Tuesday, October 02, 2018

FEB 2017 POSSTS

CONFUSION OR CLARITY

Confusion or clarity

 
We live in a world that can be very chaotic at times but isn't it nice to know that God is not the author of confusion. Humans can sense when an individual or group is off the road to righteousness and headed down the path to some sort of destruction. It is something we can feel because it is built into us especially if our conscience is clear. Even demons know they are evil and full of confusion but it is to late for them because they made a choice not to follow God. 
 
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." 1 Corinthians 14:33. This spirit is divisive  and most people can sense that unity with God through His Son Jesus Christ is not present.
 
This is the same God that said, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7. He does not want us walking around with fear but alternatively desires us to be submissive to His power which the Holy Spirit is more than eager to give us but it is done with a willing heart. I really like the order of this verse because if the power of God is working through us how can we not feel the love of Jesus Christ in our souls? The result is a sound mind which causes us to make the right decisions for the glory of God and to use our talents to help other people.
 
I need to go over some Bible passages because the word of God has some very specific truths to convey concerning this subject. (16) "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." James 3:16 -18. 
 
If I am envying somebody I am admiring what he or she has and I want it but the Bible says to be content with what God has giving us in our house. If I have strife in my heart then I just want division which will lead to ... "Confusion and every evil work." James 3:16.
 
In these three verses the Holy Spirit only focuses one sentence on the negative and the rest of the passage is positive. First let me just say we should want wisdom from above because God knows everything and there is a right way to stay clear from envying and strife. The Bible says that God will not withhold wisdom from us if we are seeking this with the right heart. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbradeth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5. 
 
The very first word this passage uses is pure. I can sense someone with a pure heart. There is something about this characteristic that stands out as honest. Pureness and honesty go hand in hand. 
 
Peaceable is often construed as weakness in our culture but true spiritual peace is something that is rare. A good example of this type of person is a leader in a Wednesday night prayer meeting gathering all the requests and urging people present to remember all details and petition before God a coming together of the broken pieces of shattered lives. This is not only peaceable but precious in the eyes of God. 
 
Gentleness is an unusual spirit that comes out of a person with care and sensitivity in most cases regarding a weakness in another person. One person has a vulnerability and another person comes in and covers that individual with a specific love called gentleness. 
 
The person that is easy to be entreated is one of the most sought after individuals in a fellowship because most people are hard in one way or another. It is easily noticeable because their heart is soft and not willing to fight.
 
The person that is full of mercy and good fruits tends to be very generous in his or her spirit. They tend to be hard working because they are combining mercy and labor together in one. Mercy looks for the person that is hurting the most and goes out of his way to reach out and help. Good fruits is the righteousness of God coming out of their spirit with a strong work ethic.
 
The person without partiality is the man or women that treats everybody the same within reason because there are different age groups in life. This is highly appealing in the eyes and hearts of other people looking in because individuals recognize fairness which is a rare quality to possess because it requires openness and honesty.
 
The person without hypocrisy is seen as a man or women that lives what he or she teaches or stands for and as a result is respected because their life is consistent. In this context nobody wants to see a double life.
 
I wanted to talk about the wisdom from above and put all these characteristics in human terms so we can better understand who Jesus Christ is and what He desires from His children. If you don't know the Son of God these are just some of His attributes. If you decide to accept Him into your heart for your eternal salvation you may want to focus on these attributes of God and incorporate these characteristics in your life. They are very glorifying to God and becoming to people. If we do not strive to apply Godly principles in our life then our response to people is the alternative which is envy and strife. 
 
It is good to strive to be righteous but it is never sealed unless it is sown in peace. We are in the heart of God when we step in and attempt to make peace in a situation that is filled with envy and strife. "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:9. 
 
How many times did we experience a pressure situation and were just left confounded. The bottom line is most people do dumb things because their decisions are based on fear. Every time I made a choice to proceed with this spirit like a boomerang it came right back to make my life more miserable. "For the Lord will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." Isaiah 50:7.
 
