====== November - The Christian Church, Harvest ======
===== November 1 =====
==== The 7 Churches ====
=== Introduction: The 7 Church Letters of Revelation from Jesus Christ ===
There is a structure and a teaching style that is employed throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments revealing that although written over time and by several different people the Bible really has only one true author and that author is God.
The Parables of Jesus (Matthew 13:1-50) are from the teaching of Jesus during His time on earth. The letters of the Apostle Paul (New Testament) are from a representative of Jesus and finally the 7 letters of Revelation (Revelation 2:1-3:22) are teaching and instruction from the resurrected Jesus Christ, the three teaching groups span three timeframes with the one unique message of Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom.
**The 7 Church Letters of Revelation from Jesus Christ**
1. The Church at Ephesus -- The teaching instructing Church\\
2. The Church at Smyrna -- The martyred persecuted Church\\
3. The Church at Pergamos -- The worldly government Church\\
4. The Church at Thyatira -- The Roman Catholic Church\\
5. The Church at Sardis -- The Protestant Church\\
6. The Church at Philadelphia -- The friendship (Evangelical) Church\\
7. The Church at Laodicea -- The modern comfortable (Emergent) Church
**The Matthew Parables of Jesus Christ** (Matthew 13:1-50)\\
Instructions from Jesus Christ to the 7 Churches
1. The Parable of the (Planter) Sower\\
2. The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares\\
3. The Parable of A Mustard Seed (Plant)\\
4. The Parable of (Sin) Leaven\\
5. The Parable of A (nonvisible) Buried Treasure\\
6. The Parable of The Pearl (Jewel) of Great Price\\
7. The Parable of A Large (Gathering) Net
**The New Testament Church Epistles of the Apostle Paul**\\
Instructions and Guidance to the 7 Churches
1. The Church at Ephesus --> 1st & 2nd Corinthians --> The Parable of the Sower
2. The Church at Smyrna --> Galatians --> The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares
3. The Church at Pergamos --> Ephesians --> The Parable of A Mustard Seed
4. The Church at Thyatira --> Philippians --> The Parable of Leaven
5. The Church at Sardis --> Colossians --> The Parable of A Buried Treasure
6. The Church at Philadelphia --> Romans & Hebrews --> The Parable of The Pearl of Great Price
7. The Church at Laodicea --> 1st & 2nd Thessalonians --> The Parable of A Large Net Source: BasicChristian.org
Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write; These things says He that holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are Apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: And have borne, and have patience, and for My Name's sake have labored, and have not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from whence you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. ~ Revelation 2:1-7Ephesus is the first Church group to be addressed by Jesus in this series of 7 letters that the disciple John wrote as dictated by the resurrected Jesus. Ephesus is a Church strong in the word of God. The Church was established by Paul the Apostle who spent three years at Ephesus. The Church was well known and well visited by the other apostles and disciples. The epistle letter "The book of Ephesians" that the Apostle Paul wrote and it is now in our Bible and carries the title name of "Ephesians" was a circular letter intended for all of the churches to read and distribute. The Ephesians title remained on the book we have in the Bible although the letter may have originally been known as the letter to the Church at Laodicea. It is likely that the book in the Bible that we call "Ephesians" originated as the letter (epistle) from Laodicea. The early Churches distributed the letters from the Apostles and the Disciples to each Church. A letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Church at Colossus was intended to be distributed to all of the Churches. Today the letters are distributed to all of the Churches via the Bible. As the Bible was assembled they used the letters (epistles) that they had on hand at the time and if a letter happened to be addressed to the Ephesians then that address title remained when the Bible was published.
And when this epistle (Colossians) is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. ~ Colossians 4:16Church history has it that the disciple John who Jesus spoke to in order to write the Book of Revelation was heavily involved at Ephesus and later John became the overseer of the Church. With the Disciple John at Ephesus, Christian history also records that Mary the mother of Jesus was then also at the Church. While on the cross Jesus spoke to Mary and to John and Jesus told John to look after Mary. The heavyweights of the early Church were at and associated with the Church of Ephesus a Church that Jesus is now critiquing. Jesus commends the Church that they have done a good job and do not allow evil to be in their presence and that they test the people who say they are apostles to see if they do have a relationship with Jesus. The Church has also labored long and been patient and continues to desire and look for the return of Jesus. After telling the Church what they have done that is good Jesus now instructs them in the areas where they need to change and improve. Jesus points out that the Church has lost sight of the first love relationship they are supposed to have with Him and with one another. Jesus reveals that He knows the heart of the Church and that works without love are empty. Jesus instructs the Church to "Repent" to change their ways and to get back to the most important part of the Christian walk, which is having a loving relationship with God. This is such a serious matter that Jesus says He will remove His candle from among them, in other words without love the Church would not be able to function as light to the world and without love the Church would not have the presence of Jesus. Sadly as history tells us Jesus did have to remove His candle from the Church at Ephesus. The Church that started out so strong for Jesus does not exist today. Today there is not one single Church in the area of Ephesus as Ephesus is now a dominant Muslim area. This is a strong warning for us as the Church at Ephesus that had so many people directly involved with the physical life of Jesus, even Mary herself, and yet it is a Church that lost sight of a loving relationship with God. As we study the letter from Jesus to the Church at Ephesus what application is there for us today. The Church at Ephesus was a strong doctorial based Church they knew what they believed and they knew why they believed it but it is not enough to know the word of God we have to also practice it and live it. The Bible says that God is love we have to do more than know it we have to live it ourselves. The Bible especially the New Testament is a collection of letters and writings, so many with so much information that at times it is hard to know which letter to read to address the problems in our lives. Ephesus is the first Church that Jesus addressed and in the New Testament the book of Corinthians is the first Church addressed by name. If we read the letter of Jesus to Ephesus and then read the two letters to the Church at Corinth we will get a good idea of how to change and repent from the errors that Jesus spoke about to Ephesus. For instance Jesus instructed them in the need to return to their first love, Corinthians chapter 13 is the definition of love, after reading 1st and 2nd Corinthians we will have no doubt about what God's standard of love is. Also of note 1 Corinthians deals with a man who is committing a terrible sin and tells how to remove him from Church fellowship but then 2nd Corinthians instructs the Church that if a sinner has repented to let them back in and to treat them as a brother in other words to love them. We can consider Jesus' letter to Ephesians and 1st & 2nd Corinthians to be companion books and very useful for guidance and instruction. Since in our modern mobile times we can easily seek out and locate a Church to our liking we will usually pick a Church to attend that is like us. Our Church consisting of people like us will have a certain personality and dominant trait. This church has the dominant trait of correct doctrine over the love of other people and over their love for God this is something to be repented from but still they are to continue in all the good that the Church is doing. 1. 1st & 2nd Corinthians Love "The more excellent way" the epistle of 1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:13 lists the more excellent way to compliment the teaching and stricter ways of the #1 Ephesians' Church.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:131. The Parable of the (Planter) Sower
And He spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a planter went forth to plant; And when he planted, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. __Who has ears to hear, let him hear__. ~ Matthew 13:3-9Instruction in planting/sowing the seed (Gospel) into the proper soil (heart) type. Teaching the Gospel message to mankind with the right message at the right time and always in truth, love and reconciliation. Instructing with growth, maturity and accomplishment as the intended outcome. **Note:** There are no custom messages that apply only to one Church and not to the others. All of the messages, teachings, letters, and prophecies of the Bible are intended for all of the Churches to read, understand and apply.
