Friday, January 31, 2014

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Greatest Love Story You Will Ever Know


The Greatest Love Story You Will Ever Know

          What is the greatest love story of your life?  All of our lives, each of us  seeks that one true love that we hope will become the all consuming passion that is the very essence of what sustains us for the journey of our lives.  As a child, it begins as we are nestled in the glow of love that is poured out towards us from our parents, at whatever level of capability they have within them.  Some of us have experienced that love to a greater or lesser degree than others, not because we are more or less loveable than anyone else, but simply because we are all flawed human beings and our ability to love or be loved by another is limited by the flaws of human nature. There are those who were greatly loved, but never received it because something within themselves was broken. They never could learn to recognize love when it was offered, making them also less capable of giving love to another.  Our perception is our reality even though it may not be based on fact, but based on a flawed ability to perceive and receive what is fact and truth. 

          I think that’s part of what we need to understand from the scripture that states the condition of the human heart; it is dangerous to trust in it alone.   “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it.”(Jeremiah 17: 9)  Because we are born with a nature prone to sinfulness, our heart can lead us astray.  It is the unschooled heart, not submitted to the ways of the Lord, which can lead us to veer off the straight and narrow path.  In this broken world, to see one of the greatest examples of the deceitfulness of the heart, one has to look no further than the ever increasing numbers of divorces and immoral relationships in which mankind indulges.  Set your inner alarm to go off the next time someone offers you advice to “follow your heart, and you’ll make the right choice to do the right thing.”  Look at how many married couples were absolutely positive at one time that they had found the one true love of their life. Later, for whatever the reason, they found themselves in an unhappy, and seemingly, unloving relationship from which they were desperate to escape.  So, it is drastically evident that ‘following’ our heart, passions, or emotions is not really the way to go, or the apparatus to use as a compass to guide to truth or what is good and best for us.  Instead, it may only lead one into an ultimately fatal philosophy such as, “There is no absolute truth of right and wrong; therefore, if it feels good, do it.”   It is this flawed practice of following your heart, or your own opinions, which has opened the door to believing the lie instead of the truth.  The one valid compass to truth is the word of God which is disclosed to us through the Holy Spirit.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is the word of God made alive in the flesh.  Jesus said that He only did that which His Father showed Him and told Him to do.  When we really listen to the Holy Spirit as we read the scriptures, He makes the word come alive in us.  Remember when Jesus arose from the dead, He appeared before many prior to His ascension to Heaven.   One such incident occurred as He appeared to men as they walked along the road to Emmaus? (Luke 24: 13 – 35)  They didn’t recognize who He was at first.  Later, they reflected and said to one another how their hearts had burned within them as He had been talking with them?  It is that same glorious glow of warmth that fills our soul as we spend time in God’s word, allowing the Holy Spirit to hide the word of God in our hearts.  It is through this process that God gives unto us a ‘new’ heart, one that is being trained to listen to the voice of God instead of listening to the old flesh nature, the voice of the world, or Satan.  When we begin to realize how sweet those times are, the Holy Spirit draws us back to the word time and time again to drink from those living waters.  It is then that we begin to understand what Jesus meant when He said; if we would but drink from His living waters we would thirst no more.  After we’ve eaten a meal, at first we feel full and satisfied, but later begin feeling hungry again.  Whereas, when we eat and drink from God’s word, what the Holy Spirit has placed within us stays there and continually brings nourishment to our souls.  I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been for the apostles to be able to walk and talk with the Lord, and actually reach out and touch Him.  But since there was only one of Him, the number of people that could be near to Him at any one time was limited.  Now that He has returned to the Father, every believer has the presence of His Holy Spirit, not just by our side, but actually living and dwelling within us at all times.  When we turn to the word of the Lord, we are opening our mind and heart for the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our understanding and speak directly to us.  Through the Spirit and the word, we are able to hear the voice of the Lord speaking.  He is our ever present teacher and guide, our one on one teacher, counselor, and comforter; the One who leads us into ALL truth, little by little, day by day. We are “be being filled.” 

          He not only creates within us a new heart, He is giving unto us a new mind, a whole new way of thinking and seeing things, out goes the old, in comes the new.  He really is at work within us to create in us a whole new being.  We are still ourselves, but it’s like we are being taken back to the Garden of Eden before the fall of mankind, and He is remaking us more and more into the image of God to be the person that God had originally designed us to be.  This gradual restoration is one proof to us that Jesus is neither a pie in the sky, nor a sweet by and by God.  He is the ever present, here with you now God.  Yes, the job of making us anew will not be completed until when we see Him face to face, but He has already begun His work in us in the here and now.  We, those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, are truly a ‘work under construction.’ We are being recreated by the Master’s hand, not just the top guy, nor the supervisor, apprentice, or laborer, but The MASTER.   Everyone knows that when something is under construction there is a lot of chiseling and reshaping going on, knocking off a sharp and ragged edge here, and smoothing off a corner there.  Sometimes it can be rather painful, other times the work is done gently but with acute precision.  In the end, when it’s done under the hand of the Master, the final result is a great masterpiece, a true work of art, bringing glory and honor to the One that created it.  When people come to admire such a piece of art, they don’t say “O look how beautiful it became all by itself.”  No, they come to give praise to the miraculous workmanship of the one who made it.  So, when any one looks at you and me, and sees something to be admired and appreciated, we can direct them to the One who has made us so and say, “What He’s done for me, He’ll do for you.”  People waste so much time and money going to a plastic surgeon that only has the skills to change and reshape the temporal and outward appearance, a shallow and superficial change.  It should be far more desired to be placed under the skillful hands of the Lord who works from the inside out, creating something of eternal and lasting value.  Wow!  How awesome is that!  In the meantime, while I am still so very imperfect,  I ask you forgive me, not excuse me for my imperfections, but to forgive me, for you see I am still a work under construction, and the Lord is not yet finished with me. 

