November 20, 2007
Although a certain amount of time has lapsed between the postings of the studies on Revelation, I hope the continuity of the message is evident. May God bless you as you read, as you glean, and as you grow in your knowledge of God's word, and His sovereign will.
Revelation 2:23, "And I will kill her children with death. And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works."
Within theological circles there has been much controversy concerning this particular verse, for depending upon which denomination the theologian belongs to, his interpretation as to whom the children of Jezebel actually are differs widely. Many have said that when Christ speaks the judgment of killing her children with death, He was referring to her natural, biological children. In the light of the gospel however, I tend to disagree with that particular interpretation.
Ezekiel 18:4, "Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die."
Due to this, and other verses in God's Word, it is more plausible to believe that the children to whom Christ was referring were not Jezebel's biological children, but rather her spiritual children. Every teacher, through his teachings, births spiritual children, disciples and followers, that further spread the particular teaching. If the teaching is of God, and from God, it will give life, to all those who receive it. When a teaching is Christ centered, and God founded, the man is merely a vessel, a signpost pointing the way to Jesus, taking neither the credit or the glory for himself. When a doctrine or teaching is manmade and earthbound, it will always lead to darkness and death, causing those who follow it to honor the man and esteem him, rather than God.
We serve a God, who by His own words searches the minds and hearts of men, and who at the appointed time gives each one according to their works. Nothing is hid from His all seeing eye, and whenever deception is found within His house, among His children, He is quick to destroy it, and make an example.
Those who have been beguiled by Jezebel and her teaching are also under God's watchful eye, wherein He keeps them from spreading the poisonous soul crippling teaching to others, and warns them sternly to repent of the deception they allowed to filter into their hearts. Once again we come to the question of what is deception, what is false doctrine or teaching? In simple terms, truth stands alone, not needing the aid of crutches or a sugarcoat to make it more palatable. Whomsoever attempts to blend truth with deception, for the sake of greater acceptance, or because they personally feel the truth is too difficult to accept, is speaking false doctrine, and is of the devil. I have seen men who claim to be called of God, justify teaching deception by saying if they spoke the truth boldly and clearly men would not listen. Good intentions are meaningless when those intentions lead to the destruction of souls.
The great and terrible judgment of God that is visited upon Jezebel will also be visited upon her children. I repeat this truth, to make a very important point, that we may glean the depths of Christ's warning to us. Often we hear well respected, and even revered Christian leaders speak vain, foolish, and sometimes outright false and deceptive words, but because it is a person we hold in high esteem we overlook the deception, and continue to receive teaching and doctrine from them. En masse the Christian church has adopted the mentality of 'eating the meat, and spitting out the bones', not realizing that the entire portion is tainted, defiled and poisoned. Because we have truth, because we have the Word, because we could readily discern truth from deception by using the Bible as a sounding board, we will be held accountable for the things we believe, and when the time comes, we will be judged in like manner with those who teach deception. This in fact, is the ultimate warning that Christ is attempting to convey, that the false prophets, and their spiritual children will be judged by His righteous judgment.
Whether a preacher, pastor, evangelist, deacon, or average churchgoer, He will give to each one according to their works. I once heard a story of a brother who was called of God to rebuke three members of his church for their unchristian conduct and evident practices of sin. These three grew so angry that they plotted together to undermine the man of God, and begin spreading vile rumors concerning his way of life, to such an extent that the man of God was forced to go into seclusion. One of the three accusers, stood before the brethren and swore, that if he was not speaking the truth, may fire burn him. Another, stood before the brethren and swore, that if he was not speaking truth, may he be struck with the most horrible of diseases. The third, also took his place before the brethren, and swore that if the accusations he was leveling against the man of God were false, may he be struck with blindness, and never see the light of the sun again.
