OTY: The Revelation (4) -Chuck Smith (Video)

Revelation 1 (Part 6/6) Chuck Smith c4000

</object>

Prophecy Digested

Prove All Things knowing that all Prophecy is about Jesus and God revealing His Son…To us..for our…Salvation. We post material that is questionable, objectionable, and in the opinion of the Editor of the Prophetic Perspective, valid to use as God chooses to. Sometimes that is highly suspect as material setting “dates” of the Rapture is, but often these posts, may have pieces that are correct to futher study.  

“Rarely is anyone ALL RIGHT or ALL WRONG”

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

          One Thousand Years”

              “a Biblical Prophecy site”

Last Days of the Last Generation                                “Last Generation”

                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”

‘IN THE LATTER DAYS, PEOPLE WOULD BE LOVERS OF SELF RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD’

We do well to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness

Not a political or personal agenda

Just Jesus

PLEASE!

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

OTY: The Revelation (4) -Chuck Smith (Video)

Revelation 1 (Part 5/6) Chuck Smith c4000

</object>

Prophecy Digested

Prove All Things knowing that all Prophecy is about Jesus and God revealing His Son…To us..for our…Salvation. We post material that is questionable, objectionable, and in the opinion of the Editor of the Prophetic Perspective, valid to use as God chooses to. Sometimes that is highly suspect as material setting “dates” of the Rapture is, but often these posts, may have pieces that are correct to futher study.  

“Rarely is anyone ALL RIGHT or ALL WRONG”

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

          One Thousand Years”

              “a Biblical Prophecy site”

Last Days of the Last Generation                                “Last Generation”

                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”

‘IN THE LATTER DAYS, PEOPLE WOULD BE LOVERS OF SELF RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD’

We do well to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness

Not a political or personal agenda

Just Jesus

PLEASE!

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

OTY: The Revelation (3) -Chuck Smith (Video)

Revelation 1 (Part 4/6) Chuck Smith c4000

</object>

Prophecy Digested

Prove All Things knowing that all Prophecy is about Jesus and God revealing His Son…To us..for our…Salvation. We post material that is questionable, objectionable, and in the opinion of the Editor of the Prophetic Perspective, valid to use as God chooses to. Sometimes that is highly suspect as material setting “dates” of the Rapture is, but often these posts, may have pieces that are correct to futher study.  

“Rarely is anyone ALL RIGHT or ALL WRONG”

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

          One Thousand Years”

              “a Biblical Prophecy site”

Last Days of the Last Generation                                “Last Generation”

                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”

‘IN THE LATTER DAYS, PEOPLE WOULD BE LOVERS OF SELF RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD’

We do well to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness

Not a political or personal agenda

Just Jesus

PLEASE!

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

OTY: The Revelation (2) -Chuck Smith (Video)

Revelation 1 (Part 3/6) Chuck Smith c4000

</object>

Prophecy Digested

Prove All Things knowing that all Prophecy is about Jesus and God revealing His Son…To us..for our…Salvation. We post material that is questionable, objectionable, and in the opinion of the Editor of the Prophetic Perspective, valid to use as God chooses to. Sometimes that is highly suspect as material setting “dates” of the Rapture is, but often these posts, may have pieces that are correct to futher study.  

“Rarely is anyone ALL RIGHT or ALL WRONG”

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

          One Thousand Years”

              “a Biblical Prophecy site”

Last Days of the Last Generation                                “Last Generation”

                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”

‘IN THE LATTER DAYS, PEOPLE WOULD BE LOVERS OF SELF RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD’

We do well to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness

Not a political or personal agenda

Just Jesus

PLEASE!

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

OTY: The Revelation "Letters" (4) - Jack Kelley

Revelation 2 And 3 … Seven Letters To Seven Churches, Part 3, conclusion

To the Church in Philadelphia

"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:  Philadelphia means City of Brotherly love.  In the chronicle of church history, Philadelphia represents the evangelical church born in the 1800's during the 2nd Great Awakening.  (The first took place about 100 years earlier primarily in the Northern colonies.)  For centuries scholars had taught an allegorical interpretation of scripture, especially prophecy, but in the mid 1800’s the rank and file was energized by a return to the literal interpretation.  The pre-tribulation rapture and 1000 year reign of the Lord on Earth, views that were prevalent during the 1st century but abandoned with the allegorical interpretation were once again popular.  The church was born again.