If we face one of these confusing situations the most foolish thing we can do is try and deal with it ourselves. In essence we are saying, "Lord this is none of your business so let me just go my way." The result is the confusion becomes even worse to the point where we can become oppressed and are ineffective for anybody (God, other people and ourselves). If we are His children Jesus Christ is with us all the time and He wants to help but once again we have the role of letting God do His part. If we get in the way God is just going to let us have our will. The consequences could be devastating.
 
I also want to make a point that God does not want His children walking around ashamed. I am only making this point because this verse addresses the issue. If we sin we need to sincerely confess to God but this idea that feeling ashamed is going to make us more spiritual is clearly not in the Bible. 
 
To move on with this subject as odd as this may sound God may throw a circumstance in our life that is confusing. Some people may be saying, "I thought you just said the Bible says that God is not the author of confusion." He is not but God still holds the right to throw a trial in our life that is perplexing. Why does He do this for His children? I don't know because I am not God but Jesus Christ sees our whole life and knows exactly what stumbling blocks to throw in our path so we will be in His will. This can be so painful but necessary because God knows precisely who, what, where , when and why so our best response is to just take it as it comes because the Triune Godhead has been doing this for a very long time.  
 
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-13.
 
If you are a Christian then regardless as to where you are in life things in your mind and heart may have gotten way out of hand. You may feel you are in a cesspool of confusion and are so overwhelmed with life that you are in despair. I have been there and I know how you feel. I may have just described you or some people might be going through minor problems. Either way the Bible says, (5) "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6. This is when clarity as opposed to confusion becomes a reality in our lives.
 
If you don't know the Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord you need to realize that relative to this subject the Bible does not just say confusion is part of your life but your mind is blinded to the fact that Jesus Christ is the image of God. "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:4.
 
It was meant for you all along to accept Jesus Christ into your heart because that is the first step in a new direction for your clarity through the Son of God. Confusion is overrated but to see clear as we walk with God is so special. The choice is up to us but why choose perplexity when Jesus Christ desires to reveal Himself to us and show us the path to walk along as we travel through life?  
 
God bless you,
Bob D.   
 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A MESSAGE TO LAODICEA


A message to Laodicea
 
 
This is a study about human beings falling into complacently and how God sees the heart. Jesus has some things to say about their lives. This is a subject worth looking into because so many of us have fallen into this sin.
 
(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 spew 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 eye salve, that thou mayest see. (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 (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." Revelation 3 :14-22.
 
Laodicea was about 40 miles from Ephesus, they were extremely rich in banking and were noted for healing eyes with a special ointment. It had race tracks, theaters and liked pleasure. The majority of these people lived for the moment.
 
Jesus gives Himself three titles to this church and He does this for very specific reasons so they could relate to where they were wrong.
 
He first reveals Himself as the Amen which is translated into I believe. The Laodiceans did not really have a strong belief in Jesus Christ although most of them did accept Him as their Savior. The Son of God was reminding them that He had very strong belief in His Father so this title was meant for them to have stronger faith in Him. They were probably rich and did not feel they needed to exercise this practice with God.
 
Jesus also identifies Himself as the faithful and true witness. Apparently this church took the words of Jesus very lightly. This has probably happened to every one of us because when we try and explain something to an individual or group and they just brush us off as virtually nothing we are not being listened to and feel like we are not even present.
 
Jesus also gives Himself the title the beginning of the creation of God. The church was probably like the world and fit in very well so at least subconsciously they forgot that Jesus Christ is the Creator of the very pleasures they were enjoying. To take this one step deeper how can we witness to anyone being so immersed in pleasures and be a credible vessel for Jesus Christ? Our Lord was quite concerned with this church. In fact there is not one commendation this fellowship received from God. They were indifferent and as a result they became completely ineffective for Jesus Christ.
 
Jesus called them lukewarm. They were neither cold nor hot. If they were just apathetic that would have been more honest. If they were fervent that would have been more honest but in the eyes of God they were right in the middle. Jesus uses some very strong language because he says ... "I will spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:16.
 
