Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thyatira and Sardis Churches

 

Thyatira and Sardis Churches

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.

On a visit to the Secret Place, 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, as 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
    •  if only to feel His presence
  • Let all else fall aside and fade away and 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.”

The information about the churches in Revelation are to help us know where we are so that we can do what is necessary to connect with Him. It is necessary to take time to examine our life and the church we attend if we are going to benefit from the revelation of John.

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 like a living fire when He is angry. A group of Christians need to be aware that “slow to anger” does not mean the Lord does not get 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, and service; 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)

Jezebel was a queen who was dedicated to another god. She led many astray into a false religion. This is not literally a woman from the Old Testament. It is the spiritual forces that carry her traits. Because Jezebel was female, all connections to this spirit or people this spirit works through are referred to in a female context, though it may be applied to either gender. Since the Lord is speaking about those who are acting as Jezebel did, He uses the female form of “prophetess.”

Even though this part of the body is doing good work, they have prophets or prophetesses 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's 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 from eating it. 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 you may be connected to this part of this body!

     Concerning Jezebel: If you are not familiar with this spirit, I encourage you to register at the CoH Academy which has a class that will walk you through a “Jezebel Cleanse” to help free you from this spirit. Once you are familiar with the characteristics of this spirit, it will be easy to identify. The CoH Academy is a free online school: all classes and all materials are free.

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)

The Greek word porneia is translated as “immorality” but has two meaning, both of which should be applied to this type of church because they were specifically mentioned in the preceding verses:

  1. Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc
  2. Metaphorically the worship of idols, idolatry

The first needs no further elaboration.Many Christians think that as long as they are not worshiping a statue of Budda they are not guilty of idolatry. This is not what we learn from the Bible:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23 AKJV)

If we reject what the word of God says and continue stubbornly in the way we want to go, this is idolatry. There are well-known churches who insist that all you have to do is say a certain prayer or make a certain decree over and over and you will get what you desire such as money or health. They are guilty of teaching idolatry.

They are teaching you to stubbornly quote the Word of God, making an idol out of what you want and your will instead of seeking to hear from God about why you are out of alignment with Him. These churches say nothing about removing sin to remove attacks of the enemy, which makes them a Thyatira church! They have many good works, they have spread the gospel, but they have also opened the door to Jezebel with false prophets.

God is making it clear that He gives us time to remove sin from our lives, but then, if we have a connection to this spirit we will be placed “on a bed of suffering.” If you have sought healing and can’t get free of pain or sickness, a connection to this spirit may be a root cause!

Repenting means to turn and go the opposite way. The only way to be set free is to turn from all behavior that gives her access. We have seen many people healed as they learn about this spirit and how to disconnect from Jezebel in the CoH Academy by applying what they learn to their lives. Halfway through the Academy, you will have a visit with an elder to remove any Jezebelic sins from your 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! Many of the sins are internal, they are in the heart. The Lord reads our hearts and knows what our true motivations are. For those people who 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)

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. Christians in a wrong body of believers but holding onto the truth will not receive the punishment of those following a Jezebel spirit.

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 2:26 AMPC)

We must obey what the word of God says, not what man says 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, and if you are on Earth when Jesus returns, you will receive a reward for your efforts. Notice there is no “escaping” or being “out of” God's hour of testing. There is only lasting to the very end of it all.

If you want to be removed in the rapture, then your connection is important! In the CoH Academy course: 401 - Removing Charges, you will discover a prophecy which was given and fulfilled in 2020 about how Jezebel enters a church and what it takes to remove that connection. If you want to make sure you are in the right church and ready for the rapture, we urge you to begin the classes at the Academy which teach you God’s ways!

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.” This means you will receive great power as you help Jesus rule this earth

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 1: Remove Jezebel who leads them into sexual sin and stop eating food sacrificed to idols

Obstacle 2: Hold on if you are not following Jezebel into sin.

Reward: Rule and reign with Jesus with great power

Coming Correction

The Lord has warned us about a time of correction coming upon the body of Christ. Recently He sent a dream to reveal what this may look like for some ministries. These are churches who are operating outside of their rightful authority.

The Dream

My husband was sleeping and I was pacing nearby. I went to the bathroom and after using the facilities, including washing up, I went to the living room. My husband was awake and listening to the news on the television.

“You're up!” I exclaimed.

He looked haggard, tired, and scared. “I couldn’t rest, knowing what was coming. We only have one day left to live.”

Interpretation

Husband: Ministry that I became part of when I became a Christian
Bathroom: Removing sin
Livingroom: Social activity
Bed: Place of rest and intimacy
Television News: Events happening worldwide

In the dream I know more than my husband, so he cannot be the Lord. Also, my natural husband usually finds solutions as fast or faster than I do, so in this dream it isn’t him. This is the church I was really involved with when I rededicated my life to God. In the dream, my husband was the same as he was at that time, confirming he is actually the church. Like the Thyatira Church, they have many “prophets” who are making false declarations and giving prophecies which do not come true.

I have been removing sin from my life, and no longer in bed, meaning intimate with that church. Instead we are only connected socially: because we are both Christians.

