Wed, Oct 30th - 3:13PM
Brothers and sisters every time one thinks they are done pondering, one yet ponders again. We cannot fail to note, the Ephesian church is absolutely SILENT. They utter not ONE WORD in their defense. They pose not one question to Lord Jesus Christ.
The overseer or saved human messenger replies nothing to evade, deflect, minimize, or scapegoat the flock. The flock does nothing to lay all the blame on the overseer or even on one another. The church is completely silent before the King.
The silence of the Ephesian church is extremely important here.
Their absence of defenses, and questionings; such as whom or what is this first love and how did we leave it, what they must remember that led to their fall, they do not even ask what these first works are. These things are very telling.
The Ephesian church had nothing to say because they are sinners in the hands of an angry God. WRONG. The Ephesian church is silent because they are condemned with the world. WRONG.
The Ephesian church is silent because they have no idea of what repentance means. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
Mon, Oct 28th - 3:31PM
If an overseers and the church as a whole remain with our first love they are not going to get cocky and think that they can do whatever they want with the church. Brothers and sisters you know there are those spiritual smart alecks who preach: “When we do wrong- we break God’s heart and oh my God just weeps and weeps.” NOT!!!
Those who think falsely that all God is going to do is be broken hearted and hang His head and cry are absolutely mistaken. DON’T MESS WITH GOD!!!
For God the Son, is not amused, with those who falsely think that God will not discipline the disobedient amongst His body.
IT IS NOT GOD WHO WILL BE BROKEN AND MADE TO WEEP, but those whom He will require to bear the consequences of their disobedience. God the Son speaks plainly to the Ephesian church to listen up. He is not just telling them he is commanding them, with absolutely no options whatsoever; REPENT ! OR FACE HIS DISCIPLINARY HAND.
God warns us all, His hands that lovingly hold us, are the same hands that will chastise us out of love, for faithful are the blows of a Friend.
God warns all who forget his message:
Hbr 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
(feel free to see this whole chapter).
Most interestingly Lord Jesus Christ also tells the lukewarm church of the Laodiceans:
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
God ain’t playing with them and He ain’t playing with us. God is not our teddy bear that we can play with and put to the side when we get tired of playing. He is the Lord, Sovereign and owner of every living soul. DON’T MESS WITH GOD.
Sat, Oct 26th - 10:29AM
If one would ponder further still, brothers and sisters, did the messenger improperly think he gained his position because he was the favorite with the deacon board, had the greater oratory skills, his daddy had founded the church, his granddaddy was the former longtime pastor so he was the heir apparent, he had the most degrees, he had attended the most prestigious schools, he paid a lot of money and spent a long time in school and had earned and was well deserving of his post, he was well favored by the congregation, he was the most analytical and intelligent, however he got there did he somehow believe it was through his own efforts?
We cannot know, brethren, what in the world the messenger was thinking, but we well know what our Sovereign Lord told him, the church and every overseer, it is because of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit allows an overseer to have this office.
Alas did the saved human messenger or pastor even dare to think in error that he owned the church?!!!
Lord Jesus Christ right early reproves the angel or pastor of the church, and the body as well resoundingly. It ain’t the pastor’s church, it ain’t his daddy’s, granddaddy’s, the deacon board’s the congregation’s, nor any man or woman’s either. Christ owns the church in its entirety. Jesus Christ will never allow any man or woman to take His church and do whatever they want with it in defiance of God’s will.
These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks…
Holdeth meaning G2902 Krateō-Pronunciation krä-te'-ō : I. to have power, be powerful
A.to be chief, be master of, to rule
B.to take hold of
C.to take hold of, take, seize
i. to lay hands on one in order to get him into one's power
A.to hold in the hand
B.to hold fast, i.e. not discard or let go
i.to keep carefully and faithfully
C.to continue to hold, to retain
ii. to hold in check, restrain.
Right hand G1188, dexios Pronunciation de-ksē-o's meaning- I. the right, the right hand.
a place of honour or authority.
Jesus Christ owns us and continually watches over us and our doings. This angel or pastor had led the church away from the central command of God. He also holds the body accountable for doing the pastors will rather than God’s. No overseer should ever make the mistake in believing that they are above church discipline. This church was not falling down, as in the process, for Christ declares that they have fallen-a done deal.