Jesus also rebukes this church for the love of money or material success in the sense that they believed this was the seal of being His child. For embracing this false truth Jesus called them wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Smyrna was poor but spiritually rich in Jesus Christ so as you can see it is important what we believe because we will think and respond accordingly and as a result we will either be accepted or rejected by God.
 
If a church is so into material things then there is probably little hope for them. If it were me in one of these churches I would try and leave because from my experience most people engrossed in a system like this do not listen and just keep moving forward in their wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked condition. I know I have been there and I can testify that Jesus Christ is not at the center of our life in that mind and heart condition.
 
Jesus exhorts this church to ... "Buy gold from Me that has been tried in the fire that you may be rich" ... Revelation 3:18. The Bible tells us that our trials are a testing for our faith. This should be more precious to us as believers in Jesus Christ because this is what makes us strong and pure in Him. God created gold in a way that fire refines it because the bad goes to the top and can be taken off but if there is no test (fire) then the sin stays in the middle and in spiritual terms remains lukewarm. 
 
Jesus urges them to buy white raiment to cover their spiritual nakedness. This church really needed Jesus Christ's white robes of righteousness which according to the Bible is free to anyone who receives Him as Savior and Lord by repenting of all sins and being freed from their transgressions. The King of Kings knew exactly what they needed and it was not material wealth. God owns everything anyway so how did they get so deceived into believing a lie?
 
Jesus also says ... "And anoint your eyes with salve that you may see." Revelation 3:18. Their main industry was dealing with human eyes so our Lord is getting down to their level. "Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3. Notice the word "See" in this verse.
 
"As many as I love I rebuke and discipline. Be zealous therefore and repent." Revelation 3:19. There are always a handful of true believers in most denominations so according to Hebrews chapter twelve the fact that God disciplines His children is good news because this is evidence of being born again in the kingdom of God. Also notice Jesus says ..."Be zealous therefore and repent."
 
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will fellowship with him and he with Me." Revelation 3:20. This is one of the most popular verses in the Bible and one of the most misunderstood because Jesus is waiting at the door of His children's hearts but He does this to be invited to fill our void. This is a verse for Christians not unbelievers yet it is used to witness for Jesus Christ. God understands the lack of proper application and has still allowed this verse for people that don't know the Lord to come to His Son.  
 
Jesus gives them a promise that if they overcome through Him their victory is sitting next to the Son of God just as He overcame and sits next to His Father. This should give us a hint that we are to pray to God that we overcome our trials through Jesus Christ.
 
There is prophetic implication that this church corresponds with the time era from 1925 A.D to the rapture of the church. Many schools in America and Europe engaged in higher criticism of the Bible and as a result taught people more about doubting God than having true faith in Jesus Christ.
 
There is one more point I would like to make about our time era which corresponds prophetically to the Laodicean church. I have never seen so much big money running around all over the place across this earth.
 
This type of church does not go up in the rapture but instead goes into the kingdom age in the seven year tribulation period. If you have any doubts that your faith is not authentic in Jesus Christ then I ask you to accept Him into your heart today/tonight by repenting of all your sins and allowing the Son of God to be your very own Savior and Lord. This is one decision that you will never regret and it will last for all eternity. 
 
God Bless you,
Bob D.  
 
 
 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A MESSAGE TO PHILADELPHIA

                                             

Sunday, February 05, 2017

SARDIS


                                                  SARDIS

The church of Sardis is a very interesting analysis because it is so applicable to our life today. It is virtually impossible to leave this study without getting anything out of the problems this church faced; however, I do not believe this body of believers realized it was happening in their walk with Jesus Christ.
 
 
(1) "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. (2) Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. (3) 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. (4) 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. (5) 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. (6) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:1-5.
 
Five hundred years before the Apostle John wrote this letter to the church of Sardis this city was very rich and powerful. There was much sin in the city and was taken over by Cyrus of Persia and then eventually Alexander the Great. Years later an earthquake really damaged the city but people did get together under the direction of Tiberius Caesar and the city was rebuilt.
 
Today the city is still an important location but not nearly as powerful as it once was so realize that when people marvel over how strong an area in the world is it is subject to change. That is history. It does repeat itself but powers tend to shift.
 
