I Miss Church

I Miss Church

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 5:58 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 5 (NASB).

I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”

And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they *sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,

“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

Why Was I Crying?

This morning, as I sat down here at my desk in front of my computer, with this passage of scripture before me, and a new Word Document opened up, ready for me to write (type) whatever the Lord Jesus would lay upon my heart for me to write from this passage today, I began to weep, literally. I was suddenly overcome with enormous sorrow in my heart, and tears began streaming down my cheeks. Why was I crying? I miss church!

Now, when I say I miss church, what I mean is that I miss real church, you know like the Body of Christ, believers in Jesus Christ, meeting together with one another to study the Word of God together, and to share burdens, heartaches, joys and praises from the depths of our souls, and then to pray for one another, fellowship in the Spirit together, and then to minister in the Spirit to one another using the gifts given us by the Spirit to encourage and to strengthen one another in the faith – with each part doing its work.

I miss preaching that is straight from the Word of God, in context, and of the Holy Spirit’s leading – the kind of preaching that convicts of sin and pierces through our hearts, that lifts us up when we are down and strengthens us when our faith is weak – that draws us close to the Lord in the knowledge of who he truly is and in what he is honestly all about. I miss hearing testimonies of other believers as they share what God is teaching them through his word each day and how he is growing them in their faith. I miss how Mrs. Dittmar used to just break out in singing a hymn during our time of personal reflection during communion, and how the rest of the congregation would join her in singing praises to Almighty God.

I miss the friendships I used to have with other women who would call me and share a scripture with me the Lord Jesus had laid upon their hearts to share with me in order to encourage or counsel me, because they knew what I was going through, and they cared, and they were listening to the Spirit’s voice, and they were walking in obedience to him. I miss those long conversations which we used to have with each other over the phone, or sitting across from each other at a breakfast table, where we talked about Jesus and our walks of faith and what we were learning, and how God was encouraging us. I miss how we would then be sensitive to the Spirit’s voice with each other and would pray in the Spirit one for the other. My friend Mary even, one day, made me a prescription bottle with capsules with scripture verses in them, and she prescribed I take one a day. I saved it now 35 yrs.

Why Don’t I Have Church?

So, why don’t I have church today? Church is not what it used to be. It has evolved. We, as the people of God, have evolved. So many Bible studies are not Bible studies at all. They are studies in books written by humans in which the Bible may be mentioned or quoted, but in the context of the philosophy of the person who wrote the book, and so we end up studying human thinking instead of God’s thinking. And, if we would try, in many cases, to introduce a teaching from scripture in contrast to the human’s teaching, it may well be thrown out, even though it may be biblically sound, because it doesn’t fit with the message written by the person who wrote the book – a message that group is all following blindly. So many of these books, too, are way far away from the gospel as taught by the apostles, too.

In so many churches today so much of everything is so orchestrated and controlled by humans that there is not much room at all, if any, for the Spirit to even work. There is not much space, at all, given for the body to use their spiritual gifts and to work in the roles God has assigned to them, unless their body parts and gifts fit neatly into the prepackaged way of doing church as is being passed down from globally recognized pastors and Christian leaders who have developed materials for pastors across denominations to follow for how they should grow their churches.

Many of these church growth methods teach the pastors to avoid people strong in their faith or in Bible knowledge and to filter them out because they are not a “good fit” for what they are trying to do, and even to encourage all the “misfits” to go someplace else. In fact, many of these pastors say they will help you find another place to go, just so you leave their place. Whatever happened to not saying to any part of the body, “We have no need of you”?

In so many churches today their “worship services” are major stage productions and everything is completely orchestrated by humans in order to appeal to the emotions and desires of human flesh, diluting the gospel, and making everything fun and entertaining, light and fluffy, in order to make the world comfortable in the church so the world will want to come back. The church has adopted the ways of the world, and has led their people to immerse themselves in worldly cultures so that they can “win the world,” but to what?

So, what is wrong with this picture? Most everything! If the world is comfortable in our churches, then we are not the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ may attend these “churches,” but so much of what is called “church” today is just businesses of humans, and corporations under the government, and run just like any other business, replacing the leading of the Spirit with marketing schemes, manipulations of emotions, trickery, and with a conforming of “the product” to the desires and wishes of the “customers” so they will want to come back, and so they will keep “buying.” Oh, how I miss church!

Stop Weeping!