          Everyone is looking to some other thing or person to do that which only God can do.  If we refuse to look to God our Creator, we will look to any and every other direction.  Why do we think that people are forever following every new guru, false teaching, false teachers, false gods, etc.?  If we won’t believe in the One True God, we will accept and believe in anything and everything else that comes down the pike. 

          Man has within him a center, or dwelling place, that is meant to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Rejecting God means the same thing as setting out a vacancy sign welcoming Satan and all of his demons to walk right in and set up house keeping in what they will call their new home and place of residence.  They then claim ownership and have dominion over you.  You have no real freedom, for scripture tells us that freedom only exists when we have the Lord.  “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.”(II Cor: 3:17) Looking to anything else but God, may bring a sense of momentary satisfaction but always turns out to be shallow and unsatisfying.

          Looking at the outward appearance of our lives, may often demonstrate what we have given place to in that room within which is supposed to be God filled.  The rich man, apart from God, keeps trying to find satisfaction and fulfillment by acquiring more and more things.  He has filled his God center with the false god, or idol, of materialism.  He soon finds it’s not enough, and still unsatisfied, he has to have more and more.  The more he gets, the more he wants.  Greed and avarice have taken root and are now growing by leaps and bounds.   Others may try to fill their God room with immoral sex, leading to pornography addictions and debauchery of every imaginable kind.  It’s an endless and unsatisfying circle.  Still others, in their incessant search for the meaning of life and spirituality, may declare “I have looked for god and finally found her; it is me!”  They have determined that there is no need for the Cross for they have no need of a Savior.  Ah yes, Self!  Now that is a good idea; place her on the throne in what is supposed to be the God center, but now is the Self Center!  The life of the Self centered person is often marked by a string of broken hearts with few, if any, lasting relationships.  Being so filled with themselves, they rarely have room in their hearts for anyone else.  Thinking of others is more often done from the following attitudes: “What can I get or take from you?”  “What have you done for me lately?”  “I didn’t bargain for this when I agreed to enter this relationship.  I’m just not happy anymore, and it’s entirely your fault.”  Everything is all about me, myself, and I.  The very idea of doing something for someone else, without regard to how it will be of benefit to them selves, is an idea that is truly alien to them.  Very often, they become bitter people, left all alone in their old age because they have alienated anyone that ever tried to reach out to them with love.  Bitterness, selfishness, rejection, and a whole host of their other friends have walked in and set up house keeping for the duration.  Just about anything and everything can become an idol, like money.  It’s not money that is evil, but rather the love of it.  When money or anything else becomes your supreme interest or focus, you have given it the place in your life that was meant to be for God.  Nothing, no person, thing, or place can take the place of God.  Solomon got it right in the book of Leviticus when he was exploring the meaning of life.  Apart from God, all is vanity and life has no meaning.  Like a song I have heard, life without God is like a train ride.  You get on board when you’re born and depart when you die.  You have gone from this earth and there is nothing left that has any lasting value.  Life only has eternal and lasting value when God is within you to make it so.  With God, the end of the train ride is continued on a God provided vehicle, perhaps the wings of an angel, transporting you to your final destination to be with Him in Heaven.  That which was done through you to glorify God will continue to exist, for it is God within you that has produced anything of eternal value.  Did you get that?  You and I don’t want to miss that little tidbit of information.  It is NOT what man has done; rather, it is that which God does in and through man that produces anything of eternal value.  There it is again; we look not to ourselves, but direct others to God, the source of all good things.  Only God is worthy of praise.  Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!!! Apart from God, there is nothing worthy of praise. 

          Why do we wonder then when lives, filled with things other than God, so often end in ruin, depression, bitterness, and perhaps even suicide.  We could go on and on with a litany of lists of idols that mankind will seek to fill their God room with, refusing to fill it with the true God that created it there in the first place.  God gave the command for us to love Him first and “have no other gods before Him” for a reason.  God did, does and always will love us.  He loved us first.  No one had to command Him to do so.  We can’t do anything to earn or destroy His love for us.  The only thing that removes us from the presence of His love towards us is our rejection of Him, which is also our rejection of His Love.  Can’t we see?  The rejection is our doing, not His.  He said that He didn’t want anyone to perish, but that all would come to the saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Spiritual death is far worse than the physical death of our body.  He loves us, and He alone knows what is best and right for us.        

          The heart of man, unless it is made new through the process of being born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, is so hardened, or rebellious and stubborn, that we will never humble ourselves and accept God’s right of authority over and in our life.  Man’s pride, just like Satan, will insist on having things his own way.  You and I both recognize that same old pride thing that tries to rise again and again within us, even now when we know better.  Sometimes I still hear that inner voice, you know the one you ‘don’t’ want to listen to; the one with the arrogant, know it all attitude which says, “You can’t tell ME what to do!”  Thankfully, now that I belong to Him, because I am His and He is my loving ‘Daddy,’ He will not let me get away with it.  He will do what my Mama used to say, “I’m gonna jerk a knot in your tail!”  Okay, I know that’s not the kind of thing God would really say, but it’s a pretty good analogy of what He would and does do, not because He’s an angry and tyrannical god, but because He’s a loving and “just” God.  If a loving earthly Father cares enough to discipline his child, how much more so does my Heavenly Father.  Discipline is never a feel good happy thing to experience, but the outcome is worth it.  Without it, we would all be self centered, unruly, spoiled brats with no respect for authority of any kind.  OOPS! Did I actually say that in these days of political correctness?  YEP, I dare to say it again and again, “Respect for Authority!”  Thank God, He gave me parents that loved me and used their rightful position of authority over me to train me up as a child should grow.  I’m not saying, look at how good I am; I’m saying look how good they were.  Perfect? No.  But I value what they did in my life.  I can honestly say, the times I went astray, causing harm to myself or others, were when I veered from what I had been taught was right.  My Daddy was strict and firm.  Praise God, my Mama was not one who undermined the authority of our Dad.  She didn’t rush in to rescue me from that ‘big ole bad Daddy.’  She was more often the counselor who, though more gentle than Daddy, was still supportive of him.  Neither of them was more interested in being my “friend” than in being my parents.  I might not have liked it then, but I love them all the more for it now.

