Sunday, June 14, 2020

What is the Fate of Your Church?

Live Meeting "What is the Fate of Your Church"

For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock. (Psalms 27:5 AMPC)

In this Psalm, David refers to the Secret Place as the “tent” of the Lord. Jesus will visit with us there, not as the Lord who reigns over Heaven and Earth, but as our beloved and our brother.

When I saw Him there last, He asked me to tell you about this realm; a place that our Heavenly Father set apart, where we can see not only Jesus, but Abba (Papa, Daddy) instead of Almighty God and the Holy Spirit, our dear Friend. In order to visit with Him in the Secret Place on a regular basis, we must “overcome” the enemy as described in Revelation. If we will:

  • seek only Him
  • not healing
  • not provision
  • not gifts
  • seek just to be with Him
  • in whatever way He has for us
  • let all else fall aside and fade, focus on Him and Him alone

Then He shall be found, “I long to be with My bride, not as King, but as beloved, here in the Secret Place”

Thyatira Church

And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, Who has eyes that flash like a flame of fire, and Whose feet glow like bright and burnished and white-hot bronze… (Revelation 2:18 AMPC)

The Lord’s eyes flash with fire when He is angry. He is literally filled with anger from His head all the way down to His toes which are glowing like metal under a hot flame!

I know your record and what you are doing, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your recent works are more numerous and greater than your first ones. (Revelation 2:19 AKJV )

It is clear that this church is growing in good works: Love, faith, most likely feeding the poor, sending out missionaries, spreading the gospel and such. What could possibly bring the Lord to anger with this part of His body?

But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20 AMPC)

Even though this part of the body is doing good work, they have “prophet or prophetesses” or even prophets who are leading people into sin instead of out of it! We are beginning to see a pattern of two things God really hates: sexual sin and “eating food sacrificed to idols.” The first sin is easy to identify, the second is not.

In 1 Corinthians 8 & 10, Paul encourages believers “whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake” but not to ask any questions about where it came from. If they know that it is connected to another religion, they are honor-bound to abstain. This is to honor and declare themselves holy or separated unto God. If your church has “holy yoga” or any other practice that is dedicated to other gods, and they are not willing to remove it, then it is part of this body!

Concerning Jezebel: If you are not familiar with this spirit, I encourage you to begin classes at the Courts of Heaven Academy which has a class which will help you do a “Jezebel Cleanse” to help free you from this spirit. Once you are familiar with the characteristics of this spirit, it is easy to identify.

I gave her time to repent, but she has no desire to repent of her immorality [symbolic of idolatry] and refuses to do so. Take note: I will throw her on a bed [of anguish], and those who commit adultery with her [her paramours] I will bring down to pressing distress and severe affliction, unless they turn away their minds from conduct [such as] hers and repent of their doings. (Revelation 2:21-22 AMPC)

This spirit is running rampant in the church today. Having a connection to this spirit will place you “on a bed of suffering.” If you have sought healing and can’t get free of suffering, a connection to this spirit may be a root cause! The only way to be free is to turn from all behavior that gives her access. We have seen many people healed as they learn about this spirit and even visit the Court of Heaven half-way through the Academy to remove any sins linked to her from their lives.

And I will strike her children (her proper followers) dead [thoroughly exterminating them]. And all the assemblies (churches) shall recognize and understand that I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts, and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves. (Revelation 2:23 AMPC)

For those who are “her children” and leading others into sin, the time will come when God will remove those false prophets and church leaders! The Lord reads our hearts and knows what our true motivations are. For those people that are in churches controlled, led or under the influence of a Jezebel spirit, you will receive judgement for what you have done, both good and bad.

But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not explored and known the depths of Satan, as they say—I tell you that I do not lay upon you any other [fresh] burden: Only hold fast to what you have until I come. (Revelation 2:24-25 AMPC)

I have found that most churches have some who are holding to the truth. Amid all the wrong teachings, some Christians will research the Word of God so they do not go along with everyone else when they fall into sin.

And he who overcomes (is victorious) and who obeys My commands to the [very] end [doing the works that please Me], I will give him authority and power over the nations... (Revelation 2:27 AMPC)

We must obey what the word of God says, not what man tells us is okay. If you are a member of this church and hold to God’s truth and His ways, instead of following others into sin, if you are on Earth when Jesus returns, you will receive a reward for your efforts.

And he shall rule them with a sceptre (rod) of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, and [his power over them shall be] like that which I Myself have received from My Father; And I will give him the morning star.  (Revelation 2:27-28 AMPC)

The Greek word nikaō is translated “overcomes.” One of the meanings is “when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain one's cause.” What God is pronouncing over each church is a judgement which must be cleared or “overcome.”

The reward is to rule on Earth with the Lord when He returns. “Morning star” has been used to describe both Jesus and Satan because their heavenly power is great enough to be seen by all, even in the low light of early dawn. The Greek work didōmi is translated “give” but also means make. The last verse should read, “And I will make him a morning star.”