And unto the Angel of the Church in Smyrna write; These things says the First and the Last, which was dead, and is alive; I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, but you are rich and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that all of you may be tried; and all of you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful unto death, and I will give you a Crown of Life. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches; He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death. ~ Revelation 2:8-11Membership in the Christian Church is costly but you can be sure that our future glory with God is worth more than any cost Satan might try to make us pay. This wonderful letter of Jesus to the second Church the Church at Smyrna, is written to a persecuted Church. The members of the Church were being harassed and even killed for their faith in Jesus. The word Martyr simply means witness. Jesus said go and martyr (witness) of Him to all the world. It has been said that people gave their lives and became a martyr but actually they didn't become a martyr they were one before they gave their life it is just happened that death was their final act of witness/martyr here on earth. Those people who give their life and die do receive a better resurrection than even those of us Christians who are not put to death. They are a Special group of people to Jesus; they receive a special crown in heaven that only the martyred witnesses receive. What a wonderful Church and letter, people who love God more than their own possessions, circumstances and even more than their own lives. Many of these people do not have the doctrinal knowledge of the Church of Ephesus yet they have the love. Love that overcomes and conquers all things even death. Jesus does not have repentance for this Church like He did for the first Church and as He does for the other churches. This Church is special and there is no condemnation to those who love Jesus more than they love their own life. In His letter Jesus explains to the Church that He knows what it is like be killed, but that He is alive and they too will be alive with Him. Jesus also knows the condition of the Church He knows that they are persecuted and do not have many resources. Jesus tells that although they do not have much here on earth they are rich in heaven. He also informs them not to listen to the people who claim to have all of the answers and deride those who are being persecuted. Jesus says that the ones admonishing the suffering Church are from Satan and are not from God. Jesus continues and says for them to "fear not" that although there will be trouble, the trouble is from Satan and not from God, as the evil counselors have said. They are instructed to be faithful to God even unto death and that they will receive the prized crown of life given only all the martyrs. Jesus closes the letter to the Church of Smyrna telling them that the second death the spiritual death will not apply to them and will not be able to harm them. The tribulation saints are a future group of people that give their life to Jesus and are killed by a coming false Jesus called the Anti-Christ. Anti means "instead of "so he is the "instead of" Christ. It is like asking for water and getting poison "instead of" water. The poison might look and smell like water but it is not water and we will not be refreshed if we drink it, we will die if we drink it. This man that is coming in the future is the instead of Jesus he will pretend to be Jesus and he will pretend to offer refreshing water but it will instead be poison and those who drink it or go along with the plans of the Anti-Christ will die an everlasting death. The future martyred Saints will be the people who know the true Jesus and will refuse to accept the poisoned false Jesus. The false Jesus will be so angry that he will murder every witness he can get hold of. The Bible says that those special saints that are not deceived and follow the true Jesus even to their death at the hands of the false Jesus, they will be very special to the real Jesus and in Heaven the Martyred Saints will always be with Jesus. Unfortunately martyrdom was very much a part of the early Church. In fact martyrdom has continued throughout the entire Church history and may even be getting worse in our very own day. Today many Christians throughout the world are being denied the basic necessities of life and are being abused even killed for their faith in Jesus. Tragically martyrdom will stay with the Church until the time that Jesus sets up His righteous, Kingdom full of love and justice here on earth. Evil will always hate goodness and evil will try to destroy goodness but it can't because evil is actually fighting against God and God has already won. Christianity is costly and the price has been high every since Jesus was rejected, beaten and crucified on a wooden cross. Membership in the Christian Church is costly but you can be sure that our future glory with God is worth more than any cost Satan might try to make us pay. Possessing love is a wonderful thing yet knowledge of the Bible assists our love and gives us faith so that we are not so easily shaken during the trials and tribulations that we do not understand. The companion book for this second Church is the epistle to the second named Church, the Church of Galatians, coming right after Corinthians in the Bible. When studding the book of Galatians the Martyred Church can learn for starters that Paul received his doctrine and teachings from Jesus. This means that we all have Jesus as a comforter and a teacher. We do not need to rely on man to teach us the Bible God will do it. If a Christian is imprisoned God will be right there with him to teach him who God is and to comfort him. In the book of Galatians Paul also rebukes Peter. Again we as Christians do not have to let sinful men rule over us. All mankind is sinful and no one is right all of the time so we need to look to God and not man in our lives. Also in the letter to Galatians Paul encourages the Galatians to continue in their Christian walk in a spiritual walk not based on their physical understanding but to literally walk in the Spirit of God. People being harassed and persecuted might want to revert to worldly ways of anger and revenge but these ways will not profit us in our relationship with God. We have to start our Christian walk in the Spirit of God, continue it in His Spirit and end remaining in His Spirit. 2. Galatians Presenting the resurrection life, a reminder that there is only one true gospel, and confirming that works are of the Spirit not of the flesh the Galatians epistle is sure conformation to the Church in distress the #2 Smyrna Church.
Paul, an Apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead; ~ Galatians 1:1
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. ~ Galatians 1:92. The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which planted good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and planted tares [weeds] among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, did not you plant good seed in your field? from whence then has it tares? He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Will you then that we go and gather them up? But he said, No; lest while all of you gather up the tares, all of you root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather all of you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. ~ Matthew 13:24-30The perils of the Kingdom, there is still an enemy (Devil) in this world, and the importance of giving people influenced by the Devil an opportunity to repent and to be saved and gathered into the Kingdom of God. The necessity of entrusting the Kingdom to God's decisions and to His timing.
And to the Angel of the Church in Pergamos write; These things says He which has the sharp sword with two edges; I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast My Name, and have not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it. ~ Revelation 2:12-17The intermingled Church/State with worldly ways and popular trends.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her (world), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached (piled) unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. ~ Revelation 18:4-5The third Church represents the time period in Christian history where the persecutions of Christians turned into acceptance and where the Christians embraced the world that was now embracing or at least tolerating them. Jesus in His letter says that He knows where their works are from and where they dwell that it is among this world where Satan has his throne. He goes on to say that they stumble and put obstacles in front of other Christians and that they embrace the practice of "Nicolaitanes" which is the practice of lording over other people, not letting people be free to worship God in a personal relationship. Instead prayers are written to be prayed and man's thoughts are taught in place of Bible study. Jesus says that He hates this practice. Jesus died so that we will be free; the truth has set us free. Jesus does not want us to control or to be controlled by other people. Often this Church/person is the person that claims to be a Christian but doesn't follow any or many of the Christian ways. This Christian doesn't pray regularly at least not with the assistance of the Holy Spirit and usually they do not even acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit. They seldom read the Bible and think much of the Bible makes no sense and that it is of little value to their life or worse yet that parts are untrue. They have wrong opinions about the Bible because they have been wrongly taught by others and they have not taken the time to read or study the Bible for themselves. The people who do seriously study the Bible if they didn't already believe in God usually become believers in God after just a short time of reading the Bible. Some don't even need the Bible to come to God and have come to God just by studying nature, world history or archaeology. The Bible is so factual, so practical, so prophetic, and so complete that those who do take the time to read the Bible can only rejoice in the one true living God while removing their shoes because they know that when reading the Bible they are standing on Holy ground and like Moses at the burning bush they are in the very presence of the Almighty God. Pergamum Christians do not have many Holy experiences as they think Christianity is yet to happen after they die thinking that they will meet Jesus in the future not knowing that Jesus already resides inside of them being born Again. Because these Christians are not looking to God they are not experiencing God. They go about their lives and jobs looking to themselves, their friends, their bosses, and government for the answers in their lives, missing out on the daily moment by moment relationship God has for us. When we limit our options in life to what we can achieve with our own hands we are living a life one handful at a time and God says let go of what we can hold onto in our hands and to receive from His hands a vast ocean of possibility. When we live our life in the Holy Spirit every moment, every possibility, every person becomes a Divine encounter of God and there is no limit to who we might meet or to what opportunities we have. Sadly the worldly Christian is the one who is secretly ashamed of Jesus and the messy cross. This person wants acceptance from the worldly people around him and in doing so is ashamed of Jesus to some degree or another. This person does not know of the Glory of Heaven and of all the Heavenly angels that await to meet him, so they look at the fallen world and distance themselves from Jesus and ridicule other Christians that are living a life pleasing to God. Jesus said that if we do not say we know Him to people here on earth then Jesus will say that He does not know us to the Father and all the Angeles in Heaven. Fortunately there is a way out of this Church and into a more meaningful Church. The way out is painful but the results are well worth it. The way is for God to allow every worldly thing that we put our hope and trust into to absolutely fall apart and let us down. Is our security in our money, job, health, friends, and government, all of these will let us down. God in the Bible calls these false cisterns or false water wells that we think hold water but when we go there to drink they had many cracks that we couldn't see and all the water leaked out and the well is empty leaving us empty and thirsty. Fortunately when we thirst enough and when all of our false wells have let us down we can reach out to Jesus who is right there just a breath away, wanting to have a meaningful relationship with each one of us. Once a Christian drinks from the everlasting water of Jesus Christ we will no longer desire what this world has to offer and we will have changed from our old church into a new church with new life and a heavenly focused wonderful life. The governments of this world will not last God will return to reign and rule on the earth. The prayer "Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" is the prayer we pray right now as we eagerly look for the return and government of Jesus. The Church is a higher calling than the world. Currently Satan is a trespasser and is stealing his ruling authority and Satan is influencing all of the governments of the world, that is why the Bible tells us to pray for all governments and rulers in charge. Remember the prophecies of Daniel say that at the return of Jesus He will destroy and scatter the existing worldwide Government system and His government will take its place. The companion book of the Bible for this 3rd Church is the book of Ephesians written by the Apostle Paul. In Ephesians the Church will learn that we are made one with Jesus and to not conform to this world but to God. The book also teaches that we the believers are one body and to "keep the unity of the Spirit in a bond of peace." The book goes on to explain our relationship with God and relationships with our spouse, children and employers. 3. Ephesians The completeness and sufficiency of the Christian Church, navigating relationships and family responsibilities completed by lessons in spiritual warfare make the epistle of Ephesians a great companion to the worldly Church/State of #3 Pergamos.