Shortly after their diatribes against the man of God, the house of the first man who stood against him was struck by lighting, caught fire, and his accuser burned to death. The second of the men shortly thereafter, contracted leprosy, and the third man, from having shed countless tears of desperation for the words he had spoken, went blind. The moral of this story dear friend is that if we stand for the truth, God will fight our battles, and He will be victorious on our behalf. All that we are called to do, is stand and proclaim, to be faithful in the face of our adversaries, knowing that the defender of truth is none other that God Himself. Yes, God will give to each one according to their works, whether a reward for their faithfulness, or a punishment for their disobedience.
Revelation 2:24, "But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they call them, I will put on you no other burden."
There is one truth that should fill every true believer with hope and joy, that should flood him with peace, that truth being, that God has, since the beginning, always had a remnant who remained faithful and pure, a living testimony here on earth, no matter the trials, hardship or persecutions. Yes, there has always been a remnant, and there will always be a remnant that will carry the name of Christ not only on their lips but in their hearts as well, a remnant that will not defile itself, or be tempted away, no matter the consequence.
From the very beginning of creation, we find those who chose faithfulness unto God, even though easier paths might have been available, from Abel, to Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob, to the last member of the Body of Christ, until the day the last trumpet will sound, and He will appear in the heavens, there will be that blessed remnant that will fearlessly declare God and His truth. Whether spoken by great multitudes or one solitary voice, truth is still truth. The beauty of truth is that it remains so whether shouted or whispered, whether on the lips of thousands or a handful.
In the twenty-fourth verse of the second chapter of Revelation, Christ addresses those few who have held firm to their faith that did not compromise, who did not follow Jezebel and her teachings. Those that Christ is addressing are those few who would not be silenced by fear, who lived their lives, and carried their crosses no matter the cost.
Once again we can readily observe that someone's works, and deeds carry the seal of the teaching, and the markings of the doctrine, which they have adopted. If the teaching is unadulterated, if it is the truth of God's word in it's pure form, then the works, will be as such. If however the teaching is an amalgamation, a mixture of truth and deception, of biblical teachings and traditions of men, then the works are tainted, unclean in the eyes of God, and dangerous for the brethren.
In this verse Christ also uses a new phrase that as yet has not been uttered throughout the book of Revelation, nor is it found again anywhere in the entire Bible, namely the phrase, "the depths of Satan." I have often been asked what the 'depths of Satan' were, and in the light of the gospel, and the context of this verse, I have come to believe that the depths of Satan are the selfsame teachings we have been discussing over the past few paragraphs, namely the infusion of men's opinion into the word of God, making therefore the opinions and words of men take on a sovereign intonation, whereby men speaking their own words do so projecting the authority, omnipotence, and omniscience of God.
One then, can summarily conclude that every man who comes in the name of God, and speaks in His name, any man who utters the words 'thus says the Lord' when it was not the Lord saying, has known the depths of Satan, and is guilty of the most criminal, grievous and culpable, practices in the eyes of God.
It is also in this context that we begin to understand the mystery of lawlessness, which is already at work, and realize the far-reaching ramifications of receiving false teaching and false doctrine. Due to lack of knowledge, due to lack of maturity and godly wisdom, the great majority do not see these destructive heresies, these false teachings for what they truly are, and accept them as good and wholesome. Only when one possesses discernment can he know the enemy for what he truly is, even when he appears dressed as an angel of light. The enemy has gotten good at distorting the gospel, at polluting the truth, even if it be in a small way, because he know that given enough time, even a little leaven, leavens the whole lump, even a little deception causes sincere hearts to question, doubt and forsake the true path.
Only those who know the Word of God intimately, those who are born again, and live in the wisdom and guidance of the Almighty One, will be kept from the 'depths of Satan', because they can discern between the truth and the imitation of truth, between the real and the counterfeit gospel. Being pure and undefiled, a true servant of God will by his very nature feel repugnance, and repulsion toward anything defiled.
