the pattern we are to follow. That’s why we need to study the life of Jesus Christ in the gospels and know it and understand that. That’s why we need to realize and understand all the attributes of God. We need to be imitators of God. Now that doesn’t mean that we become sweet nothings like the supposed professing Christians of the world are. Christ, as you go through and see how He lived His life, He was not a patsy, He was not a pushover, but He stood for God. Yet He was compassionate, He was kind, understanding, healed the sick, raised the dead, etc.

Verse 2, “…And walk in love, even as Christ also loved us,…” That goes right back to the words of the covenant for the Passover, doesn’t it? “…And gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints;…” Now those things have been allowed and permitted within the churches of God, and it’s a shame. “…Nor filthiness, nor foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming; but instead, thanksgiving. For this you know, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Which tells us very clearly that you cannot live in sin and expect God to give you eternal life. It just isn’t going to be.

“Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words [because they will come in with all kinds of vain words]; for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be joint partakers with them. For you were once darkness; but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,…” So this is how then, you maintain your first love. “…(Because the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is well pleasing to the Lord; and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them;…” That’s why the truth of God needs to be preached, the laws of God need to be preached, and repentance needs to be preached so that hopefully, as many as possible may be saved. “…For it is shameful even to mention the things being done by them in secret. But all of these things being exposed by the light are openly revealed. Therefore He says, “‘You who are sleeping—wake up,…’” That’s the message to the church at Ephesus. “‘…Arise from the dead!’” That’s the message to the church at Sardis. “‘…Arise from the dead! And Christ shall shine upon you’” (Eph. 5:1-14, FV).

Now let’s come back to Revelation 2 again, and let’s go on to the next of the seven churches, because these churches – not only are we talking about the seven churches then, but talking about how God views the church of God down through history, and we could say the seven eras of the church, as we have known it to be, or the seven epics of the church. And also it has to do with the attitudes that can be with individual Christians at any time. And that’s why the message is: “‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” That’s what He said here. And He also says another thing, continuing in Revelation 2:7. “‘To the one who overcomes…’” So all the problems and difficulties that have been mentioned need to be overcome, or that you are in the process of overcoming. “‘…I will give the right to eat of the tree of life that is in the midst of the paradise of God.’”

“‘And to the angel of the church of the Smyrneans write: These things says the First and the Last, Who was dead but is alive. I know your works and tribulation and poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of those who declare themselves to be Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.’” And that’s bringing in now, once the first love is lost then here comes against the faithful ones who remain true. They don’t have a lot in the way of doctrine. They understand the truth of Christ, they keep His name and so forth, but now the forces of evil have organized themselves into the synagogue of Satan and they come after them. And they are martyrs. However, if God is for you, nothing can be against you. Always remember that. And when you’re going through a trial or tribulation, remember that. He says, “‘Do not fear any of the things that you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life’” (Rev. 2:7-10, FV).

Now let’s come to Matthew 10 and let’s see how Christ also prophesied of this. See, we don’t have to fear what men can do to us. That’s the thing. And today in this political world we are fearful of what people will think. Fearful of what people will do. Listen, the one that you need to please is God the Father, and then Jesus Christ. Now then, those of the people that you need to please, if you’re loving God with all your heart, and mind, and soul, and being, and doing that which is right before God as motivated with the Spirit of Christ in you, then you will please the ones you need to please. There will be some people who are never pleased. And today we operate in a world where we try and have everything so we don’t offend anyone. Well, that’s not the way it’s going to happen, see.

Now let’s pick it up here in Matthew 10:16, “‘Behold, I am sending you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.’” That’s what God wants us to do. He doesn’t want us to be dumbed down and ignorant. He wants is to be wise, He wants us to the understanding. But He says, “‘But beware of men;…’” How many times does He say beware of men? Beware of false preachers? “‘…For they will deliver you up to councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and you shall also be brought before governors and kings for My sake [that means “brought before” as Paul was as a prisoner], for a witness to them and to the Gentiles. Now when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you should speak;…’” Just like He told the church at Smyrna. “Don’t worry. You be faithful. Don’t be afraid.” Now also here’s the thing that’s important, continuing verse 19, “‘…for in that hour it shall be given to you what you shall speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you.’” So God is going to give that, so we don’t have to worry. But we need to know the Word of God. We need to understand the Word of God. We need to live by the Word of God. And if God calls upon us to be a witness such as this, then He’ll give us the strength, and He’ll give us the means and the ability to do what He wants us to do.