      

(Title) These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  Jesus is the Messiah who holds the keys to the Davidic Kingdom.  He alone has the authority to grant and refuse entry. 

 

(Commendation) I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.  The open door is the one through which John will enter heaven in chapter 4 to stand before the Throne of God, a type of the Rapture.  The Church in Philadelphia, receiving no criticism, is also granted admission. This is symbolic of the fact that for those saved by grace through faith, it’s as if no sin was ever committed. 

 

In the 1st Century Philadelphia, like other gentile churches of the day, was beset by "Judiazers."  They insisted that before a Gentile could become a Christian, he had to become a Jew and keep the law. They'll be forced to admit that the path to Christianity did not lie through Judaism, but went straight to the foot of the cross.

 

In the latter days, the advocates of Replacement Theology (those believing the church has replaced Israel) and other groups claiming Israel's inheritance as the favored of God, will also be required to bow down before the true church and admit the error of their ways.    

 

(Admonition) Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. The promise of a pre-trib rapture.  The Greek word translated "from" in this passage literally means "out of altogether" and excludes us from the time, place, and cause of the end times judgments.  Only one "hour of trial" is prophesied to be world-wide, and only one is designed for the Earth dwellers. It's the Great Tribulation. Throughout the balance of Revelation the church is referred to as those who dwell in Heaven.

 

(Call) I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Here's one of those places that distinguishes the free gift of salvation from the crowns we'll earn as prizes for our work done in the Lord's name out of gratitude for His gift.  One of those crowns is reserved for those who long for His appearing (2 Tim. 4:8) and that describes the attitude of the Church in Philadelphia perfectly.  The Greek word translated soon in the NIV actually means speedily.  When He comes, He'll come suddenly, without warning.  Don't let anyone talk you out of the promise of His coming.  Don't lose hope!

 

(Challenge) Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. Who is it that overcomes the world, John asks?  Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:5.)  The New Jerusalem is the home of the church.  Nothing impure can ever enter it, only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. (Rev. 21:27) With all that identification, there'll be no doubt as to who is authorized to live there. 

 

(Promise) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Once again we're admonished to stick to the basics of the Gospel.  Keep to His Word. Don't deny His name.  Hold on to your convictions.  Keep looking up. 

 

It was a clear and beautiful day when we arrived in Philadelphia, modern Alashehir, just after lunch.  Perfect timing, I thought, since historical sites in Turkey often close at 3:00 PM.  We spotted the signs pointing the way to the church site and arrived without difficulty about 1:30.  It was a quiet neighborhood and the site itself was like a park, green and clean. 

 

The sign on the gate told us we were there during visiting hours and, as at the other sites we had visited, there was a little office for collecting fees and distributing literature.  But unlike every other place, though we stayed for almost an hour, we saw neither visitor nor employee.  It was as if everyone had vanished, just like the Lord promised.

 

The Kingdom Parable that describes the Church at Philadelphia is the Pearl of Great Price.  Pearls are uniquely Gentile, since oysters are not kosher. A pearl is the only gem that's formed from a living organism.  It grows in response to an irritant while hidden in the sea.  At harvest time, it's removed from its natural habitat to be set apart as an object of adornment.  Sounds just like the church.  And of course Paul's Letters to the Thessalonians, that introduced the Rapture on Earth, match beautifully as well. 

To the Church in Laodicea

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: Laodicea means "the people rule." The Laodicean church represents the apostate church at the end of the age.  Many in the New Age and Emergent Church movements are part of this church.  


(Title)These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. He's letting them know that they don't rule the church, He does.

 

 (Criticism) I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Laodicea receives no commendation, only this criticism, rich in symbolic sarcasm.  Laodicea got its water from nearby Heiropolis, a hot spring resort that still flourishes today, now called Pamukkale.  The water came across the valley in an open aqueduct.  Having begun its journey fresh from the hot springs, it was luke warm by the time it arrived.  Too cool to be used for cleaning or bathing, and too warm to be refreshing, it was unfit for use until it could be either heated up or cooled down.