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ~ Ephesians 4:3-63. The Parable of A Mustard Seed (Plant)
Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and planted in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. ~ Matthew 13:31-32The evil birds of the air (demons) will exist and flourish within Churches that have shade - darkened corners where the light of honesty and oversight is not permitted to shine.
And unto the Angel of the Church in Thyatira write; These things says the Son of God, who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass; I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto everyone of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden. But that which all of you have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the Nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father. And I will give him the Morning Star. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 2:18-29This Church is most represented today by the Roman Catholic Church. The 4th Church grew out of the 3rd Church. Where the 3rd Church was involved in worldly government this 4th Church then took the power and influences they had learned in government and used them to create a governing Church, sort of a government for Church. This Church in modern day is most represented by the Roman Catholic Church. It should not seem surprising that God knows about the Catholic Church, because He knows about everything. This is yet another place in the Bible where we can really see the relevance and accuracy of the Bible and recognize that God knows all things past present and future. Remember a correction from Jesus is to draw us closer to Him in the correct manner of worship. Jesus begins the letter to the Church of Thyatira by addressing Himself as the Son of God. The Catholic Church has become too focused on Jesus as the infant son of Mary and this Church letter is placing the emphasis that Jesus is God and is the son of God and that it is Jesus who our relationship is to be with. Jesus continues that He knows the works and the love that the Church does have and that their works and love are increasing. This is very true about the Catholic Church they are doing marvelous works of charity and love throughout the world. The Catholic Church is almost single handed in their devotion to orphans and the unborn. Jesus then continues with repentance, that He cannot stand the teaching and works of Jezebel. Jezebel was a wicked woman of the Old Testament, maybe the most wicked. Jezebel is referenced in connection with this #4 Church because they are keeping a doctrine that "Mary" (the Virgin Mary) has a part in the work of God. The true Mary of the Bible called herself a humble handmaiden and her spirit rejoiced that God is her savior. The current teaching that is attributed to Mary has nothing to do with the real Mary. The teaching is the teaching of Jezebel and not of Mary. The true Mary is a very courageous and wonderful woman. If anyone in the world could have stopped the crucifixion of Jesus it was Mary. All Mary had to do was to go to either the Jewish authorities or the Roman authorities and tell them that she knew Jesus had a human father and that He was not the Son of God. An earthly father would have put an end to the claims of Jesus being God, having two earthly parents Jesus would not be Holy. Yet Mary did not do this because she could not do it, Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus has no earthly father. If Jesus were not God, Mary would not have allowed the crucifixion to continue. Because Jesus is the Son of God, the real Mary stood boldly by while Jesus suffered on the cross. Jesus continues in His letter saying that if we follow the false teachings of Jezebel, there is no salvation in any false teaching. Those who follow false leaders will go into the great tribulation [miss the coming rapture] and be killed with death. This is a strong warning because of the strong danger in the false teaching and leading of Jezebel. Then Jesus concludes with the promise that those who remain faithful in the Church will then rule with Jesus. The Bible companion book to this Church is the next book, the book of Philippians. Philippians is a wonderful book of encouragement. The book explains that Jesus is 100% God and 100% human. The book tells us to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling" not to let others prescribe our salvation but to let God work it out in us. Remember Salvation is different from Redemption. Salvation means healing, removing hurts and fears. We have a part in our own healing as we seek and trust God. Redemption is the work of Jesus on the cross; we do not have a part in the redemption except to receive it as a free gift from God. The book of Philippians tells of our high calling in Jesus and goes on to encourage us to rejoice and to be content in the Lord Jesus Christ. 4. Philippians The epistle of Philippians is one of the most Jesus Christ centered epistles. Written in love to a Catholic Church that has strayed it's attention and affections away from Jesus and onto the Virgin Mary and an assortment of human saints. This epistle is a great reminder of the supremacy of Jesus Christ for the #4 Church of Thyatira.
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. ~ Philippians 1:10-11
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:74. The Parable of (Sin) Leaven
Another parable spoke he unto them; The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. ~ Matthew 13:33Incorrect teachings and outright bad doctrine can permeate into the True Doctrine of the Christian Church creating a new system that was never originally intended.
And unto the Angel of the Church in Sardis write; These things says He that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works fully accomplished before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His Angels. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:1-6This Church is most represented today by the liberal Protestant Church. A Church people that are not allowing themselves to be washed clean by the Holy Spirit. Spiritually this is a dead Church. A modern Church that feels that we are special in and of ourselves and that even apart from God we are to be admired. Yet God said "come let us reason though your sins are red as scarlet He will make them white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18). Modern liberal Churches welcome in any manner of doctrine and any kind of sin now also seems welcome among the people yet this Church does not even let God Himself into His own Church. In yet another insult to God the modern liberal Church has decided it knows best in how to interpret God's word the Bible but it has done so in a way that completely neglects and negates what God has actually said.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. ~ Isaiah 1:18-20The forth Church emerged from the 3rd church that was best represented by the Roman Catholic Church, the 5th Church emerged from the 4th Church and is best represented by the Protestant Church. In 1572 a Catholic Monk named Martin Luther began a formal dissention with the Catholic Church and the end result was the "Reformation" or splitting off of part of the Catholic Church into the Protestant Church. The Church is labeled "Protestant" from the meaning protesters. The Christians were dissatisfied with the doctrines and decrees of the Catholic Church and protested and eventually left to worship God in a less restricted environment. As Jesus began the 4th letter to Thyatira to remind them that He is the Son of God, Jesus begins this 5th letter to the Church at Sardis to remind this Church that He has the seven [complete] Spirits of God. Jesus is informing this Church that their biggest problem is in neglecting the Holy Spirit. Jesus then tells the Church that He knows their works and that they have a reputation for being alive but instead they are really dead. Again strong words for strong circumstances. Jesus wants us to follow Him in a right relationship and not in a way that is made up or pretend. Jesus says that He has not found their works to be "Perfect." The word perfect means complete like a car would be perfect if it had an engine, a car without an engine is imperfect. Jesus is telling this Church that they are imperfect without the Holy Spirit, in other words they are a people without the engine of the Holy Spirit. The protestant Church has left the Catholic Church and they have also left the Holy Spirit. Repeatedly the Bible tells us that works done without the guidance and glory of the Holy Spirit are works that are meaningless. It is better not to do something than to do it without the Holy Spirit. Strangely enough the only person excluded from the Protestant Church is the Holy Spirit. Much of the Church now recognizes homosexual marriages, abortion is no longer considered murder, any proud arrogant person is welcome at a protestant Church, adultery and fornication are seldom considered sin, divorce and abandonment of spouses and children are now common place. The Church that is supposed to be the salt and light is not even lifting a finger to turn the pages of the Bible and see what God has to say about it all. It is obvious to anyone that looks that the works of the Church are dead. The reason the works are dead is because the Holy Spirit is not being listened to. Jesus tells this Church to repent and to watch for His return [rapture]. Jesus says that the people who overcome will be clothed with white raiment. The over comers of the #3 Church are to be given a white stone, the stone of acceptance. In the book of Isaiah God told the prophet to tell the people "come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." The word Sardis means a red stone. The companion book for Sardis is the book of Colossians. The book explains that the revealed mystery of the ages is that Jesus is in us and that this is glorious. The book says "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" an admonishment to us to set our affections on the things of above the things of God the Holy Spirit and of heaven. 5. Colossians The epistle of Colossians is excellent instruction to the Protestant Church that the Kingdom of Jesus is a Spiritual Kingdom where we are to exercise our attitudes and desires in "spiritual understanding" and not just the physical things of this world and especially not the false physical teachings and ideologies of this world like evolution or population control (abortion-euthanasia) theories and practices. The epistle is a great reminder of the Spiritual supremacy of the Kingdom of God for the #5 Church of Sardis.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with __the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding__; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; ~ Colossians 1:9-115. The Parable of A (nonvisible) Buried Treasure
Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto Treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. ~ Matthew 13:44The world is not the treasure the Church is the treasure. The Church is more precious and more valuable to God than the entire world.