          Too many parents today are more concerned about whether their children are going to love them, instead of concentrating on loving their children enough to discipline them properly.  In a way, that is evidence of their self love. The big “I”,

I might not be loved if I discipline my child like she needs to be.  Instead, the attitude should be, because I love my child, I’m going to discipline her regardless of how she might feel towards me.  As parents, that’s a vital part of our job description.  Hey, don’t get me wrong.  I didn’t learn this because I did everything right as a parent.  Sometimes you learn because you did it wrong, and then had to go back and take a refresher course, hoping that maybe next time you’ll be a bit wiser.  Doesn’t it just get you when you keep doing something the wrong way time and time again before you finally stop to ask Him; “Lord, help me out here, what am I doing wrong?”   Thank God, sometimes He taught me directly through His word and other times He would send a wiser and more experienced person to help me out.  I did learn that it’s important to make sure the source of counseling is Christian and not secular.  Boy! The source that did not know God or any of His principles; what a mistake that was!  But that’s a story for another time.

          Remember, God has loved us first, and His love never wavers, it is constant and unconditional.  He never had to ‘learn’ to love us.  We are the ones that have to ‘learn’ to love Him.  We are the ones who have to ‘learn’ to trust, to believe and not doubt, to follow and not stray, to listen and obey.  He loves us more than we love ourselves.  He is all knowing and His wisdom and understanding is infinite, while ours is finite.  Knowing all of that about Him, wouldn’t you think it should be easy for us to lay at His feet all of our self will, surrendering our lives totally to Him, willingly letting Him have full reign to direct all of our ways - thoughts, words, and deeds?  Yet that is exactly where the conflict abides, a constant struggle between the will of our old nature, and the call to be a servant unto Him.  It is a struggle because of our human frailties, yet He has not left us alone to fight that battle on our own.  He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to lead that we may follow, to be our strength when we are weak, and to enlighten our understanding and give us sight to see where once we were blind.  It’s a process, a life long journey through which He is always present and will never leave or forsake us.      

          He never promised us ‘happiness’.  Happiness depends on conditions, situations, or happenstance.  Happiness is fleeting, fickle and undependable.  The very thing that we ‘think’ makes us happy one moment, may make us very unhappy the very next moment.  Instead, He promised to give us joy to be our strength, and peace that passes all understanding even in the midst of the worst circumstances, conditions, and situations.  It is that joy and peace from the Holy Spirit that enables us to proclaim “whatever my lot, He has taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul.”

           It is only when we invite Jesus to be our Savior that He sends the Holy Spirit to indwell that God room within us.  Yet even then, learning to trust God and give Him full reign within us is something that we are reluctant to do, for we are ever warring against the old flesh nature within us.  It is this constant struggle that we see expressed by Paul in Romans 7 when he said that he keeps doing that which he knows he shouldn’t do, instead of doing the things that he knows he is meant to do and should do.  God always has to perfect that wrinkle within us, and He will continue to do so as we yield ourselves to His will.  Too often we find our selves saying, “Hey God, how about handling this part of my God room only.  I’m sure I can do the rest of it by my self.”  Before you know it, we find ourselves at the very edge of the cliff, or maybe tumbling all the way to the bottom of it, before we are willing to humble ourselves before Him, repent of our sin, or disobedience, and ask for His forgiveness.  He is so merciful He spreads His loving grace over us like a warm and cozy blanket, gathers us up in His arms, and sets our feet solidly back on the straight and narrow path.  When we sincerely confess our sin, He is quick to forgive.  He knows the intent of our heart.  Sometimes when we say, “I’m sorry,” we are not sincere, but in reality we are only sorry that we got caught.  That kind of ‘sorry’ does not lead to true repentance our change within us.  The Bible says we must “sorrow to repentance,” a true state of sadness that you hurt the one who loves you more than anyone else. We realize that we have caused our Lord to grieve. He knows the trouble we’re headed to and the harm we’re are bringing upon our selves through our own rebelliousness and disobedience.  If we truly love Him, we will turn our hearts to Him to let Him know how sorry we are and ask not only for forgiveness, but also the strength not to fall into that same pit again.  I know how badly I felt when I disappointed my earthly Daddy.  I hated that feeling.  That relationship helped me turn more to God for His help to become the person He has meant me to be and to do that which is pleasing unto Him.  It’s not a “have to do” thing.  It’s not with the attitude “I better do or not do that because if I do ‘God’s gonna get me for that.’”  Rather, it’s with a heart felt love towards God that wants so much to demonstrate love for Him through obedience, because you ‘WANT TO,’ not because you have to.  After all, isn’t part of love thinking about doing what makes the other person happy?  It’s moving in that attitude of being God centered, not ‘me’ centered.  Of course, God’s love is always pouring out towards us; it is only blocked when we ourselves block the entrance of the door to our heart.