“‘Then brother will deliver up brother to death; and the father, the child; and children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death. And you shall be hated by all for My name’s sake;…’” So you can’t please the world. Eventually they’re going to hate us. And that day is coming down very quickly. Look at how they’re trying to get rid of all forms of Christianity in the world today. “‘…But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved.’” That’s exactly that the message that He told those in Smyrna. “‘But when they persecute you in this city, escape into another; for truly I say to you, in no way shall you have completed witnessing to the cities of Israel until the Son of man has come. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is sufficient for the disciple that he become as his teacher, and the servant as his master.’” And that’s what we need to do, brethren, continually in that way.

Now notice he says, “‘If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call those of his household? Therefore,…’” Now here is the key. Let’s understand this, let’s realize this. “‘…Do not fear them because there is nothing covered that shall not be uncovered, and nothing hidden that shall not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, proclaim upon the housetops.’” Here is the key, verse 28, “‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but do not have power to destroy the life; rather, fear Him Who has the power to destroy both life and body in Gehenna.’” Then he comes down a little later he says, “‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother,…’” etc. (Matt. 10:16-28, 34-35, FV). And so that’s the message to the church at Smyrna.

Now let’s come to the church of Pergamos. There’s quite a bit to that church and the things that happened. And the whole lesson here with the church at Pergamos is this: If you are living in Satan’s world you are automatically going to have problems confronting you, and you need to be very, very careful that your dedication to God is such that you will be able to withstand.

Now let’s finish up with the church of Smyrna here first. He says, Revelation 2:10, “‘Do not fear any of the things that you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.’” Then He says, “‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.’”

Now then the church at Pergamos. He’s laying it out very clear, and here is how God will fight against those, even within His own church, who turned against Him and the teachings of Jesus Christ. “‘And to the angel of the church in Pergamos, write: These things says He Who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know your works and where you dwell, where the throne of Satan is; but you are holding fast My name, and did not deny My faith, even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.’”

Now then He has something to tell them here after praising them for the things that they did. “‘But I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication.’” Now there are some things that God hates. Here they are. “‘Moreover, you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate’” (Rev. 2:10-15, FV). Now let’s see what that is. Jesus fought that attitude just before the last Passover meal that He had with His apostles. So let’s come to Matthew 20 and let’s see what that was. And let’s see that this is what Jesus hates. He hates the lording-over of the brethren. He hates treating the brethren as chattel and personal possessions of the ministry because the ministry is to be overseeing not over-lording. And you have seen in your experience what happens when those ministers overlord.

Now let’s come to Matthew 20:25. “But Jesus called them [that is, His disciples] to Him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the nations exercise lordship over them, and the great ones exercise authority over them.’” Now you see, the greatest authority in your life is God the Father and Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit. And the “great ones” as we will see, refer to the religious leaders. And remember what we learned in The Death of Truth #2. When truth dies, power fills the vacuum. And we modified that just a little bit, remember. When truth and love die, power and authority fill the vacuum. Well you see, when people go beyond the point of saying “Here’s the Word of God, prove it by the Word of God, believe the Word of God, don’t believe me.” When they go beyond that and say, “I am the one who is in charge, what I say is going to go”, and begin to preach false doctrines - that is exercising authority and lordship over the brethren. And many times we have heard, “You’re all a bunch of dumb sheep.” Well God doesn’t expect us to remain dumb sheep. He expects us to be wise, to grow, to grow up into Christ, you see. And those kind of statements are exercising lordship and authority because truth was being lost. And so that’s why authority and power had to be exercised.

He says very clearly here, verse 26, “‘However, it shall not be this way among you;…’” This is an example for all the ministry. And that’s part of the problem with the churches of God today – are the ministry who wants to exercise authority, and the brethren who want to go out and do every stupid dingy thing that comes into their heads. So you’ve got both fighting against each other instead of coming to Christ. Now is that not a device of Satan the devil or not? Now you think on that.

Jesus says, “‘…but whoever would become great among you, let him be your servant; and whoever would be first among you, let him be your slave; just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many’” (Matt. 20:25-28, FV). And that’s the whole purpose, you see. That’s why when Peter learned the lesson he said, “Feed the flock of God.” Not by constraint, or don’t treat them as things or chattels that you own and possess. But be an example to them because of the way you live your life. And then God will give growth both to the church and to others.