And to the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; These things says He that is Holy, He that is True, He that has the Key of David, He that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens; I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My Name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before 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 hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:7-13A Brotherly embrace of both the Jews (Hebrews) and the Romans (Catholics) The 6th Church is the Church of brotherly love. Jesus gave us one commandment or law the new (insight) into the law to love God and to love man. Jesus further said that the distinctive mark of a Christian would be our love for God and our love for one another. This is the same law of the Old Testament, Jesus called it new or fresh in that Jesus is now our example for what fulfilling the law is to be and we now have new insight into how to really love God and one another as Jesus loves us so much that He gave His life for us. In this Church group the people are filled with God's love. They love the Father, they love Jesus and they love the Holy Spirit. These people love Christians in general and denomination names, titles or Church roles mean nothing to them they just meet you where you are and give you a big love boost right into the lap of Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father's throne. Meeting one of these Christians is like taking a big refreshing drink from the free flowing river of life. Often these people are loving in the midst of life's biggest challenges. Their bodies wracked with cancer, having lost parents or children, homes, jobs, etc. these people are the modern women at the well and modern Mary Magdalenes and like them they have met Jesus and have wept and rejoiced at His feet. Many have had a lifelong walk with the Lord knowing Him personally for decades and like Moses they are seated securely in the clift of the rock (Exodus 33:11-23) looking back and seeing the Glory of God in their lives, knowing that Jesus has brought them through the troubles and perils of life. They have seen fellow Christians go home to glory with a smile on their face and the countenance of an angel. They know the one in whom they have entrusted their spirit and soul and they know that God will complete the work that He has begun in them and that His thoughts toward them and towards others are all good thoughts and that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Often the new Christian starts out in this Church. The newness of Jesus and the Holy Spirit filled life put us in a peaceful blissful state of well being. We call this the honeymoon state of Christianity when we meet Jesus and all is well. Then the storms and trials come into our lives and we wander through the various churches and growth phases and wonder what we did wrong to lose God, but not to worry, God often gives us a good first taste also called a "first fruit" of what the eternal future will be like and this honeymoon state is where we are destined to return. So forgetting our destination we get confused and think is the Christian life supposed to be this way the trials and troubles? Then we falter when God starts doing a new or different work in another area of our life and emotions. Just hang in there God is expanding us and growing us up in Himself. If we do not get persecuted how would we have intimate fellowship with God and also with our fellow man? So we are bound to sway from Church group to Church group as life's challenges come our way and we have our moments of doubt or our circumstances get the best of us but in the end we should again be back in this Church. The growing maturing Christian is growing softer and becoming more compassionate and merging into the image of Jesus and away from the image of this cold, hard, cruel world. There is no rebuke from Jesus for this Church. Jesus instructed the doctrine wise Ephesians to return to their first love, the honeymoon feelings they had in the beginning with Jesus, in other words Jesus encouraged them to get back to the Church of Philadelphia. These people are loving and being loved in a Godly way and Jesus is well pleased with them. This group is not a specific Church age as each of the other churches are. This Church is not addressed from the identification letter that the other churches are. This Church is a special remnant to God and they have existed everywhere there are Christians and at all times of the Church age. This special group of people has the promise from God that they will not enter into the coming tribulation that the world is going to suffer in. Jesus is going to catch up or rapture His people before the coming tribulation (the rest of the book of Revelation). All born again Christians will be raptured before the tribulation. The coming tribulation is coming from God onto a disobedient people. Right now the tribulation we suffer is from our own bad decisions and from the things Satan does to us. If we mismanage our money and go bankrupt it is certainly tribulation but it is from us not from God. God uses our messes to draw us closer to Him so the messes are not that bad after all. The difference between the current tribulation and the future one is that the future one continues to be from Satan and is also from God but God is not going to pour out His tribulation upon the righteous. Jesus resides inside each born again Christian, on the cross Jesus said "it is finished" Jesus will undergo no more tribulation so there is a need for the rapture to remove the "Jesus filled" born again Christians prior to the coming great tribulation. When the Christian Church first came together the early Church was entirely Jewish-Hebrew as Jesus the head of the Church is Jewish. Then with the admittance of non-Jews (Gentiles) into the Christian Church the early Church struggled with the relationships between Christians, Jews and also the new gentile Christians. An early Church council was established to consider these interactions, the council meeting and its decision are recorded in the Book of Acts (Acts 15).
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us (Hebrews); And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke (law) upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our (Jewish) fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even (by faith) as they (gentiles). Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this [after the Christian Church age] I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my (James - Church leader) sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. __For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach him (laws of Moses)__, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; ~ Acts 15:6-22The early Christian Church declared that of utmost importance for the Christian whether being of Jewish or of Gentile origin is not to offend the followers of Moses, the practicing Jews "For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach him." The dietary laws of not eating blood are not for the Church but the council determined that of greater importance than personal freedom is for the Christian not to offend God's people the Jews who do obey His laws and follow His customs. The Church of Philadelphia is the brotherly love Church. The two companion Bible books for this Church are the books of Romans and Hebrews. Christians in this Church will need to know the book of Romans to understand that Christians are called into a relationship with God based on faith, that nothing can separate us from the love of God and then how to have fellowship with the fellow brethren by not offending them in our actions and deeds. The book of Hebrews will help us to enter into the very presence of God. Jesus is God and He is also our High Priest and as He has entered into the Holiest place where God the Father's presence is, we by being identified with Jesus are also to enter with Jesus into the Holy presence of God the Father. 6. Romans & Hebrews The Bible's books of Romans and Hebrews are excellent instruction for the Church of Philadelphia the open door church, where mankind has an open door to fellowship with both man and God. Romans in how to minister one to anther and Hebrews in how to minster to God set the examples for the #6 Philadelphia Church.
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. ~ Romans 15:2
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living (Spiritual) way, which He (Jesus) hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; And having an high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, ~ Hebrews 10:19-226. The Parable of The Pearl (Jewel) of Great Price
Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. ~ Matthew 13:45-46God gave all that He had at the cross in order to buy people out of sin. A pearl is an organic jewel that originally was an irritant, a grain of sand that has taken the time to grow into a gem, like sinners who have taken the time to grow into precious, valuable saints. **Note:** This Church is closely related to the Smyrna Church in that these are the people who love God enough to give their life and Satan is usually mad enough at these Christians to try to take their life. So one day you can be in this Church and the next moment be in the martyrs Church of Smyrna.
And unto the Angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write; These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you says, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in his Throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:14-22Laodicea is the comfortable last Church, in this letter God is speaking to most of us. This is the last Church era so also read the Books of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians to get ready for the Christian rapture. The seventh and last Church in Jesus' Revelation Church letters is the Church that is dominant in our current time and current Church age. This is the last Church letter and also the last Church age or era, there are no more Christian Church ages after this as Jesus will return during this present Church age and He will rapture all the 'born again' Christians unto Himself in Heaven. After Jesus returns and raptures the Church there will no longer be a 'born again' Christian Church here on earth. There will be Jewish believers and there will be those Martyred saints who give their life for their faith in Jesus but there will not be the 'born again' Church as all of the born again Christians will now be in heaven participating as the bride of Jesus in the wedding feast with Jesus. Remember there was no 'born again' Church during the entire Old Testament. The Church began on the day (Easter) of the resurrection of Jesus when Jesus baptized the disciples in the upper room with His breath and told them to receive the Holy Spirit.