          We are His children; He is our God.  He is our good Shepherd; we are His sheep.  We are not fatherless children that grow up as ungodly, undisciplined, lawless, spoiled brat beings.  Because He is our loving Heavenly Father, He is also a just God.  His justice will not let us go without chastisement and correction.  A loving earthly father will discipline his own child to teach him the correct way.  The child must learn God’s ways to be equipped to live life without having to constantly suffer as a result of wrong choices, decisions, and actions.  Yes, God is a God of love and justice.  We can not have the loving part without the justice part.  That’s why, even after we have been forgiven, we still have to suffer the consequences of our poor choices or poor behavior.  If the chastisement and consequences were removed, what would be the incentive for us to make corrections and learn to choose to do and be that which is right and good in the sight of God?

           “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”(Mark 12: 30)  Remember, God has loved us first.  No one had to force Him. No one had to earn it.  Nothing can separate us from God’s love if we are found in Christ Jesus.  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 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.” (Romans 8: 38, 39)  God’s love is not fickle, nor does it grow greater or less over time.  He pours out His love towards us freely and willingly at all times.  We never have to worry about whether He might decide to walk and away and leave us because we got older, fatter, or even because we blew up and entirely lost our temper with Him.  Remember, Jesus was a human on earth and is well aware of all our human frailties.  He knows that our righteousness is worse than filthy rags, so He gave us His righteousness through His shed blood on the Cross.  Now, when the Father looks at us, He sees us cleansed white as snow. He sees us through the covering of the righteousness of Jesus.  He sees us through His mercy and grace.

          I have an absolutely wonderful and loving husband.  He is the love of my life.  I can not praise God enough for blessing me with such a loving and caring husband. He and I are only human with human imperfections.  We have come to realize that, as much as we loved one another when we were first married, our love for one another has grown stronger and deeper over the years.  Sometimes we look at one another with amazement when we consider how much we love one another.  We are well aware that putting God first in our lives has been the very element that has magnified our love for one another.  We praise Him from the deepest part of our souls for making that so. 

          In contrast, we know that God’s love towards the Sheep of His Pasture is far greater than any earthly love, for His love is without limit or boundaries.  Both of us look to God to proclaim that His love towards us is our greatest love story.   It is true that no one can out give the Lord.  Also true is it that no one can out love the Lord.  He is the greatest Lover of our souls, the Lifter of our heads, our Redeemer, our Comforter, our Provider, our ever present Help in time of trouble, our Hiding Place, Hightower, Fortress, Physician, Shield and Buckler, Savior, Lord, our ALL IN ALL.  There are no words that can truly and fully describe how great His love for you and me is.  

          If you have not yet received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I pray that you will invite Him into your heart.  Confess that you are a sinner in need of Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord.  He is quick to forgive, merciful and full of grace.  He is wonderful and marvelous. He will send you the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to indwell you and stay with you closer than a friend.  He will disclose unto you the truth and power of the word of God.  He will never leave you nor forsake you. With His magnificent and glorious love, He will restore you and make you whole.  His love has no end.  Open your heart to Him and you will find the Greatest Love Story you will ever know!
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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Racing Toward The Wrong One

        I am fully aware that almost everyone who reads this will find fault with one or more portions of what is presented.  My intention is to present a picture of the quantity of things that are taking place; setting up the ushering in of the One World Government and the One World Religion, as described in the Bible.  It doesn't matter which political party is in power, as the major ones both seem to be controlled by the same people and forces, while the minor ones seem to be limited in their outlook or controlled by crackpots. 

1.  Ejection of God from the public arena - The ACLU, atheists groups, secular humanists and progressives, among others have been extremely successful in relegating religion to the side line.  " A first-grade teacher in California told a student that “Jesus is not allowed in school.” (http://www.rightwingnews.com/education/teacher-reportedly-takes-first-graders-christmas-gift-and-destroys-affixed-religous-story/)  This Christmas day in Germany, during a Christmas mass, a naked Feminist activist jumped on top of the alter of Cologne Cathedral with "I AM GOD" written on her chest. "Soldiers at a military base in Mississippi were allegedly told not to use the word “Christmas” because it is “offensive.” Base leaders came together a few weeks ago to plan a holiday football tournament. During the meeting, an officer said that the base could not use the term “Christmas” because it is offensive to those who do not celebrate the holiday. The officer said soldiers should be instructed to use the term “holiday” instead. One soldier said, “Our equal opportunity representative stopped the briefing and told us that we can’t say Christmas. Almost the entire room blew up. Everybody was frustrated.”(http://www.mrconservative.com/2013/12/29511-soldiers-told-not-to-say-merry-christmas/) Chaplains in the military are told they can't pray in the name of Jesus.  The organized degradation of Christianity is well documented.  Denial of the Christian basis on which this country was founded is rampant throughout the revisionist history taught to our children.  President Obama said we are not a Christian nation.  Mohamed Elibiary, a member of Homeland Security Advisory Council, has announced that we are an Islamic country.   Almost 2,000 years ago much of the middle east was introduced to Christianity. Satan was so up set that he inspired Mohammed to invent a pagan religion called Islam.  Now the Islamists are persecuting the Christians, killing them and destroying their churches.