Now let’s come here to Acts 8 and let’s see a direct parallel of this, because Acts 8 is the account concerning Simon Magus, isn’t it? And Simon Magus was the one, as we know, who was preaching the mixture of truth and error after he came in contact with the preaching of Philip. Now let’s pick it up in Acts 8:9. This goes right in with the church of Pergamos because the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes and the eating things sacrificed to idols were all incorporated in this false religion of Simon Magus.

Now verse 9, “But there was a certain man named Simon, who had from earlier times been practicing sorcery in the city and astounding the nation of Samaria, proclaiming himself to be some great one.” And it’s the great ones who exercise authority, right? “To him they had all given heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, ‘This man is the great power of God.’ Now they were giving heed to him…” (Acts 8:9-11, FV). Well to make the long story short, he had a superficial belief in Jesus and was baptized, but his motives were so that he could have power and authority as an apostle. Well you know the rest of the story. Peter and John came down. They rebuked him. They did not have any part with him and they told him to repent of his sins, that maybe God would forgive him. Well if you want an interesting study, go to the Encyclopedia Of Religion by McClintock and Strong and read the article regarding Simon Magus and you will know that he was instrumental in doing the things which raised up the false Christian church.

Now let’s come to 2 Corinthians 11 and let’s see how the ones who came of Simon Magus were also coming teaching and preaching. Let’s understand something important here. We do have the account of Apollos. Apollos came from Alexandria and he was mighty in the Scriptures. Now let’s understand this: Apollos was probably not the only one who came from Alexandria. And when you understand that Alexandria, Egypt later became the hotbed for the early church fathers, and the changing of the doctrines from what the true church was following to build up the false church. So what we’re finding here in Revelation 2 and 3 is the attempts and amalgamations of these false prophets to try and take away the church of God from God and create it into a church of Satan.

Now let’s pick it up here in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For indeed, if someone comes preaching another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive, or a different gospel, which you did not accept, you put up with it as something good.” Why? Because they were just like Paul was saying that they had itching ears and wanted to hear the things that pleased them. So what did he call them? He says here verse 13, “For such are false apostles [that’s what was bothering the church in Pergamos]— deceitful workers who are transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And it is no marvel, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his servants also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness—whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15, FV). And that’s what was the problem there in Pergamos.

Now let’s come back to Revelation 2 and see what Christ said unless they repented of it. This also, eating things sacrificed to idols, was the beginning of what is now known as the Eucharist, or the sacrifice of the Mass as it is now perfected in the Catholic Church. So this is exactly what we have taking place here in Pergamos. Now notice what He says those things God hates. Christ is not going to put up with it. And yet, just like the Corinthians, they thought, “Oh, well, it’s a good thing. We need to have things fair and balanced. We need to have the no spin zone.” And decide for yourselves, see. Just to use a little modern parlance in there.

Verse 16, Christ says, “‘Repent! For if you do not repent, I will come to you quickly, and will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.’” Just like those back there in the days of Hezekiah. They repented, went out and destroyed all the things of the idols and statues and all of the worship of Baalim. It’s the same thing that is effecting here. And the way that they did it, they did just like Hezekiah. He proposed a covenant in his heart to serve God with all his heart, and mind, and soul, and being. And that’s actually the covenant that we are under, brethren.

Now notice verse 17, “‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes I will give the right to eat of the hidden manna; and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except the one who receives it.’”

Now we come to the church at Thyatira, verse 20. And their first problem is that they allowed Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess (which is probably a prophetic type of the Roman Catholic Church today), “‘…to teach and to seduce My servants into committing fornication and eating things sacrificed to idols.’” To bring in the false religions, the false ways. And that is exactly what has happened to the Worldwide Church of God today. Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:12 that he did not allow a woman to preach or to have authority in the church. That’s what Paul wrote. What did they do? They allowed women preachers. Same thing today. There is a church in Dallas, Texas that has a woman preacher – a pastor, who does just exactly like the Satanists have always done, twist and turn the Scriptures so it sounds good. And all the broadminded peopled say, “Oh, isn’t that nice. And don’t we have liberty.” You better get back to the Word of God. That’s why He said repent.

Now there’s another thing here that He says. Verse 21, “‘And I gave her time to repent of her fornication,…’” Now that’s an interesting statement, isn’t it? Because when sin comes along God gives time to repent. If you don’t repent then the punishment comes. But the deception is this: while you’re given space to repent, and don’t, you think that God likes what you are doing. You miss the message. He says He’s going to cast them into great tribulation.