If we have indeed been given the grace to know the written Word of God, and if we recognize it as the only authority in a life of faith, may we with all diligence keep away from any teaching that would attempt to add or take away from this Holy Word. May we be faithful, that we not be deceived by the teachings of Jezebel, or her many acolytes, and cling to truth regardless of the consequences. The eyes of the Lord, which are like a flame of fire, pierce to the depths of our very being, seeing us just us as we are, and knowing exactly what we chose to believe.
To those of Thyatira, the message was abundantly clear; no other burden would be placed upon them, other than staying away from the polluting and destructive doctrines. That which we choose to embrace, will inevitably come to define us. May we embrace truth, and righteousness, may we embrace Christ.
Revelation 2:25, "But hold fast what you have till I come."
This word of encouragement, spoken by Christ, is simply a continuation of the previous verse, admonishing those of Thyatira who had not been defiled or deceived by the strange doctrines, and who had not seen, or experienced the depths of Satan, to hold fast, to stand and do battle defending that which they knew to be the truth, and now allow themselves to be beguiled by the strange doctrine no matter how enticing it might be. In essence, Christ is telling the faithful in Thyatira, that although no other burden would be placed upon them, they must hold fast to what they do have, until He comes. Once we have identified a deceptive teaching, or an unscriptural practice, it is our solemn duty before God to keep ourselves away from it, and to avoid it at all cost.
To flee what is evil, to reject half-truths, or outright deceptions, is as important as receiving that which is true, wholesome, and sovereign. It is not enough to be cured of a contagious disease, one must actively strive to avoid coming into contact with it again, knowing the suffering it causes. The greatest defenders of truth, and by definition the greatest enemies of deceptive doctrines are usually those who once having been ensnared by them, escaped and discovered the purity of God's word.
One thing is certain, it takes a greater effort to keep the truth, to hold fast to that which we have that is pure and of God, than it does to merely receive it. To receive a truth in one's heart, is a momentary exercise, while keeping it, defending it, and nurturing it is an ongoing pursuit, never ending in its perpetuity.
There are two ideas that should speak to the heart of every believer in this verse, first, that we should hold fast to what we have, intoning an action of active striving, and secondly that holding fast should not be for a limited time, a week, a month or a year, but until He comes.
The beginning of any endeavor is always the easiest part, whether driving to a certain destination, or beginning a race on foot, the start is always the easiest part, it is getting past the numbness after a few hours behind the wheel, or learning to block out the aching muscles after a few miles of running that becomes a challenge. If there is one encouragement, it's that there is an end in sight. We do not run aimlessly, but we run this race with a goal firmly set in our minds, looking forward to the finish line. It is this knowledge, the knowledge that crossing the finish line will be the end of all the tears, the pain, the disappointments and the fears, that fuels us, that keeps us going, that enables us to get past the valleys, and the times of hardship and heartbreak. That we may receive our eternal reward, that we may be welcomed into the everlasting embrace of our heavenly Father, we have no choice but to hold fast, to stand firm, to be rooted and grounded, undeterred in our purpose.
There is one other truth that we must take into account, often overlooked by scholars and theologians due to its simplicity, in order to hold fast to something, one must first and foremost be in possession of that something. If we are certain that we are in possession of something that we received from God by faith, if we know in the depths of our hearts that we received His salvation, His truth, His grace, and His love, then we must hold fast to those great and priceless virtues. There are many thieves, both within and without, who want to steal these gifts received from the hand of God, and for this reason above all others, we much be watchful, and hold fast.
These rest of which Christ speaks, these few who have not been corrupted, may not have degrees or plaques, they may not be doctors of theology, they may not have knowledge of the deeper mysteries of God's word. However, what they have is enough for them to discern the destructive teachings of Jezebel, her unfounded pretensions, and her idolatry, and thus keep themselves from them, pure and undefiled. All they can do, all that is asked of them to do, is to cling to the Word of truth, to let it reside in their hearts, until the Lord's return.