2.  Homeland security - gathering ammo, detention camps "A range of conspiracy theories have arisen over the past year alleging that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking steps to hire a new squad of law enforcement officers and acquire an arsenal of riot gear, pepper spray-spewing guns and as many as 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, as part of a specific plan to quash dissent, monitor public events, and infiltrate peaceful protest groups." (http://www.ibtimes.com/homeland-security-refutes-conspiracies-about-16-billion-rounds-ammo-pepper-ball-gun-riot-gear)  "A leaked U.S. Army document prepared for the Department of Defense contains shocking plans for “political activists” to be pacified by “PSYOP officers” (Department of Defense, Psychological Operations unit) into developing an “appreciation of U.S. policies” while detained in prison camps inside the United States." (http://www.infowars.com/leaked-u-s-army-document-outlines-plan-for-re-education-camps-in-america/)

3.  Obama administration hit list - Like Nixon's enemies list and George Bush's deck of cards - "This was the enemy, served up in the latest chart from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties. The mug shots and brief biographies resembled a high school yearbook layout. Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)
 
4.  Recent governmental Scandals list - to mention a few

1. Benghazi
2. Fast and Furious
3. IRS giving out information for political reasons
4. DOJ infiltrating the AP
5. GSA spending out of control
6. The Oval Office leaks that have never been found
7. Secret Service prostitutes
8, New Black Panther Party cover-up
9. bugging of the congressional cloak room  http://www.wtam.com/pages/DaveRamos.html?article=11292741
10. IRS targeting conservative groups – favoritism to liberal groups
11. Abuse by EPA (Ulsterman report) favorable treatment to liberal groups to the detrement of conservative groups http://theulstermanreport.com/2013/05/18/congress-now-set-to-investigate-obama-epa-scandal/  
12. Attacks on Christians in the Military, by the military  http://news.yahoo.com/u-military-really-planning-court-martial-christian-soldiers-182831240.html
13. DOJ overreach in investigating individual reporters and their parents
14. HHS illegally raising private funds to promote its agenda – extortion
15. IRS targeting of individual GOP donors.

16. The EPA Illegal targeting and confiscation of materials of Gibson Guitar Co. for which the CEO says were caused by contributions to conservative groups


18. Dept. of Labor determined Fort Hood shootings were workplace violence

19. EPA showing favoritism to liberal groups, in charging fees or not charging for Freedom of information materials

20. NSA demanding phone records for 121 million Verizon customers http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/politics/nsa-verizon-records/index.html?c=homepage-t&page=1 AND mining information from top internet companies http://www.pcworld.com/article/2040991/report-nsa-prism-program-spied-on-americans-emails-searches.html

21. IRS, employee misuse of government credit cards, for internet porn, gifts, baby clothes, etc.

22. The ‘community action division’ of the DOJ travels the country stirring up racial problems (Ex. Setting up racial demonstrations against George Zimmerman).

23. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials ordered subordinates not to talk to congressional investigators about their investigation into illicit hiring practices and related whistleblower retaliation allegations http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/24/darrell-issa-reveals-yet-another-potential-obama-administration-scandal-thats-against-the-law/

5.  NSA spying - " We told you so. This week’s report from the independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, or PCLOB, confirms what we said back in June of last year in our New York Times Op Ed “The Criminal NSA”. The NSA’s telephone record metadata program, in which it collects the calling records of almost everyone inside the United States, is illegal." (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifergranick/2014/01/24/told-ya-so-nsas-collection-of-metadata-is-screamingly-illegal/)

Hillary Clinton (democrat heir apparent to the White House) scandals -

1.  1000 dollars yielded 100,000 dollars - Whitewater

2.  Why did Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, former general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, fire Hillary Clinton in 1974

“Because she was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality."

3.  Rose Law Firm records scandal (http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/06/us/elusive-papers-of-law-firm-are-found-at-white-house.html)

3. travelgate

4. Vince Fosters death

5. Benghazi cover up

6. She did however, stand by her philandering husband.

BUT: "At this point, what difference does it make?"

Pope Francis statements and prophesy  Pope Francis has said that people who believe in the FUNDAMENTALS of Christianity (like St. Peter did), are mentally sick. He also has said the we should look on Moslems as brothers.  In perhaps one of the most blatant and blasphemous statements in history, Pope Francis has declared that everyone – including atheists – are redeemed through Jesus. Perhaps the Catholic prophesies are right and he is the last Pope and destroyer of the church.  Did Jesus die for the sins of the world? Yes He did. The Bible says you have to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior in order to qualify, as there is only one name under Heaven by which you can be redeemed.  The qualifier is what Jesus told Nicodemus; "you must be born again".

ACLU, atheists groups, homosexuals, Islam, etc. and their war on true Christianity -  "Alabama family members recently went out in order to enjoy a Christmas parade, celebrate Christmas and support the local community–little did they know, their event was about to be ruined.  Resembling a few men from the movie The Longest Yard, gay dancers wearing skin tight, short-shorts danced their way past all spectating families and children." (http://www.mrconservative.com/2013/12/29492-skimpily-dressed-gay-dancers-crash-family-christmas-parade/)  "Christmas in the Middle East was once again marred by violence from radical Islamists. Two car bombings in Baghdad, one targeting a church and the other targeting a market frequented by Christians, killed more than three dozen people and wounded 70 others." (Gary Bauer)  "Christians 'Most Persecuted' Religious Group in the World Says Expert" (http://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-most-persecuted-religious-group-in-the-world-says-expert-74332/)   Mikey Weinstein reportedly hires eight different law firms and five PR agencies to wage his war against Christians, saying "It's time to stop doing nothing...I'm now going to lay down in a withering field of fire, kick ass, take names and leave sucking chest wounds...We are at war, I agree with my friend...We are at war." (http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/38272018.html)

Roger Baldwin, founder of the ACLU, said: "I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself... I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."  The roots of this hatred and intolerance of religion lie in the essence of communist ideology. Marx dubbed religion the “opiate of the masses,” and opined that, “Communism begins where atheism begins.”  Dave Muscato, communications director of the American Atheists, says that Christmas is better without Christ and Thanksgiving is a secular holiday and has nothing to do with religion.  Does he realize that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ?  Does he know that the purpose of  thanksgiving is to give thanks to the Lord?  Since the celebration of the Winter Solstice comes from early Pagan religion, why does the Freedom From Religion Foundation say we should celebrate it instead of Christmas?  Are they anti religion, or are they just anti Christian?