After I expressed to my husband, who was sitting across the room from me at his desk, how I was overcome this morning with how much I miss church, and how tears were streaming down my cheeks, I read this passage again, and read how John was weeping because it appeared there was no one worthy to open the book or to look into it. One of the elders, though, told him to stop weeping, because the Lion of Judah (Jesus Christ) has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals. Amen!

I asked the Lord Jesus to give me understanding into all this, and to help me to see how what I was weeping over related to this passage of scripture, as I believe he put that into my heart this morning. What was written on the parchments represented God’s purposes, his sovereign will, and his protective care over the church and over the people of the world. What was written on the sealed parchments also represented future events yet to take place which would fulfill God’s purposes and will for the church and for the world. In other words, God has everything under his control, and he has a plan in place, I believe, to bring his church back to him as their only God and Lord, and to revive his church so that they will be his holy people once more, enjoying his sweet fellowship with him and with one another.

When Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain for our sins, took the book, then the creatures and the elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding the prayers of the saints. This morning, but not unlike most days for me, I was praying for unsaved family members to come to Christ, and for the revival of God’s church. God listens to my prayers, and I believe he is responding this morning to my prayers by the message he is giving me here. He is encouraging me that he is in control and that he is completely sovereign over all things, that he has a plan and a purpose for everything that is presently going on with the church, and that his plan is for his church to be a kingdom and priests to their God and to reign with him upon the earth. Amen! In other words, things will not remain as they are forever. Praise Jesus! There is hope! One day his wayward people will return to him and the church will be like he intended her to be all along. Oh, how wonderful that day will be!

‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus / Louisa M.R. Stead / William J. Kirkpatrick

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise, just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

O how sweet to trust in Jesus, just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me ’neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking life, and rest, and joy, and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee, precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me, will be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Thee! How I’ve proved Thee o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Thee more!

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Courageous!

Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered as we suffer, and was tempted as we are tempted, yet without sin. He was despised and rejected of humankind, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. He was crucified on a cross, although he had done no wrong. When he died, he crucified our sins with him, burying them with him. Then he rose from the dead, triumphant over hell, Satan, death and sin. He did all of this for the people of the world because he loves us so very much.

He was our sacrificial Lamb who shed his blood on a cross so we could be free from slavery to sin, free to walk in his righteousness and holiness, and so we could have eternal life with him in glory. All this is ours when we receive Jesus Christ’s invitation to his great salvation by faith in him, via turning from our lives of living for self and sin, by being transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and by turning to God in humility, submission and surrender to his divine will and purpose for our lives. All this is the working of the Spirit of God in our lives as we yield the control of our lives over to him.

Courageous! / An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard, but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.

They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.

He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.

By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.

Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.

Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.

http://originalworks.info/courageous/

Give God the Glory

From the very beginning of creation God has put within mankind the knowledge of God. God made himself known through his created works. When we look at the sun, the moon, the stars, the heavens above us, the trees, flowers, birds of the air, the sea, and man, we can see God, not that God exists within all of his creation, but rather that his creation reveals his divine character, being understood through what he has made. We see all his beauty, his love and his power, etc., so that mankind is without excuse, even though he may claim he did not know there was a God who created all this. It is not that mankind does not know, but rather that he chooses to suppress what he does know about God, exchanging the glory of God for an image in the form of corruptible man, etc. (See Romans 1:18-23 NASB)

So, the heavens above proclaim to mankind that we must give God the glory, and we must honor his name as holy. He has given man a free will to choose him or to not choose him. If we choose to live in the image of corruptible man, in which we were born into sin, we will die. But, if we choose, by God’s grace, through faith, to exchange the corruptible man for the glory of God, i.e. to accept God’s invitation to his great salvation, then we will live. He will light our lives with his righteousness, give us his wisdom, refresh our souls, and give joy to our hearts through his pure and enduring word, which is more precious than gold. When we keep his word, we receive great spiritual rewards. So, we should pray that we would continue in Christ, in keeping his word, and that we would not allow sin to rule our hearts ever again, so that we may walk in all of his ways from this day on and forever more.

Give God the Glory / An Original Work
Based off Psalm 19 / March 10, 2014

All of creation now proclaims:
“Give God the glory; honor His name!”
Each day the stars in heav’n above
Show forth His wisdom; tell of His love.