Now let’s notice one thing that’s important. Verse 23, “‘And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts [God is searching every day]; and I will give to each of you according to your works.’” Now that becomes important because the next one is profound. “‘But to you I say, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will not cast upon you any other burden,…’” (Rev. 2:16-17, 20-21, 23-24, FV). Now what is the depths of Satan? The depths of Satan is this:… And I will describe it. You can read it in the book Primitive Christianity In Crisis, and this is the ultimate of what you would say is Hindu spirituality. That you rise to a point of perfection within your mind, that you unite with the great deep. And the great paternal father, who is Satan, in the heavens (not the true God), and that you come to a point that you are so perfect that you no longer have any sin. That you can no longer can commit sin.

Now John was fighting that. Let’s look here in 1 John. Very important to understand. And he was fighting that in his days when he wrote 1 John. Now he says here in 1 John 1:6, “If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth. However, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves,…” and that is the ultimate of Satan’s deception, is to convince people that they can become sinless through spiritual progressions, as Deepak Chopra said, the seven progressions to becoming God. “…And the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:6-8, FV). So he shows that we have to continually confess our sins.

Now let’s come back to Revelation 2 again. Let’s continue where we left off. Verse 26, “‘And to the one who overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end,…’” And Jesus also said, “He who endures to the end, the same shall be saved.” “‘…I will give authority over the nations;…’” And He says, verse 29, “‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Rev. 2:26, 29, FV).

Now we come to chapter 3 and the first church we have here is the church at Sardis. It has a name that it lives but it’s dead. And I already spoke to that, you who are dead – AWAKE and do the things you need to do. And I’ve heard it said, people have attended different churches of God and it’s like walking into a tomb. You need to get out of there. And He says, hold fast the few things that you have and I won’t blot your name out of the book of life. Which tells us what? There are a lot of Christians living on the fringe and they can have their names blotted out of the book of life.

Then we come to the church of Philadelphia. Verse 7, “‘And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia, write: These things says the Holy One, the one Who is true; the one Who has the key of David, Who opens and no one shuts, and Who shuts and no one opens.’” And that’s the key. Brethren, anything we are going to do, it’s got to be evident that that’s what God wants and that He has opened the door. You see, trying to get in new people by dumbing down to their level and getting numbers – look what happened to the church because of it. So we have to preach the Word of God. We have to preach repentance. Not only to the church but also to people not in the church.

Now notice, He says, “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it because you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.’” Of all of the churches this is the only one, outside of Smyrna. Now Smyrna was not doctrinally very deep. They held fast the name of Christ, they lived according to God’s way, they were chased, they were persecuted, but they didn’t have a chance to really sit down and study like we do here. And that’s what this implies to the church at Philadelphia. You have time to study, you have time to pray, you have time to grow and overcome, you have time to learn the Word of God so that we keep His Word and not deny His name. Now there’s going to be a great reward in this. That’s why we’re not to fear anything that anyone out there can do to us because here is what God is going to do. Jesus says, “‘Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who proclaim themselves to be Jews [that is, they are truly Christians] and are not, but do lie—behold, I will cause them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the time of temptation which is about to come upon the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth.’” So this is the coming world wide thing of the coming mark of the beast. God is going to help us and strengthen us and protect us. There’s a promise right there. He’s going to keep us from the ravages of that.

“‘Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have so that no one may take away your crown.’” As I mentioned before there are a lot of people out there trying to be crown snitchers and stealers. “‘The one who overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall not go out any more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from My God; and I will write upon him My new name.’” And again He says, “‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Rev. 3:7-13, FV).

Now then let’s see what it means to be faithfully keeping the Word of God and what that will lead to. Let’s go to Philippians 2 and let’s see the ultimate, the pinnacle of what Christ is talking about here concerning the church at Philadelphia. Verse 1, “Now then, if there be any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any deep inner affections and compassions, fulfill my joy, that you be of the same mind, having the same love, being joined together in soul, minding the one thing.” Seek first the kingdom of God. That’s minding the one thing. “Let nothing be done through contention or vainglory, but in humility, each esteeming the others above himself. Let each one look not only after his own things, but let each one also consider the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;…” That’s what it is. To grow to have the mind of Christ. Being filled with the Word of God. Being filled with the Spirit of God and humbling yourself like Jesus did here. In the same example.