There is one more aspect worthy of note in this verse this is the first time throughout His letters to the seven churches, that Christ mentions His imminent return. If the theory that some hold to were true, and Christ was only writing to seven literal churches, be they local churches, or concerning seven different measures of time, ages if you will, and not to the entire body of believers of every century, how then can only the church of Thyatira hold fast until He comes?
If the literal church of Thyatira ever existed, it is long extinct, gone and forgotten, a victim of time and history, so they aren't around anymore to hold fast, or to wait for Christ's return. If as some believe, Thyatira is a span of time, beginning in the sixth century and ending in the sixteenth century, then this too would invalidate the words of Jesus, for this time is far removed, a long forgotten past.
The truth is as God revealed it, that the letters to the seven churches, are seven conditions that were readily found within the body of Christ from its inception, to this present time. There are even churches and individuals today that are a mixture of two or three of the seven churches which Christ used as examples for the rest of His followers, and all we need to do in order to see these symptoms, virtues, or conditions is to open our eyes, and hold up the mirror of truth which is the Word of God.
If we are honest, we will see ourselves clearly in at least one of the seven descriptions that Christ gives regarding the seven churches. If the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist, convincing the church that the Bible does not apply to them, that it is not relevant for today, comes in at a close second.
Revelation 2:26, "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations."
Although the letters to the seven churches are written to a collective, a body of believers, when it comes to the promises of God, the writing becomes more intimate, and individual. Christ did not say, to the church that overcomes, but rather, to he who overcomes. Salvation has never been, and will never be a collective issue. There have been and still are to this day, unsaved people attending the congregations of the righteous, hoping that holiness might somehow rub off, without repentance. On the other hand there are also righteous souls attending congregations wherein there is no mention of Christ, and though they are burdened, and their soul is troubled, they need the interaction and fellowship badly enough where they are willing to make a concession. On this issue, I will not pass judgment. Some people just need to be among other people, and that's perfectly understandable as long as the compromise you see in others does not seep into your life.
In the end, we will stand before God as individuals, not as a collective. When you stand before the great white throne, it is you who will be standing there, not your congregation, or your pastor. Each man will answer, each man will give account, and each man will be judged.
No matter what condition your church finds itself in, the command to the individual believer is that he or she overcomes. In eternity, when God begins to hand out the crowns, He will do so only to the victorious, those who overcame and kept His works until the end.
I realize that the following will be an obvious statement, but one cannot overcome unless he has opposition, unless he is engaged in battle, unless he stands and he fights for truth and righteousness. The lame, the infirm, and the immature have no place on the battlefield. War, is not waged by invalids or by children, war is waged by warriors, soldiers, men and women who have been trained and equipped to stand against the enemy, fight with valor, and overcome by the power of the Lamb. This is one of the reasons I believe spiritual maturity is necessary, and mandatory for every believer, that when the day of battle comes, when the trumpets blare and the sounds of conflict echo through the valley, the sound of horses, riders, and chariots, we may stand and fight rather than turn and flee. Spiritual maturity is never instantaneous, it comes with time, through fasting and prayer, and growing in God, it is a process through which every believer must pass, that he might be valiant in the day of battle, and that the fear he would have felt as a babe in Christ, would not be found in what has now become a soldier for Christ.
The enemy, which we must overcome, is known to us. Since he was cast down from heaven his one purpose has been to destroy and scatter the children of God, to wreak havoc on the sheep of His pasture, and cause us to fall by the wayside, whether from fear of sheer exhaustion. If we are soldiers for Christ, if we have built up our endurance, and placed our faith in Him, no matter how outnumbered we might be on the field of battle, we will surely overcome.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, has already overcome the enemy, not once, not twice, but three different times of which the Bible speaks. First, Christ overcame the devil in the desert where he was tempted, then in the garden of Gethsemane, and finally on the cross, where He uttered the words that should give us boldness and courage in the battle, "it is finished." If only we stand, if only we are faithful and steadfast, Christ, and what He did on the cross on our behalf assure our victory. If we are faithful He will be faithful, and as long as Jesus remains our banner, and our general, our refuge and our strength, we are more than conquerors, and more than over comers.