The church of Sardis did get caught up in the corruption of the city and that was probably the main downfall of this body of believers. I am sure the idolatrous worship of the goddess Cybele enticed this fellowship in one way or another.
 
If we have this type of influence around us we have to predetermine that we are going to keep our devotion to Jesus Christ because the temptation to sin will be enormously high. We are surrounded by this over here in America and it is very difficult to keep our focus on Jesus Christ.
 
Jesus describes Himself as the one who has ... "The seven spirits of God"... which refers to the omnipresent and omniscient nature of God. Jesus said that He has the spirit but they did not so obviously they got caught up in something worldly that surrounded them which is not synonymies in being filled with the Holy Spirit because our Lord referred to them as a dead church.
 
What is a dead church? It is a body of believers not filled with the Holy Spirit to feel His love, joy and peace. Just because a church is Pentecostal does not necessarily mean they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Just because a church is Conservative does not necessarily mean they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
 
This is a conscious decision on the part of individuals in a fellowship to allow the Holy Spirit to work through them. I have seen both Pentecostal and conservative churches quench the third Person of the Trinity and as a result sin ruled in the church. I have seen it in my own life. I only compared Pentecostals to Conservatives because they seem to be the two types of forms in whatever denomination you are at present but not necessarily by choice.   
 
There were a few people that did not soil their garments. These people did not conform to the world but walked with Jesus Christ. They probably were either so thankful of their salvation or understood that the real riches are in Jesus Christ. These few people reasoned they did not want the leftovers of the world but the riches of God were worth pursuing because that is where the eternal value is for the long term.
 
Sardis was behaving good on the outside but had sin issues on the inside. "And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness." Luke 11:39. Pergamos was fine on the inside but had behavioral problems on the outside. Sardis had past victories in Jesus Christ but was riding on them and not living for the Son of God in the present.
 
Perhaps they had some bad things going on and did not focus on their blessings. We are supposed to learn from the past and apply those truths to the present so we can grow in Jesus Christ. If we just rely on the past then what we have at present will die. Maybe that is why Jesus called Sardis a dead church.
 
Not only does God desire us to grow but He is calling us to be more responsible. If we approach the Christian life the way Sardis did then we want to go on spiritual welfare. God I'm not going to do anything but just write me out a check for present payment. You would be surprised as to what we can get ourselves to believe if we become spiritually complacent.
 
This church received three promises from Jesus. Promise one was If they overcame these problems they would be ... "Clothed in white raiment." Revelation 3:5. This color represents spiritual purity. (4) "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (6) Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7) Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (8) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." Romans 4: 4-8.
 
The second promise was God would not remove his name out of the book of life.
 
The third promise was ... "But I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels." Revelation 3:5. The gospels also have something to say regarding this issue. (8) "Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: (9) But he that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God." Luke 12:8-9.
 
Like all of the seven churches Sardis has a prophetic implication from the years 1517 A.D to 1750 A.D. This was the reformation era. Doctorial reform did take place but a revival did not follow correct theology. Legalism came into the church and as a result only a few born again believers were filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Theologically correct but dead just like the Sardis church.
 
We as Christians should be putting into practice biblical precepts progressively as time continues but to rely on the past and just stop is wrong because we will forget what we learned in the past. Even if we know a passage of Scripture read it again because our spirit needs this manna from God.
 
If we do not keep moving forward by faith the Christian principles will still be there but we won't be able to claim them by faith through our obedience to Jesus Christ. (24) "And He said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. (25) For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath." Mark 4:24-25.
 
God is giving believers in Him a choice to move forward in grace and truth or stay stagnant and rely on past victories. I think the choice is pretty obvious.
 
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord invite Him into your heart today/tonight by repenting of all your sins and make the wise choice of moving forward in your fellowship with Jesus Christ. If that decision has been made you just entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ but your fellowship with Him should be consistent because growth depends on you abiding in the Son of God which is a continual process in our daily routine.
 
God bless you,
Bob D. 
 
   

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