They do not speak. They have no voice.
Yet, they declare we have a choice:
“Worship the God of heav’n above;
Believe in Jesus; trust in His love.”

God’s word is perfect, just and good,
Refreshing souls who trust in the Lord;
Makes wise the simple; radiant –
Lighting our lives with God’s righteousness.

Joy to the heart His words now speak;
Pure and enduring, now we seek.
They are more precious than our gold;
Sweeter than honey; never grow old.

Keeping the word brings great reward.
By the word Jesus speaks and He warns,
Convicting hearts of all their sin;
Forgiving all who call upon Him.

Praying You keep me, Lord, from sins.
May they not rule my life again.
Then will I walk in all Your ways,
Following Jesus all of my days.

http://originalworks.info/give-god-the-glory/

Open and Shut

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 6:46 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 3:7-13 (ESV).

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

The Key of David

A key is an instrument of some kind which can be used to open and to close things which can be locked or unlocked. A person who has the key is the one who has the power and the authority to open and to shut whatever it is that needs opened or shut. So in this case, in particular, the key represents power and authority.

Jesus Christ, our Messiah, came from the line of David, as well as David was king of Israel and a type of Christ. Jesus Christ, heir to the throne of David, is thus the King of true Israel, the church. So, he is the one who holds this key, and he is the only one who has the power and authority to open what no human can shut, and to shut what no human can open.

What this means ultimately is that Jesus Christ, God the Son, creator of the universe, and Savior of mankind, is absolutely sovereign over all things. If he decides to open something and he wants it to remain open, no human can shut it. And, if he decides to close something, and he wants it to remain closed, no human can open it. When this truth finally sunk into my slow-to-understand mind, I can’t describe to you the peace that it brought into my life. Sometimes I still have to remind myself of this fact when I start to become anxious about particular circumstances going on in my life.

I used to think humans had certain powers over me, and that nothing could be done about it. One time, as I have shared before, when God was asking me to keep pressing on in the face of persecution and to even confront my persecutors, and to try to reason with them, I told God, “But God, you don’t understand!” In my mind I believed in the sovereignty of God, but in my emotions, I did not. My response to my circumstances revealed what I truly believed down deep in my heart, which was that God could do nothing about some of the situations of my life, even though I trusted in his comfort through them. Yet, when I came to the realization that he is absolutely in control over all things, and that nothing can happen to me but what he allows it, and he allows it for a purpose, it gave me great peace.

An Open Door

A door is an entrance or access into something or a means of access. It can also be an opportunity for something to open up or to become available, such as a new job, or a promotion, or a position in an organization, or a new ministry, or a chance to witness to someone about Jesus Christ, etc. If God has opened up such a door in your life, and he intends for that door to remain open, then he is the only one who has the power to shut it. So, we never have reason to fear humans or what they might do to us, because if God is for us, who can be against us? Nothing can separate us from his love. Amen!

So many times in my past life I ran away (escaped in some fashion) from my circumstances because I got afraid and so I gave up, because I did not understand the sovereignty of God over my life. I always believed God was there holding me in his arms, comforting and encouraging me when I was downcast, but my emotions told me that God was somehow limited by my circumstances. Oh, how wrong! Yet, we must keep in mind here that God also has the power and the ability to close doors he has opened, because oftentimes the doors were only opened for a certain period of time and for a very specific purpose.

Yet, if he has opened an opportunity for you, even if you have to wait a little while for it to be fully realized, don’t get discouraged when opposition comes against you, or if doubts begin to enter your mind, and/or if all the “what ifs” in the world begin to flood your thinking. Believe him. Trust him. And, step out in faith and do whatever it is he has called you to do, believing that he will make the way for you, and that he will supply you with all you need to go in that direction. Trust him, too, with all the hurdles along the way. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is completely faithful in all that he does, and he will accomplish his will and his purposes in our lives and through our lives for his glory.

Those who now make pretenses of faith in Jesus Christ, but who are really following after Satan and the flesh, and who serve to oppose the Lord’s servants and the message of the full gospel of Jesus Christ, although appearing right now as though they have the upper hand, will one day bow the knee to Jesus Christ, will be humbled before God, and will learn from God that the Lord’s servants were truly the loved of God. So, we just need to put our persecutors into the hands of God, and just trust God to work in their lives for his purposes.