Within the Thyatira condition, the enemy's means of attack was guile, deception, and the false doctrines of Jezebel. The enemy has a vast arsenal, but whatever his means of attack, he cannot enter a heart that is already overflowing with Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Only when we make room for deception, compromise, and the whispers of the enemy in our hearts, can they dwell therein. If our hearts are perpetually filled with Christ, if the Holy Spirit is continually working in us, and through us, the enemy has no room to maneuver, no fertile soil to plant a seed of deception. His attacks will continue to come, he will continue to try and hurt us in the natural realm, but if our righteousness dwells in us, he will have no success in attacking us in the spiritual realm.
From the moment a heart is given over to Christ, from the moment one makes a commitment to follow and believe, from the moment Christ enters a heart, Satan has declared war on us. His weapons of attack, and the execution of his attack vary from individual to individual, but the purpose of his attacks are always the same. The enemy's primary objective with every new believer is to lull him to sleep, to make him believe that he has enough faith, that he is mature enough to allow himself a little leeway, a few small vices, a little compromise. The enemy's next phase of attack, is one that ensnares many Christians, that of adopting a self righteous attitude, making us believe that because we attend a certain congregation, or read the Bible for so many minutes a day, or say a certain amount of prayers, we are above rebuke, above chastening, invincible, and perfect in our own eyes.
Another weapon in the enemy's arsenal that has been successful in recent years against the church, is that of beguiling Christians into believing that they can trust in their own strength, in their own works, and in their own intellect, rather than trust, and lean on Jesus, thereby making the first love that once burned brightly in their hearts, a smoldering heap of coal that expels more smoke than heat or light.
Fear is also a commonly used weapon in the devil's arsenal, and he wields it expertly by stirring the world, and those of the world against true believers, against the faithful few that choose the narrow path, wherein no compromise is found. Friends, family, and often perfect strangers will mock us, persecute us, will turn their backs on us, and reject us for what we believe. It is expected, and unavoidable, and though for some the experience might be painful, with patience and meekness, humility and love we must overcome.
1 Peter, 3:14-17, "But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of the threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil."
The enemy attempts to ensnare us with the help of the world, and its temptations. Though temptations come, we can resist temptation, as Christ resisted it, we can hold fast to the attitude of prayer and supplication, calling on the name of the One, whom the enemy fears most, the name of Jesus. We are instructed in the Word to be separate from the world, to be dead to this flesh, for that very reason. The world is tempting, it readily worms its way into men's hearts and lives, and only too late do they discover, that although they professed with their lips that they had extricated themselves from the world's firm grasp, their hearts are still its prisoners.
1 John 2:15, "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
The enemy we face is not one that gives up the fight easily, he is not discouraged by failure, he simply changes his means of attack, and those he uses to bring it about. If he cannot succeed in getting us to trust in the flesh, or to be afraid, he attempts to deceive us into following tradition rather than truth, and religious ceremonies rather than Christ. Traditions, ceremonies, customs and rituals cannot substitute a relationship with Jesus, and absent of said relationship one can follow the law to the letter, one can perform every ritual and ceremony and still never feel the warmth of God's love on their heart. Our goal is to know Him fully and completely, to reach a level of intimacy with Him, wherein we recognize His voice, and do His will.
Life for every believer, for every disciple of Christ, is a constant battle, whether you are a young Timothy, or an aged Paul, we are encouraged, and even commanded to put on the whole armor of God, an armor that He has prepared for us, and stand as faithful soldiers under the banner of the Almighty. We do not engage in this battle for ourselves, we cannot fight while still harboring hidden agendas, or selfish interests, if we fight, we fight for righteousness' sake, and if we overcome it is not in our own strength, but by the strength of the Son of God who shed His blood, and made us over comers on the cross.