He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the [Holy] Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). (Revelation 2:29 AMPC)

Achievements: Increasing love, works, faith, service, and endurance
Obstacle: Remove Jezebel
Reward: Rule and reign with Jesus with great power 

 Sardis Church

And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Sardis write: These are the words of Him Who has the seven Spirits of God [the sevenfold Holy Spirit] and the seven stars: I know your record and what you are doing; you are supposed to be alive, but [in reality] you are dead. (Revelation 3:1 AMPC)

The greeting to this church is the strongest one yet. God is reminding them that it is His Spirit that is sent out along with His angels (stars). The New Testament refers to people as “dead” before they know Jesus as Lord and “alive” once Jesus rules their life. That means this church is Christian in name only.

Rouse yourselves and keep awake, and strengthen and invigorate what remains and is on the point of dying; for I have not found a thing that you have done [any work of yours] meeting the requirements of My God or perfect in His sight. (Revelation 3:2 AMPC)

“Dead works” are those that are not connected to Jesus, the Vine. We can do many “good” works that benefit us or others. If they are not what the Lord has for us  or not done according to God’s ways, then these are “not perfect in His sight.” In the courses in the Courts of Heaven Academy you will find a miraculous sign God sent to speak about what may be some “imperfect” works.

So call to mind the lessons you received and heard; continually lay them to heart and obey them, and repent. In case you will not rouse yourselves and keep awake and watch, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know or suspect at what hour I will come. (Revelation 3:3 AMPC)

There is no “quick fix” for those who have been “dead.” In order to wake up, you must relearn the basics of God’s ways. “Continually” shows that this will be a process. Don’t expect to do a quick repentance and have everything restored.

It is only for Christians who are asleep, in need of rousing, that the Lord’s second coming will be like a thief in the night. Those who are awake will know the times and seasons. We will be ready for His return.

You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4 AKJV)

God is singling out here, those that are not walking in the sin He is judging. This makes it clear that when God is speaking to a church, it is for all the members of that body of believers. You can apply this in two ways:

  • In this particular church individual members who still walk in God’s ways, can still be clean and free of sin.
    • walking with Jesus in white refers to being the bride of Christ.
  • We should closely examine God’s judgment for each church
    • when there is harm done to others by leading them into sin, you will be guilty by association
    • even if you are free of sin, there may be some consequences
  • Tithing into a church makes you part of that body of believers,
    • supporting what God is doing through that part of His body
    • a part of leading others into sin.
  • We should look at what our church body is supporting and doing. If we don’t agree with it, we should do the following:
    • Pray - ask God to grant our leaders wisdom
    • Listen - ask the Holy Spirit if we should leave that church

If you remain in the church and it overcomes the judgment against it, there will be a reward.

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. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches. (Revelation 3:5 AKJV)

White is a symbol of righteousness before God. The Book of Life is where our name is written when we take Jesus as Lord. It seems that our names can be blotted out if we are “asleep” or with unrighteous works. This was news to me as I am sure it will be for many.

Achievements: None that are “perfect”
Obstacle: Rouse from sleep & learn God’s ways
Reward: White garment & Book of Life 

Laodicea Church 

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God… (Revelation 3:14 AKJV)

The word “amen” in this verse has some Greek letters added to it (ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς κ. ἀληθινός) which declare this as a proper name and the meaning  of the word to be “truth” or in this case Mr. Truth. The Lord is reminding this church of who He is: Truth, Faithful, Witness, He that was from the beginning.

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16 AKJV)

It seems that there are works, but not because of passion. The word “spew” could also be translated “vomit” but really means to reject with extreme disgust. The Lord is not accepting anything from believers who are not stirred up for Him. What has caused this part of God’s church to have a “chill” attitude: not really trying to move forward with Him, just coasting along in life?

Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…(Revelation 3:17 AKJV)

Hmmm… this reminds of the story of the rich guy that approached Jesus. When the Lord said, He needed to follow Him above his bountiful riches. The man left, turned his back on the Lord. Then Jesus said:

And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24 AKJV)

When we have much money it is easy to become dependent on that instead of God. This group of Christians have much substance on this Earth and instead of trying to do more of God’s work with it, they are coasting through life. The word “wretched” could also mean “enduring trial”  which means they are failing a test! Like Jesus’ speech on the mount, “poor” and “blind” refer to the spiritual state of a person: no spiritual connection to heaven and unable to understand spiritual matters without any righteousness before God.

I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. (Revelation 3:18 AKJV)

This is what this group is missing: We cannot buy the gifts of the Spirit or our salvation. However, true works are seen as “gold” when placed in His fire. Our righteousness is through Jesus, but we are supposed to be removing sin from our life, trying our best to walk righteously before Him. “Eye salve” was an ointment that was created to help those with eye issues. It is clear that God is expecting His people to put some effort into finding out what is holding them back from seeing into their homeland, Heaven.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:19 AKJV)

God doesn’t stop loving us even when we ignore Him. If you have been coasting along in your Christian life, if you haven’t been trying to find out what God created and designed you to do for His kingdom, then you will need to be “zealous” for Him in order to repent. This means you must “desire earnestly and pursue” God.