Soon the world will know that a time of correction from Heaven is coming (meteor). That branch of God’s church may not know how to avoid the destruction.

The Dream

The announcer on the television said, “The impact of the meteor will not affect those who are at least five feet underground.”

I pointed at the television. “Hey, it looks like there may be a way we can survive.”

A small light of hope entered my husband's eyes, “How?”

“We are not far from Carlsbad Caverns. Couldn’t we get there in a day?” My husband nodded. “We have to get moving if we are going to make it in time!”

Our family began walking from the house. I was in the lead with my oldest daughter Ashley. My husband followed us. When we were a short distance down the street, rocks began falling from the sky. Most of them were traveling slow enough that we were able to dodge them, but other people were caught unaware and struck down by the impact of the stones.

My husband shouted to me, “I will go back for the car.” As we saw him coming toward us in our SUV (sport utility vehicle) we watched as a large fiery meteor streaked across the sky and demolished the vehicle.

Interpretation

Ashely: Agape Christian Fellowship
Stones: Words of judgement
SUV: A way of moving towards your destiny with God
Meteor: Judgement from Heaven

The Lord has revealed the place of safety to our ministry: five is the number meaning grace. Underground means that we must be under God’s grace.

Carlsbad is named after the Czech town formerly known by the German name Karlsbad (English spelling Carlsbad) and now known by the Czech name Karlovy Vary, both of which mean “Charles' Bath[s].” Charles means free man: Christians are made free through Jesus.

Though we are freed through Jesus, we need to be under grace in the cleansing water (bath) of the Holy Spirit to survive the correction. Agape Christian Fellowship (Ashley) has developed the free Courts of Heaven Academy to help lead people into the knowledge of what they need through the Word of God!

Some will wait to begin the journey to safety until they are dodging the minor corrections (small stones) coming from Heaven. Though we can lead people to safety at this time, if they choose to continue towards their destiny in the way they have been going (SUV) then they will not survive God’s judgement.

There is hope for the Thyatira type of church. God has provided the answer. I pray many will see it before it is too late!

 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 His Spirit 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)

 Jesus referred to those who were literally dead as being “asleep.” If you are not alert and active for the body of Christ, then you are spiritually asleep and dead. “Dead works” are those that are not connected to Jesus, the Vine. Although, we can do many “good” works that benefit us or others, if they are not the works that the Lord has for us or if the works are not done according to God’s ways, then these works are considered “not perfect in His sight.”

James, the half-brother of Jesus, tells us that faith without works is dead:

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26 AKJV)

This scripture, from the New Testament and half brother of our Lord, concludes the second chapter of James in which there are many examples of why our faith is dead without works. We cannot be saved by works, but when we really take Jesus as Lord, He becomes our Master and Owner and we should begin working for Him. If we do not, then we may be part of the Sardis church. If this describes your life, you need to take action!

Begin by reading the entire second chapter of James. This may help to stimulate any Christian who is not working for the Kingdom of Heaven. Then start learning more of God’s ways and ask Him what work He has for you in His Kingdom.

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” in the above scripture shows that this will be a process. Don’t expect to do a quick repentance and have everything restored. You will need to learn and apply what you learn to your life, waking up step by step.

Also, remember that 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 those that are not walking in the sin He is judging. If you remain in the church and are not sinning as most are, then you will not receive the same judgement.

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 3:5-6 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 means we will not be going to Heaven if our names are not in that book! 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 & name in the Book of Life

Having looked at five out of seven churches, it is becoming clear that when God is speaking to a church, it is for all the members of that body of believers, unless otherwise noted.

  • In some churches, individual members who continue to walk in God’s ways will still be clean and free of sin.
    • this makes them eligible for Heaven, but not necessarily the rapture.
  • We should closely examine God’s judgment for each church
    • when there is harm done to others by leading them into sin, you will not receive the full benefits of being “kept from the hour of tribulation”
  • Tithing into a church makes you part of that body of believers
    •  supporting what God is doing through that part of His body
    •  supporting a wrong church that is 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. Being beheaded isn’t the only way to make it into Heaven.


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Believers' Boot Camp - Volume One
Believers' Boot Camp: Volume Two
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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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Believer’s Boot Camp series is a collection of books which teach us how to hear more clearly from God with the goal to ready ourselves for a face-to-face meeting with our Lord, Jesus. The series reveals the “weapons and tools” God has given us and how to use them, so we can bring God’s kingdom to Earth. Each book in the series focuses on a single topic to clearly define one tool or weapon from our Heavenly Father. 

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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. 

Words rose from my soul, pleading for Him to reveal why He has remained silent when a single word from Him would mean so much to so many. For the next few hours, God used things I learned about years ago and things I had just discovered to show why He talks to some and why He doesn’t, and in demonstrative ways. 

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Keys to Authority for Every Believer

There is untapped power that is easy for every Christian to access in the form of authority. The keys to this authority will unlock weapons we can use to free ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. We must be intimately aware of the bounds and limitations of our weapon if they are to be used effectively. 

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