I (John the Baptist) indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: ~ Matthew 3:11
came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: ~ John 20:19-22The Church began with the cross and Resurrection of Jesus and is continuing on right now and will end at the rapture when Jesus meets us, the Church, in the air and He takes us to heaven to be with Him therefore saving us from the terrible time of the tribulation to come.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18The various churches all dominated throughout each Church era in the order that Jesus has addressed them in His letters. The first era was the Apostolic Church when the Apostles and disciples of Jesus were writing and teaching Gods word at Ephesus and other places. With so much knowledge at Ephesus they had no patience for people who didn't catch on to doctrine and theology. After the Apostles of Jesus grew old and went on to be with Jesus in Heaven the next Church age was characterized by bitter persecution and martyrs, the Church of Smyrna. Today there are more martyrs worldwide than at any time but this period happened when the Church was young and didn't have a worldwide following and when the Bibles were copied by hand, Satan was actually trying to demoralize the Christians and Satan literally tried to kill every Christian and wipe out every Bible. The next era was the Pergamos era and surprisingly the Christians of that era went from persecuted by the world to living in the world. After the brutal nonstop persecutions the Christians themselves became worldly and at the Roman coliseums where Christians were once put to death, the Christians now sat in the seats and cheered as gladiators fought each other to the death on some of the very places where their fellow Christians had died. After the worldly Christians the next Church era was the structured Church known as Thyatira the Roman Catholic Church where for centuries everyone was supposed to belong to the Catholic Church or they were not considered a Christian. This much authority brought on much abuse of power and much resentment as the Catholic Church ruled with such force that people were not allowed personal Bibles to read and people couldn't even pray personal prayers in their own native language. People even had to go to priests to have them talk to God for them. The puritans that left England and came and started America were fleeing this Church and came to America to establish a Puritan "pure" Christian life. This restrictive Thyatira Church Age gave way to the next Church era called the Protestant reformation where Protestants [protesters] protested the Catholic domination, rightfully insisting that the Bible tells people how to worship and not any organization. This Protestant era took so many liberties that they soon had a muddled comfortable Christianity, people compared themselves to others instead of comparing themselves to Jesus and always finding someone perceived to be of worse character than themselves, people decided wrongly that they had a good Christian walk so now the Christian walk became anything that we determine we want it to be. This brings us to the current and last Church age the Church of Laodicea. This current Church period is a continuation of the protestant age and it is a Church so empty of Jesus that we have become our own god, we are a Church where the "people rule" instead of God. This is the last Church age and it is during this current Church Era that Jesus will return. Jesus opens this letter to Laodicea like the previous letters addressing the biggest problem facing the Church. In this case Jesus proclaims that He is the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. Jesus is confronting the biggest error of the last day Church. Jesus is reminding us that He is faithful and true and that He is the creator of creation and that creation is from God. It is appropriate that God is speaking to the end time Church about creation. Perhaps the biggest lie being perpetuated right now is the lie of evolution. Evolution is a joke; life does not evolve out of non-life no matter how long you wait millions or billions or years. God being life can create and give life. Life is more than chemicals and material, life is spirit and soul, life is awareness and life is feelings and emotions. The error of evolution would never be believed by the previous churches because they lived in close proximity to life and death. We are now so removed from death that we do not understand life. We give scientist credit for the wonderful inventions that they have worked on in this is wonderful high teach time, but technology does not explain life and scientist apart from God are not able to explain life. In every case of evolution the evolutionist has grossly simplified the complex mechanisms of life. The simplest human cell is more complicated than anything science has ever assembled. A baby being formed in the womb of a woman consists of 23 chromosomes from the man and 23 chromosomes from the woman, living for nine months under water in the womb and then at birth suddenly and instantly starts breathing air, this is complicated as this is the reality of life and this is creation it is Jesus' creation. Without believing that God is our creator, giver and sustainer of life it is impossible to have a relationship with God. This is the last Church era and we are well into it right now. This era is characterized by worldly comfortable Church people. People are now so comfortable with worldly accommodations that we no longer need what Jesus has to offer. We now live better than any King of the Bible era ever lived. We have orchestras on demand in our Mp3 players, operas on demand in TV and on DVD's. The counsel of the worldly wise in www computing with Google search. Our chariots are always harnessed and travel 75 mph, cell phone messengers in our pockets on demand, our cash vault is carried in a card in our pockets wherever we go, we feast on chefs offerings anywhere we point our chariot. We snuggle cozily into warm beds with dry roofs, living better than any king of the Bible has ever lived. A king from the Bible era would be envious to the point of rage at our opulent lifestyle. We do not need a vow of poverty that is not the point Jesus is making in this letter. His point is that we have neglected Jesus and have left Him the creator of life on the outside of life as we live our comfortable life to ourselves fulfilling only our own whims. Jesus finds Himself knocking at the door of our heart and asking us to please let Him in. Jesus is not addressing this to the unsaved but to the Church and not as a group but to each individual in hopes that someone, anyone will stop drowning in the river of worldliness and join Him in Spiritual matters. Because this Church is so disgusting to Jesus He says that He will spit us out of His mouth unless we change. The spitting out of the mouth is an involuntary action it is like drinking spoiled milk that your body will not allow you to swallow so the natural reaction is to spit it out. Jesus also tells us to buy from Him gold refined in the fire the fire of trials. None of us wants trials in our life but Jesus says to us to have the trials and to learn from them. Learn that there are tired and hurting people in this world and learn that life is unfair and unjust and most important learn that Jesus is God and apart from Him no soul will have lasting rest or peace. The companion Bible books for the last Church era are the last Church epistles written by the Apostle Paul, the two epistles to the Church of Thessalonians. In reading the two books of Thessalonians we will learn that it is a time of heavy persecution. The Church of Thessalonica was heavily persecuted, so much in fact that they thought that they had missed the rapture and had gone into the tribulation period. Paul wrote the book to inform them that before the tribulation period there will be a big falling away of Christians from the faith of Jesus called the "Apostasy" and second that the Church will not be here during the time of the coming anti-Christ. The Apostle Paul explained that before the anti-Christ arrives the Church will have been raptured. Jesus told Peter and the rest of the disciples that He was going to build His Church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The anti-Christ is given authority over the people of the earth to overcome them and the anti-Christ will wage war against the Martyred saints of the book of Revelation and overcome them but the Church will have been removed from earth and we will be in heaven during those future events. The Apostle Paul tells us to comfort one another with this thought that Jesus is coming to take us to heaven with Him. The Church of Laodicea is a sick Church, but the books of Thessalonians are strong medicine. When we start to realize that Jesus is returning and will return to gather us at any moment without any advanced notice, this medicine should cure our illness of an ungodly lifestyle. We should live every moment like it is our last moment here on earth and our first moment in heaven. When Jesus comes we are encouraged by the Apostle John to be living in a manner that we do not shrink back in embarrassment at the coming of Jesus but that we rejoice and embrace Jesus.
And now, little children (Christians), abide in Him (Jesus Christ); that, when He shall appear (G5319) [2nd Coming - aka the Second Advent or the Parousia (Greek word meaning presence, arrival - Wikipedia.com)], we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. ~ 1 John 2:28
But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Able. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. ~ Hebrews 12:22-257. 1st & 2nd Thessalonians The epistle of 1 Thessalonians mentions the rapture of the Christian Church and the Church being gathered into the presence of Jesus Christ. It is of paramount importance that the Christian Church be ready to meet God without a moment's notice and it is meeting God that is the great comfort for the modern #7 Laodicea Church.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-187. The Parable of A Large (Gathering) Net
Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. __So shall it be at the end of the world__ [i.e. the total of all Dispensations]: the Angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus says unto them, Have all of you understood all these things? They say unto Him, Yes, Lord. ~ Matthew 13:47-51At the end of the world there will be a gathering together followed by a judgment that will separate all that is good from all that is bad.