 

The fire of the Spirit had gone from the Church in Laodicea leaving its members engaged in "form without substance" ritual. Not that they minded.  They were happy as clams with their no commitment, no responsibility religion.  So it is in much of the emergent church today.  They look like a church and do some things that a church does, but you won't detect the power of the Holy Spirit there and the gospel of our salvation is only obvious by its absence. Even though their congregations are often large and well financed, their spiritual condition is one of poverty.

 

(Admonition) I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Laodicea was a prosperous regional banking center, also famous for a rich black wool cloth its residents produced, and a soothing salve that helped reduce the painful effects of eye strain caused by astigmatism. They were rich in the worldly sense but poor in the things of the Spirit, thought themselves well dressed in their shiny black wool, but lacking the white robes of righteousness were actually naked, able to see all the opportunities for worldly gain, but in need of a healthy dose of the Lord's eye salve to restore their eternal perspective. Sound like anyone you know? The Church of Laodicea is alive and prospering in the 21st Century.

   

(Call) Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Often called the great evangelistic call, this passage screams out one extraordinary fact.  The Lord's standing outside!  He's knocking on the door trying to get in, hoping (dare I say praying?) that someone, anyone, will hear His voice and invite Him in. If they do, He'll say, "Better change your mind about your need for a savior.  Time's about up."  

 

(Challenge) To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. Right up until the time of the Rapture, anyone in the Church of Laodicea can recognize his or her need for a savior and look to the Lord for salvation.  And even if it makes them the very last member of the Body of Christ they'll receive full rights and privileges.  The number's almost complete. If you’re a Laodicean reading this, you just may be the one we're all waiting for.   

 

(Promise) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."  There's a bit of the Laodicean in all of us.  Some part of the Word we're lukewarm about, some area of our life where we think we're self-sufficient, some sin we've blinded ourselves to. Let's get right about it while there's time.

 

As we stood beside the Greek amphitheater that morning (Laodicea has both Greek and Roman amphitheatres) it was clear that the Church at Laodicea did not hear the Lord knocking at their door. What remained of the church was but an empty shell.

The Parable of the Net describes how things will turn out for those who ignore His call.  This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 13:49-50)  Paul's Letter to the Colossians is the appropriate match here.  Colosse was just a few miles down the highway from Laodicea.

Let’s Get Personal

As you sit in your seat each Sunday, regardless of the sign on the church door, you're joined by folks from Thyatira.  They’re the ones who add to the Gospel: Jesus plus someone or something else, grace plus works, scripture plus tradition.  There are also some from Sardis.  They subtract from the Gospel.  “You don’t need to be born again, just join the church, give some time and money, you’ll be fine.”  And then there’s the group from Laodicea.  “Jesus was a great man and teacher, and lived a life of such gentleness and grace that it’s ALMOST as if he was God.  Just love everybody like he did.  The good life you live is an obvious sign of your favor with God, and everyone knows there’s no real heaven, I mean come on.”

 

But if you know you’re a sinner and have given your heart to Jesus because He gave His life for you, then you’re from Philadelphia.  There may be some others there with you, but you’ll never really know for sure how many till you all vanish together some day soon.  And don’t be surprised when you’re joined by some who're Catholic, some who're Protestant, some conservatives, some liberals, and even some who didn’t appear to attend any church at all.  After all it's not what you say you are, but what you believe in your heart that matters.

Next time we'll begin part three of the Revelation, "the things that will be after this." See you then.

 

Prophecy Digested

Prove All Things knowing that all Prophecy is about Jesus and God revealing His Son…To us..for our…Salvation. We post material that is questionable, objectionable, and in the opinion of the Editor of the Prophetic Perspective, valid to use as God chooses to. Sometimes that is highly suspect as material setting “dates” of the Rapture is, but often these posts, may have pieces that are correct to futher study.  

“Rarely is anyone ALL RIGHT or ALL WRONG”

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

          One Thousand Years”

              “a Biblical Prophecy site”

Last Days of the Last Generation                                “Last Generation”

                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”

‘IN THE LATTER DAYS, PEOPLE WOULD BE LOVERS OF SELF RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD’

We do well to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness

Not a political or personal agenda

Just Jesus

PLEASE!