Then we come down here to verse 12. “So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed,…” That’s how they did it - faithfully keeping the Word of God. That’s what He commended the church at Philadelphia for. “…Not as in my presence only,…” You don’t do it just because people are watching. “…But now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God Who works in you both to will…” If you’re led by the Holy Spirit of God, He is going to give you the will and the desire. And if you’re not led by the Holy Spirit of God then all these other problems will come about. “…And to do according to His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:1-5, 12-13, FV). So that’s the church of Philadelphia.

Now let’s come back and let’s look at the Laodiceans. Let’s see what happens with the Laodiceans when you’re living in an age that we’re living in today. Before we get to the Laodiceans let’s read Revelation 3:13. “‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” And on this Day 49 we need to ask the question: Do we all have ears to hear? Are we hearing what Christ is saying to the churches?

“‘And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginner of the creation of God. I know your works,…’” Now in every case He says “I know your works”, is that true? Christ knows what you are doing. Christ knows what everybody else is doing. He knows the works. This is why we need to busy ourselves drawing close to God and doing the things that please Him, because He knows our works. “‘…That you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you be either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’” And that’s the way it is with so many people in the world and in the church today, that they have so many things. Yes, God does bless and He does gives things, doesn’t He, to those who obey Him. That’s true. But you see, one of the things that Satan can do to make you relax, is make you think that every one of these blessings that God has given is because you are in right standing with Him. And then you become lukewarm. And then you are not zealous and on fire for God. And then you come to the point that it happened with the biggest church of God in the history of the world, and they are spewed out of the mouth of God. And everything that they looked to, every possession that they had is gone. And so we need to realize that’s what happened. And those of us who were involved with that we need to change, we need to grow, we need to overcome.

We need to ask God to give us of His Spirit. We need to do what Jesus said here, “‘I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire…’”, which is the greatest kind of spiritual character that Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 3, that Christ is the only foundation and you build on there gold, silver, precious stone. But the Laodiceans are building wood, hay, and stubble, and it’s going to be burned up. He says, “‘…purified by fire so that you may be rich; and white garments so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;…’” And the shame of the nakedness and the carnality of the things that went on in the church of God, even people in the world looked at the church of God and said, “How can they be God’s people?” Well God knew that. He took care of it, didn’t He? Yes, He did.

And “‘…anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see.’” That is that you may see and understand the Word of God. You may see your own condition. You may see the way that you are before God and go before Him and repent. Christ is there to forgive. Christ is there to cleanse. Christ is there to re-energize. Christ is there to give you of His Spirit and zeal, and the precious spiritual knowledge and character that comes from Him. See, it’s not a shame to be a Laodicean. It’s a shame to not repent and remain one. So we need to become zealous Laodiceans, anxious doing the Word of God, doing the things that please Him and not hold on to our physical things and say, “My relationship with God is so good that He’s blessed me with all these.” But do you thank Him? Do you study? Do you pray? Do you take the time to draw close to Him? That’s what you need to do.

Now He says, “‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.’” So let the correction of God work in you. “‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’” People have put Christ out of their lives and He’s there knocking at the door. “‘If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.’” And so there you see is the solution. “‘To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne.’” And here’s the ending message. “‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

So just like in the days of Hezekiah, they started out with the Passover and came all the way through Pentecost and on down to the fall feasts. There was great repentance. There was great change. There was great zeal. And they were able to be put in right standing with God again and God blessed them, and helped them, and strengthened them, and inspired them. So let’s take this day and Pentecost tomorrow to make a covenant in our hearts with God to seek Him with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and being.

Scripture References:

Pentecost – 2004 – Day 49 – May 29, 2004

  1. 2 Chronicles 28:1-5, 22-25
  2. 2 Chronicles 29:1-10
  3. 2 Chronicles 30:1-2, 8-9, 13, 21-23, 26-27
  4. 2 Chronicles 31:1, 3, 5, 7
  5. Revelation 1:1-6, 8, 16-20
  6. Revelation 14:12
  7. Revelation 2:1-5, 7-10-17, 20-21, 23-24, 26, 29
  8. 1 Thessalonians 1:5
  9. Ephesians 5:1-14
  10. Matthew 10:16-28, 34-35
  11. Matthew 20:25-28
  12. Acts 8:9-11
  13. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15
  14. 1 Timothy 2:12
  15. 1 John 1:6-8
  16. Revelation 3:7-22
  17. Philippians 2:1-5, 12-13

Books