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; ~ Colossians 1:10Source: BasicChristian.org **Note:** These are Seven Miracles performed by Jesus before His resurrection and recorded in the Gospel of John by John a Disciple of Jesus. John was an eyewitness present at each of these seven miracles. These miracles are illustrations representing miracles that Jesus is currently doing in the life of each and every individual Christian.
And the Third Day [i.e. Resurrection Day] there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and [Mary] the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called [invited], and [also] His Disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus says unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus says unto her, Woman, what have I to do with you? mine hour [Glorification] is not yet come. His mother says unto the servants, Whatsoever He says unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone [chiseled stone pots for ceremonial religious washings – not ordinary clay pots], after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece [i.e. man-sized stone pots]. Jesus says unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He says unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: but the servants which drew the water knew; the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And says unto him, Every man at the beginning does set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but you have kept the good wine until now. His beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His Glory; and His Disciples believed on Him. ~ John 2:1-11In the Gospel of John chapter 2 we read that Jesus' mother is attending a wedding in the city of Cana in the district of Galilee. We read that both Jesus and his disciples are also called [invited] to the marriage. At this particular wedding the host runs out of wine for the guests. Mary, then comments to Jesus that there is no wine. Of course Jesus knew in advance that there was not a sufficient amount of wine at the wedding, this is part of the reason Jesus went to the marriage and brought His disciples with so that He could perform this miracle as an illustration to them and have it recorded in the Bible for us His future disciples. Jesus and the disciples are not the reason that the wine ran out. Jesus and the disciples were both invited [called] and the host would have declined to invite them rather than to invite them and run out of food and drink. Probably everyone at the marriage was having such a festive time that people stayed longer and drank more since the wine ran out yet the food did not lack. Jesus replies to Mary that "His hour has not yet come." Jesus knows that He is going to provide the much needed wine, but Jesus is establishing that miracles are not the reason that God became a man in the person of Jesus and walked on earth with mankind. Jesus came in the form of a man to die on the cross to remove sin and reunite us with the Father. The hour that Jesus came for is the cross of crucifixion. Mary then instructs the servants to "Whatever He (Jesus) saith unto you, do it." The "obedient" servants then go to Jesus. Jesus instructs the servants to fill the six water pots used for purification to the brim with water. Remember six is the number for man, as man was created on the sixth day. The stone water pots are clean because they are used in cleaning, a dirty water pot would not clean the person who washes from it. Jesus then tells the servant to "Draw out now and take it to the governor of the feast." And they did obey Jesus. When the ruler of the feast tasted the water that was turned into wine he declared that unlike other feasts this feast had reserved the best wine until the end. This first marvelous miracle that Jesus is performing is an illustration to us His believers. When we obey Jesus we become His servant, Romans 6:16 says "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" When we acknowledge our sins and the forgiveness of the cross of Jesus we become clean like the stone water pots. Once we are clean Jesus then comes inside and fills us with His presence. We are then to draw out the wine of Jesus' presence in us and pour it out to others. When we do this we are effecting the lives of others around us. Wine is used as a Biblical example for the Holy Spirit. Wine has an effect and influence on the person who drinks it. Worldly wine has a bad effect with headaches and hangovers and demeans the person who drinks it and who's actions are influenced by worldly alcohol wine. The presence of the Holy Spirit has an influence on the person who is under His influence, the influence of love and of a testimony of Jesus. This is the first miracle, Jesus has taken the water of this world and turned it into His wine. It is nice to know that the start of the Christian walk is to be cleansed and be filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit. We get confused at times and think if I get my behavior right then Jesus will come to me and give me the Holy Spirit, but it is the other way around when we believe we receive the Holy Spirit in full. It is the Holy Spirit that then instructs us and guides us in our life to live a life of Holiness and communion, pleasing to God. And the best part of the miracle is that God gives the best wine last. The best is always yet to come with Jesus. The Christian walk just keeps getting better and better. If for instance we went to church as a child with our parents then we stopped going to church or we never went at all, and now we think I don't want to go to church I have missed so much and people will judge me. This is wrong in God's eyes, He says follow Him and it will be better than it ever was. **Note:** the events depicted indicate a synergism between God and man of religious activity i.e. 'stone pots' that are already religious vessels (humans seeking to please God) being used in the turning of water (ordinary - unsaved) to wine (Spiritual - salvation). The Calvinism teachings of today wrongly neglect the intended synergistic (God and human interaction) teachings of the Holy Bible and presume that God is directly one-sided and is filling disobedient 'clay pots' (unreligious - unsaved humans) with spirituality (salvation) when in actuality God is responding more to the preexisting human desire of Salvation in using stone (religious ceremony) pots for the example of the giving of salvation wine.
So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except all of you [i.e. 'born again' Christians] see signs and wonders, all of you will not believe [i.e. grow in faith]. The nobleman says unto him, Sir, come down before my child die. Jesus says unto him, Go your way; your son lives. And the man believed the Word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Your son lives. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Your son lives: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaea into Galilee. ~ John 4:46-54The second miracle, Jesus is again in the city of Cana and a certain nobleman's son is sick in the distant city of Capernaum. The noble man approaches Jesus and asks Jesus to heal his son. Jesus replies "that unless ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe." Then Jesus said unto him "go your way; your son liveth." As the nobleman was on his way the next day he met his servants that told him "his son liveth" he asked them when he became well? and discovered it was the same hour that Jesus had spoken the words. After being cleansed by the blood of Jesus and filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit, we now partake in the second miracle. Because we "liveth" we have now become a son of Nobility. We are now children of God and our new position is a child of the King Jesus. Jesus' position of nobility elevates us to nobility as well. We can now like this nobleman approach Jesus and talk with Him just like this nobleman did, seeking out Jesus and telling Him our cares and concerns. Jesus tells him "that unless ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe." Jesus is telling this new believer that miracles do not validate God's existence, His presence or man's salvation. We receive salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit by faith not by experience. In the turning of water to wine in the first miracle only the servants knew that it had happened but they knew it by faith there was no experience involved in the first miracle. Jesus wants us to know by faith that He loves us, He died for us on the cross and He now lives with us in His resurrection. In Moses day the children of God saw many miracles performed mightily by God yet the people Jews and Egyptians alike both refused to have faith in God. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. Faith does not come by seeing with our eyes or experiencing with our intellect or emotions. Miracles are also performed and counterfeited by Satan and the demonic realm. In fact the Anti-Christ, the coming world leader, is a demonic person who rises to power by performing false miracles and false wonders. The people who accept the Anti-Christ will have accepted him based on the miracles he performs instead of relying on the Bible for guidance. If they had read the Bible they would know that the one coming with miracles for everyone to see he will be the fake one. When we specifically look for miracles we are prone to miss the biggest miracle of all and that is the Spiritual healing of us from death to life. Jesus said the son "liveth" Christianity is not about being bad then becoming good it is about being dead in sin and then becoming suddenly alive to God and life. Notice that Jesus spoke this miracle and healed the son when the son was in a different city than Jesus. It is that way for us, Jesus is in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father, we are here on earth, but we are not out of the effect of Jesus' voice. When Jesus speaks we are healed. This miracle is important, Jesus wants us to know for certain that we are now alive in Him and that we belong to Him. This is the first part of a relationship with God it comes even before our Christian walk and is to be establish beyond any doubt that we are alive Spiritually and that we belong to Jesus. Jesus wants us to have a lifelong Christian walk, one that is grounded in the Bible and strong enough in faith to get us through all of life's disappointments, pains, suffering, and hurts. In fact the healing that is now taking place in the son of the nobleman is the real miracle the miracle healing of hurts, pain, loneliness, sorrow, and suffering.