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

OTY: The Revelation "Intro" (3) - Jack Kelley

Revelation 2 And 3 ... Seven Letters To Seven Churches, Part 2

by Jack Kelley

As the Roman Empire grew in prominence, Rome soon became the world's center for the practices and traditions of the Babylonian pagan religion. Pergamum slowly faded from the scene, but the mixed marriage of Christianity and Paganism begun there has produced four offspring, Roman Catholics (Thyatira), Main Line Protestants (Sardis), Evangelicals including Pentecostals and Charismatics (Philadelphia) and the Apostate Church (Laodicea). All are alive on Earth today.

To the Church in Thyatira

"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: Thyatira means continual sacrifice. (In the Catholic Church, the Lord is still on the cross, and they believe that the communion wafer becomes His actual body and blood as it's consumed.) It's the first letter with a future in view, which led me to the conclusion that the earlier three churches are gone. It's also the first whose members are divided into two categories, the saved and the unsaved.

(Title) These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. It couldn't be clearer. While born of the Virgin, the One speaking to them with fire in His eyes is to be addressed as the Son of God, not of Mary.

(Commendation) I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. The Catholic Church is known for its efforts in bringing mercy and compassion, as well as the Gospel, to God's children.

(Criticism) Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. The title "Queen of Heaven" by which many Catholics refer to Mary, was first used of Semeramis, wife of Nimrod the founder of Babylon, and mother of Tammuz. Semeramis declared herself a goddess, claimed that Tammuz was born of a supernatural conception involving the Sun god, and began the first counterfeit religion, a mother-child cult.

According to legend, while out hunting one day Tammuz was killed by a wild animal. Semeramis mourned for 40 days at the end of which Tammuz was raised from the dead. A celibate priesthood was formed and the chief priest was declared infallible. The 40 day mourning (now called Lent), the Yule log, evergreen tree, mistletoe and hot cross buns were all used in rituals commemorating the event, and the mother-child cult was begun.

Later the Romans adapted these to the death and re-birth of the Sun at the winter solstice, but in the 4th century the traditions surrounding Semeramis and Tammuz were attributed to Mary and Jesus and came almost unchanged into Catholicism, where they remain to this day.

Semeramis is symbolically called Jezebel in the letter, leading people away from the truth into idolatry. But the real Jezebel is also in view here. She was a daughter of the King of Phonecia, a pagan princess best known for her advice to her Israelite husband King Ahab on how to obtain a vineyard he wanted. She brought trumped up charges against the vineyard's owner, hired witnesses to bear false testimony, and had him convicted and executed. Then she confiscated the vineyard in the name of the King. Centuries later the Catholic Church would obtain much of its wealth in the same way. Fortunes beyond measure were gained during these inquisitions.

Jezebel was also the patron of the 400 priests of Baal who Elijah slew on Mt. Carmel. The Lord views idolatry as infidelity and Jezebel had encouraged the worship of Baal, leading the people into spiritual adultery. The many saints to whom some Catholics pray, and the sacramental works they must perform to attain and keep their salvation are not scriptural and deny the sufficiency of the cross. For these reasons the Catholic Church is often called the "plus religion." Jesus plus Mary. Grace plus works. The Scripture plus tradition. Giving glory for the works of God to anyone else is spiritual adultery, and subjects the giver to severe punishment.

(Admonition) So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Those who insist upon being judged by their works will be granted their wish. Sadly the emphasis on these religious works has clouded the true message of the gospel to the extent that some life-long Catholics never come to know the Lord on a personal basis. The Lord will judge them according to the motives of their hearts. Are their good works performed out of gratitude for the free gift of salvation He offers, or they done in a futile effort to earn it on their own?

(Call) Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come.Others will have seen through the layers of traditions and works and saints and rituals and found the face of the Lord looking back at them. Those who do and cling tenaciously to Him will have their reward.

(Promise) To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery— just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. They'll join Him on His throne as co-regent of the universe, the Bride of Christ, His beloved church.