Hour of Trial

There is a promise here for those who keep God’s word, who patiently endure, and who do not deny his name, that they will be kept “from” the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. Many Christians here in America have interpreted this scripture in conjunction with their belief in a pre-tribulation rapture, and have thus applied this to all who claim to know Christ – whether they keep his word or not, or whether they deny his name by their lifestyles or not.

Also, by interpreting this passage in this way, they translate this Greek word into English as merely “from,” indicating they will escape (be exempted) from tribulation. Yet, is that truly the promise here? And, can it be applied across the board today to all who claim to know Christ, although by their lifestyles many of them deny him?

Well, first of all, it appears that the Greek word translated here as “from” literally has more to do with the Lord Jesus keeping (preserving; holding on to) us from within (under) the trial and extending to its outcome (Source: biblehub.com). This reminds me of 1 Corinthians 10:13 where it says that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear, but when we are tempted he will also provide a way out so we can endure it.

This Greek word often translated as “a way out” in 1 Co. 10:13 seems to have a similar meaning as the word “from” in this Revelation 3 passage. They both have to do with “out from and to” and with “outcome.” Yet, there is also a sense of being able to endure the trial or the persecution, as well, because we are being kept by Jesus Christ. So, I believe this is speaking more of preservation under and deliverance from within the trial itself rather than a literal escape (exemption) from trial. The same applies to temptation. We are not promised exemption from trial, tribulation, persecution or temptation throughout the NT. In fact, we are told we are destined for them, but that Jesus will give us all we need to endure and to be victorious to the end.

Hold On

So, I believe the real promise here actually fits with the rest of what we have talked about here concerning the sovereignty of God. There are many who oppose us and who stand in opposition to the full gospel message, even among those who claim to know Christ but who are truly disciples of Satan. We don’t have to fear them, because God is absolutely sovereign over all things in our lives, and nothing can happen to us unless God allows it, and he allows it for a purpose. No human can thwart the plans of Almighty God. Amen!

As well, all throughout the NT we are promised that we will have to endure persecution, hatred, mocking, trials, temptations, beatings, imprisonments and even death for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of the name of Jesus, but that we are to endure patiently, and we are to keep trusting our Lord to see us through these difficult times. Many Christians all throughout history have had to and are presently suffering such trials and persecutions, so why should we in America think that we should be exempt?

When we run away from pain and suffering, and we do not do the will of God for our lives, then we lose certain rewards from God in heaven. Honestly, though, my mind can’t comprehend such rewards other than I believe we will lose out on the blessings of obedience in this life, and that we will miss out on the opportunities provided to us by God to affect other lives for Jesus Christ and for eternity. So, we should not let humans or trials unsettle us, but we should trust in Jesus Christ, believe that he will hold on to us, that he will show us the way, that he will give us all we need to accomplish his purposes and his will, and that one day we will get to be with him forever, face to face. Amen!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Joseph M. Scriven / Charles C. Converse

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

A Spider’s Web

A Spider's Web

Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:45 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Living Water.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 3:1-6 (ESV).

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Your Reputation

In the church here in America, and perhaps in other locations throughout the world, the church has a reputation of being spiritually alive, but in many cases they are not, but they are dead. They are still the church, so they are not dead in the sense of being condemned to hell, but rather they lack the life of the Spirit of God in their midst. So, why is this?

I believe that much of the Body of Christ, which is comprised of true followers of Christ, has slowly and gradually moved away from God’s original design for his church, and they have, instead, turned to following after human design for what the church should look like and act like: They have moved away from walking in the Spirit to walking according to the flesh; away from true worship of God to forms of worship which often have nothing to do with God at all. They have moved away from awe, honor, respect and reverence for God to playing games, entertaining and making jokes about what should be taken very seriously. They have moved away from being followers of God to being followers of man; away from the teachings of scripture to the teachings of humans; and away from the authority of God to human authority. God could be totally missing, and they probably wouldn’t even notice.

The sad reality of this all is that today’s modern church here in America is only a shell of what God intends and desires for her to be. She looks good on the outside, but inside she is filled up with the flesh, and she is very worldly. In fact, she has invited worldliness into the church because she wants to attract the world to her meetings in order to grow her “churches.” She has also opened the door wide to invite in false teachers (wolves in sheep’s clothing) – cunning, crafty, poisonous and predatory creatures who spin their (spider’s) webs in order to catch their unsuspecting prey in their webs of trickery and deceit. These poisonous and predatory leaders of the people twist scripture and dilute the gospel to make it more appealing and pleasing to human flesh – non-judgmental, and with no requirement at all for the follower to die with Christ to their old life of living for sin and self. So, they give out a false hope of salvation and a false hope of eternity with God in heaven.