After this there was a Feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an Angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, He says unto him, Will you be made whole [Salvation]? The impotent man answered Him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus says unto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for you to carry your bed. He answered them, He (Jesus) that made me whole (Salvation), the same said unto me, Take up your bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What Man is that which said unto you, Take up your bed, and walk? And he that was healed know not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed [moved] Himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus finds him in the Temple, and said unto him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now, and I work. ~ John 5:1-17In the third miracle Jesus sees a man near the pool of Bethesda who has had a crippling infirmity for a long time for 38 years to be exact. Jesus asks the man if he wants to be "made whole?" Interestingly the man instead of saying yes replied with a myriad of excuses and reasons as to why he has not been made whole. It turns out that an angel would agitate or trouble the water of the pool of Bethesda and when the hurting people saw the pool disturbed the first one into the pool would be healed by God from whatever ailed them. In this man's case he was so crippled that he was not able to get into the pool first as he could find no one to help him. Jesus completely ignoring the infirmed man's excuses said to him "Rise, take up thy bed and walk." And immediately the man took up his bed, and walked. Here is another man being healed by the voice of Jesus. The nobleman's son was healed to life this man is then being healed to have a walk [relationship] with God. Once it has been established that we are alive [born again] and belong to God. The next miracle in the life of the Christian is to begin to have an intimate relationship with God, a walk as it is called. Notice that the man was infirm for 38 years, that is exactly the amount of time that the Jews with Moses wandered in the wilderness after neglecting to enter the promise land the first time, and before actually entering into the promised land. After leaving Egypt God led the Jews to Mount Sinai and gave Moses the Ten Commandments, the law (613 commandments), and instruction to build the tabernacle and establish the Levitical Priesthood under Moses' brother Aaron. Then God led the Jews to the promise land where each of the 12 tribes sent out two spies. It took two years once leaving Egypt and staying at Mount Sinai to get to the promise land and send out spies. The spies returned and were afraid to enter the promise land because of the giants in the land. The Jews then had to continue wandering in the desert until the entire generation of unbelief died. The Jews wandered for 38 years until God took them to the promise land the second time and Joshua [Jesus] led them into the promise land as they by faith crossed over the Jordan river. This crippled man, like us, is in a similar circumstance as the Jews who came out of slavery in Egypt were. They have been saved from slavery and have received instruction at Mount Sinai in how to follow and worship God, they are being miraculously provided for from God with the manna [bread] from heaven, yet they are not yet able to believe and trust God to take care of the giants in their lives. We likewise have been delivered from the bondage and slavery of sin and death, we have been instructed in how to follow and worship the Holy God of Israel, we receive our daily manna in the Bible to sustain us through this wilderness wandering. Yet just like the Jews and just like the crippled man we lack the faith in God to provide for us and to take care of us and our problems. So we to having rejected entering into the promise land must now wander in the wilderness of excuses and complaints until by faith we hear the voice of Jesus and pick up our bed and walk. Jesus performed this miracle on the infirm man on the Sabbath day, the weekly Saturday Jewish day of rest. The infirmed man was confronted by others for being healed on the Sabbath but remember it is not work to worship God or to be healed by God. Jesus has done the work of salvation [healing] for us. We just need to work through our circumstances with Jesus and the healing is a natural part of walking with God it is not work. It is interesting in this miracle that God would trouble or stir the water in the pool of Bethesda and that getting into the troubled waters would heal the sick. God does that in our lives He troubles the water of our life He has us work beside a co-worker that we have nothing in common with that we cannot stand to be around. Through these troublings we are healed if we get into the water. Get in there and get to know that co-worker, get in there and work on that resume, work on that marriage and those bills and through the troubled waters God is healing us as we are walking with God. Jesus later sought out the now healed man and found him in the "Temple" and told him "behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." That is where Jesus should find us is in the church body worshiping and fellowshipping. Just think what if Jesus had found this man with the sinners? We are freed up from sin to follow God not to return and sin more and make a mockery out of the cross and suffering of Jesus. Jesus makes the point to this man that although our sins are forgiven we still have our own freewill and if we choose to sin "a worse thing will come to us." We are free to worship God and we are free to sin. If however we choose to sin then there will be ramifications. If we return to what we know is wrong it gives Satan a chance to condemn us and accuse us, making our walk with Jesus even more difficult. Difficult that is if we choose to listen to Satan and ignore Jesus, but remember every sin is taken care of at the cross of Jesus, confess the sin, acknowledge the Deity of Jesus and remember the good wine is right now and the best wine is yet to come. Once the healed man gave credit to Jesus for healing him. The people he told became so upset that Jesus had healed the infirmed man on the Sabbath, they actually sought to kill Jesus. This is the first part of persecution in the Christian walk. As soon as we start to glorify Jesus people are going to start to get upset. People are going to want to kill Jesus and claim that He does not exist or that He is not capable of healing even that Jesus does not care enough to heal us. Jesus' answer to these people is that "My Father worketh now and I work." In fact this is the very work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and their work is going on right now whether people choose to believe it or not. And how Jesus would love to do His healing work and have a relationship with even the most critical, cynical and reached sinner.
After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a Mountain, and there He sat with His Disciples. And the Passover, a Feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He says unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this He said to prove [test] him: for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth [i.e. all the money we have] of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may take a little. One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, says unto Him, There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had Given Thanks, He distributed to the Disciples, and the Disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, He said unto is Disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is Truthfully that Prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a King, He departed again into a Mountain Himself alone. ~ John 6:1-15Jesus performs this next miracle while on a Mountaintop. A great multitude had followed Jesus out into the countryside. Jesus asked the disciple Philip "where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" It says that Jesus asked Philip to test Him because Jesus already knew what He was going to do. Philip wondered how much money it would take to buy all of the bread that the huge crowd would need. Another one of the disciples named Andrew said "There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are these among so many?" And Jesus said "Make the men sit down" Jesus took the loaves and the fish and after giving thanks distributed them to the disciples and the disciples distributed them to the people who were sitting down. When the people were full Jesus instructed the disciples to "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." And the disciples gathered 12 full baskets of fragments from the five barley loaves of bread. Sharing bread and fish that God has provided for us is an example of fellowship. The miracle of fellowship is that God has broken down every wall and barrier. Believers are now converted and see themselves and others in God's true agape love knowing that we are all created by God in the Image of God. We are all saved and cleansed by the same precious blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross. All people are descendants of Adam and Eve and again we are all related in Noah and His wife. There is no longer any color barrier or ethnic barrier we are all one in Jesus. We are all now nobility, children of the King. We have been elevated to the highest standard obtainable to become a relative in the one and only true Royal Family of King Jesus. Jesus gives thanks, takes the bread and breaks it, distributing the fragments of bread to feed the multitudes. We often think what do I have to offer in fellowship & Church with other Christians. We look at ourselves and know our problems and our shortcomings. We wrongly think that Christians are "perfect" people and that we need to be "perfect" to fellowship. The reality is that in Jesus He is using the fragments of our life to nourish others in fellowship. When we honestly open up our lives to others we are truly fellowshipping and helping others many who are in similar circumstances as we are. Then Jesus instructed "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." The truthful fellowship will remain and last even into eternity. There are some things that will transfer with us into Heaven and earthly fellowship is one of those things. The people and Godly relationships we establish here on earth will transfer with us for eternity into Heaven.
And when evening was now come, His Disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship (boat), and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But He says unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land where they went. ~ John 6:16-21The disciples entered into a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee, alone and in the dark, the disciples began to experience a great storm "and they were afraid." They were still afraid when Jesus walking on the water approached them and said to them "It is I; be not afraid." Then they willingly received Him into the ship (boat): and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. The dark nights and the storms of life will come. It is up to us to look to Jesus and to invite Him into our situation into the very boat of our circumstances. As we look around for Jesus we need to look up to see Jesus, for He is above our problems He is walking on the waters. Jesus is above the very storms that threaten to capsize us. In following Jesus the sea of life will from time to time become stormy, strong winds will blow. These are the very circumstances which Jesus allows into our lives in order for us to call out to Him and to see that He is bigger than any storm. Often these strong winds are nothing less than demonic attacks, but that doesn't matter as Jesus has the authority to calm every storm even satanic and demonic storms. It is important to remember that no matter what direction the wind is blowing from or how strong the storm that Jesus is always in control and He is always with us.