The aforementioned verse in Revelation, speaks of overcoming, and also of keeping His works until the end. In order to keep His works, we must first know what His works are.
Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
There are other works which the Bible mentions, such as spreading the gospel to those who do not know Jesus, helping the widow and the orphan, but the primary work that we must keep until the end, is the work that He began in us, to nurture and grow the seed of truth that was planted there, so it matures, and grows, and its roots run deep. Those who keep the works of God, become trustworthy servants, and as they continue to grow, and mature, more responsibility will be entrusted to them.
Often, and this is especially true of new believers, zeal will blind some to the fact that they are not ready for greater responsibility. The zeal they have in their hearts burns so brightly, that they do not take the time to inquire of God whether or not they are ready to go out, to win souls, to travel to distant lands and be a witness. God knows whom to send, and when to send them, and the deeper we grow in Him, the more we realize the need for preparation, for seasoning, for growing in Him and learning to trust Him. When we learn to trust God, whether He commands us to go, or tells us to day, we will obey unwaveringly, because we realize that He knows best. Some were not meant to travel the earth and preach the gospel, some were meant to be a living testimony to their friends and families. It would be wise for us to harness the zeal, and wait for direction, rather than head out on our own, attempting to do what God has not instructed us to do.
God grants power only to those who overcome and keep His works until the end. Knowing this, our purpose is true and our goal is sure. Though distractions may arise, though temptations may appear, we must not be swayed or deterred from the duty at hand, that of being faithful servants, soldiers, and warriors, of denying ourselves, and of obeying our heavenly Father.
Revelation 2:27, "He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter's vessels shall be broken to pieces, as I also have received from My Father."
As Christ received the power from the Father to destroy principalities and powers, to overcome every evil spirit, if we keep His works, we are granted the same power. The first thing we must rule with a rod of iron, and break to pieces as a potter's vessels, is our own flesh. We cannot overcome the world, unless we first overcome ourselves, unless we first learn to rule over our flesh, our old nature, and let the spirit have preeminence in our lives.
Today, Christ is rejected, dismissed, and mankind is indifferent toward grace and salvation. The day will come however, when He will rule, for it is His inheritance, and the ends of the earth will be His possession. The words that Christ spoke in this verse are not new, but rather a repetition of the Father's promise to His Son, a promise that He intends to keep to the letter.
Psalm 2:7-9, "I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, you are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
Soon, Christ will return to claim what is rightfully His by inheritance, and He will possess the earth. We being of Christ are heirs of the promise, and even now Christ is assembling His bride, His church, those in whom He has found repentance and righteousness, His beloved. When Christ returns, He will crush every power, as a man wielding a rod of iron crushes a clay pot. Can the clay pot resist? No it cannot, one swift strike, and it will be turned to pieces. The day is coming when Satan will be bound, and righteousness will reign, but in order for us to stand with Christ on that day, we must keep His works today, and overcome the slings and arrows of the enemy. Whomsoever is truly a son or daughter of God, is given the power by Him, to crush every work of the enemy, and thus live a life of victory in Christ.
Many today tend to believe that a victorious life in Christ means to have an abundance of earthly possession, to live in opulence, and want for nothing in this present life. They have twisted the scripture to fit an ideology of earthly victory, rather than spiritual victory. When God promises that we will overcome if we remain faithful, He never insinuates that we will live a life of ease and excess on this earth, but rather that we will have spiritual victory, over the flesh, and over the enemy. In the end outwardly possessions are irrelevant, the only true, lasting and meaningful possession being that which we have in our hearts, the Spirit, the peace, and the promise of God. Our pursuit should always be for the greater things of God, than for the passing things of this earth. If we seek first the Kingdom, then all that other things will be added onto us. The things of this world were an afterthought to God, as they should be to His children, for the treasures, which await the faithful in that secret place of intimacy with Him, are worth more than the world and all its possessions. A faithful servant of God has the necessary maturity to assign value to the things of this earth, as well as to the things of God, and he will always realize that the things, which God has reserved specifically for His children, are priceless indeed.