We're not in the church because of the pew we occupy, or the name over the door, or the good works we do. We're in the church because we've believed by faith that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3-4)

(Challenge) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Even after we're saved by Grace, we all have our lists of do's and don'ts. We derive our self- image as a believer from our adherence to this list, judging others by how well they keep our commandments. When we fail, we fall back on God's grace, but we don't really feel good about ourselves until we're obeying our list again and we always insist upon justice for everyone else who fails. We forget that grace plus works equals works. The two are like oil and water, they don't mix. To the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. (Romans 4:5)

The only negative experience we had in our entire visit to the sites of the seven churches in Turkey took place in Thyatira, called Akhisar today. After a friendly and helpful guard opened the site where the church once stood for us and gave us material that explained what we were looking at, we left to find some lunch thinking how pleasant our time there had been. Down the street, we spotted an open-air shop where a vendor was selling the barbecued chicken sandwiches that are so popular in Turkey, and that we had come to enjoy as well.

Waiting for our sandwiches, we were approached by a man who appeared to hold some position of authority. His manner was most unfriendly, and his questions conveyed an air of suspicion. We left there quickly wondering if he was a policeman, a government agent, or an official from a religion unfriendly to Christians. Driving away we also discovered our food was not edible. The chicken was bad, as if the innards hadn’t been removed before cooking. Re-reading the letter to Thyatira we were struck by the contrasts between good and evil, in the letter and in our visit.

The Kingdom Parable that resembles the Letter to Thyatira is the Parable of the Leaven where a woman wrongly mixed leaven into three measures of meal. Leaven, or yeast, always symbolizes sin and traditionally three measures of meal is the fellowship offering. (Sin in the fellowship. Get it?) Paul's letter to the Galatians fits too and can be summed up in the first three verses of chapter 3. You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

To the Church in Sardis

"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: Sardis means remnant. As He did in the Letter to Thyatira, the Lord distinguishes between the lost and the saved (the remnant) in Sardis. The church in Sardis represents the Protestant Reformation. When Luther and others led the way out of Catholicism, it was in search of truth. The Catholics had distorted God's word into something it was never intended to be, adding to the Scriptures and imposing heavy spiritual burdens on their followers.

The call of the reformation was "Sola fides (only through faith), sola gratia (Only by grace), solus Christus (only with Christ), and sola Scriptura (Only His Word)."

(Title) These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. The Lord reminds the Church in Sardis just Who is writing to them. He is the Giver of the Holy Spirit, and the Guardian of the angel who shepherds them.

(Criticism) I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Jesus told the woman at the well, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) In their quest for the truth, the Protestants neglected the things of the Spirit and for several hundred years almost never heard the rustlings of the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) in their midst. When the Great Awakening of the late 1800's and early 1900's brought the Gifts of the Spirit into the open again, they rejected the idea, giving birth first to the Pentecostal and then the Charismatic movements.

(Admonition) Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. When the German School of Higher Criticism invaded their seminaries with its godless theories about the "real" authorship of the Bible and the Modern Rationalists they spawned explained away its miracles, there was no Spiritual discernment to resist them. And so, having earlier rejected the Spirit, they now lost the Truth as well.

(Call) Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. As is the case in Thyatira, there remains but a remnant who are saved. The rest, having worked so hard to make God small enough to fit in their minds, now find Him too small to meet their needs. They will be among the most surprised to find themselves left behind as End Times events unfold. (Notice, the Lord doesn't promise to come for them, but to them.)

(Promise) He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. But to the believing remnant He will bring the white robes of the righteousness that comes by faith, and will be pleased to introduce them to His Father as members of God's Forever Family.

(Challenge) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. There are two extremes in Christianity. The dead orthodoxy of main line Protestantism, and the "zeal without knowledge" of Charismania. Too great a focus on either will cause the loss of both spirit and truth.

The most significant site in Sardis today is the huge abandoned synagogue and gymnasium (school). As I stood there I was reminded how the protestant church has abandoned its Jewish roots and ignores the Old Testament, even doubting its veracity. Having learned what the Lord did from their New Testament but not understanding why He did it because they've never read the Old, they’ve lost the last of the meaning that once validated their theology. It's become form without substance.

The Parable of the Treasure in the Field describes the Church in Sardis. Upon discovering buried treasure in a vacant field, the Lord bought the whole field just to get the treasure. For God so loved the (whole) world that He gave His only son, that who so ever believed ... The pardon purchased with His blood is available to everyone in Sardis, but only a remnant will accept it. Paul's Letter to the Romans, the "Gospel according to Paul" is his contribution to our understanding.

These two children defined Christianity until the 1800’s when the Lord again did a remarkable thing and the Church was born again in the 3rd child of Pergamus. More next time

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