Clearing the military of approx 200 top commanders who aren't willing to kill American citizens - "Nine generals and flag officers have been relieved of duty under Obama just this year – widely viewed as an extraordinary number – and several sources put the total number of senior officers purged during the five years of the Obama administration as close to 200." (http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/purge-surge-obama-fires-another-commander/)
Dumbing down of the educational system  Under the Common Core educational system, the kid at McDonald’s will give you $3.00 change for your $20.00 bill, on a $4.95 purchase and be able to explain why its OK that he arrived at that figure.   America used to be one of the top nations for literacy in the world.  We have declined dramatically in that area.  High school graduates can't even make change for customers, without the use of computers.

Promotion of declining morals, gay marriage and abortion - At last count, fifty five million babies have been aborted since Roe V Wade. The largest abortion provider is supported by government funding.   The courts have gone against the wishes of the people in approving same sex marriage.  Unbelievable numbers of children are born to single women. In your face sexuality and debauchery are the rule of the day.  Family values are the brunt of humor by these blatant sinners.

Targeting of conservative groups by IRS and others   "Their problem is not me and the democrats; their problem is themselves.  Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are?  Because if that's who they are and they're extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are." (Governor Andrew Cuomo Jan. 17, 2014)  We have all heard of the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, and other government agencies, and the favoritism shown to the progressive groups.

PC and intolerance of traditional values  Essentially, the left is for tolerance, as long as you agree with them.  Intolerance is when you disagree with them.  I believe in toleration as long as those being tolerated don't try to overthrow those who are tolerating them.  Political correctness is agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.  Truth has no place in this culture.

Cleansing of the true church - Where evil does abound, grace does more abound.  The apostate churches and denominations are being rejected by those who know and believe the Word of God.  Known as the Emergent Church, the feel good gospel is being preached, instead of the Word of God.  The Bible says that many will be deceived by this abhorrent teaching. 

          There are only two forces active in the world; despite what people like to think.  Satan and his forces are in a war against God and His forces.  We are hurling, head long, towards the wrong one.  Those of us who believe in the Word of God can see all of this being prophesied in its pages, so we know what to be aware of.  God's people do not need to be afraid of what is happening, but we do need to be informed and prepared.  Despite all appearances, the Lord and creator of the universe is in control.

          I don't know why Satan was given a certain amount of authority in the world. This authority is evident in the conversation (temptation, Luke 4:1-13 and Matthew 4)  between Satan and Jesus.  Perhaps this Satanic authority is in Gods plan, to be used as a refiners fire for the purification of  the saints.  To those who endure to the end, Jesus said: "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." (Revelation 3:5)

          The road to destruction is wide, while the path to salvation is narrow.  Many are called , but few are chosen.  It is true that, according to the Bible, the majority will make the wrong choices.  Remember your children saying " but everybody's doing it"?  Mankind, as a whole, has this mentality.  If your friend jumps off a cliff are you going to follow him to destruction.  The time is short, as world events are falling into place.  What can you do, as just one person, to effect the outcome?  You can influence your family and friends to come to God before it's to late.  Everyone needs to make a choice as to which one to follow; the plan designed by God, or the plans devised by Satan.
 
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Friday, January 24, 2014

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Deception: many paths to God


Deception: Beware of False teaching that there are many paths to God

          This is not meant to be an exhaustive study of the truth that there is but one path to God, but rather an elementary presentation that may encourage the reader to seek further to open the eyes of understanding through the word and the teaching by the power of the Holy Spirit. If one says that he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and yet also claims that there are many paths to God, he is deceived and makes Jesus a liar. There is only one true God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  “For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”  “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Son of God. (I John 5: 7, 9 – 13) {The witness that the believer has within himself of course is the Holy Spirit which leads and guides us into all truth.  Without his witness and teaching, the word of God will be mere foolishness in the eyes of mankind.  The witness of Holy Spirit is available to all who will seek him.  It is he who draws and leads us to God the Father and God the Son.}  

          Take not my word, but look to the words of Jesus Christ himself.  Jesus teaches there is but one true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had WITH THEE BEFORE THE WORLD WAS. (John 17: 3 - 7)  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him and, and have seen him. (John 14: 6)  “Then Jesus said unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.”  “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”  “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”  “As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”  “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  I and my Father are one. (John 10: 7, 9, 11, 14, 15, 27 – 30)

Holy Spirit:   Jesus teaches about the Comforter (Holy Spirit) who will be sent to live in those who believe in Him as Savior and Lord. Jesus said -"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."  "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth;" (John 16:7, 13)

          People are always asking, “How could a loving God, send people to Hell?”  First of all, this is a round about attempt to again blame God for what we have done to ourselves; thus, attempting to remove the responsibility and consequences for what was our own choice.  Secondly, God did not create Hell for people, but for Satan and the fallen angels.  But if we reject God as they did, we must suffer the same consequences or God would be a partial and unjust God.   Thirdly, and a far more cruel action, is revealed in the following question: “ How could a loving God send His only Son to be brutally beaten beyond recognition, and hung on the Cross to die, for people who didn’t need a Savior, if there were already so many other paths provided to get to Heaven?”  Can we not comprehend the huge price that Jesus paid willingly to redeem us from sin and death in order to restore all who would believe to a right relationship with God the Father?  God has provided The Path, faith in His Son.  The responsibility to choose to receive the gift of salvation that He has provided is then offered to each and every individual.  It’s up to each individual to choose to believe and receive the gift of salvation, or not believe and reject the gift of salvation. It’s a simple as that.