Lord Jesus Christ gives them this terrifying, dreadful, severe, yet hopeful and merciful message:
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Sun, Oct 20th - 9:36AM
The Ephesian church, was like the super duper hot shots of their day, they thought they had it all together; after all look at all that they had done. They were badly mistaken; even the works that we do in obedience to God is through Jesus Christ who is the true Vine, without whom we can do NOTHING.
They thought they could please God through doing religious stuff ALONE. They thought they could please God without love for Jesus and without love for one another and all men. How wrong they were. And the Holy Spirit, who teaches and leads us into all righteousness, pulls their coat tails… Hey, we need to talk and you guys need to hear what I have to say to you. And the Holy Spirit is pulling our coat tails too. He is still talking and we still are commanded to listen AND DO WHAT THE HOLY SPIRT TELLS US AND EMPOWERS US TO DO. God allows no substitute for love.
Love is a feeling. WRONG!
Love is an attitude. WRONG!
Love is an ideal no human being can possibly hope to attain. WRONG!
Love is not perfect. WRONG!
Love is incomplete. WRONG!
Love makes you weak. WRONG!
Love is not necessary if I have works. WRONG!
Love is for push overs. WRONG!
Love is a cop out for the sly, shiftless, and lazy. WRONG!
Love is a warm fuzzy murky thing. Wrong!
Love doesn’t hold people accountable. Wrong, even doubly so!
And Lord Jesus expresses His displeasure with the Ephesian church: : “I have somewhat against you because you have left your FIRST LOVE.” Oh yeah even though you have works, nevertheless He says to them in no uncertain terms-YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE AND I AM HOLDING IT AGAINST YOU.
One cannot help but ponder what happened to them? Was it spiritual blindness, a gradual decline, a slippery slope, a competitive drive to outdo every other church, or a drive to compete against each other? One might also wonder did they know what they were doing, and why did they think they were going up when they had actually fallen down in the eyes of the only One who truly mattered? Brethren I suppose there are probably more questions than we can ever answer here. Yet there is one character we must not allow to slip from our view.
Rev 2:1 Unto the ANGEL of the church of Ephesus write….
Angel meaning in the Greek: G32
Aggelos. Pronunciation -ä'n-ge-los; Part of Speech masculine noun, a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God. By implication PASTOR.
There cannot be any mistake that Jesus FIRST addresses the saved human messenger whom He appointed to be in charge of AND RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHURCH. See Luke 9:52.
Jesus is starting from the top down. And one cannot help but ponder what was the messenger thinking. But one need not ponder whether the messenger know any better. The apostle Paul and many others had well warned:
New Living Translation
"So guard yourselves and God's people. Feed and shepherd God's flock--his church, purchased with his own blood--over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders.
English Standard Version
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
New American Standard Bible
"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
King James Bible
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Sat, Oct 12th - 9:56AM
Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all ...
... you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and
with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the FIRST commandment ...
And the SECOND is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is NONE other commandment greater than these.
John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have ...
…34"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
John 15:10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love ...
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have
kept my Father's commands and remain in his love. ...
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
We love because he first loved us. ... We have the power of
loving, because he first had love for us. ...
1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 3:14
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
1 John 4:20
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
2 John 1:5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command ...
... And now, my sister, I make a request to you, not sending you a new law, but the
law which we had from the first, that we have love for one another. ..
Despite the urgent commands and encouragement from God to love Him And one another we arrive at the Lord Jesus Christ’s first communication with the church at Ephesus.
Revelation 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the ...
... But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. ... But I have
this against you: You have departed from your first love! ...
This Ephesian church was no slouch in works as we can see Lord Jesus notes their works. Most importantly Lord Jesus does not limit His message to just the Ephesian church. Christ is telling each, every and all churches to listen to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to the churches. This message is to the individual Christian as well as the body as a whole.
Our Lord encourages the church, He recognizes the pervasive patience, labors and works of the church. And yours and mine, each and every brother and sister, and the church body as a whole.
Note Jesus does not call this church nor any church sinners. Note He does not tell them " O.K. guys just confess your sins and everything will be just hunky dory again" because God knows their sin, as absolutely nothing can be hidden from Him. Note also He does not endorse nor approve in any way their lack of obedience, but gives a dire warning to them and us. Brothers and sisters, Jesus does not take it lightly when anyone shows up at His door lacking love.
Those who do not have love, do not have Jesus either, and no work of any kind can please Him without love.
Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
The Bible is absolutely clear here. Christ is not addressing unsaved persons, but those who have already confessed, believed and have received salvation. These passages of Lord Jesus Christ directly to the churches will cause those who do not grasp the full, complete and final gospel message to turn back to the Law of Moses. Those who turn back to the Law of Moses for righteousness are spiritually blind and have failed to grasp that Jesus Christ Himself FORBIDS THE MIXING OF THE LAW OF MOSES WITH SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
Thu, Oct 10th - 11:18AM
Brothers and sisters while multitudes of Christians know better, there are still some running amok preaching with the gospel in one hand and the Law of Moses in the other, and by comingling the two teach in great error.
In ignorance they teach and preach to born again believers who are saved:
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
They completely ignore the full gospel message and the very words of Jesus Christ through whom we have received the final finished and complete Atonement for all eternity:
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand. 30 I and [my] Father are one.
In horror and unbelief they run from these verses also:
Ro. 8: 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The level of ignorance and blindness of some is so great that they attempt to justify their error by pointing to Paul the apostle, taking him completely out of context, to claim that even as Paul claims that he is the greatest of sinners after salvation so Christians are still sinners even after salvation.
1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
It is a false teaching to claim that Paul was declaring himself still to be a sinner, even after he was saved and become an apostle. Paul was absolutely not declaring himself to still be a sinner after he was saved and God considers no Christian is still a sinner after salvation.
Let us look at this verse in biblical context.
1Ti 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Brethren it is absolutely clear that Paul is addressing what he was before he was saved, and that his sin was pretty extreme. Nevertheless despite his horrendous sins, Jesus Christ would use Paul as a great example of God’s longsuffering and mercy to encourage all who believe on Him that if someone like Paul could be saved of so great sins that God would even save others as Paul had been. Feel free to read this chapter and others on your own.
Paul the apostle has something to say about those teaching believers to follow the law, and also gives the verdict on the Law by the gospel of Jesus Christ:
1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Jesus Christ declares that teaching Christians to live by the Law for righteousness is turning aside from the gospel truth and teaching empty babbling, by those who neither understand nor know what they teach. The gospel of Jesus Christ states that one can use the law lawfully as it is applied to these categories of persons and things: the lawless, the disobedient. The ungodly, sinners, the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, those who defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. This is according to what standard? Answer: the eternal, everlasting and final gospel of Jesus Christ.
For who is the law not made for? Answer: for the righteous, according to the same everlasting, eternal and final gospel of Jesus Christ.
Beloveds let us pray that our Lord Jesus will remove spiritual blindness, ignorance and stubbornness from those who have yet to receive the full gospel message into their hearts. Holy brethren, let us pray that such will shuck off false teachings to cling to the final answer, and everlasting truth of the Bible correctly understood and lived.
The Holy Spirit teaches us the easy to understand answer through the full gospel message regarding sin and how Christians are to deal with it.
Mon, Oct 7th - 12:04PM
Parents know it is necessary to teach their children their names and address. If you ask a child who has not been taught what their name is, they will usually reply with their nick name or first name only, because that is all they know. If you ask them where they live they will say in a house or on a street, because that is all they know as well. When you ask them the names of their parents they will usually say mom and dad.
Although this information seems pretty basic or elementary, it is among the first steps in helping the child to understand their identity, and also helps to keep them safe.
Unfortunately among some Christians they have yet to obtain the basic understanding of who they are, and where they belong. They know little more than that they are saved, yet lack the basic and elementary understanding of what their name is, and the full nature of the kingdom to which they belong. Beloveds, I believe this is due to biblical ignorance, and the lack of persistent stress on Bible study.
The greatest ignorance and the most dangerous is not knowing the full gospel message of Salvation through Jesus Christ. The biblically ignorant run from the following passages back to the Law of Moses:
1Jo 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Instead of remaining in the truth of this passage about the children of God who are forever separated from the devil and sin through Lord Jesus Christ some still try to be righteous through the Law of Moses.
After salvation GOD CONSIDERS NO CHRISTIAN TO STILL BE A SINNER. TO TEACH AND TO DO SO IS BLASPHEMY.
Running back to the Old Covenant law of Moses shows how severe their blindness and ignorance is. However, brothers and sisters I pray that Pastors, teachers, and all the brethren will work diligently and persistently by the power of the Holy Spirit, to expound the full gospel message, to remove spiritual blindness amongst some of the body.
For those who run back to the law, they will never be justified by it, nor nullify God’s standard of eternal righteousness for all eternity, the final finished work of Jesus Christ.
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