As well, her true loyalties and devotion fall not with God, but with humans and with human institutions. And, she tries to lead others to follow in her footsteps into the same kind of lighthearted, casual and often disrespectful to God kind of worship and service to their Lord. As well, God’s authority is often treated with contempt and dishonor, while human authority is often given greater honor.

The presence of God is not required at all, in fact, for the worship services to even begin in many of these churches. Thus, they do not truly meet in the name of Jesus, because he is not central to and involved (engaged) in most of what they do, beginning with their corporate times of worship and praise to the teaching and preaching, and to the times of fellowship, too. As well, the bulk of their meetings is not according to God’s will and purpose, but is according to the will and purpose of human beings. If Jesus himself were to walk into their meetings, they probably would not even recognize him and would treat him no differently than they treat anyone else, or worse. In fact, he would probably be asked to leave most of these churches, because he would not be a “good fit” with their target audience, goals and visions, and they would probably suggest he go someplace else.

A Few

This picture of much of today’s modern church here in America is kind of depressing, yet not all is bleak. I do believe revival is going to come to America, but that it will come through tribulation of some kind, and that the unsuspecting church will be caught off guard by it. As well, I do believe there are many Christians in this country who have not soiled their garments with the ways of the flesh and the ways of this sinful world, but they have remained faithful to God, committed to obedience, surrendered to his will for their lives, and that they are truly walking according to the Spirit, and are no longer living to gratify the desires of their sinful flesh.

They are not perfect people, mind you, but their lifestyles reflect ones who love the Lord Jesus and who are fully devoted to following him wherever he leads them, and to doing whatever he has called them to do, even in the face of much worldly opposition, and even in the midst of strong opposing forces from within the worldly church with its venomous and predatory leaders who are full of trickery, deceit and hypocrisy.

These who are faithful to the Lord Jesus will walk with him in white (in his righteousness and holiness), for they are worthy. This means that we have died with Christ to our lives of living for sin and self, we have been transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we are daily putting off the deeds of the flesh and are putting on Christ and his holiness. We do not, however, do this in our own strength, but only in the power and working of the Spirit within us (See: Ro. 6-8; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Pet. 2:24-25; Tit. 2:11-14 & 1 Jn. 1-5).

Wake Up!

So, God is calling out to this modern church of today, which has made MUCH PROVISION for the flesh, in order to gratify sinful desires (cf. Ro. 13:11-14), and he is telling her to WAKE UP! She needs to strengthen what remains and is about to die, i.e. she is not completely dead, yet she is only a little bit alive. The way in which she will be able to wake up is that she needs to remember the truth from God she has received and heard. She needs to keep (obey) it, and she needs to turn from her idolatry, spiritual adultery and worldliness and begin to walk in the ways of God, according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh. She needs to take God seriously, and honor and respect and reverence him for the holy God that he is. In other words, the modern church of today which is caught in the spider’s web of deceit, and is following after the flesh instead of after the Spirit, needs to be revived.

If the church does not wake up, Jesus Christ will come like a thief, and she will not know what hour he will come against her in judgment – in divine discipline and correction in order to bring her back to him so that he can restore her. So, don’t wait! If you are living a worldly lifestyle, and you are immersed in the culture of today, and you are not giving God the honor and respect he deserves, but you are going your own way and doing your own thing, instead, then repent of your sin today and allow him to revive your heart. If you have forgotten the Living Water which springs up like a fountain within those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and you have chased after what can never satisfy, then surrender your all to Him today while you still have today, because none of us knows if we have tomorrow.

Living Water / An Original Work / November 21, 2013

Based off Various Scriptures

My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.

Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.

Living Water satisfies.

The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.

Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.

Living Water glorifies.

Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.

My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?

Living Water sanctifies.

http://originalworks.info/living-water/

Living Water

Many within the church of today have forsaken the Lord Jesus Christ. They may have a form of godliness, and they may even be fully involved in religious activities, but they deny and reject Jesus Christ by their lifestyles. They have even made idols for themselves in the form of public figures, sports, TV, games, possessions, houses, cars, careers, personal intellect and appearance, leisure activities, entertainment, and/or sinful pleasures, etc. And, so Jesus Christ is barely on their radar, forgotten altogether, or else he gets only an occasional passing nod here and there.