And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the Works of God should be made manifest in him. I must Work the Works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam [lit. Apostle], which is by interpretation, Sent. He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were your eyes opened? He answered and said, A Man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. ~ John 9:1-11This man has remained blind since his birth. Jesus Informed His disciples that the act of making this man see is a work of God. It is a work that God will be glorified in doing. Vision requires light in order to see, Jesus proclaims Himself to be the light for our sight. Jesus made clay from His spit and dust from the ground then Jesus "anointed" the eyes of the blind man with the clay. Clay represents the frail condition of humanity. The Bible says that we are but clay (Job 4:19). This man was blind to the plight of humanity. This man was blind to the sin and suffering that is occurring around him. Then Jesus instructed the man to "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, which is by interpretation, Sent." In Greek the pool of Siloam is called the pool of Apostle. Apostle means sent. The Apostles of Jesus are the "sent out ones" But in order to be sent out it is first required to have sight in the light of Jesus and to have our eyes Anointed with the Clay of humanity. Apostles have the Gospel of the Resurrection of Jesus to Eternal life. Apostles have the Good News and the message is to the sinner that God desires to save them. We were once blind now that we have been filed with the Holy Spirit read God's word daily, walk according to God's word, share God's word in fellowship with believers, braved the storms of life by calling on Jesus, we can now participate in the 6th miracle of Jesus which is to be a sent out one an Apostle. Jesus said to take the Good News [gospel] of His resurrection into all the world. We do not have to be sent out into the globe to be sent out we can reach our families, friends, communities and co-workers all of them need to experience the love that Jesus has for them. When we have applied God's word to our own life and Christian walk we can now share God's word with others we must be careful to give only God's word and not to pass off our notions as God's word but share only the true bread of Jesus.
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God, that the Son of God might be Glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was. Then after that says He to His Disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His Disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone you; and go you thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him. These things said He: and after that He says unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Nevertheless Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent all of you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow Disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, He found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever you will ask of God, God will give it you. Jesus says unto her, Your brother shall rise again. Martha says unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the Resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her [you are wrong, regarding a persistent ancient myth about a one-time Last Days resurrection], __I Am the [continual] Resurrection, and the [continual] Life__: he [OT saint] that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he [continually] live: And whosoever [NT saint] lives and believes in Me shall never die. Believe you this [in the Living Christ, instead of the one-time Last Days resurrection myth]? She says unto Him, Yes, Lord: I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master has come, and calls for you. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goes unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the Spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have all of you laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself comes to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take all of you away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, says unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days. Jesus says unto her, Said I not unto you, that, if you would believe, you should see the Glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. And I knew that you hear Me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent Me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a cloth. Jesus says unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him. ~ John 11:1-45Lazarus was sick. The Lazarus whom "thou (Jesus) lovest." Jesus replied "This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." Then Jesus waited two more days before departing with the disciples on the journey to get to where Lazarus was. By the time Jesus and the disciples arrived, Lazarus had been dead and in the grave for four days. The sisters of Lazarus were in despair that Jesus had arrived too late to heal their now dead brother. Jesus replied that to believe in Him is to never die. Then Jesus called Lazarus by name and the dead Lazarus became alive and walked out of his own grave. Not only did Jesus resurrect Lazarus back to life Jesus instructed that the grave cloths that had Lazarus bound up were to be removed. Many people are afraid of death, Jesus has said that to believe in Him is to have the binding cloths of death and the grave permanently removed from us. In Jesus we have both life and freedom. It only makes sense that God can resurrect us from death, after all God created each of us and gave us each a life in the first place. What is more difficult, to create life the first time or to give existing life a new body? To God nothing is impossible. The difficult part is not in creating a physical body or next a Spiritual body for us, the difficult part was to remove the sin that separated us from God. The final miracle of Jesus that we get to participate in is the glorious resurrection of the believer. Jesus called Lazarus by name just as Jesus knows our name and will call us by name to the first resurrection. The first resurrection is a selective resurrection and is for the believer only the unbelievers will not come forward until the end and that is to be condemned. Jesus said "unbind him and let him go" at the resurrection we will no longer be bound to these bodies of flesh and sin. Jesus has set us free from sin and the penalty of sin which is death. The resurrection is where we realize what God has already done for us at the creation and re-united for us at the cross of Jesus. **Note:** Jesus resurrected other people (Matthew 9:25, Luke 7:15) from death during His 1st Coming. Lazarus was not a special onetime event. The 1st Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:23, Revelation 20:6) since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a continual and ongoing event not a onetime end of days event. That is why the doctrine of Purgatory is completely rejected by Protestantism because people are either currently resurrected, in order, or are awaiting judgment, a State of Purgatory biblically doesn’t exist.
After these [Passion - Holy Week] things Jesus showed Himself again to the Disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and likewise showed He Himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His Disciples. Simon Peter says unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with you. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus [after the Resurrection] stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus says unto them, Children, have all of you any food? They answered Him, No. And He said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and all of you shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. ~ John 21:1-6**Jesus' 8th Parable in the Gospel of Matthew**
Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed [in the Bible] unto the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his Treasure things New [New Testament] and Old [Old Testament]. ~ Matthew 13:52This 8th Kingdom Parable of Jesus Christ seems to imply that a good Bible Scholar (scribe) is to interpret first the New Testament and then using the knowledge of the New Testament is able to more aptly understand the intentions and Biblical applications of the Old Testament. **Jesus' 8th Seal of Revelation**
I Jesus have sent mine Angel to Testify [Seal - 8th Seal] unto you these things in the Churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit and the Bride [Church] say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that hears the Words of the Prophecy of this Book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book: And if any man shall take away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are Written in this Book. He which Testifies these things says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. ~ Revelation 22:16-20The Book of Revelation seems to have been Sealed with an 8th Seal the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Implied in this 8th Seal is that it has to be activated "Surely I come quickly" (Acts 3:21) before the events of Revelation unfold and that when the Seal is activated then the events of Revelation will quickly unfold.
Your Word (Scripture) is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. ~ Psalms 119:105
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17Our Bible as we have noted earlier is a translation from the original Hebrew and Greek languages. During the translation process decisions were made by the translators to favor some doctrines while neglecting others. The fact that some doctrines are more clearly and more precisely translated than others does not make the Bible infallible because on whole the Bible as one whole Document is clear, concise, readable and therefore infallible. Taking select verses out of context and neglecting the greater general principal of Salvation only in Jesus Christ does make the instructor suspect but it does not make the Bible infallible. The Bible, especially the trustworthy and reliable KJV 1611 version is perfect, at least perfect enough for what we need to study in our given day.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and **with the mouth confession is made unto salvation**. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him (Jesus Christ) shall not be ashamed. ~ Romans 10:9-11God the Father: //No man can come [confession] to Me (Jesus), except **the Father which hath sent Me draw him**: and I will raise him up at the last day.// ~ John 6:44 2. Baptism - Spirit, Water, Fire
And Jesus came and spake unto them [Apostles], saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and Teach all Nations, **baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son (Jesus), and of the Holy Spirit**: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18God the Son - Jesus Christ: //I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He [Messiah] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: **He [Jesus Christ] shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire**: Whose fan [i.e. tools] is in His hand, and He will throughly purge [completely empty] His floor [workspace], and gather His wheat [saved] into the garner [building]; but He will burn up the chaff [unsaved] with unquenchable fire.// ~ Matthew 3:11-12 3. Communion
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and **gave it to the disciples**, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My blood of the New Testament [eternal life], which is shed for many for the remission of sins. ~ Matthew 26:26-28God the Holy Spirit: //The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God [Father], and **the Communion of the Holy Spirit**, be with you all. Amen.// ~ 2 Corinthians 13:14
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us not [the water and] the putting away of the filth of the flesh, __but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ__: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him. ~ 1 Peter 3:21-22
For I [Apostle Paul] have received of the Lord [Jesus Christ] that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same [Passover] night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: **this do in remembrance of Me**. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped [eaten], saying, This cup is the New Testament in My blood: **this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me**. __For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death [i.e. and resurrection] till He come__. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26**Note:** To participate in any one of the 3 Sacraments is to participate in all of them. An individual confession of faith that Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Son of God is the same profession as Baptism and Communion.