          An airline tells you that there are two flights going to your desired destination.  They give you further information that one plane is going to crash, but the other one is going to take you to your desired destination without any problem.  If, after you are given that knowledge, you still choose to get on the plane that you knew would crash, how can you possibly blame the airlines for the outcome of the flight that you chose to take?  Does this not exemplify exactly what we do to God in trying to blame Him for ‘sending’ people to Hell? 

          Since the beginning of time, man has always been trying to blame someone else for the sin that they themselves chose to do.  When Eve was deceived by Satan, she chose to disobey God and ate of the fruit of the tree that He had told her not to touch.  God confronted her; she tried to blame the devil for her choice to disobey.  When Adam was confronted, he first tried to blame Eve by saying that she had given it to him, trying to shirk his responsibility for choosing to eat it. Even worse, he was really blaming God.  After all, wasn’t it God’s fault because He was the one that had created the woman and given her to Adam in the first place? 

          As a teacher, Each year, I placed a banner at the front of my classroom that taught a valid life lesson and greatly helped support good classroom behavior.  The banner simply stated: “You Are Responsible for You!”    I would take time to explain the meaning of the banner at the beginning of each year, presenting the information that I was only human and did not have eyes in the back of my head.  If someone was corrected for an infraction of misbehavior, they were NOT given the right to point out that someone else had also done thus and so.  If they committed the action, they were responsible for their own choices, and no one else bore the responsibility for what they had freely chosen to do.  The responsibility and consequences then fell only on the shoulders of the person who chose to commit the unacceptable behavior.   I would attempt to illustrate this principle by telling about a driver who was pulled over for speeding.  When confronted by the policeman, the driver did not have the right to point at all the others he believed to be speeding also.  No, he, and he alone, was responsible for speeding and; therefore, he alone had to pay the consequences for his actions.  Thus, students were given a clear picture to demonstrate the meaning of the words of the banner.  At appropriate times during the year, until the students had really gotten the message, I’d give a brief reminder about the speeder.  I also used this approach to get my point across.  If I had to reprimand someone for talking without permission, and they tried to point out that others had also been talking,  I would simply reply,  “Then isn’t it a good thing that you are only responsible for your choice to run your own mouth, and not have to pay the price for them also?”  After awhile, it was no longer necessary for me to repeat the words or their meaning.  All I had to do was point to the banner, the message was received, and there was no need for any further discussion, discourse, or argument.  A biblical lesson taught and applied, even in a secular school.  An example of proof that even unbelievers, who apply God’s principles, can derive blessing, benefit, and order in their lives even though they may not acknowledge the existence of the Creator of the principle.    

          Another popular argument used to oppose the belief of only one path to God, is the situation proposed by this question: “What about those who have never heard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?”  My first response would be to ask them, “Have you received the good news?  If so, then you alone are responsible for making your own choice to receive Him and the truth of His Word, or to reject Him.  If you do choose to receive Him, then you too are commanded, as a part of your commitment to follow Him, to go and tell others about Him, giving another the opportunity to choose to believe and follow Him as Savior and Lord. (Mark 16: 15)  As for those who may not have heard, scripture tell us that God has given evidence in all of creation so none have an excuse to deny His existence. (Romans 1: 19 – 20) (Psalm 14: 1)  God uses mankind as instruments to spread the good news of His existence, and the gift of salvation that He has provided and freely offered; however, He is not limited to dependence upon mankind alone.  For example, He has reached and revealed Himself unto many across the world through dreams and visions.  Who are you and I to question God or His ability to reach others?  First, our responsibility is to pray for others that they may come to know the Lord.  Secondly, we must be sure to tell others, with whom we come in contact, about Jesus as He leads and opens the door for us to do so. 

          Knowing such a wonderful and loving God should fill us with such joy that we would leap at the chance to tell others about Him.  We must not let the world intimidate, manipulate, or silence our voice, but we must depend upon the wisdom of the Lord to tell us when to speak and when to keep silent, for He has told us “not to cast our pearls before swine.”  We are responsible for taking the good news to others; we are not responsible for their response.  When Jesus Himself walked on the earth, He gave to many the invitation to come and follow Him.  Some gave up everything to follow Him willingly, while others turned and walked away.  If they chose to respond to Him with rejection, should we be surprised when others tell us, “That may be all well and good for you, but it’s not for me”?  You can’t drag anyone kicking and screaming to Jesus, or force them to come, follow, or believe.   That’s a lesson I have had to learn the hard way.  It’s difficult to understand why anyone would reject Him and not want to have anything to do with Him; however, you can continue to pray for them that they might have their eyes opened and turn their hearts to receive Jesus.  As long as there is breathe, there is hope, so we never give up praying. 