They run their own lives, and don’t inquire of the Lord or submit to his will for their lives unless they are in trouble, and then they expect him to come through for them. They have forgotten the Living Water which springs up like a fountain within those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and they have chased after what can never satisfy. Some of them may have never truly trusted Jesus Christ with their lives, while others have but have since wandered away and have gone after the things of this world. So, Jesus is calling for them to turn from their sin and their idols, and to surrender their all to Him.

Living Water / An Original Work / November 21, 2013

Based off Various Scriptures

My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.

Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.

Living Water satisfies.

The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.

Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.

Living Water glorifies.

Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.

My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?

Living Water sanctifies.

http://originalworks.info/living-water/

Tolerating Jezebel

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 7:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Give Me Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 2:18-29 (ESV).

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

The Church

When we think of a church today we often get an image of a building of some size or shape in which people meet together to study the Bible, to hear sermons, to listen to music and/or to participate in singing worship songs; to pray, and to enjoy the fellowship of one another. These meetings generally take place on a Sunday morning, though some church congregations may meet on Saturday and/or during the week. Usually the church falls underneath a particular denomination or it might be considered independent or non-denominational. In most of these buildings, called church, we are probably taught that this is “the house of God” and that the “sanctuary” is the holy place in which we enter into God’s holy presence. We may also think of “church” as a place we go, like a building. People will often ask, “Which church do you go to?” or “Are you Baptist or Methodist?” etc.

Yet, Biblically speaking, the church is not a building, or a human-based organization, or a denomination, or a not-for-profit corporation under the federal government. The church is a spiritual entity and is made up only of those who are true believers in Jesus Christ. WE are the house of God. God’s presence dwells within us, so we are his sanctuary. The holy place dwells within us both individually and corporately. So, if two or more of us gather together in His name, He is in the midst (center, middle or central part) of us, and together we are the church, his Body. Yet, to gather in his name, so that he truly is the central part of our meetings, means so much more than just verbalizing his name, for his name is his divine character, which includes his divine will and purpose. So, if we want to have God/Jesus Christ with us (central to, involved and participating) in our meetings, we need to gather according to his will and purpose and not according to our own will and purpose.

So, the church in Thyatira probably comprised all believers in Jesus Christ throughout the city, which met in people’s houses and other public places wherever they were allowed to gather together for the teaching of the word, for fellowship, for the breaking of bread and for prayer. And, their meetings probably didn’t look much like some of ours today.

Love and Faith

The church corporately appears to have been comprised of a group of believers which was acting in love one towards another, and probably towards outsiders, too, though certainly this did not include every individual participating in the church’s meetings, which is evident by what was against them. As a whole, they were commended for their love, faith (or faithfulness), their service, and their patient endurance, and that these qualities were increasing in measure. Yet, it seems so contradictory that they would have the charge against them that they tolerated false teaching, idolatry, sexual immorality and the like, or that at least they tolerated those who were involved in such hypocrisy.

So, how can we reconcile this? Can we come up with a modern-day example or two that might help us to understand what was going on here? – Or, how this might apply today?

Example Number One

In America we have many followers of Christ, I am sure, who are sincere in faith, and who practice love and service, and who also have learned to endure patiently. They exist within these human-based organizations and corporations (underneath the federal government of the USA), although the organizations and corporations themselves are not the church. Many of these so-called churches, instead, are businesses of human-origin, most of which follow after humanistic teaching, philosophies and marketing schemes, which then teach the leadership of these “churches” how to grow their “churches.”

In this example, I believe, the US government serves as a Jezebel to the church. The church, which is a spiritual entity, with Christ Jesus as its head, decided to bring itself underneath the authority of the US government under the 501c3 not-for-profit corporation status. This brings another head into the church, for the church is now in partnership (yoked) with the government. It is a business arrangement. Now they not only have to answer to the Lord Jesus, but they have to answer to the government, and the government can stipulate what is allowed and what is not allowed in the meetings of the church. Yet, the government of our country is not the body of Christ, and it is not Christ, so it does not have the mind of Christ. It is worldly and it is ungodly, and the church is in bed with “her.”