Revelation 2:28, "And I will give him the morning star."
This is the second reward promised to those who overcome the Thyatira condition, by none other than Christ Jesus. He promises that they will be given the morning star. The obvious question, is what does this mean, what does it mean to be given the morning star? The morning star is that bright star one can see in the heavens on a clear night, a little before the sunrise. In order to see the morning star, one must rise before the dawn, since it is a harbinger of the rising of the sun. Then as the sun rises, the morning star begins to pale, and when the sun has fully risen, the morning star disappears. That we may know who the morning star is, spiritually speaking, we must go into the Word, and glean the wisdom therein.
Revelation 22:16, "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
Jesus testifies of Himself, that He is the morning star. He defines himself as such, due to the fact that before He will appear as the Sun of Righteousness, before He comes to rule the earth with a rod of iron, He will dawn in the hearts of His chosen, who know that He will return, and who feel His closeness even now.
Malachi 4:1-2, "For behold the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, that will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves."
A true believer is in a constant state of preparedness, always looking to the heavens, awaiting the Bridegroom the object of his love and affection. This hope brings joy to the heart, and gives us the strength to endure and overcome whatever trials and sufferings we might have to endure for His name's sake. We know the promise of His reward if we remain faithful, and whenever the climb becomes difficult, whenever we feel like we can't go on, the knowledge that Jesus is coming soon, will give us that extra strength to press on, and move forward in Him.
When the Sun of Righteousness shall rise, He will give the faithful the most precious gift of all, He will give them, Himself, the fullness of His love, the fullness of His peace, and the fullness of His Kingdom.
Though the world may wander in darkness, the Body of Christ, His bride, have been given the light of the Sun of Righteousness. The children of God have His light, even when all else is dark, long before the dawn breaks and the sun chases away the night. What a joy it is, what a grace has been bestowed on us, that we retain His light, the light of the morning star, to help guide our steps and complete the work that He has started in us. There is reason to rejoice, even in the face of trials and tribulations, the reason being, that Christ is in us, working through us, and standing alongside us in the battles of our everyday lives. Just a little while longer, and the Sun of Righteousness shall arise, and will never again descend.
Revelation 2:29, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
This phrase is repeated seven times, once to every church that Christ addresses. Some may wonder why Jesus would repeat the same phrase seven times, since on the surface it looks like a waste of time and a superfluity of words. It is neither a waste of time, nor a superfluous phrase, Jesus continually repeats it because He is hoping that if we didn't get the message the first time, we might get it the second time around, and if we missed the essence the second time there is a third, and a fourth, and so on.
Jesus, the Savior desires for us to reach understanding, to know truth, because only in receiving the truth, in receiving Christ, can we obtain salvation. It took seven trips for Elijah's servant, going and looking toward the sea, and only on the seventh journey did he see a small cloud, as a man's hand rising out of the sea.
In the end it is achieving our goal that is of greatest importance, now how long it took for us to achieve said goal, or how difficult it was. In the end, we must obtain Christ, regardless of how long it may take. God gave what was most precious to Him, His only Son that we may obtain salvation, and we must do our part in entering into His grace, and accepting both the atonement and redemption His shed blood has granted us. We were bought with a price, may we never forget this truth.
If we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches, the Spirit will always have something new to say, even if he employs the same words. It is not the words, but the truth the Spirit is speaking beyond the mere words, that Jesus is attempting to reveal to His beloved. In order for one to hear the voice of the Spirit beyond the words, he must have spiritual ears, in tune with the voice of the master. Spiritual men can perceive the voice of the Spirit, while the carnal, and the men of this world, cannot.
1 Corinthians 1:18, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God."
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.