There is but one Path to God

          A driver was headed down a road that had many twists and turns.  At several intervals along the way, signs were placed with the warning: DANGER! BRIDGE OUT AHEAD.   Each time, an accompanying sign would direct him to a detour that was safe and straight.  He ignored the danger signs assured, in his own oppinion, that the winding road was the quickest and surest way to his destination.  After several occasions of being warned and directed to take the detour to reach his destination safely, he arrived abruptly at the point where the road ended and the bridge was out. Going too fast, no longer having a chance to escape the consequences of his choice, he drove over the cliff to his death and final doom.  This little story is an illustration of how God tries to reach out to each of us along the path of our life’s journey.  Even though His word is given to us to direct our path to Him, we, all too often, stubbornly insist on doing things our own way, rejecting every warning and correction He provides us along the way.  Yet, we blame Him and ask why He would allow such a thing to happen?  The blame for our ultimate demise and condemnation is upon ourselves for rejecting The Path that He has provided for our salvation and eternal life with Him.

Jesus teaches about the way to Heaven

“Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7: 13, 14)  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4: 12)

May the word of The Lord take root in our hearts that we may grow ever closer to Him each day as Savior and Lord.
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Seven Churches of Revelation


The Seven Churches of Revelation

From the Revelation of Christ, chapters 2 and 3

(+) = what the church did right      (-) = how the church was in error

 

            This is presented as an overview of the seven churches rather than an exhaustive study of these churches.  These seven churches represent not only their condition at the time John was given the revelation by Jesus, but also represent the seven dispensations of the church (body of Christ) from that time to the present.

Revelation chapter 2 - 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;
I know thy works, and thy labor, 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: (+) This church recognized the false apostles as liars.

And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. (+)

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.(-) It became a backslidden church

In Acts 20:29-30, Paul had warned them - "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." 


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.

But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. (+)

 Niko = to conquer     Laos = the people      The Nicolaitanes were trying to set up a hierarchy of priestly order like the Pharisees and eventually like the Catholic church.  To place the leadership over the people instead of being servants to the people.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith 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.

The church at Ephesus represents the condition of the "Church" from 70AD to 170AD.  Jesus admonishes them to return to the doctrines which they were taught by the early church fathers, and to bring back the new again: the way they were when they first came to know Him.

 

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 thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (+) (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. (-)

10 Fear none of those things which thou shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

The Lord told them to stand fast, because they were to be tried by tribulations, which they should not fear. 

Matthew 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Isaiah 41:10"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

Extra history - In Ignatius time the "docetism" (Do·ce·tism) heresy was widespread in Smyrna (the doctrine according to which the phenomenon of Christ, his historical and bodily existence, and thus above all the human form of Jesus, was altogether mere semblance without any true reality). Here the attempt to accommodate the gospel to Greek culture had gone to the limit of denying the reality of the Lord’s body. The basic Hellenistic idea that matter was evil led inevitably to disbelief in the incarnation. God could not have a direct relation with the material world, since this was the province of evil. Accordingly, Christ could not have been genuinely man. He only appeared or seemed to have a body (whence “Docetism,” from the Greek dokeĊ, seem), so he must have been, so to speak, a phantom from the heavenly sphere.  In other words, docetism was an opinion especially associated with the Gnostics that Jesus had no human body and only appeared to have died on the cross.

Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle John, and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna was chief of all Asia, where he saw and had as teachers some of the apostles and of those who had seen the Lord.  In the presence of the proconsul, holding court at Smyrna and all the people crying out against him in the Amphitheater, he was burned.

Represents the "Church" from 170AD to 312AD.



12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things says he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

13 I know thy works, and where thou dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holds fast my name, and hast not denied my faith (+), even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells.

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. (-) Balaam was the seer (a Prophet used to be called a seerer) who King Balac asked to prophesy against Israel, and bless his efforts to conquer it.  The king used the promise of riches if Balaam would be a traitor to God and Israel.

15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. (-) The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes was to set up a hierarchy of priestly order like the Pharisees and eventually like the Catholic church.  To place the leadership over the people instead of being servants to the people.

16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 He that hath 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.

Represents the "Church" from 312AD to 606AD

 

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. (+)

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (-)  They allowed Jezebel, not only to stay in the church, but also to teach her heresy. She introduced Baal worship.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 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 none other burden.(+)

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.(+)

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 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.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Represents the "Church" from 606AD to the reformation in 1520AD

 
Revelation chapter 3 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.  It had the appearance of being alive and people thought it was alive.  It looked spiritually vibrant on the outside, but was spiritually lifeless.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.  Calling for the future reformation.

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.(-)  They had become formal and ritualistic in their services, loosing the personal relationship with the Lord.    

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.(+) A few were faithful.

He that overcometh, 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 hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Represents the "Church" from 1520AD until 1750AD - it was known as the dead church which brought on the period of the reformation - the breaking away from the tyranny and false teaching of the Roman church and a return to belief in Salvation by faith alone.

 

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast 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 thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

12 Him that overcometh 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 cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Extra history - In Philadelphia Ignatius came into personal contact with a Judaizing movement similar to the one attacked by Paul in his Letter to the Galatians.  It was not as serious as Paul faced, circumcision not being demanded of its Gentile devotees, but a requirement to observe the Sabbath was involved, along with belief in certain Jewish traditions and allegories. 

Represents the "Church" from 1750AD to 1900AD and beyond: a period of true evangelistic and missionary work

 

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (-)

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  They were spiritually blind.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 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.  A personal relationship with the one true and living God.  This also represents the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  What is wrong here is that Jesus is standing outside of the door.

21 To him that overcometh 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. (+)

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Represents the "Church" from 1900AD to the present time. This is the time of the growth of the apostate church and the one world religion.  It is also a time of refining, in the true church (the body of Christ).

 It is interesting to note that all of the above mentioned churches were located in present day Turkey.

 
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