Going back a lot more in time, if anyone one of us would care to take the time, at least at present, there is plenty of information on the internet concerning the true roots of the US government. We can see a lot of this in the layout of D.C., and in its buildings, statues, and the symbols in our government and on our currency. So much of this is based off of Roman, Greek and/or Egyptian gods, goddesses and their temples – examples: The Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, as well as the statue which sits on top of our capital building, and our Statue of Liberty, etc. If we do the research, we will learn that our nation was syncretistic from just about the very beginning, with a strong Satanic influence, as well.

The Lord Jesus has been opening my eyes these past ten years to what our government is really all about, and what all they are involved in globally. Although I don’t have the time to get into specifics here, I believe the government of these United States is part of “the beast” (of Revelation), that it is directly involved in presently taking down the nations of the world, one at a time, and that it is working with this beast one-world government to conquer all nations of this world in order to bring us all underneath the rule of the beast.

I believe our government regularly makes use of false-flag operations, that they control the media, and that they use the media to convince Americans that we are the “good guys” helping out the innocent victims of the “bad guys.” Yet, first we knock the squirrels out of the tree, and then we “rescue them.” Check it out.

And, yet, the church has partnered with the government, has invited the government to be in a position of authority over the church, and the church helps sell the government’s lies and the deceptions, and she even encourages government worship via patriotic songs and via the pledge of allegiance to the flag with hand over heart. If there is such a thing as separation of church and state, then why is the church in partnership with the government, and why does she fly the US flag and encourage her congregants to vow such allegiance (loyalty, commitment, faithfulness, fidelity, devotion, steadfastness and dedication) to an ungodly, unholy and evil government? We are to obey the government, but we are not to give our hearts in such devotion and faithfulness as this to anyone other than God.

Example Number Two

Since so many of these “churches” are human-based organizations (human businesses), run just like businesses, and marketed just like Big Businesses, they are also, I believe, the Jezebel of the true church. And, the true church puts up with it easily enough (See: 2 Co. 11:1-4).

These humanistic teachings and humanistic philosophies on how to do church and on how to grow our churches do not come from God, but from man. The gospel is thus diluted and twisted in order to make it fit with today’s culture, and to make it culturally relevant, non-threatening, non-judgmental, comfortable, palatable and pleasing to the listeners. Entertainment has often replaced true worship of God. Movies and books written by mere humans have replaced the Word of God, or have been used to alter or twist scripture. Appealing to the flesh of humans has replaced the honor, awe, respect and reverence for God and a desire to obey him and to do what pleases him.

Because these human-based organizations are focused so much on attracting the world and appealing to human flesh, and thus have compromised the truths of scripture and have diluted the gospel, they have brought the ways of the world into the church so that there is not much difference between the world and the church anymore, and so the servants of the Lord are being seduced by false teaching to believe sin does not matter, and that we can be worldly in order to identify with the world, immersing ourselves in the culture more so or in place of immersing ourselves in Christ, in his word, and in true worship of God in spirit and in truth. And, so many Christians do not even blink an eye, or they just put up with it, although many of them know this is wrong.

So, God is calling to the church to repent of her acceptance and tolerance of her “Jezebels” who are leading God’s people astray to self-indulgent devotion to pleasure and happiness as a way of life. So, what should our response be to all this? What is the solution to this problem? The remedy for lives given over to selfish and pleasure-driven desire at the cost of all other relationships is to desire Jesus Christ, his love and mercy, his forgiveness, his restoration and renewal, and a walk of faith in him that is undivided in loyalty and commitment, which puts Jesus first, and which honors and obeys him and his word.

Give Me Jesus
Oh, What Gladness!
An Original Work / December 2, 2013

Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior.
I’ll walk with Him in His favor.
I’ll abide in His love always;
Follow His ways to the end.

Jesus is the Son of God.
He died upon a cruel cross.
He’s forgiven all my failures
By His mercy and His love.

Give me Jesus – His compassion,
And His mercy; loving kindness.
Let Him teach me how to love Him,
And to please Him. He’s my friend.

Jesus died for all our sin
So we could have eternal life.
He will free you from your bondage
If you trust Him with your life.

Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him.
May I listen to His teachings.
May I follow where He leads me
In His service. He’s my Lord.

Jesus Christ will come again
To take His bride to be with Him.
Oh, what gladness; free from sadness
When I meet Him in the air.

http://originalworks.info/give-me-jesus-oh-what-gladness/