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. (Revelation 3:20 AKJV)

This is wonderful news! The Lord is calling out to those who have drifted away. He is just waiting for us to open the door so He can meet with us.

To him that overcomes 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. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches. (Revelation 3:21-22 AKJV)

Achievements: Works
Obstacle: Perfect works and recover zealousness for God
Reward: Sit with Jesus at His Throne 

The New Testament Church

This completes the corrections to the New Testament churches. It is what God expects of us. When we look at the six churches and the judgments they came against, we can see the fullness of the New Testament with all the scriptures working together!

State of our Heart 

Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 AMPC)

We are made righteous because of what our heart believes. We must adhere to and trust in what the Lord has done in order to be saved.  The word Lord means “owner.” When we truly believe that Jesus has paid the price for us, we should be devoted to Him as the ruler of our life.

With God, it is the state of the heart that matters. A prolonged state of rejection can have very bad consequences. Three of the churches came into judgement because of this:

  •  The Ephesus church has a  heart that is no longer in love or devoted to Jesus, they are just hanging on, waiting for the end to come.
  • Sardis is not really alive, but dead. Scripture refers to those without Jesus as dead, referring to the spiritual state of the person. They have been asleep perhaps ignoring the things of God for so long that some areas of their walk are completely dead.
  • Laodicea Church is lukewarm. It has lost the passionate zeal for God. These are Christians who are not willing to be inconvenienced by their relationship with the Lord. If it isn’t easy, they won’t do it. 

There are some scriptures in the New Testament that I have avoided thinking about. Now I see how to apply them:

Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away)... (John 15:2 AMPC)

I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:5-6 AMPC)

Each one of these churches were not longer vitally attached to the Lord. They are all in a state of decay and in danger of being thrown into the fire. It is time for us to check on our connection to the Vine. Is our connection a vital, vibrant part of our life or a side-note?

Only God 

You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God… (Exodus 20:5 AKJV)

When God tells us ‘not to have any idols’, He is kind enough to let us know why, in the very first commandment which includes this statement.  When we intentionally sin, we are serving another god and bowing down to them or our own desires:

Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 AKJV)

When we choose to sin it puts us into Satan’s hands. Two of the judgments against the churches are because of this:

     Pergamum has teachings of Balaam and Nicolaitans encourage God’s children to sin.

      Thyatira tolerates Jezebel who encourages God’s children to sin 

Notice that the judgement in all the churches is not due to having sin, but for encouraging others to sin. This helps us understand the way several scriptures should rightly work together. Two verses are often used to state that we don’t need to worry about sin: 

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. (1 John 1:8 AKJV)

You have been set free from sin... (Romans 6:18 NIV)

When we look only at these, it seems to say that we will always have sin and we have been set free from it through Jesus. This is true, but it leaves out key factors! Let’s look deeper into Romans:

Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. (Romans 6:18 AKJV)

This is the full verse. Now it is clear that you become and are being made free from sin as you choose righteousness. Before Jesus, there were generational curses that could push us continually into sin, but now the blood has paid the price for our freedom! It talks about this before stating our freedom:

We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. (Romans 6:6 AMPC) 

Sin can no longer cling to us and bind us. Through what the Lord did on the cross, sin cannot pressure us into wrong actions. All we have to do is resist! Investigating 1 John further reveals why we MUST resist sin:

No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him—deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him]. (1 John 3:6 AMPC)

Jesus paid a high price to free us from being a slave to sin. If we choose to sin instead of learning His ways and the ways of the Kingdom of God, then we have not really submitted to Him as Lord. We are choosing to do what we think is best and what we want instead of striving to find out what our Lord wants from us!

Instead of focusing on what we cannot do, if we keep our eyes on what God has done, how can we not be in love with and devoted to the Lord. As long as we are not “habitually” or “intentionally” sinning, Jesus has us covered. This is wonderful news because none is without sin! For the judgement of the churches, it is their unwillingness to turn from sin or encouraging others to sin that is the issue. It is the state of our heart that matters to God. If we are really trying to do things His way, He will know and all will be well.

These are the churches that will come under judgement if they don’t overcome what God has declared against them. There is one church that we haven’t discussed yet, one that He will “keep you [safe] from the hour of trial (testing).” Does this mean that there is a way to avoid some of what is coming? Is this connected to the rapture? That will be discussed next.

This is part of a series of articles based on the Book of Revelation. We suggest looking at these in the order they were given because one message builds upon the others:
More Articles with messages from God can be found in: 

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FREE Books

Believers' Boot Camp series

Believers' Boot Camp - Volume One
Believers' Boot Camp: Volume Two
Roadmap to Heaven
Destroying Curses
in the Courts of Heaven

Many people think of boot camp as a place you train for combat. Any veteran will tell you that basic training is about three things:
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Eager hearts cry out, hoping for a single word to confirm that He hears us. Yet, many times the only sound is silence. Over the years I have heard several reasons why God speaks to some and not to others. One night, as I tossed and turned, I brought each of these reasons before the Lord, stating why each of them did not line up with who I thought He was. 

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